Although pitched as being for female postdocs, this guide offers advice to all early career scientists trying to navigate new freedoms as an independent scientist. In particular, it offers practical steps to promote yourself both in and outside academia, something not all academic advisers are willing or able to offer. Although it has a US-slant, this guide can offer new ideas or opportunities to postdocs on both sides of the Atlantic, if they are willing to pursue them.
It’s no secret that women pursuing careers in science face various
challenges, and those related to having children can be particularly
pronounced for female postdocs. To help address some of these issues,
the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) has released the Advancing Postdoc Women Guidebook.
And while the guidebook is primarily intended for women, much of the
information—including chapters about career planning and building good
mentoring relationships—is relevant for all readers, regardless of
One of the guidebook’s primary aims is to make readers aware of the many
resources that are available to them, particularly from professional
societies and associations, such as mentorship programs, career
development workshops, and funding opportunities. “There are a lot of
really great resources available that I don’t believe people know about,
so this guidebook is intended to shine a light on them,” says NPA
Executive Director Belinda Huang, who edited the guidebook and wrote a
chapter. Different societies and associations offer different programs
and resources, so seeing them all in one place can also alert postdocs
to opportunities they might not have realized were lacking in their
disciplines and empower them to advocate for themselves. “If you don’t
find the program or resource offered, ask your society for it,” Huang
Article here and PDF guide here.