Academic ecosystems must evolve to support a sustainable postdoc workforce

Ålund, M., Emery, N., Jarrett, B.J.M. et al. Academic ecosystems must evolve to support a sustainable postdoc workforce. Nat Ecol Evol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-020-1178-6

PDF: academic ecosystems must evolve alund et al

Happy Easter, everyone! I’m really excited to share a new paper I was involved in working on when I was visiting Michigan State last summer – here it is! A group of postdocs wanted to write about our experiences in this role, and what the academic community (and beyond) could and should do to better support us in this important “life history” stage.

Quoting from the MSU press release:

‘”This project originated from informal meetings among the co-authors during overlapping postdoc appointments. After intensive analyses of relevant literature, data, and personal experiences, they converged on five overarching goals: align career development with job markets, sustain wellness and work-life balance, enhance mentoring, develop administrative support, and increase broader support. To achieve these aims, the manuscript recommends progressive changes targeting levels of organization ranging from principle investigators to broader communities that fund and support postdoc positions. Murielle Ålund, one of the paper’s lead authors reports that “researching data on society support, salaries and the availability of postdoctoral associations and office of postdoctoral affairs across institutions and countries was fascinating! While I think that things are improving thanks to initiatives coming from all levels of organization, it also revealed important regional disparities in support to postdocs.”’

I was delighted to be a part of this dynamic group (that includes my fiancé – our first paper together!) – and I’m really proud of this paper. Unfortunately it’s behind a paywall, but please drop a comment or email me and I’ll happily send out a PDF!

3 thoughts on “Academic ecosystems must evolve to support a sustainable postdoc workforce

  1. Pingback: Research in the time of coronavirus… – Dr Kirsty MacLeod

  2. I really enjoyed reading this inspiring article and immediately sent it out to my colleagues in IAS at Warwick as a guide for our local work on this very issue – the figure with all the issues tabulated is a very useful reference. We have a large cross-disciplinary postdoc community centred on IAS: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/ias/postdocs/ . Meanwhile, we did have access to the article but now this has disappeared – my institution does not subscribe to this particular journal – so if you have a version that you can share I’d appreciate that.

    1. Hi Peter! Thanks so much for your comment. I have just uploaded a pdf to my original post – there’s a link below the title of the paper that should take you directly to a copy! If that doesn’t work let me know and I’ll email it to you.

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