You are not using a standards compliant browser. Because of this you may notice minor glitches in the rendering of this page. Please upgrade to a compliant browser for optimal viewing:
Internet Explorer 7
Safari (Mac and PC)
Post Archive
2020 (0)2010 (36)
December (1)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
November (2)

Payoffs of wasting time
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010
October (12)

"Lessons from a Recovering Postdoc" on Benchfly
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Question about the Void: Guidelines for postdocs
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Question about the Void: What *is* a postdoc?
Monday, October 18, 2010

Blown away!
Monday, October 18, 2010

Living in the Void: How much is a postdoc worth?
Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Tale of Mrs. T and the Rats
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

DonorsChoose: The Rat Race Is On!!!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shock Week
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Science Bloggers for Students: The Prelaunch
Friday, October 8, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Repost: What's in a name?
Saturday, October 2, 2010

Method Madness
Friday, October 1, 2010
September (8)

A friendly warning
Friday, September 24, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lighting fires
Monday, September 20, 2010

Learning without teaching: A repost and addendum
Monday, September 20, 2010

The Changeup
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I wish that I knew what I know now...
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

For Science's Sake, Pay Attention
Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday Morning Silliness: A Speech to Remember
Saturday, September 4, 2010
August (11)

#ACS_Boston: In my PJs
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Turning the Spotlight on Women in Science
Saturday, August 21, 2010

Give us something to talk about
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Roundup! Aug. 8-15
Sunday, August 15, 2010

Roundup! Work-life balance
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Roundup! July 31-Aug. 7
Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blogging with substance-which substance, we won't say
Saturday, August 7, 2010

Living in The Void: Healthcare
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Give and take
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What some smart women have to say about balance
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Viewpoints on Mega-Science
Monday, August 2, 2010
July (2)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Surviving the game
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Rate This Post
Total votes: 0
Blogger Profile

biochem belle

Research-and careers therein-rarely follows a linear path. Instead, it is often a long and winding road. These are stories about science and my personal experiences on this road.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

Blog RSS Feed
RSS Add to My Yahoo Add to Google
Recent Comments

Before I get the AHA grant, they definitely have been using that excuse (money is tight) to reject me. But now I have the AHA grant, which means they will have extra money once the fellowship start. . .Read More
May 31, 2012, 12:52pm
Comment by Brian Krueger, PhD in Living in the Void: How much is a postdoc worth?

A good start is to look at the NIH's recommended guidelines.  I'm in the same boat as you.  I've been working here for almost 3 years with no pay raise and that's real. . .Read More
May 31, 2012, 11:52am

I just got the American heart association postdoctoral fellowship, in which I'll be receiving my salary from AHA (not much, just 39K). I do think that I have been under-valued, and my institution i. . .Read More
May 31, 2012, 10:25am

Nashsaid: Fine, the most important issue with industry is that you don't have the complete freedom to r. . .Read More
May 06, 2012, 4:53am

Hi. I am living in Indonesia. Perhaps, scientist  would be a little bit suprise to know the truth, but yes this is the truth. Having givin. . .Read More
Jul 09, 2011, 7:54am
Awesome Stuff

Banner photo adapted from image by Alexander Baxevanis under Creative Commons license.

Avatar created at SP Studio.

Locations of visitors to this page

Nov 07, 2010, 4:50pm
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, I asked you to weigh in on how postdocs are classified at your institutions--employees, contractors, trainees? Thanks to those who have voted so far. If you haven't, do that after you vote on this new poll Wink

I was surprised that 25% of respondents thus far have indicated that postdocs are classified as employees with full benefits. Several people left comments, expanding on postdoc categories and how they can vary within the same institution.

An equally important question is whether governing guidelines exist for postdocs. Is there any document that details rights, responsibilities, and expectations for postdocs--and recourse when those are not met? For instance, is it written anywhere that you can be terminated without cause with no notice, or is your supervisor required to give you 90 days warning before booting you out of the lab? This brings us to today's poll question:



As before, since many people have gone through multiple institutions and might be familiar with circumstances at each one, repeat voting (so you can cast one for each institution with which you're familiar) will be allowed.

This post has been viewed: 729 time(s)

Blog Comments

Dr. O
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

I'm somewhere in between the 2nd and 3rd answers...  We have a policy that was written up for the postdocs when our postdoc office was begun. It was originally a fairly detailed policy, but it was eventually beaten into a much shorter and vaguer paragraph before it was approved.

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

We probably do have a policy but it was never given to me.  This university is terrible about informaing people about anything.  Actually, the administration here is the worst I've ever dealt with.

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

I have absolutely no idea. I've been very lucky to always have had great benefits, so I never felt compelled to look into it.

I'm also wondering why your poll is decorated with bombs and machetes and whatnot?

biochem belle
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Dr Becca, Ph.D. said:

I'm also wondering why your poll is decorated with bombs and machetes and whatnot?

What? Do you not think its apropos, Dr. Becca? Wink


Re: not knowing about policies, I think many people don't think about them, whether they even exist, until there's a problem. Even then, with the environment often seen in academia, I doubt most even stop to think about whether there are any policies in place to protect them; they just think you're supposed to figure it out on your own.

Dr. O
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Re: not knowing about policies, I think many people don't think about them, whether they even exist, until there's a problem.

The only reason I know about ours is that I sat in on some of the meetings where this was being dealt with. I doubt more than 5 or so postdocs at our institution are aware of the policy. For those who want to find out, I bet your postdoc office would know, if there is one.

biochem belle
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Yes! Find your postdoc office. Ours has a PDF of guidelines posted online. It's not something that I was explicitly told about before/upon joining a lab, but it was reasonably easy to find.

For those who answered "don't know", find out! Sure, there is a great deal of autonomy in labs, but you should find out what your rights (and responsibilities) are from the institution's standpoint. Hopefully, you'll never need to use them, but better to know them before there's a problem.

UC Davis
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

We have a set of postdoc guidelines available online, but it's pretty vague.  I looked into all of this when I was actually thinking of leaving my current job, I wanted to know the converse situation, whether I had to give a specific amount of notice to my supervisor.  It wasn't particularly helpful in answering my specific questions and it turns out that the guidelines really are that wishy washy.  But we have a new postdoc union now and they have done a lot to ensuring that a lot of this kind of stuff is hashed out and postdocs are more aware of their rights.

UC Davis
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

Can I ask what you are doing with all this information?

biochem belle
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

You can ask... but I might not answer Tongue out j/k

I wrote a couple of posts about the postdoc entity and associated issues. One thing I knew before I started writing is that policies and classifications of postdocs vary widely between, and even within, institutions. And this is a theme that keeps coming up in the comments. I was curious about the distribution of readers/readers' institutions. Further, this question in particular is to get people--especially grad students and new postdocs--to thinking about such things. Plus it provides a point of reference for previous and future posts.


Guest Comment

all expectations and guidelines at my first postdoc were essentially up to the whims... er... well yeah, we'll leave it at "whims"... of my supervisor.

there is not an extensive literature at my current post, but i do have a lot more clear guidelines and at least a general, broad-brush code of conduct and expectations.

Professor in Training
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

At Postdoc U, there was a postdoc office and a clearly defined set of rules and regulations, including a handbook. Now that I'm a PI at Really Big U, it's interesting that postdocs here are treated better from a HR perspective (benefits, etc) but there is no institutional support or regulations.

Add Comment?
Comments are closed 2 weeks after initial post.