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PIPredictor has been retired.

Welcome, and farewell, to the PIPredictor. After 75,882 predictions, the webserver has predicted itself to death. As we have all moved on from Weizmann, we cannot fix it. The code is available on GitHub. We wish you all success in science, regardless if you choose the PI path or not.


Publication metrics and success on the academic job market

David van Dijk*1, Ohad Manor*2, Lucas B. Carey3

The number of applicants vastly outnumbers the available academic faculty positions. What makes a successful academic job market candidate is the subject of much current discussion. Yet, so far there has been no quantitative analysis of who becomes a principal investigator (PI). We here use a machine-learning approach to predict who becomes a PI, based on data from over 25,000 scientists in PubMed. We show that success in academia is predictable. It depends on the number of publications, the impact factor (IF) of the journals in which those papers are published, and the number of papers that receive more citations than average for the journal in which they were published (citations/IF). However, both the scientist’s gender and the rank of their university are also of importance, suggesting that non- publication features play a statistically significant role in the academic hiring process. Our model ( allows anyone to calculate their likelihood of becoming a PI.

Link to the paper in Current Biology

  • David van Dijk was a PhD student at the Weizmann Institute, where he studied how gene expression, at the single-cell level, is encoded in promoted DNA sequence.

    As of March 2019, he is interviewing for PI jobs.

  • Ohad Manor was a PhD student at the Weizmann Institute, where he developed computational approaches for prediction of molecular and global phenotypes from genotype.

    As of March 2019, he is a senior research scientist at Arivale, Inc.

  • Lucas Carey was a post-doc fellow at the Weizmann Institute, where he worked on how the molecular mechanisms of regulatory processes determine stochastic phenotypes.

    As of March 2019, he is an associate professor at Peking University.