Well it is mid-February and no bites. So I find myself looking down the barrel of doing a second postdoc (after two years in my current postdoc). Those of you who have done a second postdoc, can you reflect on how this has affected your job search success and could you share some general advice on taking up a second postdoc?
Date: 21 Feb 2011 00:31
Number of posts: 6
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In some fields, isn't 2 postdocs normal or even expected? (this is what I have heard about a friend in neuroscience)
My understanding is that as long as you make sure that you are learning a new type of research design/statistical method/lab technique at the second postdoc, it is fine, even good. What do other people think?
p.s. I would LOVE to do a postdoc, but I wouldn't know where to find one. Nobody I approach has funding!
Yes I am in neuroscience and this is indeed common to do a second postdoc but I am not sure of how this impacts the job search and getting hired. Getting a postdoc is not that hard. If funding is a problem where you are then look in Europe or Australia where there are more funds than in the States for example. Better, ask Europeans at conferences about positions. 90% of postdocs are arranged over a beer at a conference.
anon! anon!, you can also apply for an F32 to have your own postdoc funding to bring with you, to work with whoever you'd most like to work with. Or, look for T32 programs (training grants that have funds for several postdocs within a department). There are a lot of possibilities out there, so if you want to do a postdoc I'm sure you can find one. Or at any rate, the odds are better than finding a tenure track job, that's for sure. Good luck :)
I think a second postdoc is okay as long as you use it to learn something new and/or branch out into another research area. It is common in some fields (neuroscience) though I don't think it happens often in most other psychology-related fields.
I've also considered doing a second postdoc. However, if my advisor can continue funding me, then I'll stay on my current postdoc for another year. Beyond that, I'm not sure what I'd do if I don't get a faculty position the next time around — I really have no desire to do a second postdoc.
Establish clear career goals for yourself (1 year, 5 years, and beyond). Make a Plan A and a Plan B on how you will accomplish those goals.
Then ask yourself: how will a second post-doc allow me to achieve these career goals? Will it give me the extra publications I need to secure my own funding and become an independent scientist? Can I use the skills I gain there to secure a job in industry? What was lacking from my first post-doc, and what do I want a second post-doc to fulfill?
I am in my second post-doc right now, and I'm using it to gain a specifc skill set that I will need to compete for jobs in industry. The job market for highly-skilled scientists is shaky, so make the best plans that you can for yourself and be open to adjusting those plans if you need to.