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What's next after the doctorate: a guide to being a postdoc

The term "postdoc" refers to the period of time between the completion of a doctoral degree and the possible appointment to a tenured professorship. Early-career researchers are expected to use this step to acquire the skills necessary for their academic careers by conducting interesting research projects, writing articles for key publications, and spending time at the leading institutions in their field. At the same time, however, there is a high degree of insecurity attached to this stage. Short-term contracts, the necessity to move to where job opportunities present themselves, and uncertain job prospects can often only be balanced out by a great deal of passion for academia.