This is a very competitive and a very difficult research environment, and I think what I would say to early career investigators is that the research environment in which you place yourself is enormously important. So if a young investigator, a young scientist goes into an academic setting where they're going to have to be a lone researcher, that's extraordinarily difficult to do in today's environment.
So where you place yourself is extraordinarily important, and there are two kinds of mentors. And you need some of each.
One kind of mentor is the individual who spends time with you providing you guidance, and you clearly have to identify someone who takes that role with you. And that person may be in your department, in your university, may be your boss or may be at another university. The closer they are, the better but it's not always possible.
But the other kind of mentor is the environment. When you are in a research environment where outstanding research is being conducted and you have the opportunity to be part of one or more of those studies, you are learning from what you're immersed in.
So it's really critical at a time like this that you have both kinds of mentoring experience at the same time.