What are the biggest barriers for early career researchers looking to make the next big step in their career?

The second in a series of posts regarding the transition from 'early career' to 'established'.

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Feb 14, 2019

We spoke to some researchers that are making the transition from 'early career' to 'established' to find out what the biggest challenges are in making this step and the best ways to recognize and overcome these challenges. 

The second in a series of posts, we look at what the biggest barriers are for early career researchers in making the next step in their career. If you have any more tips, please contribute to the discussion below!

  • Finding the right job. The best thing to do is be patient, and wait for the right position to be advertized. While waiting, be sure to keep doing things to expand your skillset wherever possible.
  • Academia is highly selective. With an oversupply of talented graduates, it can be difficult to secure a job in academia. Try to expand your training outside of that, and focus on skills that are highly sought after, for example, data science and teaching.
  • Funding. Many early career researchers see their own superiors struggling to secure funding, let alone think of applying for funding themselves. It can be very daunting. 
  • Networking. Personal development activities and social skills should not be underestimated when it comes to making the next step in your career. Volunteering can lead to skill development in things such as public speaking, grant writing, organization of conferences etc - all key skills that are being highly sought after.

If you want to read more, take a look at the first installment of our series 'How can early career researchers maximize their chances of a long and successful career?' and our special news feature, published in last month's edition of BioTechniques - 'How to transition from 'early career' to 'established'.

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Journal and Magazine, Future Science Group

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