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Can Many Publications Offset the Need to do a Post-Doc?

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qwopty99

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Hi folks

I'm a pretty new PhD student in the health sciences.

I know in my field basically everyone needs to get a post-doc before they are competitive for an entry-level faculty position. My question is this:

I have the opportunity to work with a second PI - mostly on independent projects not necessarily related to my PhD. I'm the only guy with him - and together our model for getting papers out is very efficient (already 3 since September). However, by working with him, I am certainly taking time away from my PhD. Let's say over the life of my PhD, by working with this guy, I might tack on a year or so to its length.

The benefit with working with him is papers obviously. Let's say over 4-5 years, about a dozen papers, half of which I'm 1st author. Let's say the papers are roughly half case reports, half research articles. No matter what, the total number of pubs I'd expect to have working with him would likely be about 3X the number I'd have just doing a PhD and nothing on the side.


I'm a bit ambivalent about what commitment I should give to this 2nd PI. But the thought occurred - Post-docs are often about ramping up one's publishing record (as well as learning an additional research area). Is it possible that these extra pubs would make me competitive for a job that would normally require a post-doc? If that were the case, I wouldn't be apprehensive about giving up time to work with him, since I would gain it all back by "skipping" the post-doc.


Please chime in with your thoughts. Thanks.
 

j-weezy

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Although by no means an expert, I think this may come down to whether or not you wish to remain in academia.

So, do you want to stay in academia?
 

Maxprime

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None, unless you're a god. The only thing that I think could help you skip a post-doc is if you had a TON of funding.

I can remember one case - I don't think Craig Venter did a post-doc, he went straight to SUNY from graduate school.
 

Neuronix

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I know some guys who got non-tenure track spots right out of PhD. I don't know if that's what you're interested in, however. I know a guy who had 10 first author publications in grad school and they wanted to set him up with a tenure-track spot, but only after some post-doc. He went to industry instead.

I say you're being really ambitious. Ambition is fine but beware of stretching yourself too thin. Stay focused on your thesis project and maybe keep one or two side projects as time permits. If you work for a second PI make sure your primary PI remains content with the arrangement. Graduate in a reasonable amount of time and move on to post-doc is my advice.
 

qwopty99

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>So, do you want to stay in academia?


The answer is yes.

Am I ambitious? I guess, but not unduly so. I just viewed this potentially as a good "opportunity". But I guess it could potentially "hurt" me if I don't stay focused.

I have a friend, an engineer, who got a tenure-track position right out of graduation. I asked him if Post-docs were common in engineering - he said yes. But this guy is a superstar (goverment early-career award), so I guess in retrospect, he was an exception.


I agree with the notion I should focus on the PhD and get it done. The thing is, I'm so trained to get these little projects done (each one doesn't really take more than 1-2 months to finish and publish), so they are difficult to "turn down". And I like bite-sized assignments that have a finite amount of work required.


Thanks for the input so far.
 
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