Transitioning from academia to industry is a common direction for a career move. But it is possible to move the other way, even as a mother of five children?

In this podcast we share Paula Littlejohns’ story. Paula started her microbiology PhD at the University of British Columbia, Canada, a year ago, after a decade in industry and having five children.

And given that this is February’s podcast, we had to throw a little more love in! Lorna MacEachern, a PhD and postdoc career counsellor at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, highlights some of the similarities between between a research career and a relationship.

Finally, in this month’s Q&A we have a question from molecular biology PhD researcher Suleen Raad from the University of Montreal about how to move into science communication. The answer comes from Bonnie Schmidt, director and founder of Let’s Talk Science, a charitable organisation in Canada that helps encourage young children to study science, technology, engineering and maths-based subjects.

You can listen to the podcast, Family life, career life: Making it work, on


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