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Showing posts from 2009

Science Blogging in London?: If you are in London, this is a great chance for networking for PostDocs!

Science Blogging 2008: London forum: topicThis is a public forum Join this forumConference Programme Matt Brown Tuesday, 01 July 2008 09:33 UTCSaturday 30 August at the Royal InstitutionPlease find below the official programme. We will update this first post if any changes are introduced, so this information will always be up to date. 8:30 – 9:45 Coffee/Breakfast; Proposal of unconference sessions9:45 – 10:00 Opening remarks Naomi Temple, Royal Institution; Matt Brown/Corie Lok, Nature Network10:00 – 10:30 Keynote: Ben Goldacre
(title to be confirmed)10:30 – 11:30 Panel: The scientific life, exposed.
Jenny Rohn, Grrl Scientist, Anna Kushnir. Moderated by Mo Costandi.Mistrust of scientists is common, and misinterpretation of scientific results rampant. Science blogs can serve as a bridge between scientists and the general public. Blogs build a community of scientists in which they can discuss the peculiarities of their jobs, their work, and their results. More than that, science blogs have…

Deans of Universities:- Why are they Scared about PostDoc Unions!!??

Deans advice research universities of more PostDoc Unions, as per the following report published in higher ed newsletter. Are these Deans are scared now of loosing powers!?. If universities and the Chairman/CEO's, Heads of Depts and Deans of the Student/PostDoc affairs did their duties right and took responsiblities of helping and uplifting PostDocs from their poor plights, PostDocs would have been satisfied with the efforts of the administration, they did not have to look for help elsewhere, but the reality suggests otherwise. However, they failed so far in restructuring academic handling of postdocs, Postdocs finaly end up finding better approach to this problem by seeking Unions Help.

Hello Deans, I have a question for you?. why are you so afraid?.
Why these people paint a bad picture of Union by twisting the truths about
the good principles of unions.
Do you know that Unions do not bother the faculties about hiring a PostDoc or to relieve a PostDoc from jobs, but Unions want the f…

PostDocs and Retirement- What?: Yes, an Internationally portable Retirement from EMBO!

Postdocs and Retirment is an odd combination, it doesn't
go well with postdocs. Over the past decades, the wested interests and
bigots in academic/instituitional circles created and placed various policies in place to keep the postdoc out of "employee's" tag?.
Oh yea, if you are not an employee, you will not be considered for retirement benefits?. Wait, if you are a PostDoc, you are neither an employee nor a student but you are a decorated "fellow" "trainee", kind of an apprentice. You spent about 30 years going thro college, higher ed and doctoral training, half of your life in the school and lab is not just enough folks!?.Anyways, unionization of postdocs in US and Canadian universities is changing these redundant policies and practices in the academic circles besides some universties voluntarily realizing these limitations and are changing policies. At this juncture, I read the following news, it sounds like one of the great music to my ears. Yes…

UC PostDoc Union Bargaining Updates, Moving Forward!

PRO/UAW site provides all the past and ongoing bargaining updates periodically, do check the site here. The latest of the update was published on Oct 9, 2009. They are making great progress, as per this update you will notice that they have bargained on various priority fronts and only few more to be dealt with and to the most part they are doing good, with the economy doing so terrible, they were able to move forward and almost set a baseline salary for PostDocs at 37.4K, a much better salary than it was though this not the best?.... Look at Uconn Health Center negotiated salary and benefits.PRO/UAW Bargaining UpdateOctober 9, 2009Dear PRO/UAW Postdocs,We have just completed four more days of bargaining with UC administrators. We reached agreement on several important articles that will significantly improve Postdoc working conditions—Leaves, Paid Time Off, Union Rights, Union Security and Work-Incurred Illness and Injury. Major improvements in these articles include winning the righ…

Rutgers University PostDocs, the Union is Official now?

Alright, just couple of weeks ago, I posted the news
about Rutgers PostDocs are on their way to Unionize, now they made it official, it has happened on July 20, 2009.
Congratulations to Rutgers "PostDocs"!

Rutgers PostDoc Union Press Release:
July 20, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Nat T. Bender, 908/377‐0393 (cell)
State Certifies Union for Rutgers Post‐Doctoral Associates and Fellows
Only Third Group of Post‐Docs in Nation To Vote for Union Representation
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.—The New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission today certified the vote of nearly 350 post‐doctoral associates and fellows to be represented by Rutgers Council of AAUP Chapters‐AFT, the union that represents more than 5,000 faculty and graduate employees at Rutgers University. This is only the third group of post‐docs in the country to vote for union representation.
Rutgers Postdocs Form Union
It's not news that higher education is staffing its academic and research endeavors o…

Collins selection to lead NIH by Obama's Administration is Disastrous to Scientific and Medical research

Collins as per the following news from The
Scientist was nominated to lead NIH by the Obama Administration, there can't be
any disastrous selection than Collins, he is a fake scientist who believes in
God, may be Obama realized that the whole of scientific research and medical
developments are meaningless and useless that God is responsible for everything,
so he is ready to put an Evangelical procrastinator to lead the American
Scientific research. NIH and scientific research has already been suffered from
inadequate funding and mediocre research outputs due to Bush administrations do
not care for science attitudes, now, to continue the same path, and evangelical
scientist is sought out to run NIH.......doomed!.
The news:- Collins tapped to lead NIH Posted by Bob Grant[Entry posted at 8th July 2009 07:50 PM GMT] Francis Collins
Image: Wikipedia Comment on this news story
The Obama administration has nominated geneticist Francis Collins to take the helm of the National Institutes of…

PostDocs, Comic Strip and Dr.Prasher, Exploiting PostDocs!

