The last few miles: Julie Gould discovers some telltale signs that you are leaving the mid-career stage behind.

What are the signs that you’re transitioning from the middle to the late stage of a career in science? Is this transition something you can plan in advance, and if so, what does that look like?

Working backwards from your planned retirement date can help you to re-evaluate your priorities and predict the challenges the next few years might bring. But in many countries there is no set retirement age, so it can be difficult to know when to start preparing.

Scientists from across the globe talk to Julie Gould about their different approaches — from reviewing timelines and forming succession plans to returning to the lab.

Inger Mewburn, who leads research training at the Australian National University in Canberra, and Shirley Tilghman, a molecular biologist and former president of Princeton University in New Jersey, highlight the importance of thinking about and planning for the future.

This is the first episode of the six-part podcast series: The last few miles: planning for the late-stage career in science.