Do postdocs need leadership skills?

postdoc leaderIn the US postdocs are often “lab rats” who primarily create experimental data. In Europe, they have more management functions. They are in a sandwich position between the crazy professor and the demanding PhD students, technicians, bachelor and master students and industry partners. They need a complex set of leadership and management skills to perform well. However, at most universities there is no specific leadership training to prepare postdocs for their current management functions – although these skills are desperately needed when they become the next generation of junior group leaders in academia or industry.