Postdoctoral Fellow 

(Female, Age 30) from Baltimore, MD

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 30 who works as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Baltimore, MD. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Postdoctoral Fellow
Salary $39,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 32
Company Size (not answered)
Location Baltimore, MD
Years Experience 10 months

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I work for a large public graduate university. It has about 6000 students enrolled and over 6600 employees. It’s annual budget is just under $8M.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I perform data analysis for ongoing medical research studies. I also write grants to seek funding so I can start my own research career. I also write scientific papers for publication.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes, only 1 or 2 other people. I do like this. It helps keep me motivated to try my best and serves as a sounding board for my research ideas.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
Office. I have a private office which is nice, but the location is poor and we have a *pest* problem.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 4
Benefits: 6
Hours: 2
Co-Workers: 7
Supervisors: 5
Job Title: 3
Level of Responsibility: 8
The Actual Work: 1

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am arrive at work just before 8
8am to 9am check email
9am to 10am work on manuscript after getting comments back from a coauthor
10am to 11am still working on manuscript – redo some analyses; chat with supervisor about present and future projects; arrange meeting for afternoon; walk to nearby bank on personal errand
11am to 12pm look over proposal from colleague to write a manuscript using data that has already been collected; make editorial changes to manuscript from the morning
12pm to 1pm eat lunch, check email and personal websites
1pm to 2pm still working on manuscript; prepare for 2pm meeting by looking over my project proposal
2pm to 3pm have meeting with potential future collaborator, discuss my porject idea and how to find funding for the project, discuss field in general and what research still needs to be done; return to office at 2:45, let supervisor know via email that 2pm meeting was a success and collaborator will get back to me soon
3pm to 4pm check personal websites, email friends
4pm to 5pm leave office at 4pm
5pm to 6pm
6pm to 7pm
7pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?

What was the application process?
interview only

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
Yes, just one with my current supervisor.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
What my research in grad school was, what salary I was expecting, what my short and long term research goal are, what skills I posses, what data analysis software I was familiar with

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes, she has always been available to answer any questions I have and has been incredibly supportive of all of my endeavors thus far.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Yes, several years of formal education. I have worked on numerous research studies and was quite familiar with all the necessary steps. I also took several courses in data analysis in both undergrad and grad school.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes, I had been immersed in this type of environment as part of my training so I knew what to expect. I do feel that I had very little knowledge of how to negotiate a salary, benefits, etc. that I wish I had been taught in grad school. But as far as day-to-day activites for my job, yes, I was prepared.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Network with your superiors. The position I have now was not advertised. My grad school advisor recommended I talk with my current supervisor about what her department was like to work in and I was offered a job on the spot. Maintain your contacts and don’t burn bridges!

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
It requires several years of formal education, but social skills are an important component. My field is built on collaborating with others and if you are a pain to work with, no one will want to work with you. Time management skills are an absolute. One must be self-directed and able to balance many projects simultaneously. Computer skills are mandatory as well.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
yes, several years of formal training (i.e., Ph.D.)

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
You must be committed to your success. It is a long road and you have to make it worth it in the end. Network, network, network.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes, this is exactly where I wanted to be when I finished school. This is a stepping stone to a faculty position. I am even at the institution I want to be at long term.

What are your current career goals?
To be promoted to a faculty position within a year and be awarded some small grants so I can get my own research program started

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
It isn’t for everyone. There are a lot of politics in academia. Also, you aren’t prepared to deal with these politics in your grad school training.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 predoc fellow 2 years 26K administer neuropsychological tests to study participants, conduct data analysis
Prior Job 2 research assistant 5 years 14K coordinate a study with older adults, data management, schedule participant visits, conduct interviews

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3.2

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.4 UNH psychology, B.A.
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
3.8 UMBC psychology, Ph.D.

Ask a Question of this Mentor

This mentor has opted to receive questions from people interested in this career or job position. Please be respectful of their time and willingness to help. Include some basic relevant background so they can intelligently answer your question.