Postdocs: What are they and how do I find one? Dr. Nicole Michel ([email protected]) and Dr. Lori Bradford ([email protected]), PDFs, School of Environment & Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan Dr. Alex Bond ([email protected]), VRF, Environment Canada and University of Saskatchewan What is a postdoc? Who are postdocs? Do I need a postdoc? Outline I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. Introduction General advice for selecting a postdoc Writing your own postdoc Applying for existing postdocs Networking to find a postdoc Is a postdoc for me? Group discussion of any other postdocrelated issues, questions, and concerns. Who are we? Dr. Nicole Michel, SENS Dr. Alex Bond, Environment Canada Ph.D., Tulane University, May 2012 Lecturer, Tulane University, Fall 2012 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, U Sask, Jan 2013 – Ph.D., Memorial University of Newfoundland, August 2011 Postdoc, University of Saskatchewan Biology, 2011 - 2013 Visiting Research Fellow, Environment Canada, 2013 – Dr. Lori Bradford, SENS Ph.D., Lincoln University, Dec 2009 Part-time Professor and Lecturer, Jan 2010 – Apr 2011 Postdoctoral Fellow, Lakehead University, Aug - Oct 2011 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, USask, Oct 2012 – Mother and wife I. Introduction A. What is a postdoc? B. What kinds of postdocs are there? C. Who are postdocs? What is a postdoc? “Postdoc” refers both to a type of employment, and the person who does that work Typically short-term (1-5 year) teaching and/or research positions held shortly after the PhD Preparation for professional/academic career First postdoc: 1876 at Johns Hopkins Number of postdocs increasing 1975: 16,000 1995: 35,000 Today: >50,000 What kinds of postdocs are there? Postdocs available in: Academia Industry/Non-profits Government Postdocs may consist of: Research Independent Existing Teaching Service Oregon State University Postdoc job titles The Canadian postdoc stratigraphy: • • • • • • • ½ men, ½ women (53:47%) ½ completed highest degree outside of Canada Average postdoc is in their 30’s and married (69%) Most expect to hold postdoc positions for 3-5 years (70%) 1 in 3 have dependent children 2/3 earn less than $45000 and have no access to benefits 46% Life Science, 32% in Physical Sciences or Engineering, 14% in Social Sciences • Most are happy with work environment and independence, but most are concerned with salary, career development, professional training, benefits • More than half not exposed to career opportunities outside academia, 87% have no access to career counselling • Can be labelled “employee, student, trainee, intern, independent contractor” *2013 The Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars/L'Association Canadienne de Stagiaires Postdoctoraux (CAPS-ACSP) and Mitacs. GENERAL ADVICE FOR SELECTING A POSTDOC Dr. Nicole Michel, PDF, SENS Ten Simple Rules for Selecting a Postdoctoral Position (Bourne & Friedberg 2006) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Select a position that excites you Select a laboratory that suits your work and lifestyle Select a laboratory and project that develop new skills – diversify! Have a backup plan(s) Choose a project with tangible outcomes that match your career goals Ten Simple Rules for Selecting a Postdoctoral Position (Bourne & Friedberg 2006) 6. 7. 8. Negotiate first authorship before you start The time in a postdoctoral fellowship should be finite Evaluate the growth path 9. 10. Can you continue this research and take it with you? Strive to get your own money Learn to recognize opportunities and up-andcoming areas of research Selecting a mentor and lab Is this person active in their field? What topics are the lab (graduate students, postdocs) working on? Will you fit in? Will this person be a good colleague and mentor? Ask around to get the “inside scoop” What is the funding situation? Just because they say they have/will have money doesn’t mean it’s true Can you live in that city/region for a few years? Survey: what to look for in a postdoc You’ve received an offer – now what? Make sure this is really the position you want Confirm the following in writing: Salary Benefits Start and end dates Expectations of your research, teaching, and service commitments Evaluate the institution Make sure you will be done with your PhD before the start date (allow some time off, if possible) What to expect as a postdoc Get your project up and running quickly Often doing dissertation-level work in 2 years Publish, publish, publish Network, network, network (in and beyond dept.) Participate in seminars & group research projects Look for supplemental funding opportunities Teach a course and/or mentor students (academics) Keep applying for “real” jobs