Jason Hoyt's blog article at "Mendeley Blog" is a timely
advice to PostDocs to not wait too long for things to change. There is even a comic
strip site that makes fun of the plights of PostDocs in science besides taking a joke at soon to be PhD holders, the graduate students. The story of Dr.Prasher, who supposed to win Nobel in Chemistry lost funding and works in a car dealership is plainly an agonizing fact postdocs should realize the treachery in their paths, infact it is not an exaggeration in Hyot's writing when I read, is PostDoctoral fellowship are a grand scale Ponzi Scheme?. Perhaps one day, his word might be proved right about the PostDoc Ponzi scheme glorified by the Universities and PIs of Labs.

Read the full article, it is an interesting and insightful news for PostDocs and advocates for Postdocs.
Are there too many PhDs? 10 Comments » Ever hear of Douglas Prasher? Probably not. He just missed out on this past year’s Nobel in chemistry. That’s not unusual, as…

Labour Union significant for Postdoctoral Research

David Hasemyer writes about UC postdoc unionization
and highlights why labour unions are significant to PostDoc
UC labor union significant for postdoctoral research
By David

Union-Tribune Staff Writer
2:00 a.m. July 6,
Postdoctoral scholars in the University of California system have unionized, marking a significant shift in how the researchers' work is viewed and providing a possible model for counterparts nationwide. As much as graduate student instructors and others worked to do years ago, the scholars now can bargain for wages and health care benefits and negotiate the recognition
they get for their academic contributions.
Although representation will give them more control over their role in the world of
high-powered academics – a right some say they've been denied by professors or mentors – they don't have a contract that defines their function or sets their benefits.
The scholars and university officials have worked on a contract for five months, and both
sides rep…

HHMI, a Leader in Scientific and Medical Research Extends Support to PostDocs!

HMMI is one of the well known and reputed scientific research institutions in US, campuses like Janelia of HMMI is a state of the art place in every aspect for young scientists, now HHMI extends it's support for more postdocs (60 plus PostDocs and 5 million for three years!) in affiliated research centers. Good work HHMI.

This linkJune 16, 2009
HHMI Expands Support of Postdoctoral Scientists June 16, 2009
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced today that it is expanding collaborations with the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund, the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, and the Life Sciences Research Foundation in order to increase support for outstanding postdoctoral researchers. HHMI will now provide each organization with support for eight postdoctoral fellows a year – double the current number – and expand the reach of the program. Fellows will be selected competitively by each organization. Each fellowship will have a three-…

First UCONN Health Center, then UC Campuses and now it is Rutgers turn to Unionize!!..

Rutgers Postdocs We need a unionThis image is from the Rutgers website:

First UCONN Health Center, then it was UC Campuses and now, it is the Rutgers turn to Unionization of is just the beginning of fruition of what UCONN PostDocs did few years ago...............!
The latest news among the PostDocs Union activity is released by the Rutgers AAUP/AFT. It was not in the news at all prior to this one, as my blog follows all the postdoc unionization activity in US and around the globe, I was bit surprised to see an advanced stage of unionization already in progress at Rutgers University, it is a great news!. I wish the Rutgers PostDoc all success and great benefits from their struggle to get better recognition...!
Postdocs voted in favor of unionization with AFT Rutgers, AAUP-AFT. Working together with great solidarity in a timely fashion, we have been able to file our petition for union representation with the New Jersey Public …

The Struggle for Success in Academia for Asian Americans?

This special feature is brought to you by the AAAS/Science Business Office Career Advice Breaking Through the "Bamboo Ceiling" for Asian American ScientistsBy Jacqueline RuttimannMay 29, 2009 In academia and federal institutes, Asian Americans encounter what some call a "bamboo ceiling," similar to what female scientists faced 30 years ago.About 20 years ago Alice, a virologist, was up for a position as university president. She was one of three possible candidates. But during her interview things started to go a bit sour when the committee persistently asked her what she would be willing to give up should she be given the job. Sensing this, she told them point blank, "I don't think I'll get this job because of how I look." The committee members all grew silent.

Research Assistants Join Union, SUNY?

Research assistants join a union
Karen Kaplan
New York sees a rare feat.
Research assistants at the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (SUNY) in Stony Brook have decided to unionize — the latest development in ongoing unionization battles at US universities. Nearly all who voted last month to join the Communication Workers of America (CWA) are working in science, says Matthew Engel, a Stony Brook research assistant who campaigned for union representation. Frustrated by issues such as fees and job insecurity, they are seeking benefits comparable to those received by teaching assistants.

University of California, PostDoc Union Negotiation initiated?

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PUBLIC NOTICE The University of California (UC), and the International Union, Unit0.o Automobils, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers or America (UAW), will be meeting to begin the initial stages of collective bargaining in 2009. It will cover about 5,500 Postdoctoral Sr:holar employees. Systemwide bargaining may begin following completion of the public notice mf'f'tings scheduled below.