Postdoctoral research is scholarly research conducted by a person who has recently completed doctoral studies, normally within the previous five years. It is intended to further deepen expertise in a specialist subject, including acquiring novel skills and methods. Postdoctoral research is often considered essential to acquiring advanced training for the trainee while advancing the scholarly mission of the host laboratory and/or institution, and is expected to produce relevant publications accordingly. In some countries, postdoctoral research may lead to further formal qualifications or certification, while in other countries, it does not.
Postdoctoral research may be funded through an appointment with a salary or an appointment with a stipend or sponsorship award. Appointments for such a research position may be called Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Postdoctoral Research Associate, or Postdoctoral Research Assistant. Depending on the type of appointment, postdoctoral researchers may work independently or under the supervision of a principal investigator. However, a designated postdoctoral research appointment may also be taken up when other suitable positions are not available, rather than merely pursuing the deepening of scholarly experience.
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