What do you think of this Postdoc Lab????

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What do you think of this Postdoc Lab????

Postby Jody » Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:02 pm

Hi all,
This is an excellent forum and really helps people who finding no help else where turn to web for the same.
I have recently joined a lab for postdoc. But in few months I could see some of the "bad signs" of longer post-doc period; like,
1)PI does not allow free thinking, too inclined to his own ideas (which may be correct, but discourage your ability of scientific thinking)
2)the lab does not have enough money to get things going fast, I have to beg/borrow and wait to get things from the neighbouring labs, often times
3)PI does not allow to do experiment, that he "thinks" would not work, to save money
and 4)lab is full of old postdocs (more than 8 yrs!) with no enthusiasm to get things done faster.
so my question to this forum is, are these the "bad signs" and i should take decision right now and change the lab before its too late? or I should just wait and hope things would become alright.....hope your experience would guide me to take the plunge!

What do you think of this Postdoc Lab????

Postby David » Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:04 pm

Hi Jody

Have a look at the link I just posted regarding the post-doc survey; Postdoc Survey

it appears to address your concerns quite succinctly.
Some notable PIs in responding to the survey said that their attitude was to allow the post-doc free reign in pursuing intellectual paths. His/her job was to put in place the support network; while at the same time encouraging the post-doc to secure independent funding/communicate/publish...all because that is what is necessary for the next transition in the post-doc's path. Thus, these successful PIs seem diametrically opposed to the ethos in your lab. So yes, get the hell out of there

Best wishes


What do you think of this Postdoc Lab????

Postby Dave Jensen » Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:11 pm


Lots of labs don't have unlimited resources and yet they produce great scientists and are valuable places to postdoc. However, the giveaway to me that you are in a "stinker" of a postdoc lab is the fact that there are lots of "old" postdocs working on their 8th year, etc. Sounds like this advisor has no concern for the careers of these scientists and is only using them as a cheap pair of hands.

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What do you think of this Postdoc Lab????

Postby Sandra » Sat Mar 05, 2005 3:08 pm

Do yourself a great favor and get out of that lab before you become one of them! I totally agree with Dave that this \"advisor\" clearly does not care at all about peoples careers.
All the best!

"Problem of over-suppy": restrain yourself!

Postby Jody » Sat Mar 05, 2005 6:04 pm

hi all,

I have noticed that many people join "unproductive" lab in US or Europe(especially true for the post-docs of the 3rd world countries), because they think they can learn new techniques. This often leads them to spend many unproductive years in the excitement of learning. To explain it further, suppose you are from the plant biology background and learning animal tissue culture for the first time. Now, that initial excitement of learning new techniques might lead you to forget that at the end of the day what matters is papers.And you end up spending about years just learning the techniques without being productive.
No matter what techniques you know, people (academia and industry, alike) are not gonna believe your CV, unless you have the published papers to support that.
So, I think one should be little realistic in choosing the field which works well for them. One has to be little "tough" to oneself by not carried away by the idea of learning new techniques in a lab that is otherwise unproductive. If people excercise this type of restrain on themselves and choose different career path instead of postdocing, then automatically the problem of "over-supply" will vanish!

Am I over simplifying a complicated problem? lets see what this forum thinks.....expecting some personal experience.

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