In my first few years beavering away on the tenure track, I flitted from one research question to another. In an undisciplined pursuit of funding, I wasted my energies—and, sadly, papers—on unrelated topics. I began to understand how a successful research program worked only after I became an associate professor at another university. I realized from observing others that it was critical to find one's focus and voice and have it heard—quickly. Now, when my own students and postdocs ask me how they can stand out among the many young scientists jockeying for position and positions, I tell them to learn from my early struggles, and to define their research brand identity. (You can read more at Science.)
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