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Should I considering doing an industry postdoc? Is there an advantage while job-seeking?  

 

Fiona
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January 2, 2019 9:53 pm  

Should I considering doing an industry postdoc? Is there an advantage while job-seeking?

This topic was modified 7 months ago by Bio Careers

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Dave Jensen
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January 2, 2019 10:00 pm  

An industry postdoc can open some doors in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, teach you about corporate culture, and help you build a network of good contacts. However, good industry postdocs are rare, and postdoctoral fellows are often seen as a cheap pair of hands at smaller or lesser-known biotech ventures. These positions can be identified in the same way that you would find an academic postdoc - by talking to people and sending inquiries to labs. It is also sometimes possible for an industry hiring manager to add a postdoctoral position. Staying in touch with people in industry who work in a field related to yours may eventually lead to an offer of an industry postdoc.

An industry postdoc is not necessary to secure a research position in industry. Academic postdocs from top labs can be as interesting to industry as those from industrial postdocs. If your career goal is to conduct research in an industry setting, the disadvantages of doing your postdoc in an academic lab are that you do not gain the networking contacts or industry experience, both of which are helpful for obtaining a first permanent research position in industry. However, nothing (not even an industry postdoc) can replace the advantages of doing a postdoc in an academic lab with a top name PI, one who is recognized in industry as an expert in his or her field.

Taking an industry postdoc also does not necessarily mean that you will be unable to move to an academic position in the future. In some industry postdocs, you may do basic science research that is similar to work done in a good academic lab. In researching or interviewing for industry postdocs, ask about the program's publication rate and the resources that would be available to you for your project. This will help you to understand the objectives of the program. Always watch out for companies that abuse the postdoc, by hiring simply for cheap hands and where training and mentoring has been swept aside in favor of company profits.

Dave Jensen, Moderator

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


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Bu
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January 3, 2019 3:53 pm  

I did an industry postdoc and was very happy with the results. The company policy was to not offer a fulltime role following the postdoc, but in actuality they quietly changed my status from postdoc to fulltime Research Scientist, which was fine with me. As a result, I had no job seeking at all after the postdoc period and went directly into the new job, which isn’t really much different than what I had been doing earlier. (PS – I’m in a large Bay Area biotech business with thousands of employees).


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DX
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January 4, 2019 8:48 am  

Hi Dave, made it over.  Tried to message you here but says I can't message yet. Happy New Year,

 

DX


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Dave Jensen
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January 8, 2019 2:38 am  

Thanks DX. We're "soft launching" the Forum while we get features up and rolling. I still haven't figured out how to get rid of the stupid guy with a mustache, and I see you've found a cow. How the heck did you do that! 

So, as you can see, the developers are making things happen until about the 15th of January when we'll make a splash and get this thing noticed. Between now and then, new features are being added and appearances being approved. THANK YOU DX for making it over,

Dave

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


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Radicalist Labs
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May 18, 2019 6:29 am  

@Dave Jensen " Interesting answer! I am amazed with your words. It been a pleasure for me to be a part of this forum. Gained a lot of knowledge from a single reply. "

This post was modified 2 months ago by Radicalist Labs

Radicalist Labs


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AIC
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May 20, 2019 6:41 pm  

Yes, there's a major advantage in having an industry post-doc. You get industry experience as you're working on expanding your skill-set and publishing your work. And your network grows exponentially on its own, making it easier to find a "permanent" position.

Usually when people apply for postdoc positions, they worry about whether they can publish, whether they can go back to academia. In my, and 99% of my friends' case, a couple months into my industry postdoc, I completely switched focus towards a future in industry. Feels nice to feel like you're part of a team that's working on things that will save people's lives. Also, people are generally nicer and easier to work with in industry and you are compensated better - even as a postdoc. At that point, I still cared about publications, but I also wanted to start learning what it's like to work as part of a company project. They let me sit on project teams and even share my ideas, which was great.

In terms of hiring, case in point: I currently work in a small biotech firm in Boston. 4 entry-level PhDs were hired in the past 4 years into the research group, including myself. All had industry postdocs in a big pharma company. There's less risk in hiring somebody with industry references that can vouch for how easy they are to work with. This is not to say that other places are not hiring PhDs fresh out of graduate school or with an academic postdoc. That's definitely happening, especially for people coming from big labs and big schools. And it's not any "big" lab, it's a select number of labs that industry people know and work with, as was mentioned above. If you're in a big lab in an Ivy league university that studies C. elegans development with no medical implications, you won't have much of an advantage. But if, like me, you don't come from a big lab or a big name school, an industry postdoc will be a great step into industry and a leg over the competition.

Don't be discouraged if you don't have all the skills listed in the job postings or if you're from a lower-ranking school or a small lab. Apply anyway!

AIC


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