At the Naturejobs Career Expo in London this September, a panel of four academics got together to discuss their wildly different careers. Jim Usherwood from the Royal Veterinary College only spends his time doing research. Anita Hall from Imperial College London only does teaching. Lorraine Kerr and Louise Horsfall from the University of Edinburgh split their time (with different percentages) between research, teaching, business and management.
In this short Q&A film the panellists give their opinions (based on their experiences) about whether or not you should apply for a postdoc or a fellowship after finishing your PhD.
Usherwood says that this depends on what field you work in. From his experience, if you want to work in academia, build some diversity into your career by doing postdocs in different places where you can learn different skills, work with different people and get an understanding of different cultures.
Horsfall agrees and says that the fellowship positions are very competitive, so having a variety of skills and disciplines in your career track can be beneficial.
Kerr says that being able to sell yourself with your skills, and not being frightened to go for positions, will help you. And even the experience of “going for it” will give you insight about being successful in the future if it didn’t work the first time round.
Other Q&A videos from the Naturejobs Career Expo, London 2014