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Collaborative Website to Improve Postdoctoral Training

On February 25, 2015, the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) convened a small workshop of leaders of federal research agencies, universities, professional societies, and the postdoctoral community to discuss how to collaboratively to improve postdoctoral training.  

While COSEPUP’s 2014 report The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited formed a foundation, the purpose of the meeting was not to lecture about the report. Rather, it was an interactive meeting at which everyone shared their experiences, their failures and successes, and their suggestions for future actions.  

We learned about activities that have already been launched, gained insights into best practices, and built a further understanding of the many barriers that must be overcome. 

One of those barriers was the lack of central repository to find information about events, research, and data sources. This site was suggested to try and partially address that barrier.

Recent events 

  • The Future of Research held its first regional conference in Boston on October 2-3, 2014. Information about that conference, videos, and links to summary papers and editorials are available for their website.
  • P(ostdoc)*Value, a grassroots think tank of concerned University of California, San Francisco, postdocs, hosted #ChangeThePostdoc on March 2, 2015. Press coverage included a Science Careers article, as well as an article in the UCSF Student Newspaper Synapse. Presentation slides, a summary data sheet , video of the event, and a collection of #ChangeThePostdoc tweets are all available.
  • A member of The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited authoring committee, Paula Stephan, hosted a Webinar with the National Academies' Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR):
    • On March 6, 2015, GUIRR hosted a webinar on this newly released NRC report. The presentation first summarized general facts regarding postdoctoral fellows, including the large and growing population of postdoctoral researchers, the spread of postdoctoral positions from physical and biomedical sciences to other fields such as engineering, the humanities and social sciences, the relatively low pay postdoctoral fellows receive and the fact that many postdoctoral fellows end up working in non-research positions.  The data come primarily from the Survey of Earned Doctorates, the Survey of Doctorate Recipients and the Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering.  The presentation also discussed the six main recommendations made by the committee, the types of actions required to implement them, and, especially with regard to the recommendation regarding compensation, the rationale for the recommendation.  The six relate to (1) period of service, (2) title, (3) career development, (4) compensation, (5) mentoring, and (6) data collection.
      Webinar Recording
      Presentation Slides
  • NYU Postdocs Interdisciplinary Symposium (PoIntS), a Future of Research regional event took place on May 21, 2015. - more information

Upcoming events 

  • "Summer" 2015: The Future of Research is coming to the Bay area (UCSF) - more information
  • October 29th, 2015: Future of Research Chicago (FORChicago) "will be a one-day series of panel discussions and participant-led workshops" - more information

Academic articles 

  • A number of great readings about diversity issues can be found on the "readings" page

Policy reports

Related National Academies reports

 Data sources

Other links 

Contact us

If you have other resources or learn of upcoming events you would like to share with the community, please send a email to cosepup with the subject line "Postdoctoral Website Information."