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Postdocs Resource Library

Postdocs Resource Library

Advocacy

Listed below are documents, publications, and materials that are beneficial to postdocs and which address the unique concerns of the postdoc community. For an overview of the NPA's advocacy efforts, please view the Advocacy page.

Advocating for yourself and the larger postdoc community is important for improving the everyone’s postdoc experience. This guide gives tools and strategies for this area. Specific resources are listed below or for an overview visit the Advocacy page for more information.

Recommendations from the NPA for all stakeholders in the U.S. research enterprise to enhance the postdoc research community. Coming Soon!

A quick guide for going beyond your research and learn to develop skills to be an effective advocate. Coming soon!

Visit Advocacy Actions for an archive of NPA statements over the years.




Career Resources for Postdocs

The NPA has developed a resource to help postdocs and prospective postdocs plan and achieve early career success with our Career Resources for Postdocs. These resources will help you navigate your entire time as a postdoc and guide you through the different components of career exploration and job searching. With an eye on balanced research, professional and career development, this guide will help you along every step on the way!

The postdoctoral training experience is meant to be a relatively short, focused time of work, typically two to five years. To ensure you progress at the rate you choose, it is important to develop a plan early in your postdoctoral experience to keep yourself on track to achieve your professional and career goals. The NPA has developed this guide to help postdocs prepare the future and utilize training time wisely. View the Timeline Guide.

Career development is an iterative multi-stage process of self-assessment, career exploration, career choice refinement and finally focused job searching. This guide provides an overview of the process and key resources for each stage.

Connecting talent with opportunity. The NPA Career Center provides a specialized place where employers can post jobs either for postdocs or early career researchers in a multitude of areas and postdocs can upload their resume or CV for free to apply.

As a postdoc, it goes without saying that mentors are critical for your continued development as a professional, as well as your movement into a position beyond training. But there is no such thing as the perfect mentor because everyone’s needs and goals are highly variable. In fact, that is the first step in thinking about finding mentors – reflecting to specifically identify and assess what you hope to gain from your mentor(s); you can’t go looking for something without a clear idea of your own needs and goals! Learn more!

One of the most important areas for postdocs to understand is how to pick a good mentor. They can play a pivotal role in the future successes of every postdoc. COMING SOON!

A helpful resource as you plan the next career move. COMING SOON!




Diversity

The NPA seeks to promote diversity and ensure equal opportunity and inclusion for all postdocs in the membership, leadership and activities. Moreover, the NPA is committed to addressing the diversity issues in the postdoc community. For more information view the Diversity page.

The NIH Scientific Workforce Diversity Toolkit offers guidelines and best practices for institutions to adopt inclusive hiring practices for faculty searches.

The Women, minorities and persons with disabilities in science and engineering is a cumulative report published by the NSF every two years that analyzes education and employment outcomes of marginalized populations in science and engineering.

Check out a listing of diversity postdoctoral fellowships & opportunities, and other diversity fellowships compiled by NPA as a resource for underrepresented postdoc groups.

Pivot (need institutional license for access) and Funding Institutional (may need institutional license for access) are is also a good resources for searching funding opportunities.

Over the past several decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of doctorates awarded to women, particularly in STEM. However, women continue to be underrepresented in tenured faculty roles, senior academic management positions, and senior positions in the broader workforce. It’s important to understand the obstacles that impede the career transitions of postdoc women and how to alleviate those obstacles institutionally and through individual career development. To learn more visit the Resources for Postdoc Women page.

Caring for a family during your postdoctoral career can be a challenge - especially when you are new to an area and an institution. Often the best avenue for getting the information and support you need to thrive is to talk with with institutional postdoctoral fellows office and talk with other postdocs. This helps you find out what is possible and available at your current institution as programming and supports differ quite widely from one institution to another. The guides below also offer valuable information for postdoctoral fellows at all institutions. To learn more visit our Family-Friendly Postdoc Resources page.




