Following various exchanges with academics experiencing the PhD/Postdoc transition on Twitter over the past couple of weeks, it occured to me that I am not the only one dealing with the uncertainties of a temporary contract, huge decisions about my career and questions such as “what comes next?” and “who have I become post PhD/viva?”. I decided to post a tentative blog about my transitioning identity on this site about these niggling thoughts, with some comfort knowing that I was not the only one dealing with this transition. During the #phdchat hash tag chat this evening, it was clear that these concerns are definitely not unique to me but shared by several others. In fact several post-phders enjoy contributing to #phdchat and the supportive environment it provides.
It was decided that this warranted the development of a new online community; one where post-docs could contribute and share their thoughts and stories. This new community will be defined and created through the collective use of the hash tag #postpostdoc on Twitter and a new Wiki site. This has now been launched officially by Dr Sarah Quinnell (@sarahthesheepu), myself (@dratarrant) and Dr Jackie Kirkham (@jackiekirkham) and can be accessed here.
The aim of the site is expressed really well by Sarah:
“#PhDPostdoc is being developed in response for calls to create a space for post-doc researchers to come together and build a post-doctoral community. Inspired by the success of the #phdchat postgraduate research community we are looking to develop this wiki to act as the beginnings of a collaborative repository for those transitioning between being a phd student and post-doctoral research staff.”
If any of this sounds familiar and you are breathing a sigh of relief that others are going through the same uncertainties and are willing to share their experiences, why not take a look at the site, join up, share your thoughts and ideas and Tweet using the #PhDPostDoc hash tag? It promises to be an excellent forum for learning, encouraging and sharing as well as developing those all important networks.