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December 20, 2008

Nature's Paul Smaglik: Green Card Vs Blue Card for Graduates & PostDocs?

Paul Smaglik's writes at the Nature's News and Comment about the future of Visa's for students in US/UK. Interesting to note the appointment of Janet Napolitano, gov of Arizona for the homeland security which overseas visa granting to students, researchers and other categories.
It seems Napolitano is an advocate for changing the current H1-B requirement to the Foriegn graduate students who are studying in US Universities. If the graduate student's pass through all the security checks by the immigration or home land security during their studies, then there was no need to have an H1-B. Students need not go through a H1-B period inorder to apply for a green card, rather a green card be granted to them? sounds pretty good. 

But, will it be feasible or go through the scrutiny and approval of both parties in the senate? which is already struggling to come to a realization in this battered economic conditions with huge job loss, unemployment and outsourcing. The arguments is that this kind of initiative will move job opportunities away from Americans into the hands of foriegn born graduates?. 
The current H1-B volume is about 65K, the new home land security secretary wants to increase this number, in addition she wants to make reorganizational changes that permit graduates to get green card without H1B, it is the current thinking, will it be practical is a question?. 
UK seems to be following up on the US paths to promote similar initiatives in giving "Blue Cards"?.
Though America and UK brags about the number of foriegn born graduates and students are attracted to US and UK for further studies, in reality it is Canada and Australia are the top two destinations in the world for graduates and students, a statistical figures can be found in Paul's news piece with reference.

Published in Nature 456, 1005 (17 December 2008) | 10.1038/nj7224-1005a

Visa quotas could soon be relaxed in the United States and Europe. But will the economic downturn mitigate the potentially positive effects?

Paul Smaglik1

The battle for the US presidency has ended, but a visa storm may be brewing — and scientists could, in principle, be among the beneficiaries. Early this month, US president-elect Barack Obama nominated Arizona governor Janet Napolitano to head the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees citizenship and visas. Napolitano has been a staunch supporter of increasing the number of H1-B visas, which are used to hire foreign information-technology specialists, researchers and other highly skilled workers.

Read the full story: Click this Link.

Obama's Chief of Science Advisor?

Obama Expected To Appoint Harvard Prof. as Chief Science Adviser
Harvard professor John P. Holdren speaks at the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy presentations in Pittsburgh last year.
Published On Friday, December 19, 2008  6:18 PM 

Ph.D.s Ditch the Lab??

Last December, an article was published in "", the author of this article made a provactive but truthful topic to his news piece, "PhDs Ditch the Lab?". Almost a year passed since the following figures published,
are there any changes in PostDocs plight or PhDs plight in terms of their jobs. Are there more PhDs graduating?.One of the worst funding for science/research/medical or clinical research was spent by the outgoing anti-science Bush govt, will the new Obama's govt take note of this American Science Tragedy and do the neccessary resucitation efforts to fund the research work?.
Science grad students face grim job market—‘It’s a pyramid scheme’
Published On Thursday, December 13, 2007  2:29 AM 
As Harvard expands its Ph.D. programs in the sciences, graduates seeking jobs in academia face the bleakest employment prospects in decades. Alumni like Donald M. Prather, who left Harvard in 2005 with a Ph.D. in genetics, have been forced to seek jobs with higher pay and better prospects outside the ivory tower. 
“Ten to twenty years ago, I...would have ended up in academics,” says Prather, who instead took a job at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “But with a family—I already had one kid and another on the way—I couldn’t. Not in the current job market.” 

December 06, 2008

ITALIAN POSTDOCS Fight for their Rights & a Place in the Academic Structure?

PostDocs around the globe are stirred into a new type of consciousness about their plight, reacting to their slavery conditions in university and academic institutions they are up and ready to fight for recognition and better treatment. The first evidence for this growing level of new found consciouness started at the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) , Farmington, CT USA  through their unionization few years ago. It took a while for the impact of their unionization to make an impact and to be visible elsewhere, especially when it happens at the UC-California campus...,
... it was not so hard to feel the impact. Then came the news from one of the Canadian university where postdocs are increasingly agitated by the poor status of the postdocs and they are one step close to unionization. But, this time, the news is from Italy. The Italian Postdocs are in the street protesting and fighting to change the "death" of postdocs role in the universities?.
Reform plan enrages Italian researchers; postdocs protest attempt to make university system more flexible.
Trooping through streets alongside empty hearses, Italian postdoctoral researchers mark what they consider the death of their role in the country's universities. Others cover themselves under sheets as a symbol of their ghostly presence in the country's higher education world. They are joined by associate and ordinary professors who display unmistakable protest signs: "Good-bye, Moratti." 

Issues & Perspectives (From  

Luca Leuzzi Young Italian Scientists Take to the Streets

Luca LeuzziThere are no guarantees even for scientists who were in the process of being brought into permanent positions.

