This project has been made possible with the support of the School of Life Sciences Postdoctoral Association, The School of Life Sciences at University of Dundee and is funded by the Wellcome Trust and BBSRC.

Project management: Dr Emma Compton and Dr Nicola Phillips

Design and production: Jackie Malcolm: Arc Visual Communications Ltd

Photographic portraits: Janice Aitken

Website Development: John Hume (lead), Morag Hannah, Ryan McLauchlan, Andrew Millar

Video filming and editing: Janice Aitken and David Aitken

Interview and copy: Zoe Venditozzi

Advice Copy: Nicola Phillips and Emma Compton

Schools Copy: Erin Hardee

Dr Emma Compton &
Dr Nicola Phillips

School of Life Sciences Postdoctoral Association

For many postdocs considering their future career the path ahead is opaque. There is little information about the possible options after a postdoc and whether one should follow the traditional PI track. Drawing inspiration from the Royal Society ‘Mothers in Science’ project and teaming up with Janice Aitken and Zoe Venditozzi, who we had worked with previously on the Portraits of Women in Science project, we have taken an in depth look at exactly how former postdocs, men and women  alike, have progressed to where they are now. This project has been extremely interesting and informative for our own careers and we hope it will be helpful for others in a similar position. We are immensely grateful to those whose careers we have featured in this project and would like to thank the website team who developed this site lead by John Hume, with Morag Hannah and Ryan McLauchlan and advice from Andrew Millar and also Jackie, Janice, Zoe, Erin Hardee, David Aitken and Sarah Hussain without which the project wouldn't have happened.

Janice Aitken

Artist, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD)

We are extremely fortunate to work in a University where cross discipline collaboration is actively encouraged and I take advantage of the possibilities afforded by that philosophy at every opportunity. 

When Emma Compton from the School of Life Sciences Postdoctoral Association approached me to work on this project I said yes immediately.  This initially resulted in an exhibition of photographic portraits of scientists, many of which appear here. This publication and a website charting the careers of these inspirational individuals soon followed. It was a privilege and pleasure working as part of the team who created this work and I will be content if my contribution to the project can even partially reflect the intelligence, character and humour of the scientists whose stories are told in these pages. 

Jackie Malcolm

Graphic Designer, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) and Arc Visual Communications Ltd

Being involved in this project has been an exciting challenge, charting some of the most prestigious careers in science today.

It is inspiring to be able to see the various ways in which scientists, both men and women, manage to develop their careers,  whilst balancing family life. Due to the wide variety of careers pathways, this publication has been an exciting challenge and it has truly been a collaborative process working with Janice, Emma and Nicola.

I sincerely hope you enjoy being  inspired, as I have been, through its production.

Zoe Venditozzi

University of Dundee

As a writer, I’m perpetually fascinated by looking into other people’s lives, so I jumped at the chance to get to know a little bit more about the world of being a scientist. I was brought on board to interview all the participants in this project to help to differentiate between the different types of career that an early stage scientist might pursue.

Through the course of the interviews two things quickly became apparent to me. Firstly, everyone I spoke to was incredibly passionate about their work, often going above and beyond their remit. I was really struck by the levels of dedication and also perseverance necessary to make a successful career.

Secondly, I was fascinated to discover that there are so many options open to scientists. However, it seems that sometimes these options aren’t immediately obvious and that careers often develop in unexpected and surprising ways.

This project has been inspiring and eye-opening and I hope it is of use to those interested in a career in Science.