Topic: Postdoctoral Training
Comments by Sri Gopalakrishnan
Today’s scientific field is flooded with people doing prolonged postdoc position since job options are very limited. Postdoctoral position should be well defined and for limited years providing very good exit job opportunities. More fellowships should be awarded. Postdoc salary is one of the lowest incomes. Measure should be taken to increase the salary and other benefits. Increasing number of senior research associate, more staff scientists positions should be created. Staff scientists should receive benefits of employees. More permanent positions in science related jobs should be made. In case of authorship corresponding authorship should be made possible for deserving candidates. Individual grants should be made available for semi-independent path like NIH K-99 awards. Career fair has to be conducted regularly. Postdocs have to be trained for other jobs than academic related ones. The training period should help them to develop skills suitable for job market other than publication numbers.
Optional Comments on the Problem
The main issue of stagnant pool of postdoc is due to lack of job market and very limited jobs available. There is increasing number of graduate and postdocs in science field. But job market has not opened up to the output. Hence people end up spending more years as postdocs for low salaries. Most postdoc positions prepare for academic job where the market is not promising. Measures should be taken to train and enhance skills needed for any type of jobs. Publication numbers is a criteria but that has to be one of the factors. It should not be a key factor.