The Ohio Miami Valley Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience May 16, 2014 Making your way on the journey to a postdoc Patrick Sonner, Ph.D. Labib Rouhana, Ph.D. Nadja Grobe, Ph.D. Who are we? It’s all relative. Current challenges in academia • Declining grant success rates • 800,000 PhDs versus 100,000 faculty positions in science and engineering NIH IMPAC, success rate file Schillebeeckx et al. 2013, Nature Biotechnology 31: 938-941 Why is a PhD worthwile? • • • • • • contribute to understanding of nature pursue a subject out of love design own research be creative and meaningful constant intellectual challenge mentor young scientists Career options • • • • • • • • • • Academia (research- or teaching-intensive) Science education for general public or schools/universities Healthcare Science writing Government (NIH, NSF, EPA, DOE, USDA, DOD) Policy Intellectual property career (patents) Business Sales, marketing Biotech/Pharma (research- or administrative-intensive) Check out http://myidp.sciencecareers.org/ Benefits of a postdoc • No longer a student - not yet faculty • Explore career and environment • Expand network of experts • Flexibility • Opportunities • Mentoring experience • Practice grant writing • More stable funding rates for fellowships • Increase publication record • Additional time for decision about future career choices Case studies • • • • break-out groups read 3-4 case studies Discuss each case study within group chooses favorite profile groups report and discuss their choices and rationale to the full audience • rationale for profile choices are noted on a white board Questions?