I am going to be finishing my PhD at a top-10 ranked US institution in the next 6 months in a biosciences related discipline. My advisor (and the lab in general) is extremely well known and well respected. I have been very productive in my current lab (10-15 papers in high-impact journals, many additional manuscripts in preparation, invitations to present at 5-10 conferences, and I am well known in the broader research community).
Upon graduation I may be geographically limited to stay in the same city. If I were not geographically limited I would, largely, be able to postdoc anywhere I wanted. This is not intended to sound arrogant, but I want to paint a picture (I have investigated the possibility with a few best case choices and all have responded favorably).
If I stay in the city, I am considering whether to remain with my current advisor or switch labs.
I have many reasons to stay in my current lab: I believe I will be very productive, the research direction is very appealing to me, I have a great relationship with my advisor, I have a lot of autonomy already and my advisor will help me move into a more independent position, and I have had and will continue to have opportunities to spend time at other labs around the world.
There is no one else in this city with whom I'm as excited about working.
However, I'm concerned that if I stay:
- I would largely be perceived as a mini-version of my PI. This would hurt funding options in the short and long term (e.g. F32 awards, K-99 awards). Unclear how badly it would hurt them.
- My work might all be perceived as my advisors work (though to be fair he is extremely good at explicitly crediting people)
- I would not experience a new lab environment
- It could be looked on as lazy/unimaginative
- It might (would) hurt my ability to get a faculty position later
Is it possible for me to offset the future career damage associated with staying in the same lab between PhD. and postdoc by massive high-impact productivity? Or would my record still be "damaged" by staying in the same place, even if I was extremely productive there?