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December 31, 2007

WRECKED "EuroDoc"? Is it in Order or out of Order?.

Eurodoc' is a kind of an association or organization established during 2000-2001 to represent young scintists, namely postdocs and others. What is representing means (you can read all those "whatever's" in their websites...!) is to provide support system for young researchers and lab members in European countries?.
Though, the center of this eurodoc is located in Sweden!, postdocs from several european countries participate as members and board members in this organization. Eurodoc is basically a initiative emerged after noticing the preceding activities of their US counter part, the fledgling NPA (National Postdoc Association).
They both claim too highly of their organizations but the truth is otherwise (what have they done so far?). Their cliams are too high with regard to their accomplishments so far, none of the board members who started this NPA or Eurodoc is no more active, those newbie's who are the board members now and holding positions at present do not seem to have any idea about how they can be a voice to postdocs and bring changes to the existing age old policies that has too many holes and flaws, besides the current postdoc policies are less atractive to the postdocs.

In brief, postdocs all over the nation must ask for their achievements so far, from the year of establishment to now, it is almost 5-6 years, what did they do for Postdocs?. Besides, meetings, stage talks, wine and dinings, having some grants, what exactly did NPA and Eurodoc had accomplished for postdocs, what kind of benefit package they have secured for postdocs (Can they in anyway compare to the achievements of UCONN Health Center Postdocs Union Achievements?, read in this blog about UCHC Union activities, also read: A Union Contract Aimed at Preserving the Postdoc Experience Beryl Lieff BenderlyUnited States2 April 2004 ]

The following e-mail message from one of the past board member and a postdoc well wisher tell you the stories of what is going inside Eurodoc?. Is is it in order of functioning?. OR?.

Read further:

Dear Eurodoc members, old members and friends of Eurodoc,

After a long time being involved in Eurodoc I finally have to say goodbyeto Eurodoc. Actually, I have already been living in some (Far/South) EastAsian countries for year and I haven't been following Eurodoc discussionsfor one and a half years (if not more).However, since my email account at my former employer's will be terminatedon December 31st 2007 and since I haven't been able to follow Eurodocdiscussions and policies I think it is appropriate to say goodbye.

Importantly however, before I say goodbye to the organization that I havebeen actively involved in between 2000 and 2002 and later on behind thescreens I would like some attention for the efforts of the first board ofEurodoc that have never been published on Eurodoc's website, notwithstanding many promises from several of the succeeding Eurodoc boards.This first board had been elected at Eurodoc's first annual meeting inUppsala, Sweden, March 2001, and some of the members (Enrico Piazza,myself) and some others (Claire Poinsot, Sofia Murhem, James Grooves,Susanna Cebrian, Peter Kerey) had been involved in the making since 2000.

The Eurodoc board consisted of myself (president until Socratessubmission), Toni Gabaldon (vice-P, local organizer), Nils Morner(secretary until summer), Daniel Mueller-Etienne (secretary since summer),Enrico Piazza (member), Alex Lewis (member, became member/active after theSocrates submission).It was this board, elected in Uppsala, 2001, and retiring in Girona, 2002,that was responsible for the charter that you are modifying regularly. Itwas also this board that was responsible for for the first SOCRATES grantproposal which enabled us to organize the second Eurodoc meeting in Gironaand that provided the funds for the official registration. This board,starting from scratch, had to initiate and establish connections with theSocrates' granting institution (connections already having establishedsince 2000, thus before the first Eurodoc conference took place), as wellas had to publish papers to convince the SOCRATES refereeing committeethat we were active, well-determined and successful in getting attentionand worth their money.Therefore we published prior to the Socrates review in MCFA News, ScienceNext Wave, and the latter's editors also got the chief editor of Scienceconvinced to write some words about us in Science itself.Similarly, we also published in Nature to raise attention for the Gironameeting in 2002.

