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the road to independence

4 Steps to Independence as a Postdocs

Becoming an independent researcher is the essential step on your path to an academic research career, but how do you get there from a postdoc position? How do you develop independence while working for someone else?  The good news is that your path to independence has quite a few facets

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What are My Career Options as a Postdoc?

‘The disposable Academic. Why a PhD is often a waste of time’ (the Economist, 18th June 2012) ‘US pushes for scientists, but the jobs aren’t there’ (Washington Post, 7th July 2012) ‘Doctoral Graduates left chasing dreams’ (the Australian, 16 January 2013)   As the

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A Productivity Tip for Postdocs

I had a bad start to the week last week. Bad in the sense that I was falling way short of what I wanted to achieve in the first three days. Actually I realised my productivity had been dropping gradually for a few weeks. Hmm.   I did get the

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Networking Essentials for Postdocs

Whether you are looking for a job, a new collaboration, mentors or anything else to do with people, you have first to meet the right contacts and make a connection – and that means networking.   To boost your networking success you need to have some ‘essentials’ in place. The

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How to Find a Mentor as a Postdoc

Mentors are essential to your career development. They’re the ones who can give you the key piece of information your are looking for, organise opportunities for you, help you trouble-shoot, give you confidence to stretch your comfort zone and put you in contact with the right people in their networks.

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Sustainable versus Disposable Knowledge

Many postdocs I talk to feel the knowledge they have acquired has made them ill-equipped for anything other than basic research or teaching, often limited to their specific area of expertise. This is understandable, given our often extreme focus on learning methods and creating output such as papers that really

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Your Mindset as a Postdoc – and Why it Matters

Which would you prefer: thinking of everything you do according to the motto ‘judge-or-be-judged’, or instead, ‘grow-and-help-grow’? These may sound like extremes but according to Carol Dweck, a Stanford professor of psychology, these are the two core mindsets that guide people’s approach to life, as outlined

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When and How to Review a Paper. Part I

Have you been asked to review a manuscript but are unsure of how this works? Reviewing manuscripts is a great way to hone your critical skills, improve your confidence when submitting your own papers (realising submissions of other scientists aren’t perfect either!) and gain a reputation as an expert in

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