Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2015 Mar 2;14(1):ar1.
doi: 10.1187/cbe.14-06-0102. Epub 2015 Feb 11.

Alumni Perspectives on Career Preparation During a Postdoctoral Training Program: A Qualitative Study

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Alumni Perspectives on Career Preparation During a Postdoctoral Training Program: A Qualitative Study

Jessica M Faupel-Badger et al. CBE Life Sci Educ. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Published evaluations of career preparation of alumni from long-standing postdoctoral fellowship programs in the biomedical sciences are limited and often focus on quantitative analysis of data from extant publicly available sources. Qualitative methods provide the opportunity to gather robust information about specific program elements from structured postdoctoral training programs and the influence of this training on subsequent career paths of alumni. In-depth interviews with a subset of the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (CPFP) alumni (n=27), representing more than 25 years of the program's history and multiple career sectors, were conducted to assess alumni reflections on the training environment and career preparation during their time in the CPFP. NVivo software was used to analyze data and identify major themes. Four main themes emerged from these interviews, including: the value of structured training curriculum, mentorship, transdisciplinary environment, and professional identity. Even when reflecting on training that occurred one to two decades earlier, alumni were able to highlight specific components of a structured postdoctoral training program as influencing their research and career trajectories. These results may have relevance for those interested in assessing how postdoctoral training can influence fellows throughout their careers and understanding salient features of structured programs.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 7 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Ali Zeilani RS, Al-Nawafleh AH, Evans C. Looking back at the doctorate: a qualitative study of Jordanian graduates from PhD programs in the UK. Nurs Health Sci. 2011;13:360–365. - PubMed
    1. Bland CJ, Schmitz CC. Characteristics of the successful researcher and implications for faculty development. J Med Educ. 1986;61:22–31. - PubMed
    1. Chang S, Hursting SD, Perkins SN, Dores GM, Weed DL. Adapting postdoctoral training to interdisciplinary science in the 21st century: the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the National Cancer Institute. Acad Med. 2005;80:261–265. - PubMed
    1. Cherry S, Meyer J, Hadge L, Terry M, Roose SP. A prospective study of psychoanalytic practice and professional development: early career interviews. J Am Psychoanal Assoc. 2012;60:969–994. - PubMed
    1. Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences.; 2012. http://sites.nationalacademies.org/PGA/COSEPUP/Postdoc-2011/#meetings (accessed 17 June 2014)

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback