Anyone who has chosen a graduate program remembers the trouble distinguishing the trees from the forest during that process. There are so many permutations of programs, so many options, so many rules. So students focus instead on what they can relate to: Life outside of school. "I can't live in Houston, it's so hot." "I only want to live on the East Coast."

The 30% who finish their PhDs emerge these days to find that there are still more, and more complicated, choices - among them whether and where to do a postdoc. Those who elect to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship look to Best Places to Work for Postdocs, the annual survey of thousands of postdocs by The Scientist (see the March issue).

They find some top places, with great resources by any scientific metric. It's no surprise that competition for fellowships in the best funded, most productive...

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