Which projects are worth working on? I'm going to answer that in a very narrow sense: which ones would I want to work on myself (or have my lab assigned to?) I'm rating things on their chance of success, their potential for interesting science, and (negatively) their potential for wasting everyone's time. Today's post could serve as a brief guide for medicinal researchers, and especially for those new to the field.
- avoid "sure things" at all costs
- avoid projects that have multiple "and then we get lucky" steps
- become the expert on your project
From a what-serves-the-company perspective, this doesn't sound right at first. However, these simple "selfish" rules actually do serve the company because there is knowledge behind these rules that looks at the long term viability. Now how to convince discovery management to be honest about which projects they persue?