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Postdoctoral positions are temporary full-time positions typically taken between completion of a PhD and the start of a permanent position. Postdocs are expected to move for short-term positions which can often be problematic for early-career researchers, especially those from under-represented groups in STEM. However, the proliferation of computational research has changed how scientists can conduct science, opening the door to postdoctoral work being conducted remotely. Research activities primarily involving quantitative analysis, modeling, writing, and data collection can take place anywhere and therefore can all be conducted on a remote or semi-remote basis. We offer 10 simple rules for overcoming challenges and leveraging the unique opportunities presented by remote postdoc positions, derived from our experiences as either remote postdocs or the PIs who have mentored them. We believe that not only will these suggestions increase the desirability of remote postdoc positions whenever they are feasible, but that they also contain good practices for facilitating better communication both within labs more generally and in other long-distance collaborations.
Here, we present advice to both principal investigators and postdocs for successfully navigating a remote position within a research lab. Using the combined experience of the authors, who have either been remote postdocs or have employed remote postdocs, we provide a road map with real-world examples to overcome the real (and perceived) obstacles associated with remote work.
This manuscript will be submitted to PLoS Computational Biology for peer-review upon publication of this pre-print.