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080: Postdoc Straight Talk – Where Are They Now?

Uncertainty is a defining feature of postdoctoral training:

  • Q: Is a postdoc a student or an employee? (A: Neither. Both?)
  • Q: Should you continue in your PhD research field, or try something new?  (A: Yes)
  • Q: How are you supposed to find a job while you’re ALSO doing research and writing papers? (A: Pray that the Career-Fairy leaves one under your lab notebook while you’re at seminar.)
  • Q: How long should a postdoctoral fellowship take? (A: Now you’re just being mean!)

Getting There

To help us understand the zeitgeist of postdoctoral training, in 2015 we interviewed eight postdocs at different universities and life stages.  Some were finishing up, others were just getting started.  We learned what they loved (“The freedom to pursue an intellectual passion.”) and what they hated (“The salary!”) about this career stage, and what they planned to do with their degrees.

Well, it’s been a full two years since that original interview, and many things have changed.  We caught up with seven of the original interviewees to ask some new questions.

This week on the show, we find out ‘where are they now?’ and more importantly, what steps they took to progress in their careers.  Their experience may help you take the next step on your own career path.

South Paws

Plus, we explore the murky and often unsettling depths of feline behavior. Specifically, some researchers argue that members of Felis silvestris catus not only exhibit right- and left-handedness, but that it’s gender specific!

Is this a #catfact, or #fakenews?  Test your own kitty companions and let us know on Twitter @hellophd.

We also try out the elusive Baked Goods Hoppy Pale Ale from Clown Shoes Brewing in Ipswich, MA.

Like its clown namesake, this beer makes you feel a little uncomfortable when you first see it, but you’ll be glad you gave it a chance.

Unlike its clown namesake, it won’t try to murder you when your back is turned.

At least I don’t think so.

Hmm, now where did that can get to….  I’m sure I set it down right over….

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