The impact of postdoctoral training on early careers in biomedicine

While postdocs are necessary for entry into tenure-track jobs, they do not enhance salaries in other job sectors over time.

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Figure 1: Trends in PhDs and postdoc training.
Figure 2: Estimated associations between 17 factors and the likelihood of starting one's career in a postdoc (within 3 years of PhD) with 95% confidence intervals, using probit model.
Figure 3: Percent of biomedical PhDs who started their careers with a postdoc, and those who did not, shown for each of five employment sectors, 10 years after degree awarded.
Figure 4: Time trends in the percentage of all working biomedical PhDs employed in each of five sectors, 10 years after degree awarded.
Figure 5: Predicted inflation-adjusted salary (2013 dollars) 1–15 years after PhD completion.


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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.

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Correspondence to Shulamit Kahn.

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Kahn, S., Ginther, D. The impact of postdoctoral training on early careers in biomedicine. Nat Biotechnol 35, 90–94 (2017).

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