From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

October 2007
« Sep   Nov »
Postdoctoral conversation. 3 Non-profit clinical position
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 6:33 am

This is another in a series of case
histories to help professionals see
paths they may take to develop their
careers.  This is a subject that has
so many variables that learning
people’s options and decisions to
achieve their goals can be helpful.

ST was awarded his doctorate in
synthetic metal-organic chemistry.
He wanted to stay in the Boston
metro area and has a European
background but no visa issues.

Dan>  How were you successful in
locating your position in a clinical
research laboratory at a hospital?

ST> I was seeking a position ultimately
on practical applications of chemistry
and practical technology in industry.
I chose to explore several avenues
all at a time in the several months
I sought my first position after my
Ph.D.  The one that proved success-
ful was “BostonWorks on-line and did
refined search” following the general

Dan>  What are the main things one
should consider when thinking about
whether or not to do a post doc and/or
about where to do a post doc?

ST>  “If the goal is to go to industry, topic
of study must be applied. Also, one should
only consider good universities (i.e. Harvard
or MIT if in the Boston area).”

Dan>  Why did you choose to work at
Mass General Hospital as a post-doc in
the imaging area?

ST>  ”The only criteria I had was I wanted
to do applied chemistry and imaging turned
out to be a good fit for my background in
organometallic chemistry so
it was a natural match as it turns out.”

Dan>  Were there differences between
your expectations and reality in the
post-doc role?

ST>  In general NO
Dan> responsibilities       ST>  NO
Dan> time commitments  ST> NO,
maybe shorter than expected both
daily and overall length of post-doc
Dan> outcomes              ST> YES,
better than expected - 2 papers, 1
patent and a job in 1 year
Dan> management and leadership
                                      ST>  NO
Dan> functional skills       ST>  NO
Dan> Was the post-doc role essential
for you to obtain your position?

ST>  “Yes, a startup was created on
the same technology I was developing
during my post-doc.”

Dan>  Did your thesis adviser provide
key help in finding your position or
was it the post-doc role that provided
it for you?

ST>  Post-doc role

Dan>  If you were to do it over, would
you work as a post-doc or choose to
find a permanent position?

ST>  “I would do this post-doc again –
not just any other post-doc though.”

Dan> Did any thing go wrong, what
could you have done better?


“It was nice to meet you at the ACS.
I would do the same post-doc again
since it allowed me to transition to
industry which is what I always
wanted to do. What I learned is that
it does not really matter what you
do as long as you have the right
names on your resume (i.e.
Harvard or MIT affiliation).
So, I
would recommend a post-doc in
those institutions to those who did
not graduate from there.

I hope this is useful. Let me know if
you have further questions.

ST is quite pleased with the position
she was offered after his one year
post-doc in an applied scientific area.
The post-doc provided networks,
trained skills and broader exposure
that qualified him.




Thanks a lot,

comments (0)