We also put effort in having the SOCRATES proposal submitted in time (30September 2001) in order to know the outcome (December 2001) long beforethe meeting took place in order to secure the financially less fortunateparticipants of a smooth ticket refund.We also knew from previous "Europeanizing-scientist-efforts" that thoseinitiatives fell into passivity and desinterest because the members werenot actively involved in getting results for themselves. Therefore wecontacted Science (in 2000, thus also before Uppsala) to start the ScienceNext Wave Eurodoc Exchange series that enabled every member to raiseattention for its own national cause by publishing their most importantissues together with a separate publication with suggestions of how thoseissues could be solved.Summarizing the officially retraceble records of the Eurodoc board of2001-2002 and help of indiviual members after their term are below:
1) the first SOCRATES grant that included funds for both
- the meeting in Girona
the official registration2) the Eurodoc charter3) MCFA News vol3(1) Science Next Wave: the Eurodoc Exchange series5) Science, the Editorial on October 12th, written by its editor-in-chief Don Kennedy Nature 2002 vol 415:259, Nature 2002 vol 418:178) Nature 2004 vol 427:3789) EMBO Reports 2006 vol 7:961It is true that we are not the founding board because the officialregistration took place after our term. Therefore I am not interested insemantic (or any other discussions either) about who's the founding boardor not.However, I hope you will do some justice to Eurodoc's first board and haveit listed at the Eurodoc website under the “Eurodoc-board history” sectionas well as have our publications published under the corresponding sectionof the website (“eurodoc in the press”). It would be my new years wish formy old board members.Best wishes for 2008 and good bye,Raoul Tan, Eurodoc president 2001-2002PS as stated I'm not interested in discussions, I don't have the time andI had these with several former board members already. However, you canread my private email address in the next message.

November 29, 2007

Here is a JOB Oppurtunity for someone in this field: Juicy Salary?

I recieved this following e-mail in my mail box, happened to be from one of the job site. They thought I might be a considerable fit for this job. But, unfortunately, I am not looking for one, thought someone suitable might benefit. This is a great opportunity and the salary is just juicy.

the E-mail invitation:
Your professional profile, which has on file, indicates you may have experience or know someone with experience relevant to the following position. I was hoping you might be interested or be willing to forward this email to an associate who could benefit from this opportunity.Seeking expertise in imaging modalities such at PET, MRI, CT, etc. to support oncology and clinical testing in drug research and development environment. Shall oversee and conduct hands-on analysis of imaging data, including interpretation and review of interpretation as well as develop related trial protocols and training.Candidate shall also support the strategic design, execution, and interpretation of oncology clinical development studies and participate in the development, negotiation and management of agreements with CROs, academic centers, and other vendors while establishing service level expectation.

Major pharmaceutical company with stock, pension, 401(k), fully paid family medical coverage, tuition reimbursement, travel expenses, and outstanding career opportunities! Contact Dr. Gary Shinder, M.D. at: 609-584-9000 ext 273 Or apply online at: Or email

Education Requirements: Bachelor DegreeMinimum Experience Requirements: 0-2 yearsJob Country Location: USASalary Range: $190,000 to $220,000If you are interested in this position or if you know anyone that might be interested,

please forward this to them or contact:
Contact Name: Gary Shinder, M.D.
Email to:

Apply Online at:
Call: 609.584.9000x273
Company Name: Diedre Moire Corporation, Inc.

Contact address (may not be location of job): USA
Respondents should include the latest copy of their resume.
Privacy Policy: Candidate Seeker does not mail to any address unless it is submitted on a resume through one of our websites or a partner source that clearly indicates that job notifications may be sent via email upon submission of a resume. We guarantee that any email address receiving a job opportunity notification from the Candidate Seeker system is associated with a specific contact's resume in our possession. Candidate Seeker does not use or purchase "mailing lists" from any source. NO profile submitted to is ever posted online.

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Mailed By:Candidate Seeker, Inc.510 Horizon CenterRobbinsville, NJ 08691

PostDoc Project management- Teleconference at Weill Cornell Medical college?

Please join us on Tuesday, December 4 at 3:00 PM (EST) for our First Tuesday teleconference on Project Management for Postdocs, presented by Martha L. Bruce, PhD, MPH, Professor of Sociology in Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College. Participation in First Tuesday is simple: all you need is a telephone and Internet access. Just dial 800.950.1454 no later than 3:00 PM (EST) on Tuesday, December 4.