In most countries, Luca Leuzzi would be well on his way to tenure. After obtaining a Ph.D. in theoretical physics cum laude from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Leuzzi came back to his native Italy in 2002 for a 2-year postdoc at Statistical Mechanics and Complexity, a National Research Council center at the University of Rome, "La Sapienza." Leuzzi, who is 36 years old, obtained a 5-year position there (akin to a tenure-track position elsewhere) in January 2005. He was confident that, in time, he would obtain tenure.

But Leuzzi's career aspirations, along with those of many other researchers on short-term contracts in Italy, have collided with a series of new laws that will severely reduce national resources for universities and research centers, part of a larger plan to boost the country's economy.
Today, Leuzzi's prospects are "quite unclear," as he puts it. "The only thing I know is that either I'm in, or I have to leave.

November 16, 2008

PostDocs in some labs can be so horrible?

PostDocs in research labs face pierce competition because a colleague or a graduate student is working along the same problem or area in which the laboratory chief wants to get pappers published as soon as possible, if he can't publish a paper, he is not going to get a funding or a renewal fo NIH funding. Competition is via two routes, the boss creates an atmosphere so that someone can get him/her the best results or a data that can quickly generate a paper for him and the postdoc, sometime to all the members of the lab. Though ethically wrong to put names of the member of lab or outside who did not adequately contributed to a publication, it does happen and it is quite widespread, just to please a colleague, a friend or a possible grant reviewing senior member of scientific community, scientists do put their name. It all happens in a smooth and sweet manner, not a big deal ah?. No, things go wrong and such publication conspiracy's come out in the limelight, we have seen them time and again in many labs.

But, other route of competition is between a postdoc to postdoc, because they wanted to get some good papers to get a faculty job, at times, there is this unexplainable and bizare competition that graduate students pose to the postdocs, some graduate students who get so close to the boss (lab chief) just think that they are almost the boss of the lab, their activity can go farther as far as to sabotage and chase the postdoc out of labs, because lab chief's are morons in those cases, especially if there is some favoritism goes on due to gender or other factors, it can get so nasty.

Those two routes of competition add fuels to the other pathetic conditions in the research labs like long hours of working, difficulties in getting good results, insufficient data to get a paper published and inadequate pay, no or poor benefits package and blind job prospects?. These factors plus others lead them to pierce competition making some of the postdocs and graduates go mindless in sabotaging experiments, stealing, simply backstabing by telling the bosses lie about colleagues so and so forth, there is so much nasty behaviors goes on within the research labs.
Postdoc's competition is one thing to deal within the lab, the other bizzare competition is the graduate studnet who is aspiring to finish a PhD competes with PostDocs (which is actually a none-sense) but it is true, graduates students get too close to the PIs, they will stoop to any levels to do anything to manipulate laboraroty activities, I have seen this in many labs. The lab chiefs are morons, mindless in listening to such craps will screw up one or the other postdocs life or in some cases graudate students life because their favorite lab member spoken to the boss?. is a nasty place, while funding and competition to get NIH support to run the lab can make the lab chief's go nuts, in the middle of his/her own survival drama, the lab members drama can heat up so much that it will literally melt relations, links, credentials, jobs and careers........but I never heard it will even take lives (we must have heard some suicidal cases or attempted to end life in some extreme lab conditions, but the following is not only weired, it is absurd and behavior, it is just barbaric to the core, what kind of scientist is this person puts poison in drinking water of a collegue?
November 12, 2008

Serious Postdoc Weirdness

There's no denying that life as a postdoc can be stressful. The pay is relatively low, the hours are long, the long-term prospects often aren't great, and sometimes bosses--and colleagues--can be real jerks.

But the events described in this story, from a staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle (Hat tip: The Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog) are just too weird.

A postdoctoral researcher in the UCSF urology department has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly admitting that he twice tried to poison a colleague by putting laboratory chemicals in her drinking water, authorities said Tuesday.

The chemicals used by Benchun Liu, 38--a "buffering solution used to control acid"--discolored the water. The disoloration was noticed by the alleged victim, Mei Cao, who drank the water anyway. The accused then confessed to the victim that he had tried to kill her, and was arrested Monday. He is being held in the county jail without bail. Liu told police that he had been "stressed out."


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October 13, 2008

Job Posting: PhD Cell or Molecular Biologist

Ben Garvey from Candidate Seeker, Inc. is looking for a PhD level Cell or Molecular Biologist. Hope someone in this field will make use of this Opportunity available in New York area. Seems to be lucrative offer with good salary.

Here is the e-mail I recieved:

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.
I am looking for a PhD Cell or Molecular Biologist to join research group that is developing mammalian cell lines for the expression of recombinant antibodies. The ideal candidate should have at least 2 years of post doctoral experience along with a strong publication record. The qualified scientist should also be proficient in general molecular biology, cell culture, DNA cloning and flow cytometry. Practical knowledge of various mammalian protein expression systems is a plus.
This is your chance to join a top biopharm company growing at a rapid rate. Incredible career growth opportunities because we promote from within and groom for executive management. Benefits include bonuses, stock options, 401(k), Major Med, Prescription, and more. We are prepared to relocate individuals from your location.

