Questions tagged [postdocs]

Regarding Post-Doctoral appointments, duties and job-hunt.

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189
votes
4answers
34k views

University rank/stature - How much does it affect one's career post-Ph.D?

What I'm trying to understand is, to what degree does the status/rank of the University (where one completes his/her Ph.D) matter while shaping his/her career after graduation? I would like to know ...
189
votes
11answers
22k views

Postdoc overwhelmed by incomplete work

I take on more than I can handle and everything is left incomplete. Constant reminders from my previous supervisor, my current advisor, and colleagues, increases my anxiety level and sometimes I end ...
99
votes
15answers
32k views

Just started a postdoc, but it went REALLY bad, REALLY fast. Stay or go?

I just started my 2-yr postdoc, but things have gone sour really fast. So, I really need some career advice as to what to do. Over several months, I did the interviews with the supervisor and the lab ...
84
votes
9answers
18k views

How to let a PhD student know that their research is not as good as they think it is

I am a postdoc and I have been talking to a PhD student about his research, as his interests are closer to mine than to his advisor's. He is generally nice, smart, and hard working. However, I think ...
82
votes
9answers
13k views

Is it acceptable for a professor to ask post-doc student to babysit for free?

Like the title says, I have a friend who is a post-doc and her professor is asking her and another post-doc to baby-sit for him. He does not pay them, he simply expects them to baby-sit for free ...
64
votes
5answers
9k views

Is it reasonable to worry about lack of potential for dating in postdoc positions?

I am 25 years old, and in a few months' time I will have to decide whether to get a job in London or apply for a postdoc somewhere. Apart from all of the usual pros and cons (eg. job security, ...
62
votes
12answers
28k views

PhD and postdoc with no first author publications- realistically what are my career prospects?

I am a UK based researcher in life sciences. My research is in neuroscience, mainly involving in vivo electrophysiology. My PhD project was a disaster for a number of reasons (technical difficulties, ...
58
votes
2answers
14k views

What is expected of a postdoc?

What do different people in the department expect from a postdoc? By different people I mean the advisor, graduate students and PhD students. I know it mainly depends on the job description but there ...
57
votes
10answers
12k views

Personal web page vs Academia.edu vs ResearchGate

I will soon finish my PhD and start searching for a post-doc position and I was wondering which web-based solution is the best suited to present myself and my work (I work in plant biology). I see ...
57
votes
5answers
12k views

Where should I host a (simple) personal academic webpage?

I've finally decided to stop putting off creating an academic webpage for myself... both for the purposes of a job search and more generally to communicate what I'm about research-wise. But - where ...
51
votes
1answer
7k views

Changing mind after rejecting a job offer

I recently finished my Ph.D., and joined a private company in the industry. A few months before defending my thesis, I received an offer for a post-doc position; the offer was very interesting, but I ...
50
votes
3answers
14k views

How long before PhD graduation should I start applying for post-doc positions?

My earliest PhD graduation date is 10 months away. Funding permits me to stay 1–3 months longer, so the final date is still uncertain. It is never too early to make contacts for possible post-docs. ...
48
votes
7answers
7k views

Should I agree to review papers as a postdoc?

I am a post doc in mathematics, and was just sent a request to review a paper. This is the first time it happened to me. I never heard of this journal before, but it is a Springer journal, and upon ...
47
votes
10answers
10k views

Is postdoc experience valued by industry?

I have recently finished my PhD and am currently considering my options. I have come to the conclusion that the teaching or the "publish or perish" nature of academia isn't really appealing for me. ...
46
votes
9answers
8k views

Are unpaid postdoc positions common?

I contacted a group leader, and he strongly liked my CV. He encouraged me to join his group as a postdoc fellow, but he mentioned that the position he may offer is unpaid (so, I must cover my living ...
46
votes
3answers
6k views

Whether/how to list a failed student on my CV

I'm a postdoctoral researcher. My professor recently asked me to co-supervise one of her doctoral students, whom she also employed full-time as a research scientist. Since I had no prior experience ...
46
votes
4answers
8k views

Meeting dishonest ex-supervisors at large international conference — Should one speak out?

