The Transition from Postdoc to PI: Part 7 Don’t forget – IT IS EXCITING!

Part 7: Don’t forget – IT IS EXCITING!

by Amanda Rasmussen

This has turned into quite a long article based on the advice and insecurities of 8 PIs of varying experience (see details at the end). Our intention is not to scare anyone off making the jump from post-doc to PI…but rather to let you know that you’re not alone! And to give you a heads up on points to try when you face one of these challenges. Do feel free to share additional strategies which you have found useful!

Don’t forget: Here’s why it’s worth it!

–          I love coming up with crazy ideas when I have some control over choosing what to work on.

–          I love doing the research

–          I love writing grants and papers (crazy I know! I’m not so fond of most of the outcomes though!)

–          I love supervising a growing team of exciting students

–          I love bouncing ideas around with collaborators and hearing about the latest work of my colleagues

–          I love teaching

–          I love going to conferences and telling people about our latest greatest cool stuff and hearing about other people’s latest greatest cool stuff!

–          And I love writing blogs about all kinds of career/science/or general rant topics!

“I totally find myself smiling when I go to work.” – Kaisa



Aaron Rashotte, Associate Professor (PI since 2007), Auburn University, US

Rashmi Sasidharan, Associate Professor (PI since 2010), Utrecht University, Netherlands

Katie Field, Associate Professor (PI since 2015), University of Leeds, UK

Idan Efroni, Senior Lecturer (PI since 2016), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Tom Bennett, University Academic Fellow (PI since 2016), University of Leeds, UK

Erin Sparks, Assistant Professor (PI since 2017), University of Delaware, US

Kaisa Kajala, Assistant Professor (PI since 2017), Utrecht University, Netherlands

A special thanks to you all for providing your experience and advice!


–          Part 1: Introduction

–          Part 2: Isolation Busting

–          Part 3: Hitting the ground running – but not too fast!

–          Part 4: Building a team

–          Part 5: Mentoring

–         Part 6: Academic Imposter Syndrome (AIS – pronounced Ace)

–         Part 7: Don’t forget – IT IS EXCITING!