Accounting for career breaks

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Credit: Robert Neubecker

Early in my scientific career, I pursued research while remaining blissfully unaware of the difficulty of securing a permanent academic position, especially for women and mothers. I drifted happily through a Ph.D. and two postdocs abroad, guided by interesting science, people, and places—and a nonscientist husband with ideas about where he wanted to live. It wasn't until I had been a postdoc for several years, with two children and a third on the way, that I recognized the need to adopt a sound strategic approach to securing a tenured faculty position, particularly given my career breaks. (Keep reading at Science.)