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NPA ADVANCE Focus Groups
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Influences on the Career Transitions of Female Postdoctoral Scholars

Principal Investigator: Cathee Johnson Phillips, Executive Director, National Postdoctoral Association, and NPA ADVANCE Principal Investigator


Study Coordinator: Kathleen Flint Ehm, Project Manager, NPA ADVANCE, National Postdoctoral Association


Focus Group Summary: NPA ADVANCE will hold at least two focus groups in-person and via teleconference and Webinar with women who are or were formerly postdoctoral scholars (postdocs). The objective of the focus groups is to learn about the career choices of female postdocs as they moved to their next career step and any lessons learned that could aid them in making the transition to an academic career. In particular we are interested in learning about the factors that influenced their career decisions during and following their postdoctoral appointment, especially those factors relating to their decision to remain (or not to remain) in academia.


Participants: Participants in the focus groups are women who have held at least one postdoctoral research position in the United States during their career. At least one focus group will be held with women who were non-U.S. citizen, temporary visa holders during their postdoctoral position and one other focus group will be conducted with women who were U.S. citizens during their postdoc. Participants invited to participate in the teleconferences may be selected from among eligible respondents to a short, online screening survey.


Focus Group Procedure: The focus groups will take place either in person or via teleconference complemented with a Webinar, an interactive Web-based meeting room through which participants can provide additional responses and questions via the online chat window. Each call will last approximately 60-90 minutes.


Participant Confidentiality: All participants' individual identifying information will be kept private and confidential throughout the study. Moreover, the risk of disclosure of responses outside of this research does not reasonably place participants at risk. Therefore, this study has been deemed by the Western Institutional Review Board to qualify for Institutional Review Board (IRB) exemption. For more information, see the focus group privacy policy.


Contact: For questions about this study contact the study coordinator and NPA ADVANCE Project Manager, Kathleen Flint Ehm.


Supplemental Documents:


IRB Exemption Regulatory Opinion


Privacy Policy


NPA ADVANCE Focus Group Informed Consent-Fellows, September 29, 2010


NPA ADVANCE Focus Group Informed Consent-Internationals, September 20, 2010


NPA ADVANCE Focus Group Informed Consent-SBE, October, 2010


Focus Group Findings:


NPA ADVANCE Focus Group Exec Summary, February 24, 2012


NPA ADVANCE Focus Group Report, May 30, 2012

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