I am a polymer chemist doing a postdoc. I would like to pursue my career as a researcher. However, I have only 5 publications (all first author) 3.5 years after my PhD graduation. 2 more should be submitted within 6 months. Will it be possible to continue my career as a research scientist?

  • depends very much on how many others in your situation do have… Commented Dec 25, 2021 at 2:18
  • 1
    If the publications are published on generally acknowledged top-level journals in your area, then your productivity looks good to me. Commented Dec 25, 2021 at 4:25
  • This is very field dependent. But do you mean in academia or in industry?
    – Buffy
    Commented Dec 25, 2021 at 12:57
  • Any. I would prefer accademia as I have mostly been in accademia. But no need to have the grade of professor or lecturer. If I can be a scientist staff for a while, I haopy. Commented Dec 25, 2021 at 13:16
  • I suggest using the experimental method to answer your question. Commented Dec 25, 2021 at 19:33

2 Answers 2


I know nothing about your field, nor the general expectations there, but you've clearly been active. "Only 5" may be an overly pessimistic view.

The way to know whether you are employable either in academia or industry is to apply to a few places. Don't wait until your postdoc ends, though. And gather colleagues willing to support any applications.

If your field requires extensive lab equipment in order to do research, then you might be limited in the places that you can work, unless you have a way to fund that equipment through grants and such. So, you might also think about how you should go about that. Bringing a grant with you to a new job is definitely a plus in the hiring process for most purposes.


A couple of peer reviewed articles per year sounds a respectable record. Why doubt yourself? Equally, why assume anyone can predict your future on so little information? What interests you? What path do you wish to pursue? What makes your work important? Are you a good person to have in a team? Do you need support from others or do you give support to others? Does academic prestige matter more to you than money? All these questions, and more, need answering before anyone can see or assess you properly.

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