Question for postdocs/ECRs


Hello all,

This is a question for postdocs/ECRs predominantly.

I am post-PhD, all signed off and awarded towards the end of January. Although I am working on book proposals, articles for publication and pursuing leads on post-doctoral funding, I am unemployed. I have a supportive partner who is working (but currently furloughed). I appreciate the precarious nature of employment for ECRs, so I am looking for the experience of other people, how you have financially managed, how you plan for the future (e.g. pensions) etc. I am looking for a job in my area whilst I beaver away on my research projects, but am not having much joy. I am feeling a little at sea, very much lost and a lot superfluous to society, so tales of survival, advice, tips all completely welcome.

Take care all.


It can be very difficult. I don't want to go into too much detail about my situation but my ECR life so far has been stapled together by stray bits of leftover research funding from various PIs I know. I have a broad range of skills, no long-term plans, and am not too fussy about what I do, which -- so far -- has made me someone that people can turn to when they need something done. Since my goal is to get a fellowship so I can pursue my own projects, it doesn't really matter what I do in the short-term. At the end of my PhD I decided that all I needed was enough time and money to finish my papers and apply for grants. Staying in academia is the best way of achieving that, even right now if that means building someone's software in exchange for my own research time and the promise of being a coauthor on all future papers using said software. Future plan is to get a fellowship then permanent academic job some day, which means not making any choices that will take me away from that.


Thank you, Glimmerbat.