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What is the most important criterion when choosing a postdoc position?

By Tushna Commissariat

We’re taking a slightly different tack with our Facebook polls over the next few weeks, with a series of polls focused on careers. More specifically, we’re after your views on postdocs – that crucial stage of an academic physicist’s career that lies between earning a PhD and finding (or, in many cases, not finding) a permanent academic post.
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This is a topic that’s been in the news a lot lately, with a growing number of voices arguing that there is something seriously wrong with an academic career path that supports large numbers of PhDs and postdocs but produces very few permanent or tenure-track academic jobs for them to move into. We’ll look into that a bit more over the next few weeks, and if you have a personal experience of postdoc-hood – good or bad – that you’d like to share, please get in touch via For this week’s Facebook poll, however, we’ve got a comparatively simple question that anyone – not just postdocs – can answer.

What is the most important criterion when choosing a postdoc position?

Institutional resources
Prestige of supervisor
Prestige of institution

Have your say by visiting our Facebook page, and please feel free to explain your response or give us more suggestions by posting a comment below the poll.

Last week we asked you which planet from our solar system, apart from the Earth, you find the most captivating. Unsurprisingly, Mars came out on top with about 38% of votes, followed by 20% for Jupiter, 14% for Venus, and 12% for Saturn, while 10% of you felt that exoplanets are a much more interesting option. Sadly, Uranus got only four votes, Neptune three votes and Mercury just the one vote. So it looks like Mars is still captivating Earth.

Thank you to everyone who took part and we look forward to hearing from you again in this week’s poll.

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