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postdoc questions

Hannah Dvorak hdvorak at cns.caltech.edu
Wed Jul 10 20:42:52 EST 1996

In article <4s0g5o$ig5 at mserv1.dl.ac.uk>, ds4 at st-andrews.ac.uk says...
>Where did that idea ever come up that postdocs are "training" positions.
>Perhaps in times long past they were regarded as such, but, at least in
>the UK, most adverts include phrases like "experience in ... essential"
>few state that "experience in ... advantageous" and precious few that
>"full training will be given". I have reliable sources stating that post-
>doc positions attract hundreds of applicants. Even where training would
>be given, the temptation to take on an experienced postdoc and get those
>papers published quicker surely is too great. So how does a new PhD ever
>get a start in a career?

I have noticed this sort of phrasing in advertisements as well: "the 
candidate must have experience in techniques x and y with respect to 
system z."  However, the post-docs I know personally, in many different 
labs, often didn't have much (or in some cases, any) experience in the 
techniques they are now using.  Perhaps it's different for post-doc 
positions that you seek out actively, rather than just responding to an 
ad in the back of Science or Nature?

- Hannah

Hannah Dvorak
Division of Biology 216-76
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125

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