MUSC Postdoctoral Retreat on the Responsible Conduct of Research “Career Planning” Edward Krug, PhD Department of Regenerative Medicine & Cell Biology Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs College of Graduate Studies 12/04/2009
MUSC uses the NIH & NSF definition of a Postdoctoral Researcher “An individual who has received a doctoral degree (or equivalent) and is engaged in a temporary and defined period of mentored advanced training to enhance the professional skills and research independence needed to pursue his or her chosen career path.”
MUSC Postdoc Statistics Currently 218 postdocs across 4 colleges 143 internationals 75 US citizens or permanent residents 32 supported by research grants 42 supported by training grants Average age = 36 years (SD, 6 yrs; range, 25 to 65 yrs) Average duration at MUSC = 3.1 years (SD, 2.7 yrs) 91% have been at MUSC for 5 or fewer years Maximum duration at MUSC is 16 years Average salary MUSC = $39,162 (SD, $5,434) National = $39,267 (SD, $9,282)
MUSC Postdoctoral Classifications • “Work-based Training” • MUSC Employee • (Payroll - Salary) • POSTDOCTORAL SCHOLAR • Training/Fellowship Grant • (not an MUSC Employee) • (Accounts Payable - Stipend) • POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW
Postdoctoral Fellows ….. • are not MUSC employees • receive stipends through Accounts Payable • will not receive any official notification of the amount of their stipend • must submit estimated taxes quarterly - both federal and state • declare their stipend amount on line 7 of Form 1040 as other income - denote as “SCH” • do not pay FICA and Medicare taxes
What are the career options for a postdoc? The majority want faculty jobs… but there has only been a 32% increase in tenure-track faculty positions since 1975 … while the number of postdocs has increased more than 400%.
MUSC Postdoctoral Development Survey 2009 • My PI encourages my intellectual development – 78% agreed • My PI acts as a mentor – 70% agreed • Expectations were clearly stated by my PI at the onset of my appointment – 38% disagreed • Do you have a written individual development plan with your PI – 82% no • Do you receive a performance review from your PI at least annually – 65% no
The mere process of having a written Individual Development Plan of training objectives and milestones correlates with significantly greater productivity and career satisfaction. Who doesn’t want 40% more publications per year! Or to feel 40% more satisfied! Or have 60% fewer conflicts!
Elements of an Individual Development Plan: • Establish the duration of your postdoc appointment • Identify specific skills and strengths that you need to develop • Define the approaches to acquiring those skills and strengths • Establish an anticipated time line for acquiring those skills and strengths • Implement the plan • Periodically review your progress • Revise the plan as necessary This should be done in conjunction with your PI
You need to make a time line! And update it periodically! Even if it makes you nauseous!
Web Resources • Science Alliance for Students and Postdocshttp://www.nyas.org/WhatWeDo/ScienceAlliance.aspx • Science Careershttp://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org • National Postdoctoral Association http://www.nationalpostdoc.org/careers/career-planning-resources • Postdoctoral Life http://www.phds.org/postdoc • Sigma Xi PostdocSurvey http://postdoc.sigmaxi.org • Time Management Resources http://counseling.uchicago.edu/vpc/virtulets.html#Time-Management • Piled Higher and Deeper http://www.phdcomics.com