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More Post-doc questions...

Megan Brown mbrown at fred
Tue Jul 2 15:28:30 EST 1996

jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu wrote:
: To add to this question...how did you go about making up your "final" list of
: people to contact?

I would recommend thinking ahead to after your post-doc. What kind of job
would you like to have? Do you want to be the head of a high-powered
research lab, be a professor at a small teaching-oriented university, work
as a bench scientist in the Biotech industry, or what? It may be hard to
know what you want to do in the future, but your choice of postdoc may
vary depending on what sort of future job you want. For a career in
industry, choose an industrial postdoc or an academic one that studies
topics that might be of some relevance to industry or even has some
collaborations with industry. For example, I chose a protein kinase
lab for my postdoc, thinking that it could be good for either a future
in industry or academia. For a career that includes teaching, see if
you can get a postdoc at a place where there are teaching opportunities.
You cannot get hired as a professor at a teaching-oriented college
without significant teaching experience on your CV. You may also want to
choose a research area that is not extremely high-tech and requires lots
of expensive equipment, since many smaller universities cannot afford the
latest and greatest in equipment. For a traditional career as
head of a university lab, there are lots of considerations. For example,
how fundable is the area of research in the labs you are considering for
postdocs? Backwater topics, although often fascinating, are not where the
grant money is at these days. There are other career choices as well. The
postdoc years are the time to prepare yourself for your career. Contrary
to what your PI may tell you, that does not necessarily mean piling
up as many publications as possible (although definitely helpful for a
subset of career options).


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