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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

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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.