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Saturday, August 25, 2007

What comes next?

Apparently, I am supposed to be arranging a postdoc. My doing a postdoc has never been much of a question. Just an assumed part of the plan. I am within two years of graduating though and this little nugget of information opens the door for 'What's next?' questions. Unfortunately, I have no answers. My MS advisor told me that I should be starting to look at people to work with and talking to possible postdoc advisors now. Actually she said I should have done this at the meeting in July...This was re-iterated by my current advisor and a postdoc at my 2nd seminar school who started arranging for a writing funding grants 2 years before he started his current position.
It just seems so early!

But it seeming too early isn't reason enough to not take action. So I have started looking at people I would work with. There is one major issue with this- V and I have not yet decided on a geographic range in which I am looking. Driving distance would be nice but does that mean 3 hours? 8 hours? Forget driving and try for close proximity to airports (DO was 4 hours from the nearest airport and that didn't work out well for us seeing each other)?

Besides that, I am not sure what exactly I want to do. I know I need to take this opportunity to branch out- new systems, new questions, it is all so exciting! Some people have suggested finding a lab that needs what I do added to it so I will continue working in my expertise while others have said to go for a lab that is totally different to learn new things and get away from what I usually do. I am sure there is a compromise in there somewhere but I am not too sure how to find it yet.

Finally, there is the dreaded funding issue. In my field, as I understand it, most postdocs are for projects that you and a potential advisor write. If it gets funded, Yay! If not, hello book store job! Already funded positions do exist but they are rare and hard to get. The third option (which I just learned about recently) is to find a new faculty who, by position of being new faculty should be highly motivated and have start up funds (!) for a postdoc.

So far, I am not too worried about this whole thing. There are people I need to talk to and more folks to look up but overall- I am pretty excited about this. Probably because it gives me something else to do while procrastinating and not finishing next weeks lectures. hee

I am sure I will get into all these issues in more depth but if anyone has any thoughts on my -pre-postdoc search stage, please let me know!!!!



Blogger Laurie said...

I don't have any thoughts, but I say good luck! I'm just starting to look for anything that will start in August 2008. I think it is too late to write a grant for a new postdoc, but I am looking at faculty jobs too. yikes! It is a fun procrastination tool for when I don't want to write the dissertation any more, though!

5:14 PM  
Blogger Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

I'll put in my 2 cents - a postdoc is an important time to pick up new skills and new directions. You don't necessarily have to go in a completely different direction from your current work, but make sure you will learn new things from your postdoc.

A very stressful time! Good luck!

6:33 PM  

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