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Need advice re: post-doc IRTA terms

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WorkaholicsAnon

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Going to graduating IM residency in a couple months. I am getting set up for a post-doc IRTA at the NIH, and my future mentor is asking whether to set me up for a 1 year or a 2 year position. Pros and cons of each variant?

The 2 year irta sounds good because I'll be all set for that period of time, and not have to worry about re-funding after the 1st year. But I am worried that if I decided to pursue a clinical fellowship, I may need to leave the IRTA position a few months early if I choose the 2 year position (most fellowships start in July). Would leaving early be a problem? (with ample advance notice obviously).

If I do the 1 year option, is it a big deal to extend it by some months, or am I risking not being funded after the year runs out?
 

fairalexfield

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Do the 2 years. It's MUCH easier to shorten a fellowship (save them money) than it is to extend a fellowship (cost them money). As a post-bac IRTA, I was signed up as 2 years with the expectation that I'd only do one, but just in case I decided to stay it would make the process much easier.
 

WorkaholicsAnon

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so it wouldn't be that I'm breaking the contract if I leave early?
 

gbwillner

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Do the 2 years. It's MUCH easier to shorten a fellowship (save them money) than it is to extend a fellowship (cost them money). As a post-bac IRTA, I was signed up as 2 years with the expectation that I'd only do one, but just in case I decided to stay it would make the process much easier.

Have you heard of anyone NOT getting extended if they wanted it? When I did an techIRTA (now would be pre) back in 1999 a second year was offered after I finished my one year...
 

fairalexfield

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I have heard of a few stories, but I don't know many people who try to extend for a year. I think the most notable story I can think of is someone who's lab didn't want them back. My PI thought it would be a good idea to get the years up front just so he didn't have to go through the hassle of an extension. An early termination just requires a quick note.
 

WorkaholicsAnon

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thanks guys, I consulted with my future mentor about this as well and they said the same thing--no problem leaving a little early, but overall better to get set up for 2 years if I am thinking of staying longer than 1 year.

So, i'm signed up for 2! Appreciate the help!
 
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