A postdoctoral position is meant to be an apprenticeship or training opportunity for people who have completed their PhD and want to embark on an academic career. It provides you with the opportunity to conduct advanced research and increase your knowledge of the field (and receive a stipend for it). It also gives you practical knowledge about the responsibilities of a faculty member such as mentoring, acquiring funds, managing daily lab operations, networking with other institutions, etc., and is often looked upon as a stepping stone to a tenure track faculty position.
But a postdoc also involves a unique set of challenges which many PhD graduates do not anticipate when they apply for a postdoc position. In this post, I look at some of the challenges faced by postdocs and offer tips on how you can avoid them if you are considering postdoctoral research after your PhD.
6 Challenges every postdoc should prepare to face
1. Competition is fierce. With reduced government funding in most countries, tenure track positions are dwindling as universities are increasingly hiring for temporary faculty positions. Thus, the huge numbers of postdocs that are churned out every year find themselves struggling amidst cut-throat competition. Even getting a temporary faculty position might be difficult and many people keep moving from one postdoc position to another before getting a stable job.