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Establishing a career in science: the early postdoctoral years

M.J. Watt, St Vincent's Institute, 9 Princes St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065, Australia.

So you are midway through your PhD and are (hopefully) thinking about the direction of your scientific career. Just like a game of Snakes and Ladders, there are moves that can fast-track your scientific development and others that can impede your productivity. There are many options and considerations when deciding your next step(s). Some of the major questions that may confront you and require some considerations include (but not limited to):

After finding your lab and settling into post-doc life there are new challenges and considerations. These include when to broaden your horizons and move on, how to gain independence without negatively influencing your relationship with your current supervisor, to be aware of funding pitfalls (e.g. rules pertaining to the new investigator grants with the NHMRC) and finally, how to establish collaborations. Being aware of these issues and addressing them are important as you move from PhD to post-doc and beyond!