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Advice - postdocing - apply for "job'' (where?) or fellowship?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 vetticus3

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 05:39 AM

Hi,

I need some advice. I'm coming to an end of my first postdoc... and yeah Posted Image where now?
I've come to realize that I don't have a grand plan. I don't know what my future should be. Should I want my own lab? I did, but now? I mean, it would be nice to have other people do the actual hard work, and I make unreasonable demands all day. No, scrub that, I do want my own lab, and make unreasonable demands all day. And a coffee machine, with good coffee. I'm not as smart as people out there, and I'm a bit burnt out from this project, so thinking of what my theoretical lab would do... maybe it's about cancer, and stuff I like doing? I can't just say, I want a lab that will work on cancer... how? what kind? etc. I don't know.

Anyway, I'm looking at doing my second postdoc. I was considering stepping away from the bench, and I applied for non-bench work - and was rejected because other people had more practical experience in the field Posted Image . So, I'm staying at the bench. I do like the bench.

Now, I have a couple of institutes that are "very" interesting. So, how do you pick. Or better still, how do you tell the rejected institutes that they are rejected? I don't wont to burn any bridges. And, then there is the fellowship options... I've been invited to apply for some fellowships Posted Image . Not happy, but if I got them, Posted Image , well that's different.
So, what if I accept a position where there is already funding and then I get a fellowship for somewhere else?
Of, if my fellowship is at a place not as good as the place where the funding already is? Is it alright to reject a fellowship? I'm the type of person who doesn't like rejecting things.

How do you decide between a better institute vs better project?

Anywhere you would recommend working - or not recommend working?

So confused - tired, with the flu, snotty, and confused. And today I discovered that one of my eyebrow hairs has turned white. Yay, stress is getting to me.

Best,

V

Edited by vetticus3, 28 May 2013 - 05:42 AM.


#2 lyok

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:06 AM

No one here can tell you what you have to do..
Its pretty crap advise.. but it does sum up all we can tell you...

To be honest: you are in a very good position (at least it seems to me you have multiple options....) so I wouldnt worry too much because in the end people do make a decision that suits them.

I guess you could draw up some sort of "yes or no" scheme. What I mean by this is pretty simple: you write down the most important yes-no decisions, start from the top and go down...
in you case it would be something like
1) continue research (new post doc) vs industry
2) if you pick new post doc => post doc with lots of bench work vs work without bench work
3) if you pick with lots of bench work => in your country vs prepared to move to another country
4) if you pick your country, see what options you have..

Something like that.
Just write down the most important things you have to take into concideration.
Nobody can do this for you...

#3 vetticus3

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:39 AM

i've found it really hard to find positions in industry. i do cancer research, and they seemed to want people with a lot of experience (I don't have 5 years post doc experience), or they want new PhDs (one post doc under my belt).
There were positions in sales for the companies... but I'm a horrible sales person... i can make good coffee though Posted Image could... past tense... not sure anymore.

i do not mind working in academia. i like the flexibility of it all. i'm not too happy with my project atm, but, i've stuck by it, and i've got publications from it.

but, how can you tell someone, that although the project they have is really nice, i think there is something better...
or, if I'm offered the job, how long should I ask for to think about it?

so, today I was informed that I'm being "seriously" considered for a position where I have no real experience (working in drosophila)... it sounds like a great project, but i only applied for it because i was a bit depressed, thought i'd have no chance in hell getting this job, and was mildly amused by the idea that my career is moving from humans to mice to fish to flies. and hey, if i applied for it, at least i did one productive thing that day. yeah... it's a great institute, it's a nice country, and it's a great project... but i'll be starting from scratch again, and i'm not sure if i'm a fly person. or, what if it actually is a really fantastic move. what if this is where I will make my mark?

are there any tell tale signs that this is going to be the right direction to take?

Edited by vetticus3, 30 May 2013 - 12:40 AM.


#4 pito

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 02:09 AM

i've found it really hard to find positions in industry. i do cancer research, and they seemed to want people with a lot of experience (I don't have 5 years post doc experience), or they want new PhDs (one post doc under my belt).
There were positions in sales for the companies... but I'm a horrible sales person... i can make good coffee though Posted Image could... past tense... not sure anymore.

i do not mind working in academia. i like the flexibility of it all. i'm not too happy with my project atm, but, i've stuck by it, and i've got publications from it.

but, how can you tell someone, that although the project they have is really nice, i think there is something better...
or, if I'm offered the job, how long should I ask for to think about it?

so, today I was informed that I'm being "seriously" considered for a position where I have no real experience (working in drosophila)... it sounds like a great project, but i only applied for it because i was a bit depressed, thought i'd have no chance in hell getting this job, and was mildly amused by the idea that my career is moving from humans to mice to fish to flies. and hey, if i applied for it, at least i did one productive thing that day. yeah... it's a great institute, it's a nice country, and it's a great project... but i'll be starting from scratch again, and i'm not sure if i'm a fly person. or, what if it actually is a really fantastic move. what if this is where I will make my mark?

are there any tell tale signs that this is going to be the right direction to take?


Weird that they want either new PhD's or post docs with a lot of experience... Strange...

The job offer is in another country?
So do you want to move? That the question... You want to move to another country or not? That the real issue here.

ANd nobody can tell you its the right move or not.

Edited by pito, 08 June 2013 - 02:09 AM.

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#5 vetticus3

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:39 AM

I've been thinking a lot about what my next step is...
and i sort of know where I want to go.

but, i'm still keeping things on the boiler, just in case.

the jobs are in different countries, and I don't mind moving within the continent. however, i do want to settle down, and make an effort to form my own lab.

#6 pito

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:56 AM

I've been thinking a lot about what my next step is...
and i sort of know where I want to go.

but, i'm still keeping things on the boiler, just in case.

the jobs are in different countries, and I don't mind moving within the continent. however, i do want to settle down, and make an effort to form my own lab.

If you want your own lab in the long run: than you pretty much have to go to another country... you need a post doc in another country to get your own lab (at least if you mean by own lab: university lab...)

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#7 vetticus3

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 06:05 AM

I have 1 overseas postdoc under my belt Posted Image
Now, just have to get #2... and from that, I want to build up to something bigger. Posted Image

I just hate the waiting game. I'm waiting to hear back from one Prof... and I'm waiting for another... and another. I've made a list of my preferences, and now I'm waiting to see. I'm just a bit concerned that I'll accept something and then a few weeks later I'll be offered something that I want more.

Any advice on dealing with that?

#8 mdfenko

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:27 AM

don't accept any offer until you know the result from the position(s) you want more.
talent does what it can
genius does what it must
i do what i get paid to do

#9 pito

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 11:56 AM

I have 1 overseas postdoc under my belt Posted Image
Now, just have to get #2... and from that, I want to build up to something bigger. Posted Image

I just hate the waiting game. I'm waiting to hear back from one Prof... and I'm waiting for another... and another. I've made a list of my preferences, and now I'm waiting to see. I'm just a bit concerned that I'll accept something and then a few weeks later I'll be offered something that I want more.

Any advice on dealing with that?

Wait just as mdfenko tells you.
The profs know (or should know) that you are indeed also waiting for other news.
They should realise you have more than just one option.

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.





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