Fitting into Research Careers

Courtesy of Paul Cohen Andrey Frolov As the October sun streams through the seventh-floor windows at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Andrey Frolov ponders a career choice that he didn't expect to wrestle with for another decade. "I'm still thinking about what I want to do," confesses Frolov, a 27-year-old physician, who is finishing his postdoctorate in molecular biology. "I think I would like to teach, so I want to see myself employed in a university setting. But there are a

Bob Calandra
Nov 16, 2003
Courtesy of Paul Cohen
 Andrey Frolov

As the October sun streams through the seventh-floor windows at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Andrey Frolov ponders a career choice that he didn't expect to wrestle with for another decade. "I'm still thinking about what I want to do," confesses Frolov, a 27-year-old physician, who is finishing his postdoctorate in molecular biology. "I think I would like to teach, so I want to see myself employed in a university setting. But there are also times [when] I think: Do I want to go to a pharmaceutical company and make more money?"

Most young scientists follow a fairly predictable path from undergraduate to graduate school to postdoctorate positions. In 2001, almost one-half of the 5,909 life scientists who received PhDs in the United States chose to do postdoctoral work, according to a recent National Science Foundation study.1 Only one in six...