I have returned to my country after one negative experience as a postdoc in China. In short, I was hired based on false salary & funding expectations supported by shady vague contracts written in ...
45
votes
7answers
7k views

Tips for work-life balance when doing postdoc with two very young children and a one hour commute

I have a postdoc position in my dream lab with PI, who leads the field and has very cool projects for me. The thing is, I have two small kids (youngest is 3 weeks old) and I live one hour away from my ...
42
votes
7answers
20k views

Whether to tell his prospective employer that a new male post doc opposes affirmative action for women in academia?

I personally know a male graduate student who works in a different area (in STEM) than mine and who has a potentially controversial view. He opposes to affirmative actions for women in academia and ...
42
votes
7answers
15k views

Why do people do postdoc(s) when they can already do research as a professor?

I think PhD is the first time, mostly, when a person does original new work and in this process they gain the skills to do research. So, I was wondering why do people do postdoc(s) when they already ...
42
votes
4answers
10k views

How do you earn opportunites to review journals or conference papers?

Critical reading is a very useful skill for most PhD students (and postdocs and researchers in general). Instead of assuming that everything you read in a scientific paper is right, it's useful to ...
42
votes
3answers
3k views

Applying for postdocs: mention two-body problem in cover letter?

My spouse and I are both finishing Ph.D's in math and applying for math postdocs in the US. We work in different areas of math, but there are many departments in which both are prominently represented....
41
votes
3answers
11k views

A social experiment. What is the worst that can happen? [closed]

I am a postdoc and I have been applying for jobs in both industry and academia. My h-index is good enough for junior faculty (~7). Along my academic CV I have an industry-oriented CV and send both of ...
41
votes
9answers
105k views

Who actually is a Post-Doctoral fellow?

Many of us often talk about Bachelor's and Master's students, PhD students, researchers, professors, and postdocs. But, do we know what we actually intend when we say "Post-Doc"? We all know that a ...
41
votes
3answers
5k views

How to decline a postdoc interview if there is some possible future collaboration?

I am applying for post-doc position. I was invited for two interviews on close dates. I already did the first one and got the job. I am going to accept the offer because the research is very nice, the ...
41
votes
4answers
6k views

How to deal with left over work from a Post Doc

I have recently (6 months) left academia after a three year postdoc at a high ranking university. During my time there, I became the lab's statistics guru having carried out analysis on a lot of our ...
41
votes
4answers
2k views

How to have a fulfilling social life as an academic

I will be a postdoc in the coming academic year. While I have not decided on where I will be in September, it seems likely that I will be a research postdoc at a decent research university. An aspect ...
41
votes
3answers
7k views

Persistent issues with salary pay as a postdoc in China: What can I do?

I am a third-time postdoc, and had never before had problems with getting paid. For almost two years now I have been a postdoctoral fellow at a university in southern China. This is my first ...
40
votes
10answers
8k views

Can I somehow leverage my willingness to work for a lower salary in job applications?

In the future, I will be on the market for a temporary academic position (postdoc or visitor) in the US, in math. Because of my lifestyle and financial situation, I do not need a large salary. ...
39
votes
10answers
11k views

UK Postdoc - Is salary negotiation even possible?

I have an interview later this week and the advertisement goes something like: Grade 7: £31,604 - £38,833 p.a. While talking to a postdoc at my own department, she told me that the scale wouldn't ...
38
votes
7answers
12k views

Can I say no when my principal investigator asks me to help cover lectures next semester?

I'm a postdoc at a US university, and my principal investigator (PI) asked me to cover some of his lectures next semester. I do not want to do any lecturing as I want to focus solely on my research. I ...
38
votes
6answers
6k views

Is it appropriate to bring some kind of gift for a host professor?

I'll be doing an Internship in USA the following week, in UCLA. I'm studying in Japan, where you should bring some kind of gift to your host professor, if nothing, for his/her kindness for accepting ...
38
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it reasonable to collaborate with a professor when you are employed by a different professor?

How wise is it to collaborate with another professor while working as a staff under one professor? Is there a ethical conflict in doing so even if the other professor is from a slightly different area?...
37
votes
4answers
100k views

How to contact a potential PostDoc advisor?