MAKING YOUR OWN POSTDOC IN CANADA (BIOLOGY) Dr. Alex Bond Postdoctoral Fellow Environment Canada / University of Saskatchewan LabAndField.wordpress.com / @thelabandfield Start early At least 12-18 months before you want to start a postdoc Account for application deadlines E.g., NSERC PDF applications due in October the year before you want to start Identify a potential supervisor early on and develop a proposal together One proposal can be easily modified for several competitions Making your own postdoc Using existing pools of unfettered money Funds go with you, not your supervisor/lab Highly competitive Few sources NSERC 4 main programs Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDF) Industrial R&D Fellowships (IRDF) Visiting Fellowships in Government Labs (VF) Banting Fellowships (with SSHRC & CIHR) NSERC PDF Program $40,000/year for 2 years Applications due to NSERC on 15 Oct Similar to PGS application 2-page research proposal List of publications Significant contributions to R&D Letters of reference NSERC PDF Program Canadian citizens or permanent residents only PhD completed no more than 2 years before application deadline Only get one shot! 2013 applications: 808 Down 2013 from 2011 high: 1431 applications awards: 110 Down from 2010 high: 286 awards NSERC PDF Success Rate NSERC IRDF Program $45,000/year (minimum) for 2 years No set application deadline Notification of decision within 8 weeks of submission No proposal required – just an industrial partner & satisfying eligibility criteria PhD completed in the last 5 years No set competition – depends on candidates finding an industrial partner NSERC IRDF Program Lengthy application procedure, especially if the industrial partner has not had an NSERC IRDF position before Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and foreign students with a work visa & who completed their PhD in Canada at the time of nomination No more than 6 months’ employment in R&D after obtaining PhD NSERC VF Program $49,513/year for up to 3 years duration depends on government funding; rate is ~90% of entry-level government scientist (RES-01) No set application deadline Notification of decision within 3 months No proposal required – just a federal government lab willing to take you on (or not*) & satisfying eligibility criteria No set competition – depends on candidates finding a government supervisor NSERC VF Program Open to anyone of any nationality with a PhD from any accredited institution If no government partner, applicants can be placed in a pool of “pre-approved” candidates for up to 1 year Can only ever apply twice Can only ever hold one VF Funding in one-year increments Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships $70,000/year for 2 years EXTENSIVE application process First selected by supervisor, faculty, and put forward to university Independent review (coordinated by applicants) of their proposal University ranks & submits some applications to national competition (number determined by Banting program) Takes >3 months to compile Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Application deadline (at Banting): last week of September University deadline is weeks before 4-page proposal, contributions to R&D, list of publications 70 total across NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR 2013 NSERC pool: 23 awards/180 final applicants Other Funding Schemes Liber Ero Fellowship Program Killam Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships W. Garfield Weston Postdoctoral Fellowship in Northern Research UBC Biodiversity Research Centre University of Toronto Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Liber Ero Fellowship Program $55,000/year +$15,000 for travel & research for 2 years Applied conservation focus Requires a collaborating conservation practitioner 4-page proposal, CV, and letters of reference 4 awards every year Last deadline was 01 November Killam Postdoctoral Fellowships UBC, University of Calgary, University of Alberta, Dalhousie University Each university runs their own competition $44,000-50,000/year for 2 years Application deadlines vary by university (some in the fall, others in winter) Generally require a proposal, CV, letters of support, … ~2-4 awarded by each university each year W. Garfield Weston Postdoctoral Fellowship Canadian Northern Studies Trust $50,000/year for 2 years + $10,000 for travel Research in the Canadian North (defined as the permafrost line) Canadian citizens & permanent residents only PhD within 2 years of the application deadline Letters of support from supervisor, university; transcripts; research proposal Deadline: 31 January 2014 Biodiversity Research Centre, UBC NSERC CREATE training program $43,000/year for 2 years + $7,000/yr research stipend Research on