How to find the right mentor for you

By Claudia Bonfio, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK

I always thought that being a Postdoc was going to be better and easier than being a PhD student. And this was my feeling when I enthusiastically packed my life in a suitcase and moved to Cambridge from Italy, ready for my new postdoctoral adventure. My dream was then to become a group leader in a top university. It took me about 2 weeks in my new Postdoc life to understand that I was completely wrong. It was not better or easier. I felt completely lost, with no clues about what my future in research would be.

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5 things I learnt when I went from PhD to post-doc

By Megan De Ste Croix, University of Leicester

On the 28th February this year I submitted my PhD thesis, and on the 1st of March I started my first post-doc position. I was lucky enough to have a wonderful PhD supervisor who I worked well with and even more lucky that he had a post-doc position available close to when I planned to submit. In the time since I officially started as a post-doc I’ve learnt that it’s a bit more than a PhD project with the title.

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“I don’t care what you do; just go be a rock star at it”

By Kirsten Block, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Alexandria, USA

This statement was my graduate advisor’s final nudge of encouragement as I left his lab to begin the next step toward becoming a professor: a postdoctoral fellowship. Perhaps he knew that academia was not where I would end up, or perhaps he was just trying to calm my nerves. After all, I hadn’t quite figured out my final destination, so a postdoc seemed to be the logical next step, whatever my eventual career would be.

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