Postdoctoral destination decisions: Advice from Asian-born, western-trained bioscientists

Anju Mary Paul

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Postdoctoral training is now essential for an academic career in the life sciences. As Asian research universities invest in improving their infrastructure and funding, Asian-born aspiring bioscientists now have a destination choice to make between the West and Asia for their postdoctoral training. This chapter highlights the role played by Asia-based scientists (many of whom are returned migrants from the West) in mediating their students’ understanding of the relative merits of these different destination options. Interviews with eighty-two Asian-born, Western-trained bioscientists who have since returned to Asia to work in Singapore, India, China, or Taiwan, reveal that these scientists still recommend postdoctoral training in the West, though they increasingly recommend doctoral training in Asia, leading to hybrid training pathways. These findings demonstrate the ongoing (though narrowing) gap between Western and Asian scientific research structures, particularly in terms of status, networking opportunities, and research cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHigh-Skilled Migration
Subtitle of host publicationDrivers and Policies
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780198815273
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Academic mobility
  • Asia
  • Bioscience
  • Destination decision
  • Doctoral training
  • Network effect
  • Postdoctoral training
  • Professors
  • Scientists
  • Us

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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