The postdoctoral position, or “postdoc” as colloquially called, can span between one to three years, as a researcher focuses on their next career steps after their Ph.D. During this time, individuals develop unique research projects while considering where to transition to next. To understand this position better, the “Humans of JILA” podcast interviewed the two Co-Chairs of the JILA Postdoc Group: Rachael Merritt and Jake Higgins.
“We started the postdoc group to fill two needs for JILA postdocs: community events specifically for postdocs and professional workshops catered to their career stage,” explained Higgins (who uses they/them pronouns). “Postdocs need to feel a sense of community and connection with each other just as much as graduate students do, especially those of us from underrepresented backgrounds who rely on community and peer support to get through academic challenges. But postdocs tend to be structurally isolated: We don’t have cohorts or classes together, and we really only meet people who we collaborate with and whose labs are close to ours. We wanted to carve out a time and place explicitly for postdoc community development.”
You can listen to the full episode focused on the Postdoc group below: