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Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?
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After my PhD I was approached by two different supervisors and offered postdoc positions. Both were at RG universities and both were leaders in their fields. I didn't have to apply for either. They approached me.

Could you say more about this story? I'm wondering how a PhD student can get two PIs to approach them and offer them postdoc positions. How did the PIs get to know you? Did they know your supervisor? Was your supervisor famous? What did you do to impress the two PIs? I can't imagine any PI approaching me and offering me jobs. People other than my supervisor and co-supervisor simply don't know my existence. I've no idea how to make them know me. I would appreciate it if you could advice me on that.

Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?
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Quote From Tudor_Queen:
The thing is, sciencephd seems concerned that s/he does not yet have a first author publication... something must be causing this. Maybe others at the same level in the lab DO already have some papers? Facing up to it and trying to remedy it is probably the most positive thing a person can do if that is the case.

Other students in my group all have at least two first-authored papers on top journals before the end of their PhD. My supervisor gave me a project that is very different from theirs. My project is very boring. Although it's relatively easy to get some results, the results are not impactful and cannot reach top journals. My supervisor thinks it's better to use my results to complement other papers and make those papers easier to get to top journals rather than publish my story on a mediocre journal.
And by the way, the other students have all secured a postdoc job right after their PhD, in a world famous group in this field. By comparison, my achievements look miserable and I don't think I can find a postdoc job so easily.

Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?
S


You don't need his permission to write a paper. Your rationale can be that you have already written it and you want his feedback before you publish. As you have taken the initiative he will have to give some reason for not wanting you to publish from which you can work with. He might tear your work to shreds and further dent your self confidence but he might decide to include other people's work in your first name paper.


Thank you, Tudor_Queen and rewt, for coming back and giving me further advice.
I've done 5 major experiments so far. The results from Experiments 1 & 3 have been inserted into other people's papers (not submitted yet). So now I have the results from only 2, 4 & 5, but these 3 experiments can't form a complete story. Experiment 1 is the most important one - later experiments are all based on it. Therefore, in order to write my own paper, I need to ask 1 & 3 back and use 1,2,3 & 4 to write a decent paper. But I've already agreed that my supervisor can use 1 & 3 for other papers. If I tell him I need them back, then there'll be scuffles. Another option is, let him publish the two papers, and then I still use 1,2,3&4 to write my own paper. But 1&3 are already published, so will any journals still accept my paper? I doubt it.

Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?
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Thank you so much for your advice and encouragement, Jamie!
My supervisor cares only about his own career but not my development. His indifference to my needs has made me lose my confidence. I've already reminded him that I need more advice on my development, but he couldn't care less and just told me to follow his instruction. Well, at this moment, his instruction is that I have to tailor my data to other people's papers. I'm struggling to find enough rationale to convince him to give me a chance to write my own paper.

Abstract For Conference Poster Without Results
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You don't need any results to be included in your abstract. When you get your results, just put them onto your poster. Even if you don't have any results for your poster, it'll also be fine cos I've seen several posters without any results shown, and some of them even won best poster prizes.

Job woes
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[quote]Quote From sciencegirl3456:
I am hoping that now Christmas is over that there will be more jobs to apply for. I am going to widen my search to abroad (not UK) as well but the thought of moving abroad terrifies me but I need money... I have tried speculatively for the USA but unfortunately the only lab interested did not get the funding but I agree it might be worth trying again. I guess if I don't get anything soon I will take some related science job not research based and just accept research wasn't meant to be.

You are 100% right about the thesis corrections, my supervisor gave me a telling off for not doing them as she says it will increase my chance of getting a job when they are done because they know for sure I have a PhD awarded. I ddi start the corrections today.

Thank you!

[quote]
Actually you don't need to worry about money. As far as I know, US universities pay new postdocs a 'relocation fee', which will make your moving easier.

Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?
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Quote From sciencegirl3456:
I am in a similar situation due to an issue of an author on my paper that should be first name. I am applying for postdocs and have had 4 interviews, my lack of publishing has never openly been said as a reason I did not get a postdoc. I can think of quite a few people I know who got postdocs without a first author publication in science.

Hi sciencegirl3456
Thank you for letting me know there are postdocs who didn't have first authored papers. You said 'my lack of publishing has never openly been said as a reason I did not get a postdoc', but what did they openly tell you? What's the reason for their refusing to give you the job? I'm wondering what I need to show them to convince them to hire me if I lack good papers. Do you know how those postdocs who didn't have first-authored papers got their postdoc job? What do the PIs seek from applicants?

Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?
S

Quote From rewt:
Can you explain your part in each publication? I agree having no first name papers doesn't look good but you can still get a post-doc with zero publications. I know a few post-docs in Science & Engineering who had no publications from their PhD due to some reason or another, so don't worry too much. There was also a lecturer at my uni in microbiology who had no first name publications when he originally got his lecturer job but had several second name papers in Cell and other high profile journals. So working as part of a large isn't frowned upon. Though I would still ask your supervisor about getting a first name paper.