core problems in biodiversity Work with one or more of 50 faculty members All applicants welcome CV, three letters of reference, statement of overall scientific goals and interests (2 pgs.) Deadline: 13 January 2014 University of Toronto EEB $40,000/year for 2 years Work with existing faculty at U of T Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology CV, representative publications, research summary & future plans Review starts 25 Nov Other resources International Scholarships Database (Government of Canada) Applying for existing postdocs WRITING YOUR OWN POSTDOC – US FUNDING SOURCES Nicole Michel, PDF, SENS As in Canada, start early At least 12-18 months before you want to start a postdoc Account for application deadlines E.g., NSF applications due in autumn the year before you want to start, many private apps. in Jan/Feb Identify a potential supervisor early on and develop a proposal together One proposal can be easily modified for several competitions (recycle!) Making your own postdoc in the US Using existing pools of money Some funds go with you, not your supervisor/lab, but most funds are linked to specific labs & projects Highly competitive Few sources more than in Canada, but there are also more applicants National Science Foundation Independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 “to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering.” Multiple divisions, funding sources NSF Postdoctoral research fellowships Programs are subdivided by research area Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS-PRF) Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowships (EAR-PF) East Asia & Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI)* Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research (MSPRF) Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability Fellows (SEES) Ocean Sciences Research Fellowships (OCE-PRF) Postdoctoral Fellowships in Polar Regions Research (PRR-PRF)† Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB) Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE-PRF) Science, Technology, and Society (STS) * For graduate students, must be enrolled at time of application † Suspended April 2013, may be reinstated NSF Postdoctoral research fellowships Programs are subdivided by research area Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS-PRF) Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowships (EAR-PF) East Asia & Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI)* Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research (MSPRF) Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability Fellows (SEES) Ocean Sciences Research Fellowships (OCE-PRF) Postdoctoral Fellowships in Polar Regions Research (PRR-PRF)† Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB) Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE-PRF) Science, Technology, and Society (STS) * For graduate students, must be enrolled at time of application † Suspended April 2013, may be reinstated Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability Fellows (SEES) “Seeks to advance science, engineering, and education to inform the societal actions needed for environmental and economic sustainability and human well-being while creating the necessary workforce to address these challenges” Who can apply: US citizen, national, or permanent resident; have the PhD by the start date; <36 months post-PhD. Others may apply through affiliation with universities, colleges, or non-profits. Stipend: $88,000/yr including benefits Research funds: $60,000 over 3 years Indirect: none Funds transportable: yes if applying as unaffiliated individual Duration: 3 years Due dates: November 26, 2013 Number of awards annually: 15-20 Application limits: 1 per applicant, no limits per university Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB) Four areas: (1) Broadening Participation in Biology; (2) Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Engineering; (3) National Plant Genome Initiative Postdoctoral Research Fellowships; and (4) International Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology Who can apply: US citizen, national, or permanent resident; have PhD in science, math, or engineering by the start date; <12 months full-time employed post-PhD; have not accepted academic appointment; have received <$20,000 federal funding (not counting GRFP, DDIG) Stipend: $54,000/yr Research funds: $15,000/year (no foreign travel) Indirect: none Funds transportable: Yes. May work in US or internationally Duration: Area 1: 3 yrs + 1 yr teaching (optional); Area 2: 2 yrs + 1 yr abroad (optional) + 1 yr teaching (optional); Area 3: 3 years; Area 4: 2 years Due dates: October 8, 2013 Number of awards annually: 15 per competitive area Application limits: 