You will be able to submit your questions live by pressing the "1" key followed by the "4" key on your telephone. Or, if you prefer, just sit in and follow along. No registration is required for calling in; however, registered users of the Web site may submit their questions in advance by clicking the link below. Additionally, registered users can also download slides 1 week before the teleconference. Click below to submit a question or to register: If you have a topic you would like discussed on a future First Tuesday, please submit it to or by clicking the link below: Please help spread the word by telling your colleagues about this upcoming event.

November 13, 2007

$70,000 Annual PostDoc at PASTEUR, Fr. Must be US Citizens! Fabulous Opportunity

Hello PostDocs in USA, I recieved this e-mail from Science (AAAS), most probably other PostDoc/Student members of AAAS might have received this e-mail too. Neverthless, for the beneffit of those who are not members and not aware of this ad, and for those who haven't seen this opportunity, here it is.
It is just a fabulous opportunity, because the fellowship is heavily funded for three years, and it is going to be in France's top most institute "the pasteur", so think about it, no ....apply and make use of this great choice.


Dear ScienceCareers Readers:
If you know U.S. citizens who might be interested in this program
or colleagues who might help promote it among Ph.D. candidates,
please assist us in getting the word out by forwarding this message
widely. We rely heavily on word-of-mouth promotion for this program.
Pasteur Foundation

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for U.S. citizens to live in Paris
and carry out a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institut Pasteur.
Candidates may apply to any one of our 140+ labs. Come to France for
a career experience that you will never forget!

Founded in 1887 by Louis Pasteur and located in the heart of Paris, the Institut Pasteur is a world-renowned private research organization. The Pasteur Foundation of New York is seeking outstanding Postdoctoral Fellowship Applicants. Candidates may apply to any laboratory within 10 departments: Cell Biology and Infection; Developmental Biology; Genomes and Genetics; Immunology; Infection and Epidemiology; Microbiology; Neuroscience; Parasitology and Mycology; Structural Biology and Chemistry; and Virology. See website for details.

Annual package is $70,000 for three years. There are multiple calls for applicants each year. See website for details and upcoming deadlines.

Please note: U.S. citizenship required. This is intended to be a first or second fellowship; candidates should be in the process of completing a Ph.D. or have received it recently. Please see website for precise eligibility requirements.

e-mail: Website:
This e-mail was sent to

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September 27, 2007


Do you know that Uconn Health center PostDoc unionization helped the postdocs to improve their postdoc experience, their life and their science better, these are the proudest postdocs in US. Here is the latest contract they have signed, and you can read the full details of the contract. It is signed by the postdocs through the local University Health Professionals (a union affiliated with AFL-CIO) and the Uconn Health center, the employer.

Ok, go ahead and compare your institute's policies, benefits and greatness with the UCONN Health Center, do your home work to find who is the best?, hope this helps lot of postdocs sitting on the fence to not know which side to jump to get some clear ideas?.

"An ambiqous mind is no better than a mind that is ceased to function"
quote by Dr.Muni, 09-26-2007




July 1, 2006 - June 30, 2010

Article 1

1.1 The State of Connecticut through the Board of
Trustees for the University of Connecticut Health Center,
Farmington, (hereinafter known as the Employer) recognizes
the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, (hereinafter
known as the Union) as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent
for the purposes of establishing salaries, hours and other
conditions of employment for the professional employees on
the regular payroll in the bargaining unit which excludes per
diem employees, University Hospital Resident Physicians and
Dentists, Graduate Assistants, Faculty, and
Managerial/Confidential Exclusions as defined in C.G.S. 5-270.

1.2 The Board of Trustees reserves its right under the
State Collective Bargaining Statute, Section 5-270 to exclude
additional positions which are or which may become managerial
during the life of this contract. Such exclusions shall be made
in accordance with the process delineated in the Memorandum
of Agreement regarding management exclusions.

1.3 The Department of Human Resources shall send
to the Union every six months a list of all individuals and their
titles who are managerial or confidential exclusions.