Reading this very interesting question ("How long before PhD graduation should I start applying for post-doc positions?") about "when", suddenly I started to reason on the "how" issue. Imagine you ...
35
votes
8answers
87k views

Should I attend a job interview after I've already accepted another offer?

I applied for several postdoc positions recently. One made an offer which I accepted. Since then I've been invited for an interview for one of the other positions. Is there any benefit to attending? ...
35
votes
9answers
147k views

How much is the normal salary of a postdoctoral fellow in North America and Western Europe?

I understand that the salary of a postdoctoral fellow depends on the field, project, contract, and so forth, but I am curious how much is the normal range for a fellow. Someone told me that he prefer ...
35
votes
7answers
7k views

1.5 years later, how to make sure unprofessional behaviour by former mentor has consequences?

I was a post doc at a large US university for a year and after took another postdoc position in my home country. My mentor was a tenure track assistant professor. It pretty soon became clear that ...
35
votes
2answers
1k views

Post-doc priorities: “Laundry list” vs. “Research trumps all”

I am a post-doc in the physical sciences and I am finding that people have very different expectations of what a post-doc's priorities should be. Typically people are somewhere between two camps. I ...
34
votes
3answers
7k views

How secure is a post doc job offer in an email from the department chair prior to receiving the official written letter?

I'm in/from the US. I'm finishing my PhD this semester. I've been offered a research postdoc, via email, by the dept. chair at one of my top choices, but outside the US (would rather not give too many ...
33
votes
5answers
6k views

What to do when expecting a negative recommendation letter?

I'm a postdoc having a difficult relationship with my adviser. Rather unexpectedly, he started literally bombarding me with all sorts of mostly unjustified accusations, including that I'm not ...
33
votes
5answers
3k views

Do Postdocs have any seniority ranking or progress?

I am seeing many people doing postdocs for years, or even nearly a decade, well into their late thirties. Do they usually have progressive salary and responsibility, as one could expect in a job? Is ...
33
votes
5answers
5k views

Does doing a postdoc mean a commitment to an academic career?

I have heard that it would be a bad idea to take up a post-doctoral position, if your ultimate goal is to work in industry. The basis of this maybe that it is harder to be hired for an opening at a ...
33
votes
2answers
31k views

How to write a research statement for a math postdoc position?

I am a graduate student in mathematics working on functional analysis of quantum information (basically using matrix techniques in some well-known problems). I am presently applying for postdoctoral ...
32
votes
5answers
16k views

What is the best way to turn down a Postdoc offer?

I've been recently offered a couple of Postdoc positions, and I was wondering how you as professors would prefer to be informed if a candidate would rather work with another institution. I know we ...
32
votes
8answers
8k views

Have made several mistakes during the course of my PhD. Can't help but feel resentment. Can I get some advice about how to move forward?

I am about to defend my thesis. My PhD journey was not a pleasant experience. I worked in an area not within the field of expertise of my advisor. Though she was present to discuss; the conception, ...
31
votes
3answers
5k views

Choosing between PhD students or postdocs as a lecturer

I have been appointed as a lecturer in a UK university. For establishing my lab, the department head offered two fully-funded PhD students (research programme) or two postdocs. I am struggling with ...
31
votes
6answers
5k views

Education or employment: What is a post-doc? What is a PhD student?

I’m afraid this question is mostly opinion-based, but I was wondering if there is any piece of material out there that covers the spectrum of opinions. What exactly is a post-doc? Is it an education, ...
31
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you “grow your own” post doc opportunity?

I am a finishing doctoral student (graduation in ~7-9 months) and I would love to get an year or so of postdoctoral experience. I've come to understand that a postdoc is generally paid by funds ...
30
votes
6answers
12k views

Can you reject a postdoc offer after the PI has paid a large sum for flights/accommodation for your visit?

I am being considered for a very nice industry scientist position but this involves many interviews and assessments and can take some time. However I have also accepted an invitation to the US (I'm ...
30
votes
8answers
6k views

Postdoc that refuses to follow the terms of her contract

I am supervising a research group. Each year, our institution offers several four years postdoc positions, and one year ago I told a friend of mine to apply to it because we work in very similar ...