|Congress passed resolution recognizing National Postdoc Appreciation Week|
Sept. 23, 2010
On Thursday, Sept. 23, at 4:30 PM EDT the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 1545*, which officially recognizes National Postdoc Appreciation Week. This success was made possible by the grassroots efforts of NPA volunteers! Congratulations--and thank you for your support!
Watch the House proceedings here.
Sept. 20, 2010 - UPDATE
Great news regarding H. Res. 1545*, which officially recognizes National Postdoc Appreciation Week: The requirement for 25 co-sponsors has been waived by the House Education and Labor Committee, and H.Res. 1545 is the 24th suspension bill out of a total of 39 for the week. It is anticipated that it will be on the floor late Wednesday afternoon or sometime Thursday. Please continue to call your U.S. Representative's Washington D.C. office this week and encourage them to co-sponsor and/or vote for the resolution! Thank you!
Find your Representative here.
Sept. 17, 2010 URGENT MESSAGE
Please call your U.S. Representative's Washington, D.C. office TODAY and ask him or her to serve as a co-sponsor on H. Res. 1545*, officially recognizing National Postdoc Appreciation Week. The NPA Office just found out that we need 25 co-sponsors in order for this resolution to move from the House Education and Labor Committee to the floor for voting next week.
Find your Representative here.
You may also want to e-mail your representative and copy and paste the "Dear Colleague" letter from Rep. Stearns, the sponsor of the resolution, in that e-mail. That letter is inserted below. Please be sure to call and let them know that you have sent the e-mail.
*The resolution was written by NPA Outreach Committee Member Aaron Dossey, Ph.D., with editing by Cathee Johnson Phillips, NPA Executive Director and Rep. Stearns' office.
Suggested Message to Your Representative:
Dear Rep. [name],
I am writing today to ask you to become a co-sponsor of H. Res. 1545, sponsored by Rep. Stearns. I've inserted his letter below.
[Your name and full address, including zip code]
Dear Colleague Letter:
Support "National Postdoc Appreciation Week" H.Res.1545
From: The Honorable Cliff Stearns
I write to invite you to join me as a co-sponsor of H.Res.1545, Expressing support for designation of the week beginning on the third Monday in September as "National Postdoc Appreciation Week."
A postdoctoral scholar ("postdoc") is an individual holding a doctoral degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research training for the purpose of acquiring a career in research. These new scientists are critical to the research enterprise of the United States and are responsible for the bulk of the cutting edge research performed in our country. Traditionally, institutions have not kept records of postdoctoral scholars, but the National Science Foundation (NSF) has estimated that there are approximately 43,000-89,000 postdocs in the United States. Furthermore, the number of science and engineering postdocs with temporary visas at U.S. universities has tripled in the past 20 years, from 8,900 in 1985 to 27,000 in 2005.
Unfortunately, however, postdocs are often paid a low wage relative to their years of training and are often not eligible for workman's compensation, disability insurance, and retirement accounts. In spite of holding a Ph.D., the median salary of postdoctoral scholars is $38,000 a year - far below the median wage of individuals holding only a bachelor's degree. The average postdoctoral scholar puts in significant overtime, working over 50 hours a week, although they are not paid for overtime.
H.Res.1545 supports the designation of "National Postdoc Appreciation Week"; recognizes the accomplishments and contributions postdocs make to departments, institutions, fields and communities around the United States; and encourages the improvement of training and career opportunities in various research fields at all levels of training and stages of all research careers.
I look forward to your support of this resolution, a small but important step towards retaining the best and the brightest new scientists in the U.S. workforce.
United States Representative