During the interview for a postdoc position, I was given the impression that there will be various opportunities to get involved in research other than the main job description of the postdoc, and also before I started I mentioned that I would like to also work on my own related research project, and the supervisor said that would be fine.

At the time I started the position, two of the collaborators on the project said they will be decreasing their involvement in it. The supervisor has a hard deadline for completion of his research, and he is a bit nervous. It became somewhat obvious that I would be working for the next several years as a calculator for the supervisor and not really practicing my own research skills.

I am worried that my research experience and output from this would be low, and that the postdoc position will not prepare me for a staff scientist or professor position. Is this something that I should seriously discuss with my supervisor, or should I just start searching for another postdoc position?

Edit: I asked this question back in 2020. This is a comment from my 2023's perspective. I was right about the postdoc position not being a great opportunity to do research per se. It was more like a technical position, where most of the work could have been done by a software engineer. I don't regret continuing with this position because I have been doing real science in my spare time, including time that was available to me because the required work wasn't really time-consuming. I'm not so sure if I would have done it again with the full knowledge I have right now about this experience.

  • 2
    Why would you just search for something new without even discussing this with your supervisor?
    – Jeroen
    Nov 19, 2020 at 11:48


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