Many PhD graduates will pursue a postdoctoral training position, most commonly in an academic laboratory. What can you expect from this period in your career? Do you need to go abroad to do a postdoc? What could/should you do to benefit the most of this time? And how can you use your time as a postdoc to help you with your career path once you leave?
I recall being very excited about beginning my postdoc and leaving the PhD nest. I trained and stayed an unanticipated five years at UCSF, San Francisco, before coming back to the UK as an independent researcher. In this session I will share my experiences during those five years, and that of fellow postdocs, from the time of pursuing these positions to the transition of postdoc to lectureship. I will discuss the highs, lows and unexpected realities of this period of training that myself and others experienced.
As a postdoc, you are in a unique position between not having to worry about completing a PhD, yet also without the role juggling and responsibilities of an independent academic. So to current PhD students thinking of postdoctoral research, or current postdocs, this period in your career will represent an exciting time with a tremendous amount of freedom to devote to your research and to explore possible career paths. With postdoctoral training periods getting longer and the unpredictable nature of research and the job market, there is an increased awareness of the need for long-term planning and to use this time to develop the necessary training in your postdoc. This should enable a successful move on to the next step of whatever chosen career path that is sought.