What is a Postdoc?

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These slides are from a talk given at the University of Leicester, UK as part of their 2010 season of "Careers After Biological Science" seminars. The speaker, Dr Jannine Clapp was an undergraduate at Leicester then completed a PhD and a first postdoc at the University of Nottingham before returning to Leicester to work in the group of Dr Flav Giorgini. www.biosciencecareers.wordpress.com

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What is a Postdoc?

  1. 1. What is a Post Doc?<br />Dr Jannine Clapp<br />Department of Genetics<br />University of Leicester<br />
  2. 2. My background<br />What is a Post Doc & what do they do?<br />Good points (& bad points)<br />Career progression<br />Advice<br />Overview<br />
  3. 3. <ul><li>1998-2002: Bsc (Hons) Biological Sciences at the University of Leicester
  4. 4. Biochemistry specialism
  5. 5. Sandwich year at AstraZeneca
  6. 6. Summer 2000: 8 week placement at Central Research Laboratories
  7. 7. 2002-2006: PhD in human molecular genetics at the University of Nottingham
  8. 8. “Investigating the molecular genetics</li></ul> of FSH muscular dystrophy”<br />My training<br />
  9. 9. 2006-2008: Institute of Genetics, University of Nottingham<br />Following on from results generated<br /> in my PhD investigating muscular dystrophy<br />2008-Dec 2010: Department of Genetics, University of Leicester<br />“Identifying and characterising loss of<br /> function suppressors of Huntington’s Disease”<br />Postdoc positions<br />
  10. 10. Post Doctoral Researcher<br />Research Fellow<br />Research Associate<br />“A researcher who is involved in academic study beyond the level of a doctoral degree”<br />Department of Genetics at Leicester has ~40 Post Docs<br />So…what is a Post Doc?<br />
  11. 11. Independent research on a specific topic<br />Research, plan & carry out experiments<br />But…what do they do?<br />
  12. 12. Independent research on a specific topic<br />Research, plan & carry out experiments<br />Write up detailed lab books<br />But…what do they do?<br />
  13. 13. Independent research on a specific topic<br />Research, plan & carry out experiments<br />Write up detailed lab books<br />Analyse data<br />But…what do they do?<br />
  14. 14. Independent research on a specific topic<br />Research, plan & carry out experiments<br />Write up detailed lab books<br />Analyse data<br />Keep up to date with what is being published<br />But…what do they do?<br />
  15. 15. More generally:<br />Attend departmental seminars, lab meetings etc<br />But…what do they do?<br />
  16. 16. More generally:<br />Attend departmental seminars, lab meetings etc<br />Supervise students<br />Present your work to colleagues<br />But…what do they do?<br />
  17. 17. More generally:<br />Attend departmental seminars, lab meetings etc<br />Supervise students<br />Present your work to colleagues<br />Get involved with teaching<br />Write papers<br />But…what do they do?<br />
  18. 18. More generally:<br />Attend departmental seminars, lab meetings etc<br />Supervise students<br />Present your work to colleagues<br />Get involved with teaching<br />Write papers<br />Outreach<br />But…what do they do?<br />
  19. 19. The good, the bad & the ugly<br />GOOD POINTS <br /><ul><li>Working on something you are interested in
  20. 20. No two days are the same
  21. 21. Ability to shape your own research
  22. 22. Meet a wide variety of people
  23. 23. Flexible working hours
  24. 24. Travel to conferences </li></ul>Fixed term contracts<br />Flexible working hours<br />Can be frustrating<br />Not the highest salaries around<br />LESS GOOD POINTS<br />
  25. 25. Lots of people spend their whole lives very happily working in academia<br />Remaining as post doc researchers<br />Moving into teaching & lecturing<br />Progressing through until they have their own research groups<br />But this doesn’t have to be the case!<br />Doing a PhD and being a Post Doc gives you great skills that are applicable to many jobs<br />People move into industry, other science jobs, or into something completely new<br />Once a Post Doc always a Post Doc?<br />
  26. 26. Get as much lab experience as possible and be sure you enjoy it<br />Undergrad research project, placements etc<br />Make the most of your PhD<br />Training opportunities, give talks, make contacts<br />Chose a subject area you are interested in<br />Doesn’t have to be the same as your PhD<br />Research the labs you want to apply to<br />Well respected, good publication records, friendly<br />PERSEVERE!!<br />Advice<br />
  27. 27. Thanks for listening<br />Any questions?<br />

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