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July 24, 2009

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 on the backs of a growing corps of contingent workers. But one group we hear little about is postdoctoral fellows. These are academic workers who, to advance their careers-and oftentimes in lieu of tenure-track job offers-jump onto research projects where they can trade their diligence and lab or research skills for pay a step above the stipends they received in grad school and little in the way of benefits. And in a tough job market, they can find themselves lingering in limbo for much longer than they intended.

July 21, 2009, 09:00 AM ET
Union of Postdoctoral Associates and Fellows Is Certified at Rutgers U.

By Audrey Williams June
A union for postdoctoral associates and fellows at Rutgers University recently got the stamp of approval it needed to begin negotiating a contract with the institution.The New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission certified the vote of almost 350 people who make up the third group of postdocs in the nation to form a union. They will be represented by the Rutgers Council of AAUP Chapters-American Federation of Teachers. The other two postdoc unions are at the University of Connecticut and the University of California.

July 23, 2009
Rutgers University Postdocs Form a Union
Three hundred and fifty postdocs at Rutgers University in New Jersey have voted to form a union, becoming the third group of postdocs in the United States to unionize. They will join the Rutgers Council of American Association of University Professors (AAUP)-American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which represents more than 5,000 faculty and graduate employees at Rutgers University.

July 24, 2009
Rutgers Postdocs Form Labor Union
Our colleagues at ScienceInsider yesterday posted news about the 350 postdoctoral fellows at Rutgers University voting to form a union, a vote certified on Tuesday by New Jersey's public employment relation's commission. The postdocs' union will join a labor council on the Rutgers campus that includes the American Association of University Professors and the American Federation of Teachers, which already represent faculty and graduate staff.

July 14, 2009

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:-
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 Health.

Collins, who led the US government's push to sequence the human genome as head of the National Human Genome Research Institute in the 1990s, previously told The Scientist that he believes science should play a prominent role in policy making. "I would hope that there would be a strong and suggestive voice for science in the room, at the table," Collins said last May.

July 08, 2009

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.

Ever hear of Douglas Prasher? Probably not. He just missed out on this past year’s Nobel in chemistry. That’s not unusual, as many scientists never even come close to a Nobel. What is unusual, is that Dr. Prasher works at a car dealership, not in a lab. Despite doing the critical research on discovering GFP that became the work for last year’s Nobel Prize, he was unable to find grant money and a job to continue his work.

Prasher’s story is what concerns me with science, engineering, math, and technology. In the U.S., we are constantly hearing about how the country is falling behind in science. We need more scientists to fill all of those jobs we want to create. And the cure to that is to fund more PhD programs! Yet, when you ask graduate students and postdoctoral scholars what their individual experiences are, a science career is a very tough road with low pay and few career prospects. It’s such a tough path that an entire PhD comic strip was born to alleviate the situation with laughter. Why then, is there such a disconnect?

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 report some progress, but also some contentiousness.

UC labor union significant for postdoctoral research

Union-Tribune Staff Writer

2:00 a.m. July 6, 2009

July 07, 2009

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-year term. When the initiative is at full capacity, HHMI will be supporting 96 postdoctoral fellows at an anticipated annual cost of about $5 million. The program began in 2007 when HHMI announced it would fund up to 16 postdoctoral fellows in HHMI labs each year. There is no requirement that future fellows be appointed in HHMI labs.

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.