The increasingly competitive academic job market has forced PhD graduates in psychology, neuroscience, and related fields to maximize their research output and secure grant funding during the early postdoctoral period of their careers. In the present article, based on a Q&A session presented at a research retreat (Brain and Behaviour Lab, University of Sydney) in February 2018, we draw on our firsthand experiences of navigating the transition from graduate student to postdoc. We offer practical advice to students who may be nearing the end of their PhDs and planning their first steps toward an academic career. Although the postdoc experience is varied, it is important for early-career researchers to make optimal choices to increase their chances of securing a continuing academic position. Ultimately, the goal of a postdoctoral position should be to develop all the facets of an academic career, but with a strong focus on the quantity and quality of research outputs.
Mosovsky K. Branching out from my area of expertise felt risky—but I did it anyway. Science. 2019; doi:10.1126/science.caredit.aay2761.