1/year, 2 consecutive per applicant, no limits per university Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE-PRF) Two tracks: (1) Broadening Participation, (2) Interdisciplinary Research in Behavioral and Social Sciences Who can apply: US citizen, national, or permanent resident; obtained PhD <24 mos. before application or within 10 mos after deadline; no full-time tenure-track position. Must be affiliated with university or non-profit through which proposal is submitted. Stipend: $45,000/yr + fringe benefits per institutional rates Research funds: $10,000/year Indirect: included at institution’s indirect rate, in addition to stipend & research funds Funds transportable: No Duration: 2 years Due dates: Last Monday in October Number of awards annually: 15 Application limits: 1/year, 2 consecutive per applicant, no limits per university Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Research into the interface between science (including engineering) or technology, and society, using social science, historical, and philosophical methods Who can apply: US citizen, national, or permanent resident; obtained PhD <5 years before start; no full-time tenure-track position. Can not work at Ph.D. institution Stipend: $75,000/yr including indirect Research funds: none Indirect: included at institution’s indirect rate, deducted from stipend Funds transportable: Yes if made to individual Duration: 2 years Due dates: February 1, August 1 Number of awards annually: 15 Application limits: none Other NSF funding sources Core program grants CAREER grants RAPID grants EAGER grants Dear Colleague Letters Special solicitations Core program grants Wide variety of funding topics/clusters Biology: Biological Infrastructure, Environmental Biology, Emerging Frontiers, Integrative Organismal Systems, Molecular and Cellular Biosciences DEB: Ecosystem Science, Evolutionary Processes, Population and Community Ecology, Systematics & Biodiversity Science SBE: Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Social and Economic Sciences, Office of Multidisciplinary Activities BCS: Anthropological Sciences, Geography & Environmental Sciences, Psychological & Language Sciences, Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research Application process (DEB) Pre-proposal (5 pgs.): January 23 Full proposal (if invited): August 4 May only be PI, Co-PI, or lead senior investigator on 2 proposals/year Budget: flexible. In 2014 $72M for ~200 awards May be submitted by: Universities and colleges (typical) Non-profits or for-profit (rare) organizations Unaffiliated individuals (rare, must be US citizens) PI typically a senior scientist. Postdoc helps write the grant, may or may not be listed as Co-PI NSF CAREER grants Awards for junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacherscholars through research & education. Who can apply: US universities, colleges, or non-profits; PI must hold PhD; be on tenure-track but untenured until 1 Oct after deadline; have not received CAREER award Application date: late July Budget: $500,000 BIO & Polar, $400,000 other Indirect: included in budget Duration: 5 years Number of awards: 600/year Application limits: 1 per competition Highly competitive: <10% funding rate Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) Funding mechanism used for urgent proposals, e.g., quick-response research on disasters (BP oil spill) Available through various programs. Must contact NSF program officer pre-submission. Project description 2-5 pgs. Internal merit review only Budget: up to $200,000 Duration: up to 2 years Extensions and supplemental funding available Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) Funding mechanism used to support exploratory work in early stages on untested research ideas High risk / high payoff Must contact NSF program officer pre-submission Project description 5-8 pages Internal merit review only Budget: up to $300,000 Duration: up to 2 years Extensions and supplemental funding available Special Solicitations Special solicitations provide opportunities for funding on selected topics, often cross-cutting Assembling the Tree of Life Dimensions of Biodiversity Dynamics of Coupled Natural & Human Systems Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases Long-Term Ecological Research MacroSystems Biology Other funding programs Dear Colleague Letters advise applicants of NSF’s particular areas of interest Proposals are submitted through regular channels Proposals for Conferences, Symposia, & Workshops Catalyzing New International Collaborations Support short international planning visits by US researchers Research Experience for: Teachers Undergraduates Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GAOLI) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences