A Continuous Cycle of Learning and Mentorship

As my friend Rachel recently put it, the prevailing attitude when it comes to mentorship in science is along the lines of “no one trained me, so my trainees can figure it out by themselves,” with the implication that otherwise they are “not good enough to cut it.” It’s a real problem a...

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National Postdoctoral Association: The National Voice of Postdocs

How do you define a postdoc? What is the purpose of the postdoctoral position? What do postdocs need to prepare for their professional careers, especially in a non-academic area? How should postdocs be compensated? These are the types of questions that led to the formation of the National Postdo...

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Postdocs Driving Change: The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) Meeting 2015

Attendees of the 2015 National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) meeting at the University of Maryland in Baltimore noted something different compared with past meetings: an overwhelming number of postdocs attended.   This might sound strange for a postdoc conference. However, aside from pos...

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The Insider’s View to Organizing a Local Symposium

Organizing a local meeting sponsored by the ASCB is an amazing opportunity to network and exercise your leadership, organizational, and public speaking skills. By the end, you will create a mini-ASCB meeting in one day. During the symposium day, you will have speakers, a poster presentation sess...

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How to Get the Feedback You Need to Elevate Your Research

Stuck in a rut with your research project? Experiments not working? Or maybe you are generating lots of data, but you’re not sure if you’re heading in the best direction? Chances are you could use more feedback. Feedback is helpful for you to progress and improve, and research almost always ...

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DIY career guidance: Tips and tricks on organizing a career seminar series

During your graduate education, you acquired many intangible skills, such as grant writing, scientific presentation, critical thinking, and experimental troubleshooting. Armed with all these skills and with a brand-new PhD in your pocket, you excitedly start a postdoc, an elusive training positi...

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Workforce Issues: What About the Postdocs Already Swimming in the Pool? What Becomes of Us?

As postdoctoral researchers, sometimes we feel a little unloved. Alternately, we feel like a mysterious emerging disease: Nobody seems to know how many of us there are, what exactly to call us, and experts have been warning the scientific community about us for years.   As the ranks o...

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Are Unpaid Postdocs the Next Trend in Biomedical Research?

San Diego radio station KPBS reported last year that a local lab was looking for a PhD to work for free. The "Unpaid Volunteer in a Basic Science Research Laboratory" ad (chemjobber) on Craigslist requested a PhD and 2-3 years of postdoc experience to work on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus au...

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Can Unions Provide Sustainable Solutions to Postdoc Concerns?

When discussing the concerns of the modern biomedical workforce, the growing dissatisfaction of postdocs is invariably one of the first topics to come to mind. Many postdocs feel undervalued by the biological science community. I commonly hear postdocs lament that they are being taken for granted by...

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Do you have a sponsor?

As I sat in the middle of the room during another career advancement seminar for graduate students, the speaker posed a question that led me to believe that this seminar was going to be different. (more…)...

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