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Surviving early career research and beyond


Surviving early career research and beyond in biophysics/biological physics: a concise user guide

Early career researcher (ECR) development is a dynamic challenge that tensions the urge to perform ground-breaking research against an ultimate practical aspiration of establishing an acceptable level of job security. There is no typical career path for an ECR, least of all in the area of biophysics/biological physics. Being explicitly interdisciplinary across the physical-life sciences interface presents more opportunities for a multiplicity of career trajectories through different home academic institutions and departments, as well as offering a broader range of alternative future career trajectories in non-academic sectors. That said, there are key common features, such as the transient nature of fixed-term postdoctoral contracts, the substantial research and domestic challenges that these present, and the often overwhelming pressures of the realities of competition in the job market. In this short article, I outline the key challenges to ECRs in this area and discuss simple strategies to manage and potentially overcome them. To highlight discussion, I draw from specific exemplars in the UK, however, the key guide applies globally to all ECRs in biophysics/biological physics.

Read the paper in full [1]

Published 11 July 2022 • © 2022 IOP Publishing Ltd
Physical Biology [2]Volume 19 [3]Number 5 [4]

Citation Mark C Leake 2022 Phys. Biol. 19 050201

The ISTAART / UCL Early Career Researcher Survey Results published in April 2022 uncover the career challenges specific to those working in different fields of dementia research worldwide – take a look – www.dementiarsearcher.nihr.ac.uk/survey [5]