Funding Rates DBI: Biological Infrastructure DEB: Environmental Biology EF: Emerging Frontiers IOS: Integrative Organismal Systems MCB: Molecular and Cellular Biosciences NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences Funding Rates DBI: Biological Infrastructure DEB: Environmental Biology EF: Emerging Frontiers IOS: Integrative Organismal Systems MCB: Molecular and Cellular Biosciences NSF DDIG & PRFB DDIG funding rates: 20-35%, by division/year PRFB: ≤15 awards given in each of 4 areas Broadening Participation in Biology Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Engineering National Plant Genome Initiative International Postdoctoral Research Fellowships Funding rate? But ~8,000 Biology PhDs/year in US NSF DEB core program grants Pre-proposals submitted: 1,624 Invited for full proposal: 380 Recommended for funding: 259 Early career investigators: 29 of 401 Primarily undergraduate : 18 of 287 institutions 23.4% 15.9% 7.2% 6.3% Writing a NSF grant Grant Proposal Guide (76 pp.) Follow directions very carefully! Often submitted through Grants & Awards office at University => allow extra week Other US-based Postdoc Funding: Databases UC Berkeley’s database of Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Biosciences (heavy on biomedical) UC Berkeley’s database of Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Social Sciences UCLA’s Graduate & Postdoctoral Extramural Support (GRAPES) database Other US-based Postdoc Funding (cont’d) American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grants (small funds - up to $6,000 - for research) Columbia Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Earth, Environmental, and Ocean Sciences Columbia University Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellowships Harvard University Environmental Fellows Program Life Sciences Research Foundation Michigan Society of Fellows National Academy of the Sciences National Institutes of Health Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences Other US-based Postdoc Funding (cont’d) Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship in Conservation Research Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Postdoctoral Fellowships Smithsonian Institution Fellowships (many) Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Tupper Postdoctoral Fellowship (3 year) University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program University of Chicago Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship University of Chicago Society of Fellows (teaching) University of Michigan President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program Fulbright funding for International Study US Student Program US student at time of application, work outside the US Non-US Student Program Foreign US student at time of application, work in the US Scholar Programs Short- and long-term programs to send US faculty and professionals abroad Foreign Short- Scholar Programs and long-term programs to bring foreign faculty and professionals to the US Other postdoc funding L’Oreal program for women in science Marie Curie Research Fellowships (Europe) National Geographic Explorers Programs United Nations University Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme research systems at the intersection of societal & natural POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES AND SUSTAINABILITY SCIENCES Lori Bradford, PDF, SENS My experiences Two postdocs Turned down postdoc in New Zealand in 2009 Postdoc 1: 3 months at Lakehead University Postdoc 2: 14 months at UofS – renewed contract 1 year, renewal up again in 4 months Two very different supervisors Have developed into a social science ‘methodologist’ and know-mo expert SSHRC-CRSH • SSHRC Postdoc Fellowships: – • • • • • to support the most promising Canadian new scholars in the social sciences and humanities and assist them in establishing a research base at an important time in their research careers $40 500 a year for up to 2 years Success rate ranges from 14-20% - results are posted and can be checked here: http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/results-resultats/statsstatistiques/index-eng.aspx Can only apply twice, must be within 2 years of getting Ph.D. (unless career interruption) Criteria for evaluation – challenge, feasibility, capability Banting postdocs • • • • Aims to “attract and retain top-tier postdoctoral talent, both nationally and internationally, to develop their leadership potential and to position them for success as research leaders of tomorrow, positively contributing to Canada’s economic, social and research-based growth through a research-intensive career.” Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships are valued at $70,000 per year (taxable) for two years. 