A postdoc is an ideal time to build one’s research profile and getting quality publications is one of the primary aims. Recently, I have been talking to postdoctoral fellows I know in the university. I wanted to find what other things to keep in mind if some one wants to start a postdoc. My main question was that if they were to start their postdoc again, what would they do?
One advice was to dive into collaborative efforts as soon as possible and not be isolated. If it is really hard to find common ground, then one should reach out to other groups, other departments and even other research centees. Postdocs are for a limited amount of time and one should not depend on a positive recommendation from the postdoc adviser only but have other peers who can vouch for you.
Another suggestion was to get solid teaching experience. Many postdoc positions do not involve teaching duties. However, if postdocs want to stay in academia, they should
seek opportunities to teach proactively. This could be for a university course, summer school or workshop tutorials.
Yet another advice was to demonstrate an ability to get grants even if they are smaller travel grants. Among applicants for tenured positions, people who show an ability to get grants for their research are given preference.
One postdoc told me that in sciences, the priority was PTG (publications, teaching, grants) in decreasing order. However, lately the priority has changed to PGT (publications, grants, teaching). This may especially be the case during recession times!
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