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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.

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.