7-22% success rate depending on stream Here: http://banting.fellowshipsbourses.gc.ca/res/2012-2013-eng.html Other government opportunities • • • • • DFAIT – Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (3 opportunities – change frequently) http://www.scholarships-bourses.gc.ca/scholarshipsbourses/news-nouvelles/2011-10-02.aspx?lang=eng IDRC – International Development Research Center – opportunities for researchers you know to write you into their budgets http://www.idrc.ca/EN/Pages/default.aspx United Nations University: http://www.ias.unu.edu/sub_page.aspx?catID=6&ddlID=12 7 Other agencies – AgCanada, Environment Canada, Matched funding with Mitacs – Mitacs Elevate program: http://www.mitacs.ca/elevate/information-for-participants International Opportunities • • Commonwealth fellowships Country-by-country examples: – New Zealand Rutherford Postdoctoral Fellowships: • – – http://www.scholars4dev.com/category/level-of-study/postdoctoral-fellowships/ Malaysia international Scholarships: • – http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/programmes/funds/rutherfordfoundation/funding-opportunities/post-docs/ http://www.scholars4dev.com/4765/malaysian-internationalscholarships/ Germany, Humboldt Foundation: • http://www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/humboldt-fellowshippostdoc.html Other means… the sneaky ways New Administrators New Faculty Single project work Big partnership grants Mitacs funding Searching for opportunities • • • • University Affairs: http://oraweb.aucc.ca/pls/ua/ua_re University Websites (look off-the-beaten-track): – UOIT: http://research.uoit.ca/faculty/research-industryfunding/internal-faculty-funding/uoit-medi-post-doctoral-fellowship.php – Ryerson: http://www.ryerson.ca/content/dam/hfe/documents/Post_Doc_HFE201 2.pdf – UPEI: http://hr.upei.ca/competition/academic CAPS website: https://sites.google.com/site/canadapostdoc/postdocopportunities Job-Bank (Canadian Government): http://www.jobbank.gc.ca/proveng.aspx?RchJobType=Reg_jobs&OpPage=50 APPLYING FOR EXISTING POSTDOCS Overview Upsides of applying for existing postdocs The money already exists => lower risk Quicker turn-around (often 1-6 months) Good as a backup plan Downsides of applying for existing postdocs Lower risk = lower reward. May not be as prestigious as writing your own (depending on who you work with) You’re working on someone else’s project Study area, and perhaps project design, already chosen May have less independence and freedom Job search sites AGU (American Geophysical Union) APECS (Assoc. of Polar Early Career Scientists) CAGLIST (Canadian Assoc. of Geographers) Chronicle of Higher Education (postdoc, academia) Conservation Job Board Duke University Physiological Ecology Job Board Ecolog (Ecology listserv) Environmental Career Opportunities ESA Physiological Ecology Section Evol postdoc job board (McMaster University) HigherEd Jobs (postdoc, lecturer and faculty jobs) HigherEdSpace Job search sites (continued) NASA (NASA Postdoctoral Program opportunities) Nature Jobs Ornithological Jobs (birds) PAGES (Past Global Changes) PhDs.org Postdoc Jobs Science Careers Jobs Society for Conservation Biology Job Board Texas A&M Wildlife & Fisheries Job Board USAJobs (government jobs, mostly US citizens) The Wildlife Society Job Board Other ways of finding postdocs Teaching: review websites of relevant departments at universities where you’d like to teach Networking NETWORKING TO FIND A POSTDOC Networking: your biggest resource Go to meetings and conferences, talk with researchers whose work you like Work your connections Your own Your advisor’s Colleagues’ and committee members’ Cold-contact researchers doing interesting work by email Networking: just do it! Start early! Prepare and practice your elevator speech Tailor to specific audiences Remember this is common in our field IS A POSTDOC FOR ME? The Good Opportunity to develop and/or work on new, exciting research projects Form new collaborations, make new connections Flexibility Freedom to focus on research Few(er) teaching or service requirements The Bad Low pay (relatively – unless you’re in Australia) Nebulous status – not quite student, researcher, or faculty May fail to find full-time employment afterwards Average time spent as a postdoc >4 years (can be 8+) May receive insufficient mentoring/support Conversely, may not have enough independence to establish yourself as a scientist …and The Ugly Do you need to do a postdoc? What’s your long-term goal? Academia: yes Even some community colleges prefer postdoc experience Government: yes, preferably in government or at a co-op Industry or consulting: maybe not Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats DISCUSSION Activity – what is your dream postdoc?