The primary task of a postdoctoral fellow is to conduct research in his or her specialized field, which is obviously related to the organization as well. For example, if a pharmaceutical company is trying to find a new product to permanently cure diabetes, the post doctoral fellow in the related field would be engaged in conducting research on elements that help in getting rid of diabetes. Often, when the postdoctoral fellow has proved his mettle, he is given the task of handling a team of postdoctoral fellows and handles an independent project or even several projects at a time.
To become a postdoctoral fellow, you would require basically a degree in science, choosing the subject of your interest. There are several subjects to choose from. Once you have acquired the basic degree, you have to pursue your career in the field of research. Most of the researchers work under experienced researchers to get their doctorate.
After completing your doctorate, you will have to study for two more years to become a postdoctoral fellow.
So, the basic requirement to become a postdoctoral fellow is PhD. However, in addition to this, most of the institutions have their own selection criteria to grant a postdoctoral fellowship.
In essence, this is a field tailor crafted for academicians. Bright students who are prepared to devote several years of their lives to education and have a natural thirst to gain more knowledge will thrive in this field to become postdoctoral fellows and more.
There are several jobs available for a postdoc in different industries. These jobs are no longer restricted as academician and teaching in universities or institutions, but have numerous openings in federal government jobs, and companies engaged in the manufacturing of life saving drugs. Several research institutes are on the look out for postdoctoral fellows to fruitfully utilize their knowledge in the applied research.
Apart from being a natural genius in academics, the nature of the postdoctoral jobs require the person to have various skills, such as having an analytical bend of mind as he or she would be required to make a critical analysis of the findings. A postdoctoral fellow should be computer literate, as all the data would be stored and managed in the computer. Moreover, a postdoctoral fellow is required to work have very good presentation skills, and reasonably good interpersonal skills. There may be other skills specifically required of a postdoctoral fellow. This could be specific to the requirement at hand. For example, if a postdoctoral fellow is engaged in study of child behavior, then, one of the necessary skills would be to handle children and be compassionate to them. Thus, a postdoctoral fellow should have managerial skills and leadership qualities to handle the department.
The job of a postdoctoral fellow is very demanding as well as challenging. It is not uncommon for a postdoctoral fellow to work irregular hours, particularly when he makes a headway in the research and more so when he is handling a team. The emoluments for a postdoctoral fellow would depend primarily on his position in the department, the responsibilities shouldered by him and his work experience in the field.
While the starting salary or stipend may be in the range of $35,000, it may gradually increase with the experience and may go up to $100,000 per year.
The past few years have seen an upsurge in the demand for postdoctoral fellows. If you have chosen to be a postdoctoral fellow, you have to be prepared to endure a slightly complex life situation. This field is for those who are prepared to strive not just through the initial years, but throughout their working careers. If your goal is much more than financial gains and academics is your cup of tea, then you have most of what it takes to be a successful postdoctoral fellowship candidate.