Almost everyone has heard or knows what a Ph.D. is, but the term postdoctoral may sound strange to most people. Ph.D. is popularly known and viewed as the highest academic degree obtainable in any institution of learning.
This article will serve as an eye opener to explain what a postdoctoral study is all about, as well as their differences from Ph.D. studies. However, the key point to note is that both postdoctoral and PhD students only advance their studies after carrying out theoretical research, and have independently contributed their findings to the academic society or industries.
The next stage on the academic ladder after completing a Philosophiae Doctor (Ph.D.) program or doctoral research is the postdoctoral level.
Ph.D. graduates who embark on postdoctoral studies will be opportune to practice all they’ve learned within the academic walls or in industries related to their field of studies. A postdoctoral student is also known as postdoctoral researcher, postdoc or postdoctoral fellow.
People who embark on this phase of studies are not entirely students since they’ve already acquired the pinnacle of an academic degree (PhD). They are however vested with teaching, mentoring, training, and supervising authorities alongside their learning and research activities.
The purpose of a postdoctoral study is to carry out extensive research while working with a large research group. Postdoctoral students carry out their research studies under supervision and they can also serve as instructors to academic students or organizational staff.
Ph.D. is the highest academic level anyone can attain. People with PhD certifications are acknowledged by the honorary title “Doctor.” This does not imply a medical practitioner who saves lives, but someone who has carried out a series of research works, and has made a notable contribution to the academic society.
Differences Between a Postdoctoral And PhD
The difference between Ph.D. and postdoctoral studies is clear in terms of their academic structure, aims, and objectives. You can note some differences within the following key areas:
Ph.D. students carry out research programs under the supervision of Professors in their area of study. On the contrary, postdoctoral students carry out research under little or no supervision, and they are usually entrusted with the responsibility of guiding other students’ research work.
Ph.D. students get funded through loans, bursaries, and scholarships. Meanwhile, postdoctoral students get funded through wages, fellowships, on-the-job training, or supervising other people’s research work.
PhD Students must defend their research work, thesis writing, and the process used to analyze their research before they are awarded a certificate. On the contrary, postdoctoral students are issued certificates upon the completion of their program without any further review of their work.
Ph.D. students receive certification from their University after the completion of their research work. Meanwhile, postdoctoral students receive certification after completion of their temporary work tenure.
PhD students learn research processes while postdoctoral researchers act as a guide to people taking on Msc or Phd programs.
In conclusion, taking on postdoctoral studies is not more significant when compared with a Ph.D. program. Both programs are centered on research development, thesis writing, etc. However postdoctoral students get paid for studying and supervising research projects, and they are not mandated to defend their research work before they receive certification.