Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2021
Monday–Friday, March 15–19, 2021; Virtual; Time Zone: Central Daylight Time, USA
Session A58: What Do Early-Career Physicists Do? A View of the Post-Doc Experience
8:00 AM–10:24 AM,
Monday, March 15, 2021
Sponsoring Unit: FGSA
Chair: LaNell Williams, Harvard University
Abstract: A58.00004 : The Post-Doc Experience at a Research University in a Large Lab*
9:48 AM–10:24 AM
I joined my current lab in 2017, a relatively big group at Harvard University. Although my background is in Microbiology, I have been working in Soft-Matter since grad school. At Harvard, I found myself surrounded mostly by physicists working in multidisciplinary areas. My project involves the production of artificial cells, focused mostly on the development of an artificial nucleus. I have been able to combine what I learned from Biology with new techniques from the Physics of colloids to obtain interesting results.
In retrospect, I can say that joining a multidisciplinary group has been a key factor in developing my own research body, as I always have had to consider what aspects of it are relevant for people from other disciplines, particularly Physics. From my perspective, that is one of the best outcomes about joining a big lab as I can always count on getting my ideas challenged by colleagues with different approaches to Science.
A couple of aspects that most early-career scientists can expect are communicating with a busy PI and mentoring students. I will share a few tips from my own experience and colleagues in similar situations.
*D. Montalvan's postdoctoral research has been funded by the Artificial Cells Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI).
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