1.4 Whenever in this Agreement eligibility for a
benefit is premised on an employee’s having an assignment
authorization of fifty (50) percent or more (such as but not
necessarily limited to personal leave, tuition waiver, payment
for jury duty, disability insurance):

a. The employee must actually be paid the
percentage of time specified in the assignment authorization.

b. The assignment authorization must be in effect
for sixty (60) days. Therefore, an employee whose assignment
authorization is increased from below fifty (50) percent to fifty
(50) percent or more shall not be eligible for the benefit until the
assignment authorization has been in effect for sixty (60) days;
an employee whose assignment authorization is decreased, shall
not have such benefits reduced or eliminated until the reduction
has been in effect for sixty (60) days. In the case of benefits

which coincide with the calendar month, the change shall take
place on the first of the month which follows a period of 60
days or a major portion thereof.
The above does not apply to vacation, sick leave
and seniority. Sick leave and vacation shall continue to be
prorated as specified in the Agreement. Seniority shall continue
to be prorated based on assignment authorization percentage.
An employee’s previously accrued leave shall
not be increased or decreased as a result of a change in
assignment authorization; however, eligibility for leave and/or
the rate of accrual shall be modified as provided in Section 1.4.
With respect to personal leave:

a. An employee shall lose personal leave time
accrued upon a decrease of assignment authorization to below
fifty (50) percent.

b. An employee whose assignment authorization is
increased to fifty (50) percent or more shall receive pro rata
personal leave.

Article 2

a. Employees who join the Union shall pay dues
and initiation fees (if applicable) in accordance with the terms
of this Article.

b. Employees who do not join the Union shall pay
agency fees in accordance with the terms of this Article.

c. Compliance with Article 2.1a and 2.1b is a
condition of employment.

d. The Health Center may deduct contributions in
the amount specified from the gross paycheck of each person in
the unit who authorizes in writing payments to fund-raising
drives sponsored by the Health Center.

2.2 The Employer shall deduct from the biweekly
wages Union dues and initiation fee, or agency fees, as
established by the Union. Such deductions will begin no later
than the first pay period following the completion of the
employee's first thirty (30) days of employment. The initiation
fee shall be paid in five (5) consecutive biweekly installments.

2.3 An employee who fails to become a member of
the Union, or an employee whose membership is terminated for
non-payment of dues; or who resigns from membership shall be
required to pay an agency service fee under Section 2.4.

a. Employees who do not join or who terminate
their membership in the Union shall be required to pay agency
fees equivalent to and on the same basis as the applicable union
dues and initiation fees.

b. The Employer shall deduct agency fees
equivalent to and on the same basis as dues and initiation fees
from employees who do not join the Union. The Union shall
publish its procedures for reimbursing to non-members that part
of the agency fee deducted for purposes not related to collective
bargaining, contract administration and grievance adjustment.

2.5 Should an employee's status change from parttime
to full-time, or from full-time to part-time, the amount of
Union dues or agency service fee shall change accordingly.

2.6 The amount of dues or agency service fee
deducted under this Article shall be remitted to the Union as
soon as practicable after the payroll period in which the list of
employees for whom any such deduction is made. Each month
the Employer shall give to the Union a list of employees who
have paid dues or fees for that month.

2.7 No payroll deduction of dues or agency service
fee shall be made from workers’ compensation or for any
payroll period in which earnings received are insufficient to
cover the amount of deduction, nor shall deduction be made
from subsequent payrolls to cover the period in question.

2.8 The Employer shall continue its practice of
payroll deductions as authorized by employees for purposes
other than payment of union dues or agency services fees,
provided any such payroll deduction has been approved by the
Employer in advance.

2.9 The Employer agrees to furnish the Union each
month with the names of newly hired employees.
a. Reports and computer runs developed
specifically for the Union will be furnished at the going rate.

2.10 Union dues shall not be deducted for any other
employee organization.

2.11 The Employer shall deduct contributions in the
amount specified from the gross paycheck of each person in the
unit who authorizes contributions to the Union's Political Action
Fund. The Union will hold the Health Center harmless and
indemnify it from any claims, actions or proceedings resulting
from this deduction.

2.12 The Employer assumes no obligation, financial
or otherwise, arising out of the provisions of this Article, and
the Union hereby agrees that it will indemnify and hold the
Employer harmless from any claims, actions or proceedings
hereunder. Once the funds are remitted to the Union, their
disposition thereafter shall be the sole and exclusive obligation
and responsibility of the Union.

