Do I need postdoc experience?: A career exploration guide

Considering career options for after your PhD? One career step you may consider is additional training as a postdoctoral scholar. The goal of this guide is to provide some questions that may help you to determine if a postdoctoral position matches your career goals and practical considerations.

Follow the dropdown menus to reflect on the purpose of a postdoc and whether it makes sense for you. For help answering these questions, see the tips at the bottom of the page.

In addition to your career goals, it is important to consider whether doing a postdoc makes practical sense for you.

To help answer any of these questions, consider:

  • Informational interviews with the professors, postdocs, and students in the departments where you are considering postdoc opportunities can be informative.
  • Discussing these questions with your PI, mentors, colleagues, and alumni of your doctoral program can also be very beneficial.
  • The UCSF Office of Career and Professional Development also provides career consultations to talk through any of these topics or can help if you are not sure where to begin!
  • Discussing these questions with family and friends can also be valuable.

This resource was based on work developed by Sarah Gallalee, PhD during her internship at the Office of Career and Professional Development in 2023. These questions were developed during conversations with 25 faculty, staff, students and postdocs with the goal of helping social and population sciences students determine if a postdoc position would be a good next step.


Back to 'Should I Do a postdoc?'

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OCPD Office Hours (for Graduate Students and Postdocs)

Date: July 24, 2024
Time: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

OCPD Office Hours (for Graduate Students and Postdocs)

Date: July 31, 2024
Time: 4 - 5 p.m.

OCPD Office Hours (for Graduate Students and Postdocs)

Date: August 5, 2024
Time: 2 - 3 p.m.

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Date: August 7, 2024
Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.