Ensuring a successful postdoctoral appointment and using the experience to launch a solid career require careful preparation. Scientists who responded to this year's postdoctoral survey, sponsored by Science Careers, outline strategies based on their personal histories.
Ask a cross-section of scientists how they got into cancer research, and you'll hear about a dizzying variety of routes from fields as diverse as biology, pharmacology, mathematics, and medicine. And with certain attributes — an inquiring mind, self-discipline, and a dash of ambition — it seems that there's no limit to what can be achieved.
"Faculty members want a culture that feels compatible, and they want inspiring colleagues both in their department and in related fields. For faculty devoted to teaching--which is to say, anyone Brown would want to hire--students' intelligence and drive are major draws. And increasingly faculty come in pairs, requiring not just one, but two positions, which makes recruiting even more difficult."
By doing some homework ahead of time, it's possible to select a career-oriented Bachelor's or Master's degree. In fact, some of today's professional Master's programs aim specifically at giving students experience in research labs or companies. In this article, experts from academia, industry, and government give advice for training and grabbing the best position.