Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow 

(Male, Age 28) from Providence, NY

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Male aged 28 who works as a Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow in Providence, NY. 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 Research Associate/Fellow
Salary $39,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 50
Company Size (not answered)
Location Providence, NY
Years Experience 3 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 have a dual appointment at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital. Brown University is an academic institution with 8000 undergrads and graduate students and Rhode Island Hospital is a large hospital that I think might be the biggest employer in the state

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I perform scientific experiments exploring the molecular biology of cancer.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
3 weeks vacation, fully covered health insurance

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

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes it does. There are graduate students, medical fellows, and other lab techs that I need to work with and explain things to. However, we also discuss the research and come up with new 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.
Lab in a University/hospital setting

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: 8
Hours: 2
Co-Workers: 3
Supervisors: 5
Job Title: 6
Level of Responsibility: 7
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
8am to 9am Get into work. Start reading sceintific paper. I am trying to get a background on a subject that I am.
9am to 10am Look at the results. Talk about experiments and chat with lab mates.
10am to 11am Meet with my boss about future experiments and what grants I should be applying for. It always helps to map out the next weeks experiments and also how to help out with funding (by getting your own grants instead of living off your boss).Figure out what needs to be ordered to complete the experiments.
11am to 12pm Make primers so I can make mutant proteins. Review a personal statement of a foreign researcher who is trying to get a grant (he doesn’t speak english).
12pm to 1pm Sit through a lecture that my boss was giving. It was on the current research that I am involved in and some of my work was being shown. However, she answered all the questions and I just sat in the audience.
1pm to 2pm eat lunch. Split and plate my cells for future experiments (setting up)
2pm to 3pm got coffee and then sat at the computer and explained some science basics to the pediatric oncology fellow who has to give a research talk.
3pm to 4pm read papers for a review article I am supposed to write (due in 6 months)
4pm to 5pm read papers… close up for the day (leaving about an hour earlier than normal…. not many experiments today)
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?
submitted resume, phone interview, interviewed in person

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
Yes, first I had a phone interview, then she flew me to Providence to meet me in person and check out the lab space and the rest of the people in the lab. I spent about 6 hours with the members of the lab being interviewed.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
I was asked about my dissertation and the techniques I knew. We also discussed the current research going on in the lab and I think it is important to be able to give suggestions and input on what they are doing.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
yes, we went over my project during the interview process

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Yes, I got my PhD in molecular biology

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes, my training has lead me in this direction

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?
Get a PhD in a bio/science related field

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
determination, patience, problem solving. Research doesn’t work the majority of the time. When things don’t work you don’t give up on an idea. You figure out why it isn’t working and redo the experiment in the correct manner.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
yes, you need PhD

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Don’t get disappointed when things don’t work. Keep troubleshooting and trying new things

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes it is. A postdoctoral fellowship is necessary to go into either academia or to do anything productive in science.

What are your current career goals?
I think I would like to teach college courses. Whether or not research is a part of the future plan is yet to be established

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
It is a fulfilling career but a very long process. It also doesn’t pay very well. However, being a scientist is one of the most respected career paths you can take.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3.5

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Biology
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
3.9 University of Maryland, Baltimore Molecular Medicine

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