What is a Postdoctoral Associate?

A position as a postdoctoral associate allows graduate students to broaden their scholarly experience. A postdoctoral associate develops expertise in a specific subject, including required skills and methods, conducting academic or scholarly research. This research contributes to a university’s or host institution’s educational mission, and it is expected to be published in relevant journals.

After completing her doctoral studies, a postdoctoral associate usually begins conducting research within five years of receiving her degree. This research position could be funded through a salaried appointment, a stipend, or a sponsorship award. Postdoctoral research fellows and postdoctoral research assistants are two terms for the same position. All of these positions are referred to as “post docs” the general public. Depending on the type of appointment, postdoctoral associates may work independently or under the supervision of a principal investigator or mentor.

Postdoctoral associates often make significant contributions to the academic institution, create and discover new knowledge, and provide research direction for undergraduate and graduate students while honing their own research skills. Postdoctoral associates use this brief period of research and scholarly training to gain the skills they need to pursue the career of their choice. Associates can pursue careers in engineering, mathematics, biological sciences, psychology, and other social sciences, among other fields.

As long as her efforts are devoted to her own scholarship, a postdoctoral associate may pursue basic, clinical, or translational projects. When working under the supervision of a mentor, an associate is responsible for completing her postdoctoral training and thoroughly investigating the position’s details. Meeting the postdoctoral appointment’s obligations and expectations, discussing the position with the mentor, and adhering to the institution’s research conduct policies are all responsibilities. Post docs have the freedom to publish the results of their research because it is critical to the mentor’s and the academic institution’s missions.

Postdoctoral associates can pursue non-academic careers accepting research positions in industry or other settings. Research and development, quality control, manufacturing and production, process development, computation, and product testing are some of the areas where these positions can be found. Postdoctoral associates who do not want to work in research could use their skills in scientific writing and editing, computer programming, high-tech product and service marketing, and regulatory affairs. Non-scientific skills may be used postdoctoral associates in other jobs, such as financial analysts, consultants, grant writers and administrators, or higher education administrators.