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Why are we far from home?


To be a scientist in academia is not an easy task as I am sure many other jobs are. But I think that us, in the biological sciences, have it the worst. It is highly competitive, in order to stand out we have to work 24/7 risking burn out and we’re not even well compensated! Sometimes wondering if this is all worth it. To be away from our families to have a successful career.


In our case, we came to the U.S to train as postdocs, learn new skills, advance in our careers and establish collaborations that would be crucial for the future of our careers. After our training finished, we got jobs back in our home country. We were lucky to have two offers to choose from, something not everyone has there.


We chose to go to an institution that, at the time, looked like a dream to us only to find out that it would be the worst decision we ever made. To the point that even today, a year and a half after this, it makes me question whether to remain in science.


After our exit from that place, we applied and searched for jobs for a year or so. But nobody wanted to hire us. They were willing to give us sponsorships to apply for grants and IF we got them, we could talk about joining their universities or research centers. This is a tactic that is commonly used there due to the high number of PhDs trying to get the few academic positions that open every other year. To wait six months to know if we got a grant to then talk to see if we could get a job was just not possible. We had an academic baby on the way and Coco to look after.


Academic Dad got an offer from a University in the U.S and we had to make the hard choice to move again. We had bought a car, a house, and we had plans to stay for at least 10 years without moving again. We had gone through enough moves already! But we had no other choice than to leave. Only that this time it wasn’t just us and our suitcases, it was us, an academic baby that was cooking and our beloved Coco.


To be a family of four and not just two nomads this time, came with more difficulties to overcome. Health insurance for my pregnancy, giving birth in a different country, moving a french bulldog that is banned from airlines, living with just one salary because no one would give a visa sponsorship and hire a 6-month pregnant scientist and so on.


To be continued…


Cheers,

Academic Mom, Academic Dad, Academic Baby and Coco.

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