Failure is the stepping stone for success.
The National Institute of Health and National Science Foundation (NSF) in the USA both define a postdoc as:
“An individual who has received a doctoral degree (or equivalent) and is engaged in a temporary and defined period of mentored advanced training to enhance the professional skills and research independence needed to pursue his or her chosen career path.”
Scientists worked for 3 years in laboratory by helping a principle investigator to conduct this research. Basically, It is an opportunity to develop skills, working on interesting projects with interesting people
in interesting places to become an independent scientist. However, Karen Hinxman, consultant at the Postdoc Development Centre at Imperial College, London says, a postdoc is not a career in itself,” “It’s a stepping stone to the next part of your career, whether this is inside or outside of academia.”
Ofcourse age matters in the current research sphere. Ofcourse there is an age limit to many fellowships. For Example if you have done to many postdocs, you will not be eligible for certain funding schemes. Postdocs has become so expensive everyone cannot afford them.
Postdoc: A postdoctoral scholar is an individual holding a doctoral degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue a career path of his or her. It is estimated that there are approximately 89,000 postdocs involved in research in the United States (National Science Foundation, Science and Engineering Indicators 2008).
In the United Kingdom, 25% of doctors in the natural sciences continue to undertake postdoctoral research. Since the landmark ruling in the employment tribunal Ball vs Aberdeen University 2008 case , researchers who have held successive fixed-term contracts for four years service are no longer temporary employees but are entitled to the open-ended contracts.
Academia is not the only option post-postdoc. The skills learned during the three year contract are diverse and transferable. Let’s explore those other options, and other issues that trouble postdocs.