For complete details contact Ben Garvey at
(732) 316-1911 ext 215

Or submit resume online at:

Or email to:

Education Requirements:  Bachelor Degree
Job State Location: NY
Job Country Location: USA
Salary Range: $70,000 to $95,000

If you are interested in this position or if you know anyone that might be interested, please forward this to them or contact:

Contact Name: Ben Garvey
Email to:
Apply Online at:
Call: 732.316.1911x235

Company Name: NeuroSearch

Contact address (may not be location of job):

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. NEVER provides your resume, record or profile, NOR access to your resume, record or profile, NOR your email address to any customer, advertiser, website, or other entity outside of the organization. Employers submit their job notice copy and match criteria to and only the servers at decide whether to send you a job opportunity notification. Only you the recipient, based on your interest and consequential response, can provide information to potential employers.

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Please feel free to contact the Candidate Seeker, Inc. feedback line at 609-584-5499. Do not use this number for job related questions. All job related questions should be directed to the employer by replying to contact addresses or phone numbers indicated at the end of the job description message.

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October 12, 2008

S.T.E.M. Talent 2008: A Symposium and Career Fair for Postdocs in the Capital Region

About S.T.E.M. Talent 2008: A Symposium and Career Fair for Postdocs in the Capital Region

S.T.E.M. Talent 2008: A Symposium and Career Fair for Postdocs in the Capital Region

October 16, 2008 
08:00 am – 04:00 pm 
Natcher Center at NIH, 45 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892

A conference and career fair for current postdoctoral fellows working in Washington, D.C.-area federal labs and universities, and for companies recruiting high-level STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) professionals.

This event exposes area postdoctoral fellows in the STEM fields to the many career options (e.g., government, private sector, entrepreneurship) that are available to them.

The career fair portion connects local job-seeking postdocs with companies that are looking for that level of talent.

Cost: Free for postdocs; fee for recruiting companies. Registration is required.

Event hosted by Rockville Economic Development, Inc.


Event logistics provided by Tech Council of Maryland

Sponsorships and Exhibitorships available now!
For information about how to be a Sponsor or Exhibitor for S.T.E.M. Talent 2008, please 
click here

Postdoc Registration now open!

Registration Contact
Sheree Wysocki

Event Contact
Rayna Glucksman

Silver Sponsors

  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • SRA International
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Bronze Sponsors

  • CNA Corporation
  • Federal Lab Consortium
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Battelle National Biodefense Institute, LLC
  • Illumina
  • Ventana Medical Systems

Support Sponsors

  • Henry Jackson Foundation
  • Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
  • Discovery Logic
  • Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences
  • SAIC -- Frederick
  • Nature Publishing Group
  • Schafer Corporation

Platinum Sponsors



Gold Sponsors


PostDoc CEOs?? What?
Small Business
The Washington Post

October 11, 2008

POSTDOC UNION: University of Western Ontario Postdocs Unionize

The Uconn Postdoc Unionization is reaching far beyond the US soil, last month the biggest PostDoc campus, University of California system faced the challenges of postdocs unionizing, the local labor board recognized postdocs can unionize, what a great success to PostDocs at the UC campuses. Here is another news from far away land, Canada, the western Ontario University postdocs unionized this week.

Post-doc fellows at UWO unionize
Sat, October 4, 2008

Fed up with what they say are poor working conditions, post-doctoral fellows at the University of Western Ontario have unionized.

About 250 post-doctoral fellows joined the Public Service Alliance of Canada when the Ontario Labour Relations Board certified their application on Sept. 30.

PostDoc Union in Canada? News!

National union to represent Western postdoctoral associates

By Communications Staff
Friday, October 3, 2008
One of Canada's largest unions, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), will soon be certified by the Ontario Labour Relations Board to represent the group of postdoctoral fellows employed as postdoctoral associates at The University of Western Ontario

Last February when PSAC filed its application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board to represent the union, there were 236 postdoctoral fellows, 30 of whom were classified as postdoctoral associates and employees of Western and therefore eligible to join a union. The remaining fellows are considered to be independent contractors.

Western and PSAC have also agreed to develop objective criteria to determine in future which postdoctoral fellows are employed as postdoctoral associates and which postdoctoral fellows are independent contractors.

“As employees of Western, the postdoctoral associates have exercised their right to join a union,” says Helen Connell, Associate Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs at Western. “Western's administration looks forward to having a positive working relationship with PSAC as we do with the other unions on campus.”

"PSAC has developed a solid expertise in representing workers from the academic field," said Gerry Halabecki, the PSAC Regional Executive Vice President for Ontario. "By being part of the large PSAC family, postdoctoral fellows and postdoctoral associates at Western will be in a better position to improve their working conditions."

PSAC's campaign was supported by the Postdoctoral Association at Western, which is an uncertified association that has advocated for better working conditions for postdoctoral associates and postdoctoral fellows.

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.