Friday, September 4, 2015

A day in the life of a newish PI challenge

As a trainee I always wondered what my PI was doing cooped up on her/his office and when I became a PI myself I was shocked by the endless list of things I was now responsible for. A good friend became a PI last week and he was complaining about some administrative delay...all I could say was "Welcome to the other side". While I do try to shelter the people in my lab as much as possible from all the madness in my life, I think it may be a good idea to chronicle a day in the life of a new (or now newish) PI. It may be interesting for trainees to see the breadth of items and extent of multitasking required on some days. Not to put them off, but to actually make them aware of the additional skills they would need to develop to do the job. Since I myself sometime lose track of everything I'm doing and I have been meaning to figure out where all my time goes, I'm willing to go through the exercise and write down what I do...
Here are the rules, you, my readers, pick one date in October or November and post it in the comments. So that I don't bias my reporting based on my schedule and we get a random sample, I'll blog on each of the first 3 dates a chronological list of what I did that day and the approx. duration for each task.

If someone else wants to join in and blog on the same day, it would be awesome to see what everyone is doing, as things are probably very different at different universities and career stages.

Selected days were September 17 (here),  October 1 (here) and November 9 (here with a twist)

GIF credit: Juggler with 10 balls, generated by Mathematica Details


  1. As a postdoc I would appreciate this greatly! I pick Nov. 9 (Monday)

    1. Nice, that should be a good normal day. I'm not traveling and hopefully will be standard start of the week activities....we'll see.

  2. October 1st please!

  3. Replies
    1. Ok, since you are asking and the other two people picked days where there is not much going on. Can I move this to September 17th? It seems it will be a semi-hellish day.