Week 1

Bright eyes and bushy tailed I set off for my first week at Imperial. I hoped to get my first experiments on by Christmas (3 weeks time) – that dream was quickly squashed! There are so many inductions, but that’s sort of to be expected.  What isn’t necessarily to be expected is that they are spaced out over the next three weeks.  And frustratingly there isn’t an induction that goes ‘if you need X sorting, start here’, so I’m worried I’m swamping the few contacts I know with silly questions. This wouldn’t be too bad, except that I won’t be instructed how to order chemicals until four days before the Christmas closure, so I’m having to basically go round the houses to order everything...and this needs to be done a.s.a.p. as loads of the equipment has a 2, 3 or 4 week lead time so basically all I can do is read papers.

Frustrations with induction and delays aside the other academic staff all seem very supportive, including the head of department, and they seem to want for me to succeed. It’s been made very clear that I’m not here as a ‘super-Post Doc’ but as a junior academic.

Mark Chadwick