Postdocs power the research programmes of universities around the world. However for postdocs the reality of being a scientist is years of jumping from contract to contract, trying to secure increasingly rare academic positions.
What does it mean to be a postdoc? This episode features an interview with Dr Joy Warde, Postdoc Staff Coordinator at the University of Cambridge. A former PhD and postdoc herself, Joy now works closely with many of the university's 3,500 postdoc staff members, supporting their needs.
We explore what the needs of postdocs are - in particular the challenge of continually looking for the next job - and the reality of trying to find a permanent position in academia.
Joy has also won awards for her science engagement work - and we talk about the path that led her from a PhD studying jet turbine fan blades, to a post-doc investigating solder joints, via teaching, public engagement and starting a family, finally to her current role.