Article 3

3.1 The provisions of this Agreement shall be
applied equally to all employees in the bargaining unit without
discrimination as to age, sex, marital status, race, color,
religious creed, national origin, sexual orientation, physical
handicap unrelated to job performance, or membership or
participation in any employee organization, or any other
characteristic protected by law.

3.2 All references to employees in
Read the full contract details at the above or following link:

Uconn Health center:
University Health Professionals:

September 15, 2007

Why I like Union?:-

Leslie Madsen Brooks writes about union and how she is such a strong pro-union person...!

Before I get to the teachers' union news, you should know: I grew up in a union family and I'm unabashedly pro-union. Here's why: Mom and Dad were each members of at least three unions: the national, state, and local teachers' unions. They walked the picket lines and Dad even appeared in the newspaper chanting at a school board meeting. During the tenures of California governors George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson, we experienced some lean, if not uncomfortable, times in our household. Mom and Dad argued frequently about money, and I learned the importance of having a strong union and group of negotiators to maintain our household and our annual modest camping trips around California and neighboring states.

The Under Represented Woman in Academina: Postdocs and Woman issues!

Kendall Powell of writes about how badly woman are represented in the academia in this July 4th special report.

Special Report
NaturejobsPublished online: 4 July 2007; doi:10.1038/nj7149-098a
Beyond the glass ceiling
Women and under-represented minorities are earning historically high numbers of science doctorates in the United States. So why aren't they making it to the professorial ranks? Kendall Powell investigates.
Kendall Powell

If academia is to offer varied role models and perspectives for a diverse population of students, it must become more welcoming to women and ethnic minorities, leaders of diversity efforts say. Industry has already learned the value of diversity. In a 2003 amicus brief in support of the University of Michigan's affirmative-action admissions policies, 65 Fortune 500 firms argued that efforts to increase diversity improve innovation, productivity and global competition.Women and minorities suffer from the effects of isolation once they enter the upper ranks of academia. Both groups perceive academia as an unfriendly environment, and both suffer from an implicit bias against them in the hiring process.For women, the clash of their biological clock with the tenure clock, along with the effort of balancing work and family duties, is a huge barrier to advancing up the academic ladder. For minorities, financial and geographical constraints make academia a less attractive choice than industry. Attempts to remove barriers and to mend holes in the pipeline have met with mixed success.

Biological News-EVO -Karma, a POSTDOC BLOGGER!

The life of a postdoc.
Being a can be bloody hard. Not knwoing what will be next andwhether there will even be a next job is probably the most depressingthing. Funding is never easily obtained even though postdocs are thebackbone of research these days. It seems that the number of PhDscontinues to increase, whereas the faculty positions for us to go intohave not. link
I think that a revolution in the way academia is run is desperatly needed.First, I would suggest that some security is provided to postdocs, bythat I mean a salary provided by the government so that postdocs cancontinue working until they are awarded a grant or fellowship. Thiswould save us from claiming unemployment and at the same time give usthe financial support we need to continue our work.

All about the good, the bad and the ugly things in life but mainly stuff about evolution, diversity of life, life forms and morphogenesis, phylogenies, trees and insects. Lots of biological news and comments. Cool discoveries of new species etc...

Blogger NOMoreMalletrivia Writes about Postdocs Plight?



Postdocs are highly-trained professionals ...
Highly trained at avoiding the real world, that is, at least according to a report on a series of reports about postdocs that I just read. As I've said before, I just don't get why people would be content to spend 5+ extra years in school beyond their undergrad degree to get a PhD, start a postdoc appointment at about $38K/year [on average], stay a postdoc for 5 years [on average] and then have a 15% chance of getting a tenure-track faculty position. And, despite these dismal stats, over a third of postdocs are apparently "pretty set" on their plan of working in a research university.Are all these people wearing rose-tinted, high-optimism-inducing, reality-distorting glasses ? It seems like they're victims of some form of brainwashing that induced the unshakeable belief that the only pleasant work environment is in academia, or that you can only do good science in academia, or that only second-rate people end up in industry, or a bunch of other similarly nonensical ideas.Sure seems like a lot of these postdocs are scientists capable of considering alternative hypotheses, except when it comes to important things, like their own lives ...

May 09, 2007

POSTDOCS Can Make lots of Difference in Society too!! Are you PostDocs listening?

