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Clarifying objectives

In view of the importance and limited duration of the postdoctoral phase in an academic career, it is worthwhile not only to choose carefully where you will do it, but also to prepare yourself thoroughly by reflecting on what you want to achieve and discussing it with the persons responsible before or at the start of the appointment.

The website of the University of Buffalo suggests a list of matters to be discussed before or at the start of the appointment.

These relate especially to the following subjects :

Results and visibility of anticipated results of the postdoc
For example : how many contributions (publications/conferences/...) and of what type should the postdoctoral researcher be able to make ?

Teaching and supervision of students/research group members
Does the post include supervision and teaching activities and if so, what type ?

Scientific/methodological skills expected and to be developed
Which specific skills are expected ? Can they be developed in the context of the post ?

Participation in courses and seminars
Are there plans for the postdoc to attend courses or seminars ?

Career and skills development
Is there any formal or informal evaluation of the postdoctoral researcher and are there set career goals ?

Development of own research
Which results or ideas will the researcher be able to use to develop future research in their own group ? What possibilities are there for developing skills concerning the acquisition of third-party funding / grant applications ?