Honest Postdoc ad

Honest Postdoc ad-NEW

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10 thoughts on “Honest Postdoc ad

  1. The sooner a postdoc realizes what joke the postdoc system is in the US the better. It outrages me so finding the humor in it keeps me sane. The main laughable point is that if the federal government’s business model for “training” postdocs were copied in private industry there would 1) be no useful training at all 2) there would be constant worker strikes and hence no products developed to sell at a profit 3) if scientists don’t strike, which is highly likely due to their talents in science not social movements, their salaries and benefits would be so low that taxes extracted from them would not help support the federal government’s business model for “training” postdocs.

    But if you really want a good laugh try the following like I have done on many occasions. Find a professor looking to hire a postdoc in his/her lab. Give him a call and chat him up about his research and how you can contribute. After you sell yourself then change the subject away from her projects. Instead describe the novel and exciting ideas that YOU have that could be researched using the available equipment in her lab and department. Then ask him how much time out of the day you can devote to your own original research goals. The response you get from the professor is enough to keep you laughing all week long! It is in those responses that you will realize that the postdoc system is mostly used to exploit newly minted Ph.D. talent. There is no real training as a postdoc until you form your own novel hypothesis, plan suitable experiments to test it, analyze the data and explain the data in a manuscript.

    The greatest thing I learned from my 7 years of postdocs is that I was already a well-trained scientist upon graduation with a Ph.D. I have no doubts that you are too. But I think that being exploited tickles a funny bone so we duck our heads and let it happen year after year because at least laughing feels good.


  2. I’m so happy that it is not true at all! Just the opposite! Postdoc is the best status ever: lot of independence, no responsibility. It’s great!
    Perhaps you’re not in the wrong job position, but just in the wrong country…


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