Postdocs touch hearts, minds in Uganda:
Biologists make a difference with book collecting quest for needy children
By Dave Jones, February 2, 2007
There is more to Africa than monkeys and butterflies and rain forests. So, if you are a post-doctoral researcher there for months at a time, what else might you do?
How about taking on a community service project?

For UC Davis biologists Freerk Molleman and Malgorzata "Gosia" Arlet, that means setting up libraries and supporting a preschool, among other education efforts.
Soon Molleman and Arlet, who are married to each other, will be off on their second journey to western Uganda since becoming postdocs at UC Davis in May 2005. They do their research in Kibale National Park.

PostDoc News & This Blog "PostDoc World"?

Immmmm...It has been three months since I updated or posted "postdoc" news. Instead of delving into the reason why? ofcourse hectic work schedules and other committments is one of the main reason, but I always did catch upon the happenings and brought them here immediately. I believe there is little lull on the postdoc world, not much is happening at the moment or whatever?.

But, today I was browsing the web for postdoc events, something caught my eyes. The salary issue in the UCLA system. It seems the UC system passed a resolution to follow upon the NIH Scales for PostDocs, good news but is in't too slow a change?. We did this four years ago at the UCONN Health Center and three years since the postdocs got their increased salary. Anyways, it is still a good news for those UCLA postdocs, not sure what the postdocs in other university and campuses are doing about their salary. Better get these basic needs straightened up during this momentum, or else you will be lagging behind others and slogging your life away for pennies.

Here is the UCLA news:
UC-wide Postdoc Salary Minimums to Increase (effective Oct 1st, 2007).
Submitted by ajzz on April 27, 2007 - 5:17pm.

Dear Colleagues,
The UC system has finally passed a resolution to base its postdoctoral salary minimums on the NIH rate. This much awaited change will be phased in over the next two years. Please see the attached message from the Vice Chancellor for details.

Ajay Gopal
President, SoPS____________________________________________________________________
UCLA Graduate Division------------------------------------Office of the Vice Chancellor &

Dear Department Chairs and Principal Investigators:
I am writing to inform you of the University's recent decision to augment the minimum salary scales for Postdoctoral Scholars to matchthe minimum levels supported by NIH. The annual salary ratescurrently range from $32,304 to $78,372. They will be increased according to the following schedule:

October 1, 2007: increase to $33,000
October 1, 2008: increase to $35,500
October 1, 2009: increase to $37,000 or
the annual level of the NIHNRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship and Training Grants,
whichever ishigher.

At UCLA, while many of the Postdoctoral Scholars are already beyond these levels, we still have a substantial portion for whom this will represent an enhanced level of support. Your cooperation inimplementing these changes will be appreciated.

Claudia Mitchell-Kernan
Vice Chancellor Graduate Studies
Dean Graduate Division

Good Job folks!.

March 01, 2007

to transform the brain-drain of scientists into 'brain circulation'

If you are a regular reader of science funding and the way science is done in several countries around the world, your first instinct will be the lack of proper funding and lack of interest to support science by the recent governments, Europe will be top in the list just next to our great US government?. Europe used to be a good place for science research some years ago, but in the last decade or a couple of decate, the european science took a dive down the path of nobility, not due to lack of enough good scientists, but because of the lack of sufficient governmental funding and policies (except few european nations). So, Whatever is going on in European Science can be mainly attributed by the Way science is funded in these nations, drove the young and good scientists out of Europe to US and other places, but US is not any better in the past several years in terms of funding, the worst funding for scientific research happened in the current and previous government, it is not getting any better.
So, the funding slowed the research progress in Europe, finaly some serious heads with some brains intact yet are making better policies to recreate european science to be valued?. Will it get any better, time will answer. While the Europe and US governments are not science friendly, funding for science in Japan and Australia is much better and so their science too!. Other countries like China, Singapore and Taiwan seems to be focusing on better funding and improving the science, as far as science funding of US concerned, Japan's funding abilities and interests in science and technology is better than USA.

