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For optimal success in rigorous academic settings, however, a post-doctoral fellowship is advisable after completion of the PhD. During the post-doctoral fellowship, the graduate would complete the process of publishing their dissertation research and work as a full-time researcher with a faculty mentor (typically not their dissertation adviser). The objective of the postdoctoral fellowship is to provide the graduate time to develop a line of independent investigation to launch their career so that upon accepting a faculty position, the graduate's area of scholarship is defined and the individual is well on their way to securing substantial extramural funding to launch an original research program.
Graduates will have developed extensive skills as teachers while in the program, also preparing them to succeed in this demanding aspect of the academic career. With this combination of pedagogical skill and investigational accomplishment, graduates of this program can expect to be highly sought by the nation's top programs in their discipline. Other potential career paths would be leadership positions in professional organizations, scientific societies, or granting agencies.