Despite tighter budgets, the attributes contributing to a successful postdoc experience have not changed, according to the postdoc supervisors who completed this year's annual survey for Science Careers.
After completing their graduate studies, many scientists have moved away from the bench and found rewarding careers in areas from grant administration to venture capital. While still making use of the training and skills gained during graduate school, these "alternative" careers are a better match for many.
The number of women embarking on science careers has been increasing steadily during the past several decades. Although women scientists continue to be underrepresented at the faculty level, many women have established rewarding and successful careers in science—thanks in part to having had role models and mentors whose paths they could follow.
The year 2009 has been a time of change for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. With a weakened global economy and dwindling drug pipelines, many of the companies that made the list of Science's 2009 top employers are finding that maintaining innovation through collaborations and partnerships is critical to success.
On January 20, Barack Obama became the first African American to be sworn in as President of the United States. On that day television screens carried images of African American men and women moved to tears as they watched the historical event—one that many of them thought they would never witness in their lifetimes.
You made it. You are finally the head of your own laboratory. You have money, space, equipment--all you need now are a few talented postdocs to help you carry out your research agenda. But how do you go about finding the right people for your lab?
Many scientists opt for a research career in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry, so why not kick-start the process by also doing a postdoc in industry? Industrial postdocs often provide higher salaries and greater access to resources than their academic counterparts. But how do you find out about available positions and whether they are a good fit for you? Will a position as a postdoctoral fellow provide you a foot in the door at a company? And what if you don't like it? Will an industrial postdoc cut you off from returning to academia?
To be successful in this position the candidate must be a strong communicator and have an interest in intellectual property law. The candidate will participate in a patent law course and will be required to pass the United States Patent Agent Bar Exam within a predetermined amount of time.
The most important factors for ensuring a successful postdoctoral experience are honest and open communication with mentors, according to postdoc supervisors who responded to a survey carried out for Science Careers. Here, they provide some strategies and tips for effective communication and for teaching graduates how to communicate better.
Many foreign-born scientists have made the United States their home because the country provides some of the best training and career opportunities worldwide. But life as a foreign scientist is not without its challenges.