I am part of Bionexgen project, and what I love about it, is that it is all about collaborations.. In Manchester I met again with Hema and Petra who will be some of my close collaborators from Denmark and Slovaki. I must say I am really excited to work with them . Petra will work with immobilizing some of the enzymes, while Emma will work with bioreactor characterization and I will work in the fermentation and enzyme expression part with Pichia and E. coli, as well as automating the whole process !
I love working with people, unfortunately usually the training you get from PhD does not promote that.. How many times I have seen researchers working always alone.. How many papers with just two authors. A supervisor and a lonely PhD student.. People prefer usually to work alone.. Why ? Because they can be in total control of what they do.. Because they don´t want to accept somebody else ideas may be better, because people are not doing similar things.., and well reasons are easy to find..
The fact is that if you give them the choice to decide how they want to work, as it usually happens in research, people will prefer to work alone.. And that is such a waste, because working alone means you close the door to help other people..And that shapes your way of being towards helping other people, it becomes a habit.. and then it becomes your philosophy of life.. For example in my lab, very few members I have seen would come to help somebody without been asked.. It is sad, but that is how research makes fellows be.
A few will come and talk about their project for long time, seeking to promote their ideas, which is nice, but they will usually not come asking to offer their help unless they are seeking a big reward.
And it is funny, but I have noticed, a few times people will not accept your help because they do not want to share the credit if the global activity succeed. You can call it papers, or even simpler things like setting up an HPLC or other equipment. The result at the end is that the outcome is far from desirable, taking lots more time and resources to fulfill such activity, affecting the overall group.
So in the other hand, if you manage to help people, as the Dalai Lama said, the biggest reward is not for them, but for you. Now if you help seeking big rewards, be carefull because you may get more frustrated at the end if you do not get all the credit you are looking for, and after a while, you may just decide to close your heart to offer any help.. That would be a pity.. So help without expecting anything else back.. the rewards may not be tangible… but they will be forever stored in your soul.