Here is a very insightful article on European Science funding aimed to bring back the scientists to european countries?
Europe's Brain Gain
Gunjan Sinha
United States, 2 March 2007
A glimpse at the numbers and one can understand why Europe's scientists migrate toward richer pastures. European countries spend far less than the United States and some Asian countries on research and development—widening the innovation gap. Two years ago, the EU's statistical office Eurostat showed that government and industry invested only 1.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on research and development in 2004—significantly less than Japan at 3.18 percent and the United States at 2.66 percent.
The bad news, however, has instigated change. Late last year, legislators firmed their commitment to the Lisbon strategy of 2000, which set a goal to transform the EU into a competitive knowledge-based economy. The European Council approved the 7th Framework Programme (FP7)—the EU's chief instrument for funding science and technology research from 2007 through 2013.

February 21, 2007

February 17, 2007

Life of a Lab Rat- an Australian Blogger writes about PostDocs!

Life of a Lab Rat is an interesting blog by Black Knight from Australia, the following article is about PostDocs, hope to see more postdoc articles from this Lab Rat.

Life of a Lab Rat
by Black Knight
It is quite easy in this business to get disillusioned when you look around and see that, for example, the NIH only funds about 10% of RO1 grants and there is no career structure to speak of for postdocs. You begin to wonder if you are any good at all, especially when you reach a certain age and find that you are really enjoying the bench work but seem to have no luck at finding a real job.

February 15, 2007

Talk about Benefits to Postdocs/ in Academia?

One of the Worst Practice at work is to keep away the postdocs or young scientists (also the graduate students)from benefits, which otherwise would provide a better protection to those poor souls. Employers do not realy care or make provisions on this issue, so, postdocs in general are kept out of this benefit issue for several reasons, except some exceptions, majority of the postdocs do not get benefits?. Nothing happening here in US in this area, but in Europe and other places it is different, look at the caption in this pic?.
I like this pic (from Feb 2 science issue)

Combat Global Warming- 3 Billion & 25 Million Prize?.

A $25 million V-prize
Posted by Brendan Maher

Virgin's millions are up for grabs. What's a biologist to do?
Tycoon Richard Branson offered another $25 million to combat global warming (he pledged $3 billion in September). This time he's taking a page from X-prize folks, offering the money as a prize for the best design of a plan for removing "significant volumes of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases.” Although the official rules are a bit hazy on what a "significant amount" means (they are far less hazy on publicity rights and several other items), reports are generalizing the target to a billion tons or more yearly. Enrollment is open for three years, after which entries will be judged by none other than Al Gore. It will be interesting to see what comes of this. And I for one would like to see some imaginative biologists take this. So far, engineered algal blooms and genetically modified trees designed to sequester carbon in their roots are interesting, but I don’t think they're going to tip the scales at a billion tons a year. What's your idea?

Good cause and excellent initiative, thanks to both Branson and our Ex VP Al Gore.

Interesting PostDoc Article- in "The Scientist"

This article is a refreshment of some figures?: Some statistics about increase in the number postdocs over the past years, decrease in number of academic jobs and funding status is a stark remainder of the "Poor State of Academia" today, here is the link:
The comments by readers are thought provoking that can provide more insights about the actual postdoc reality.

January 25, 2007

PostDocs & Mentoring:- Association of American Medical Colleges

The Association of American Medical colleges (AAMS) is making efforts to create a positive atmosphere to discuss postdoc issues by creating a "Compact", I am not sure the details of what is this compact means, as I have not read the details, but from the post in their website as well as from an article appeared in Nature by Paul Smaglik, naturejobs editor, the compact is an initiative for a nationwide discussion on postdoc and mentoring issues. Mainly aimed to improve the postdocs plight?. We have to wait and see how effective an initiative and their service to the postdocs and mentors?. In any case, such efforts need to be encouraged and appreciated, a good move.

Jan25, 2007
Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors
The Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors is intended to initiate discussions at the local and national levels about the postdoctoral appointee-mentor relationship and the commitments necessary for a high quality postdoctoral training experience. The Compact was drafted by the AAMC Group on Graduate Research, Education, and Training (GREAT) and its Postdoctorate Committee, and it is modeled on the AAMC Compact Between Resident Physicians and Their Teachers.

