A personal academic summary of 2018

It would always be a good idea to summarize the year towards its end. This year is the 1st year of my postdoc life, after graduating as a Ph.D. September last year. It has been a challenging year for me, transforming from a graduate student to an independent young researcher, especially as an ESO fellow (meaning that you are 100% independent).

 

It is not easy to build your own idea almost from scratch, but it is the skill that must be mastered if one wants to pursue an academic career path and finally become an independent researcher. That’s what I must learn. I had some new thoughts during the year but turned out to be “old ideas” or “unrealistic ideas” after discussing with senior astronomers. It was quite discouraging but they are the lessons to be learned. Besides, “networking” has also become a key skill to become a good researcher, and I need to work on my own to be known by other researchers and to build new collaborations. Thanks to ESO’s generous funding, I can afford to travel around the world to show my work in conferences and to build new connections. That’s one of the coolest parts of being an ESO fellow (another coolest part is to work with ALMA). But this is also a personal challenge for me as an introverted person, I sometimes find it very difficult to walk to people whom I’ve met for the first time (non-friends) and talk with them during the coffee break in a conference. In most of the cases, I found I was not sure what to say. That is the thing that I need to work out.

Anyway, I’ve learned a lot this year and the experiences have been very helpful. I really hope the summary of the year below can be doubled when I do the summary for 2019.

  • Publications
    • submitted 1 first-author paper, under revision to be resubmitted
    • published 7 co-author papers
  • Proposals:
    • ALMA: 2B, 1C
    • NOEMA: 3A
    • JVLA: 1C
    • APEX/SEPIA-9: 1A
    • several co-I proposals, including a NOEMA large program
  • Conferences/talks: 
    • 4 seminars talks @UV(Chile), Oxford(UK), Durham(UK), DWAN-DTU(Denmark)
    • 1 conference contributing talk @Cambridge 
    • 1 invited talk in a symposium 
  • Professional service:
    • ApJ referee
    • Technical Secretary of the ALMA Cycle-6 Proposal Review meeting

Summary: Need to publish more first-author papers, to work more efficiently, and read more and discuss more to create new ideas on my own that have scientific impacts.

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