More articles on the postdoc experience, plus good news from the Max Planck Society

It’s time for another link roundup, because tons of great articles, reports, blog posts, and podcasts relevant to postdocs have come out in the past few months.

  • The NatureJobs Blog has an ongoing “postdoc series” that started at the beginning of March. Today’s post is about finding funding, and last week’s post features a fantastic podcast conversation about two recent reports on the postdoc experience. And those reports are…
  • FYI: the Future of Research website also has a huge collection of articles and links related to this topic on their Background Reading page!
  • You may have read last year’s much-discussed article from the “Gang of 4” (Alberts, Kirschner, Tilghman, and Varmus), “Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws.” But make sure not to miss their recent follow-up article, “Addressing systemic problems in the biomedical research enterprise,” which proposes a plan to address the issues raised in their first publication.
  • The annual meeting of the National Postdoc Association (NPA) in the US took place earlier this month. (I had the opportunity to attend, and it was fantastic! I’d love to tell you about it, so ask me if you see me.)
    • Postdoc Gary McDowell wrote about his experience at the meeting on the ASCB Blog.
    • The NPA conducted an Institutional Policy Survey in 2014 to gather data on postdoc policies, demographics, support, training and more at institutions across the US. (side note: wouldn’t it be great if there was a European Postdoc Association? I’m certainly curious about similar data for postdocs across Germany and Europe.) For a summary of the NPA’s report, click here.
  • And last but certainly not least, some exciting news from the Max Planck Society, which will improve the lives of PhD students and postdocs. Many of you employed by the MPI are probably aware of the long-standing debate on the merits of stipends versus contracts. The bottom line is that contracts, though more expensive for the institute, provide more salary, security, and benefits. Starting in July, all new PhD students will be offered contracts, as will ~two-thirds of new postdocs. Read the official announcement here and an article in Science here.

Make sure to keep sending us interesting articles you come across, and let us know if you’d like to become a contributor to this blog. Special thanks to Carlos Garzon for writing in about the Gang of 4 article!

-Lisa

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