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a postdoctoral researcher – someone who has earned a PhD and wants more! Postdocs typically seek out more experience in a different lab than they did their PhD in and they often look to gain new, complementary, skills to what they learned in their PhD. They have more independence and less guidance than grad students, but it’s not their lab and, at the end of the day, they do what the boss (the PI) wants (and is paying for). Postdoctoral fellowships typically last a few years but can be longer or shorter – it often depends on the person’s career goals and when they can get a job.

Synonyms:
postdoctoral researcher