Monday, February 1, 2010

Principal Investigators Association

Does anyone have any experience with this organisation? Their website front page states that they are a not-for-profit organisation that is "helping leading researchers in all fields with their non-science duties and responsibilities" (emphasis theirs). I've somehow ended up on their mailing list, and get frequent emails with an advice column-style question and answer of the day. Some of it has been really good stuff, covering issues such as personnel and laboratory management. You know, the kinds of things that PIs are expected to know how to do despite never being offered any training.

Last week I was offered the chance to download a sample issue of the monthly newsletter, which usually costs $199 (members) or $267 (non-members) for 12 issues. The content was relevant and interesting, with some overlap with parts of my job description. It's a US publication, with a US-centric content, but most of the articles were more or less applicable to other countries. However, the majority of the articles were very similar to the posts I can read for free on the various Prof-blogs out there.

Does anyone have a subscription? Is it worth the money? Or is it aimed more at PIs who aren't familiar with the blogosphere?

(Realises that if the latter option is true, she's asking the wrong crowd. Decides to cross-post on her other blog to increase the chances of finding a blogosphere-savvy PI with a subscription).


  1. I initially thought you were referring to the blogosphere as the PI Association! I wouldn't pay to get info that I get from bloggy buds for free.

  2. Never heard of them, but it's an interesting idea. I clicked on their "free sample" link but can't read it unless I give them my email address, which I don't want to do. What I could see of the front page seems like stuff that is covered in my institution's career development seminars for faculty, on blogs like you mentioned, and that I can get from my mentors and other faculty in my department.

  3. PiT, yes it's a global conspiracy of PIs against the rest of us, LOL!

    Yes, it's a lot of money for the convenience of having everything in one place as opposed to having to click UP TO 5!!! OMG!!! links a week in Google Reader. And no comments!

    MadHatter, our institute doesn't have that kind of seminar :(

    It is an interesting idea, but might have done better 5-10 years ago, before blogging got big!

  4. I get these emails too, at my professional email address, and I have no idea how I ended up on their list. It's interesting enough, but I wouldn't pay for it--because indeed, we are this to each other for free.

  5. I should have said that my emails are also coming to my professional account (which is on the department's home page - there's the explanation in my case, anyway).

    I'm sure there are PIs who've never heard of blogs who find the newsletter really useful. I'll keep reading their question and answer of the day emails, but yeah, no point paying any money.

  6. It has nothing to do with this post... Have you seen this?

    Or more, since I am curious, have you eaten anywhere they have? :)

  7. Only a couple - Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant and Granville Island Public Market. We don't spend much time in Richmond, and a lot of the other places mentioned are completely out of our price range! But yeah, we're spoiled rotten here and there are excellent restaurants at every pricing level. Japanese tourists rave about the quality and cheapness of the sushi, in particular!

  8. well, I remember living there and having sushi at least once a week :) Haven't been out in Richmond that uch but it seems like it is booming now?

    And yeah, some of the prices were a bit on the hefty side "don't ask about the price buyt the check is $200 a piece" ;)

    Ahh... I miss granville island....

  9. Mmmmmmmmm sushi.

    I had some excellent Szechuan for lunch. Green beans with rice and soup for $6.95. It's never going to make the pages of the New York Times, but you don't need to worry about the bill!

  10. Hi there. I don't work for PIA, but I do subscribe. Get your university to subscribe to it through their sponsored projects office and occasionally they'll set up webinars, etc. Most of our PIs find it helpful.


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