A postdoctoral position, commonly referred to as a post-doc, is a next step along an academic career for those who have completed their PhD; offering an opportunity to further enhance their research skills, deepen their expertise and build their research portfolio. This period, usually lasting several years, involves working under the supervision of academics, giving opportunities to engage in collaborative research projects. The post-doc is a platform for intellectual growth and networking, providing a springboard to academic roles, to positions in industry, or expert roles in the broader industry. During this time, post-docs hone their research skills, publish significant findings, and establish themselves as independent researchers, positioning themselves as experts.

Research fellowships are often competitive opportunities where an individual can start developing their independent research career. At this stage it’s important for research fellows to demonstrate leadership towards identifying a long-term research vision, built on an impactful core research question.

What helps securing a post-doc?

Academic qualifications

Research experience

Communication

Industry engagement

Global perspective

Professional development

Adaptability and continuous learning

Additional considerations for fellowships

Additional considerations

Case studies

Georgina Gregory, Research Associate at the University of Oxford

Case studies