While postdocs are necessary for entry into tenure-track jobs, they do not enhance salaries in other job sectors over time.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Open Access articles citing this article.
Nature Communications Open Access 27 November 2018
Access Nature and 54 other Nature Portfolio journals
Get Nature+, our best-value online-access subscription
$29.99 / 30 days
cancel any time
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 12 print issues and online access
$209.00 per year
only $17.42 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Prices vary by article type
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
Alberts, B., Kirschner, M.W., Tilghman, S. & Varmus, H. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 111, 5773–5777 (2014).
National Institutes of Health. Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group Report http://acd.od.nih.gov/bwf.htm (NIH; 2012).
Teitelbaum, M.S. Falling Behind? Boom, Bust, and the Global Race for Scientific Talent (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ; 2014).
Stephan, P.E. How Economics Shapes Science (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.; 2012).
Stephan, P. Nature 484, 29–31 (2012).
National Academy of Sciences. The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited (National Academy Press, Washington, DC; 2014).
Stephan, P. & Ma, J. Am. Econ. Rev. 95, 71–75 (2005).
Sauermann, H. & Roach, M. Science 352, 663–664 (2016).
National Research Council. Trends in the Early Careers of Life Scientists (The National Academies Press, Washington DC; 1998).
Marincola, E. & Solomon, F. Mol. Biol. Cell 9, 3003–3006 (1998).
National Academy of Sciences. Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers: a Guide for Postdoctoral Scholars, Advisers, Institutions, Funding Organizations, and Disciplinary Societies (National Academy Press, Washington, DC; 2000).
National Research Council (US). Bridges to Independence: Fostering the Independence of New Investigators in Biomedical Research (National Academies Press, Washington, DC; 2005).
National Research Council (US). Research Training in the Biomedical, Behavioral, and Clinical Research Sciences (National Academies Press, Washington, DC; 2011).
National Science Board. Science and Engineering Indicators 2008 (National Science Foundation, Arlington VA; 2008).
Collins, F. Nature 467, 635 (2010).
Freeman, R., Weinstein, E., Marincola, E., Rosenbaum, J. & Solomon, F. Science 294, 2293–2294 (2001).
Borjas, G.J. in Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: an Analysis of Markets and Employment, (eds. Freeman, R.B. & Goroff, D.L.) 131–161 (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL; 2009)
National Science Board Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 (National Science Foundation, Arlington VA; 2012).
Garrison, H.H. & Gerbi, S.A. FASEB J. 12, 139–148 (1998).
Jones, B.F. Rev. Econ. Stud. 76, 283–317 (2009).
Jones, B.F. Rev. Econ. Stat. 92, 1–14 (2010).
Jones, B.F. & Weinberg, B.A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108, 18910–18914 (2011).
Sauermann, H. & Roach, M. Science PhD career preferences: levels, changes, and advisor encouragement. PLoS ONE 7, e36307 (2012).
Davis, G. Doctors without orders. Am. Sci. 93, supplement http://www.sigmaxi.org/docs/default-source/Programs-Documents/Critical-Issues-in-Science/postdoc-survey/highlights (2005).
Davis, G. in Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: An Analysis of Markets and Employment, (eds. Freeman, R.B. & Goroff, D.L.) 99–130 (University of Chicago Press, Chicago; 2009).
Su, X. J. Higher Educ. 84, 239–265 (2013).
Nerad, M. & Cerny, J. Science 285, 1533–1535 (1999).
Levitt, D.G. Careers of an elite cohort of US basic life science postdoctoral fellows and the influence of their mentor's citation record. BMC Med. Educ. 10, 80 (2010).
Association of American Universities (AAU). Committee on Postdoctoral Education: Report and Recommendations (AAU, 1998).
Association of American Universities (AAU). Postdoctoral Education Survey: Summary of Results (AAU, 2005).
The American Medical Association. Requirements for Becoming a Physician (AMA, 2014).
Lan, X. J. Policy Anal. Manage. 31, 623–640 (2012).
Bonetta, L. The postdoc experience: taking a long-term view. Science http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2010_08_27/science.opms.r1000093 (2010).
Bravo, N.R. & Olsen, K.L. https://grants.nih.gov/training/Reed_Letter.pdf (NSF, 2007).
Stern, S. Do Scientists Pay to be Scientists? National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 7410 (1999).
Stephan, P. Bioscience 63, 245–246 (2013).
Rohn, J. Nature 471, 7 (2011).
Powell, K. Nature 520, 144–147 (2015).
We acknowledge financial support from NIH Grant R01-AG036820. The use of NSF data does not imply NSF endorsement of the research, research methods, or conclusions contained in this report. We thank H. Garrison, W. Schaffer, P. Stephan, and D. Zuk for helpful comments.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
About this article
Cite this article
Kahn, S., Ginther, D. The impact of postdoctoral training on early careers in biomedicine. Nat Biotechnol 35, 90–94 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt.3766
This article is cited by
Exploring the determinants of research performance for early-career researchers: a literature review
Integrating medicine, engineering and business to educate early-stage researchers in cardiovascular device development
Nature Biotechnology (2022)
Nature Cardiovascular Research (2022)
Nature Biotechnology (2022)
Nature Cancer (2020)