Postdoctoral researcher

Postdoctoral researcher
Occupation type
Activity sectors
Education required
PhD or equivalent
Fields of

Post-doctoral researchers by discipline (United States, 2012)[1]

  Life sciences (65%)
  Physical sciences (13%)
  Engineering (11%)
  Math and computer sciences (3%)
  Geosciences (3%)
  Psychology, social sciences and others (5%)

A postdoctoral researcher or postdoc is a person professionally conducting research after the completion of their doctoral studies (typically a PhD). The ultimate goal of a postdoctoral research position is to pursue additional research, training, or teaching in order to have better skills to pursue a career in academia, research, or any other fields.[2][full citation needed] Postdocs often, but not always, have a temporary academic appointment, sometimes in preparation for an academic faculty position. They continue their studies or carry out research and further increase expertise in a specialist subject, including integrating a team and acquiring novel skills and research methods. Postdoctoral research is often considered essential while advancing the scholarly mission of the host institution; it is expected to produce relevant publications in peer-reviewed academic journals or conferences. In some countries, postdoctoral research may lead to further formal qualifications or certification, while in other countries it does not.[3][4]

Postdoctoral research may be funded through an appointment with a salary or an appointment with a stipend or sponsorship award. Appointments for such a research position may be called postdoctoral research fellow, postdoctoral research associate or postdoctoral research assistant. Depending on the type of appointment, postdoctoral researchers may work independently or under the supervision of a principal investigator. However, a designated postdoctoral research appointment may also be taken up when other suitable positions are not available, rather than merely pursuing the deepening of scholarly experience. In many English-speaking countries, postdoctoral researchers are colloquially referred to as "postdocs".[5]

Job security and academia

Due to the nature of their work,[6][7][8][9][10][11] and an over-supply of graduating PhD students in many fields,[12][13] some postdoctoral researchers face an uncertain future in academia,[4][14] and a large proportion will not gain tenure[15] or a coveted faculty position in their chosen field of research.[16][17][18][19]

Other Languages
dansk: Postdoc
Deutsch: Postdoc
فارسی: پسادکتری
íslenska: Nýdoktor
Nederlands: Postdoc
日本語: 博士研究員
norsk: Postdoktor
suomi: Postdoc
svenska: Postdok
中文: 博士後