Jan 25, 2007,
Paul Smaglik's article in
A better deal for postdocs and their mentors?
The Association of American Medical Colleges last month approved a document that, if it becomes more widely adopted, could revolutionize postdoctoral training. The association's Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors ( is powerful because it gives both parties clear responsibilities and sets clear expectations for each side. It tells postdocs to take primary responsibility for their career development. It states that their research project should be developed with their mentor, and that this should have clearly defined goals and timelines, all of which, ideally, should be agreed at the time the postdoc appointment is made. It asks postdocs to follow good research practices, to adhere to ethical standards and to treat their colleagues with respect. It also challenges them to assume more responsibility as their project progresses and puts the onus on them to request formal performance reviews. And, finally, it charges them to seek professional development activities outside the lab, both in terms of scientific and career development.

PhDs & Changing trends in Job Market?

sPostDocs and the changing job market, an article by Paul Smaglik, the Nature jobs Editor provides some hints about changing trends in career for PhDs.

Demand for PhDs is uncertain in a changing market.
Paul Smaglik
"For recent graduates who are struggling to beat hundreds of other applicants to claim a full-time post, the answer is fairly obvious. But for those in industry who are trawling this sea of talent, the issue is less clear cut. Many recruiters say that they are unable to find the skills they require in the traditional marketplace. Depending on your level of cynicism, this is either an honest assessment or an apologia for outsourcing farther afield".

January 18, 2007

An Old Rant but still relevant?

A landmark report in 2000 revealed the poor state of postdoc pay in the United States.
This work force is highly skilled and consists of some of the best and brightest minds in the country. They exist in the amorphous state between finishing their PhD. and finding a permanent academic position. This group needs to be treated better. While nature is lauding the increase in pay, it is still at the bottom scale of what a manager at a Wal Mart or McDonalds would make. And McDonald's mangers get benefits. Clearly there is going to be erosion if this is not taken care of.
Postdocs number about 50,000 and they are the engine that drives much of the research in leading journals. So why is pay so low? Because there are too many of them. The dirty little secret of science is that we train far too many PhDs than we need in academia or industry. When supply is high, salaries are low. So why are so many students pursuing PhDs? Because research labs need graduate students to do their work. In my opinion, it would be better for all if we had more technicians and fewer graduate students. Of course that would cost more money, these employees would want to have a life outside of their research, benefits, etc.


Washington Watch: PostDoc World

Are New Scientists Prepared for the Real World?
January 2007
Natalie Dawson
Postdoctoral researchers are an essential part of the scientific community, yet their status in the academic community often fails to reflect their significant role in advancing the nation’s scientific research programs. Postdoctoral scholars often spend long periods of time in academic appointments that give them little opportunity for career development, training, and research independence, they assert. Several recent reports corroborating their claims, the federal government’s pledge to secure US scientific competitiveness, and the formation of groups like the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) have alerted funding agencies to the postdoc issue and spurred efforts in some circles to revitalize the postdoctoral research experience. THIS IS AN EFFORT TO EDUCATE, UNITE AND VOICE FOR THE POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS/POSTDOCS IN USA. ALL TEH POSTDOCS AND POSTDOC WELLWISHERS ARE WELLCOME TO CONTRIBUTE AND POST YOUR MESSAE HERE. GOOD LUCK, GOD BLESS POSTDOCS

Featured Post

Univerisity of Washington PostDocs Forming Union- Latest University PostDocs to Unionize!

University of Washington, yet another top notch higher education/research institute known for an impressive history and record setting, rig...

UNION yes!!!

UNION yes!!!
Hello Grads-Say Yes to Union!

Here is the PostDoc Wheel of PRO/UAW, this is like the Wheel of Dhamma of Lord Buddha's that is a symbol of justice and liberation. The latest news from PRO/UAW is very promising to the 5000 or more postdocs in different campuses of University of California System.

The Union for Postdoctoral Researchers at the University of California
PRO/UAW is the Union for over 5,000 Postdoctoral Researchers at the University of California. By signing up a majority of Postdocs, we can exercise our legal rights to bargain with UC. Postdoc representatives we choose will survey us to determine priorities and will then negotiate a contract with UC. We can negotiate for improvements in wages, hours, benefits, and terms and conditions of employment. Postdocs will then have an opportunity to democractically approve the agreement that UC and our bargaining team reach, before it becomes a binding contract.