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Women in Science

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Video clip: Angela describes the challenge of the transition between a postdoctoral position and true independence.

So very often, the big challenge for people trying to establish an independent career is the transition between a postdoctoral research position and true independence. There are a number of different options that people can take and usually they involve gaining some sort of independent fellowship, or semi-independent fellowship. And as I say the difficulty that’s associated with those is that there’s no guarantee of a permanent position at the end of it but it does give you at least some opportunity to try and establish and understand what your research questions are and get some early data and start to get some momentum. But you do have an enormous amount of pressure on you because you have to, you’re competing with lots of other people that have these fellowships, and you have to ultimately secure yourself a tenured position at the end of it. What was unusual though about my route was that it was one of these unusual, quite prestigious, Research Councils UK fellowships where the university has to underwrite the university lectureship position at the end of it. So it’s the equivalent to a tenure- track position.