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Topic: About Postdoc research direction  (Read 2829 times)

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Offline kamiyu

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About Postdoc research direction
« on: April 22, 2016, 06:04:29 AM »
Hi everyone

I am asking if it is possible/general thing for a postdoc to have a slightly different research direction with the PI of the lab.

I mean the postdoc is working on BOTH PI's direction and his own direction and publish papers for the PI's group

For example, the PIs is working exclusively on Pd-catalyzed cross-coupling and the postdoc brings his copper-catalysed cross coupling expertise (or other organic chemistry research fields)

In this sense, the postdoc is actually bring his own expertise to the group.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 06:16:54 AM by kamiyu »

Offline Corribus

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Re: About Postdoc research direction
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2016, 11:50:12 AM »
As a post-doc you should have your own independent research project. However it is usual for it to have some kind of thematic connection to other work being done in the lab. Moreover, you should be using the time to develop your own independent ideas that you will take with you elsewhere (usually, to a faculty position of your own somewhere).

When I did a post-doc, I had a series of research tasks directly associated with my supervisor's research program. On the side I did some things on my own that really had nothing to do with her research at all, although they were in the same general area (conducting polymers). I managed to turn these into a paper or two 'of my own' - although as the PI her name went on the papers as well.

It is important to negotiate early with your post-doc advisor about what ideas can be taken with you when you leave. This way there are no misunderstandings later on.
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

Offline Dan

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Re: About Postdoc research direction
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2016, 09:54:08 AM »
I don't have much to add, but I will say that a good PI should allow postdocs a reasonable amount of intellectual freedom to explore their own ideas within the group's general research themes - this is a major contribution that postdocs should be expected to make. Be warned though, not all PIs are like this in practice, some only value their own ideas (not my PIs, fortunately) and struggle to back off.
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