I recently finished my dissertation, and now have a PostDoc position in a relatively large project for the next two years, with good chances of being extended into the next phase. The position is fairly technical (simulation method development), and I am trying to find time "on the side" to finish publishing the studies that went into my dissertation, in order to demonstrate that I wish to remain in active research, rather than just model development.

I was curious if I could gain some advice or insight on the following problems:

  • How can I balance new project tasks with finishing old work?

  • How many papers would be considered "normal" shortly after finishing a PhD?

I'm aware that this question is likely to be difficult to generalize, as publication count and time are very field-specific (I work as a climate modeller), but I'd nevertheless welcome some hints.


I am a researcher in a related field.

Some general answers to your questions, which was advised to me when I was in a very similar situation.

  • To maintain a balance, it depends if there are 'cross overs' in your prior and current research. If there is very little or none, then you could do what I do, I set some time every alternate weekend and a couple of evenings every so often - depending on what is needed for the research.
  • One way to tell how many papers would be considered 'normal' - or rather, a representative amount of papers, would be to do a search on Google Scholar or similar - of particular authors in your field, in specific years.
  • I like bullet two; bullet one seems a bit skimpy on the time devoted to your own research projects. However, if this is a reality of the job that one has to fit within, so be it. – aparente001 Apr 12 '17 at 17:21
  • @aparente001 yes, this is an unfortunate reality in many cases I would imagine. – user70612 Apr 12 '17 at 23:11

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