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OBTAINING A POST- DOCTORAL POSITION Judy Garner, Ph.D., Fellow Center for Excellence in Teaching University of Southern California.

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Presentation on theme: "OBTAINING A POST- DOCTORAL POSITION Judy Garner, Ph.D., Fellow Center for Excellence in Teaching University of Southern California."— Presentation transcript:

1 OBTAINING A POST- DOCTORAL POSITION Judy Garner, Ph.D., Fellow Center for Excellence in Teaching University of Southern California Graduate Student Career Development Workshops

2 Obtaining a postdoctoral position Why should you? Why should you? What are the different types of postdoctoral position? What are the different types of postdoctoral position? How do you choose a postdoctoral advisor? How do you choose a postdoctoral advisor? When should you start looking? When should you start looking? What are the sources of support for postdoctoral training? What are the sources of support for postdoctoral training? What is expected of you? What is expected of you? Tidbits! Tidbits!

3 The purpose of a postdoctoral position Further training Further training Broaden Research experience Broaden Research experience Enhance teaching effectiveness Enhance teaching effectiveness Make contacts with peers in your field Make contacts with peers in your field Gain experience in writing grant/fellowship applications Gain experience in writing grant/fellowship applications Publish, publish, publish---positioning yourself for a full-time position. Publish, publish, publish---positioning yourself for a full-time position.

4 Postdoctoral Positions Research Associate positions Research Associate positions Fellowships Fellowships –Sciences –Humanities Internships/Apprenticeships Internships/Apprenticeships Jobs in Industry Jobs in Industry Instructor positions Instructor positions Assistant Professor Assistant Professor

5 Research Associate Usually in the sciences Usually in the sciences Senior Research Associate vs Research Associate Senior Research Associate vs Research Associate The postdoctoral trainee is “paid” from a specific research grant budget. The postdoctoral trainee is “paid” from a specific research grant budget. –This is considered “employment” rather than “training” –Tax implications –Clarify with the Principal Investigator as to expectations and goals.

6 Fellowships Postdoctoral Fellowships are specifically for “TRAINING” or “Research” purposes Postdoctoral Fellowships are specifically for “TRAINING” or “Research” purposes –Training grant—usually to program within the University  Federal agency  Foundation or Association –Postdoc initiated fellowships  Federal agency  Foundation or Association  Industry sponsored

7 Fellowships Sciences vs. Humanities Sciences vs. Humanities –Relatively more resources for science training –Science postdocs may be more skill acquisition oriented while humanities may be more original research oriented –Science postdocs generally may be longer in duration (?)

8 Other types of postdoctoral position Internships/Apprenticeships Internships/Apprenticeships Jobs in Industry Jobs in Industry Instructor positions Instructor positions Assistant Professor Assistant Professor

9 How do you search for a postdoctoral advisor? You objectively know the people in your field better than you might think! You objectively know the people in your field better than you might think! –Whose work appeals to you in direction, scope, originality? Does the work generated by this potential advisor generate new and interesting questions? Does this individual have an impact on the field? –Does the field seem to be growing in that direction? Does this type of work seem to be a trend that is growing?

10 How do you search for a postdoctoral advisor? (cont.) Confer with your thesis advisor and cohorts—get advice from many people. Confer with your thesis advisor and cohorts—get advice from many people. Contact potential advisors at national meetings. Contact potential advisors at national meetings. Speak with their present or past students and postdocs. Speak with their present or past students and postdocs.

11 How to choose a postdoctoral advisor? Contact potential advisors at least 1 year before you will finish your degree!!!!!!! Contact potential advisors at least 1 year before you will finish your degree!!!!!!! –Why?  Funding resources  Number of positions with that advisor  Incentive to finish(?) WRITE them a letter stating your interest in having them as an advisor, suggesting aspects of their work you are interested in pursuing, and suggesting ways you might be able to assist in funding your own position. WRITE them a letter stating your interest in having them as an advisor, suggesting aspects of their work you are interested in pursuing, and suggesting ways you might be able to assist in funding your own position.

12 After you’ve decided on someone…. Keep them informed as to your progress Keep them informed as to your progress Don’t promise to show up earlier than you really think you can (Be as realistic as you can) Don’t promise to show up earlier than you really think you can (Be as realistic as you can) Work with them to get your own funding. Work with them to get your own funding.

13 Resources for support Why should you write for your own fellowship? Why should you write for your own fellowship? –Autonomy: The difference between “You” designing your training project, and your advisor designing your training (different ultimate goals) –Experience in grant writing –History of obtaining funding is started

14 Resources for Support Eligibility: Eligibility: –Check out as many resources as possible but be aware of the conditions for eligibility for a particular award.  Citizenship?  Visa Status?  Status of doctoral degree?  Minority?

15 Resources: Science (Federal) NRC Research Associateship Programs—science, engineering, atmospheric, aeronautic, OSHA, Energy, NOAA NRC Research Associateship Programs—science, engineering, atmospheric, aeronautic, OSHA, Energy, NOAA penForm penForm National Science Foundation National Science Foundation National Laboratories (e.g., Lawrence-Livermore, Los Alamos) National Laboratories (e.g., Lawrence-Livermore, Los Alamos) National Academy of Engineering National Academy of Engineering American Western Universities (AWU) American Western Universities (AWU)

16 Resources: Biomedical NIH NIH NSF NSF HHMI HHMI Foundations: Foundations: –Specific for Disease Research: American Cancer Society, Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Leukemia Society, March of Dimes, etc. –General Medical Research Foundations: Jane Coffin Childs, Markey, Life Sciences Research, Damon Runyon, Helen Hay Whitney, Charles A. King Trust, Human Frontiers Science Program Industry: Industry: –Pharmaceutical companies: Pfizer, DuPont, Amgen, Genentech, SAIC, Merck, other Biotech firms.

17 Resources for Humanities Postdocs Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities elds.htm elds.htm Social Sciences Research Council Social Sciences Research Council American Philosophical Society (all areas of scholarly knowledge, except where gov’t support is more appropriate) American Philosophical Society (all areas of scholarly knowledge, except where gov’t support is more appropriate)

18 Resources for Humanities Postdocs (Cont.) University Fellowships: University Fellowships: –University of Chicago, University of California, Cornell (Mellon), Stanford Humanities Fellows, Woodson (African and African American studies) Arts Arts –Ahmanson –Getty

19 What is expected of you? Need to communicate with: Need to communicate with: –Advisor –Funding resource  Duration of training  Goals during training  What can you “take with you”?  Are you a Research Associate working on a specific project or do you have your own original project? Publications or other scholarly works Publications or other scholarly works –Where and who will be author –Collaborations with others

20 Tidbits $$ $$ –How much? ,000 to 48,000 per annum with most around 30,000 –Taxability? Special Tax status for Fellowships but not for “employment” Health care Health care –What is covered? –Or not? University status---are you faculty, staff, or student????? University status---are you faculty, staff, or student?????


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