Hi rewt,
So far the journals they chose don't require the authors to specify contributions....But thanks for telling me there are some science postdocs who don't have first-authored papers from their PhD! That makes me less worried.
You could see up there (in my reply to Tudor_Queen) I said my supervisor's decision to use my work to complement other people's work has led to the situation that I can't write my own paper. I hope I can get more experiments done, but there's only less than 10 months left. I'm not sure what I should do.

Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?
S

Quote From Tudor_Queen:
But will the publications be based on your own work? I am just wondering why you won't be the first author. I think that it is important to have at least one first authored one.

The papers are based on my work and other people's work. But they wrote the papers, so they are the first-authors. My supervisor combined my work with others' work to make papers. I've got lots of experimental results, and I expected to write a complete story of all my results. But my supervisor prefers not to do so. He wants to use my data to complement other people's work so that the papers they wrote look like a more complete story. Now my data has been broken into pieces and inserted into other people's work, and the rest of my data can no longer form a complete paper itself. I hope I will work harder and do more experiment so that there'll be enough data for me to write my own paper. But my supervisor suggests me not to do so - I'm already in my third year and running out of time.

Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?
S

Quote From Tudor_Queen:
I haven't, but then I haven't seen every successful application ever made by a postdoc. I am sure it has happened before, but chances are lower. In my field at least. If you don't mind me asking, why is that you don't have a publication yet? Do you have any interesting results that you could publish? Even if you have one or some submitted manuscripts on your CV, this will look better than nothing at all. I'd say have a think about what you could publish from your thesis and ask your supervisor for their feedback and co-authorship.

Hi Tudor_Queen,
I expect to have four publications by the end of my PhD. But all four will be second- or third-authored papers. I'm not sure if not having a first-authored paper will be in the way.

Have you seen anyone who got a postdoc job without a first-authored paper?
S

I know that many years ago, PhD graduates without first-authored papers could be accepted to postdoc positions. But now the academic job market has become tighter. Have you seen anyone who finished their PhD in recent years (2017-2020) that became a postdoc without publishing any first-authored papers? Especially in science?
My concern is, currently I don't have any first-authored papers, and my supervisor isn't planning on making me write one. I'm in my third year, and I'm very worried about this. I hope I will become a postdoc right after I finish all my PhD work and three years later become a PI in a prestigious uni (Russell group level).

My PhD research is currently being done by another research group
S

You can contact them and ask if they want to collaborate with you, and if they want, you can publish a paper with them. If they don't or your supervisors don't, then try to publish before they do. If they still happen to publish before you do, then read what they have done and try to do some more work and make your work look more complete than theirs, and then you can still publish your work.

What's the point in going to conferences as a PhD student?
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Quote From tamecat:
Hi sciencephd

I am a part-time self funding PhD student. Part of the criteria for me to pass is to do a poster and presentation at conferences. I was lucky as my supervisor funded both conferences that I attended. Have you asked your supervisor for any financial support to go? My experience is they have pots of money around.

I find conferences are useful to see what is going on in my wider subject area and to learn about new techniques or analysis that could be useful for my project. I personally don't want a job in academia (I have a full time job already) so don't need or really want to network but conferences are one of the places to do it. At my last conference was one of the top academics for my subject area and he was very approachable. Perhaps you need to be a bit bolder and just go and start a conversation with people. Then in the future if you could email them to say 'we met at the XXX conference and I'd like to ask more about...'.

Hi tamecat, happy new year!
My supervisor has no money for me. That's why I had no choice but spent my own money on the trip.
I think you're right that I should strike up a conversation with someone I'm interested in next time at a conference (if it's not that expensive).

Advice on weather to continue
S

If your supervisor and labmates treat you well and you like your research project, then why not continue?
It indeed sounds a bit odd when a person from a developed country chooses to live in a developing country. But the country you live in isn't an usual developing country - it's China, which has lots of £££££ invested in scientific research. If you have a look at those prestigious journals in your field, you'll notice China has a big amount of research outputs. I'm not in your field, but I'm also doing science. When I read quality papers by authors working in China, I quite often notice that their lab equipment is as good as mine (I'm at a Russell group uni). You know, in experimental science, when you have loads of money and good equipment, you can achieve a lot.
But I do suggest that you come back to the UK or go to another developed country for your postdoc, unless you decide to permanently live in China. Many employers in the West will look down on you if you do both your PhD and posdoc in China.

What's the point in going to conferences as a PhD student?
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Quote From azhan:
I'm not really sure, people have been recommended me to do so but I'm not sure if it's worth my money? I don't see any traction, it's not as though it will help me pass my PhD. I guess if you have grants then why not but for the purpose of the PhD, it is not required.

Hi azhan, I also went to the conference because someone recommended me to do so. Now I'm very regretful - I feel my money is wasted! Just don't go to a conference because someone tells you to do so! Money is easily gone, but it's difficult to earn so much money by teaching undergrads....