Friday, March 30, 2007

What I'm learning about Postdocs at Berkeley..

I'm at the National Postdoc Association (US) meeting in Berkeley, California. I received a travel grant to attend, as our postdoc association as NO budget. We at our university have been banging our head against a wall trying to better the lot of our postdoctoral fellows (PDFs). What I've learned on day one was that we are so behind the curve when compared to the US. The sort of issues that we are dealing with are not even issues elsewhere. Most institutions have dealt into the idea that PDFs are essential part of the research environment and should be treated as such. Most places have Postdoctoral Offices with committed admin to help smoot the process. Policies and benefits are in place. I can't help but feel that we are trying to reinvent the wheel. It gives me a renewed enthusiasm to go back and sort this out. Tell our university that if it wants to be competitive with comparable institutions in the US, they need to step up and take us seriously. I hope it works.
Oh, and I love it here.... Beautiful scenery, lovely weather and the people at the conference are fantastic. Worth a couple of days outside the lab.

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