News: News Archives
National Postdoctoral Association
Meetings 16-17 April at AAAS
The second Annual Meeting of the National Postdoctoral Association focused on the experiences of researchers at early stages of their careers, and their expectations for the future.
"Envisioning and Creating the 21st Century Postdoctoral Experience" examined the postdoctoral experience from multiple perspectives, including the individual postdoctoral and faculty member, institutional professional development, and national views provided by funding agencies and professional scientific associations. Participants also reviewed recent changes in science policy and how they will affect science in the future. For example, one panelist focused on the proposed changes to research teams in the new roadmap of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dr. Shirley Malcom of AAAS addressed frustrations many post-docs share. "Long periods of training are not rewarded with jobs that have compensation levels significant enough to overcome the opportunity costs," she said, and advocated mentoring as a critical component in the postdoctoral experience. "Mentoring goes beyond guiding one to the right courses, research topics or funding," Malcom said. "It means taking a deeper interest in a person's development, as a scholar and as a citizen of the science/engineering community." For more information, read a transcript of Malcom's speech.
Other topics covered included how homeland security concerns affect international scientists conducting research in the US, as well as priorities for research. Meeting participants also learned about decision processes, pragmatic leadership, teamwork, and better communication methods.
"A primary goal for the second Annual Meeting is to develop strategies and implement solutions for enhancing the postdoctoral experience and the future of the research enterprise," explained Alyson Reed, executive director for the NPA.
For more information on the 16-17 April event, please go to www.nationalpostdoc.org/annual_meeting.
Established in January 2003, the NPA is a professional organization that works to produce reform in postdoctoral policies, both at the national level and at research institutions nationwide. It is supported through the voluntary work of the NPA Executive Board, the NPA membership, and a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The NPA is an independent organization, hosted at AAAS.
16 April 2004