International

With over 50 percent of postdoc researchers in the United States working on temporary visas (NPA Institutional Policy Report), the international postdoc population is extremely important to represent. While all postdocs need to assimilate to their new positions, it is important to support international postdocs with their additional needs of learning a new culture and norms of US society. The NPA strives to provide resources to address these needs. View the International page for more information.

Are you dreaming of finding the perfect postdoctoral position in the United States but feel that you could benefit from guidance from international postdocs already in the United States? Do you have visa-related questions? Perhaps you are already in the United States, and are now having problems obtaining a credit card? The International Postdoc Survival Guide is a comprehensive guide to enhance the experience of doing a postdoc in the United States for international postdocs. View the full International Postdoc Survival Guide to learn more.

A directory of funding opportunities open to international scholars. Although care has been taken in preparing the list, please refer to each fellowship website for detailed eligibility requirements. View the complete list.

An overview of the visa process and common issues for international postdocs in the United States. The public version or full members-only version of the Quick Guide to Visas to learn more. Coming soon!

The Department of Homeland Security website has official information for international scholars who seek to enter the United States.

Find information about the Exchange Visitor Program on the Department of State website.

Mentoring International Postdocs: Working to Advance Science & Careers is an online module available from the federal Office of Research Integrity, developed by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, an NPA member institution.

International Graduate Students: Conflicts between Security and Science in the Issuing of Visas is a slide presentation by John V. Richardson Jr., Ph.D., Associate Dean, UCLA Graduate Division.

EURAXESS Links is a networking tool for European researchers in the United States.




Publications

A compendium of NPA written publications of various aspects of the postdoc training period.

The NPA monthly newsletter covering news items and features of interest to the postdoctoral community.

A yearly review of NPA accomplishments, donors, and finances.

The goal of a postdoctoral fellowship is to provide the training necessary for the postdoctoral scholar to achieve intellectual and professional independence and success. This toolkit was developed to provide definition for the scholar and his/her support community as to the competencies essential to achieving this independence. Some of these competencies will have been acquired during graduate training. Thus, some aspects of the competencies will describe refinements of skills already achieved, and some will represent new or advanced skills. Learn More.

The NPA believes that appropriate training of the next generation of independent researchers requires that institutions set policies to encourage individual responsibility, foster effective mentoring, and recognize the value and contributions of postdoctoral scholars. The NPA recommends implementation of the following institutional policies and practices for postdoctoral training. For more information please view the Recommended Postdoc Policies & Practices page.

Do you ever wonder how your institution stacks up to others across the country? Check out the "Supporting the Needs of Postdocs: 2017 National Postdoctoral Association Institutional Policy Report" written by the NPA in collaboration with Sigma Xi and published in American Scientist. The report summarizes the results from a 2016 survey of 130 institutions that hire postdocs and hold NPA memberships. NPA members can also view the NPA Institutional Policy Database and past reports.

The What Is A Postdoc resource provides essential information the definition of a postdoc and the key characteristics of postdoc appointments and positions. Learn about the different ways organizations classify postdocs and policies that define the postdoc experience.




Toolkits

Resources to help develop important functions of postdoc affairs at your organization.

Postdoctoral associations (PDAs) are a vibrant and dynamic source of support for postdoctoral fellows at their home institutions and nationally. There are many benefits to establishing and maintaining an active PDA. This toolkit is intended to serve as a resource guide to assist postdocs and their allies in starting and sustaining an effective PDA. In this toolkit, you’ll find a wealth of information, including best practices shared from PDAs nationwide, suggestions on how to gain support from key institute administrators, strategies for conducting surveys and methods for affecting institutional policies. Links are provided throughout the toolkit to helpful resources. The NPA welcomes additions to this toolkit from local PDAs to share their success and help others. View the full PDA Toolkit to learn more.

This toolkit provides general guidelines how to organize a postdoc symposium. Designing interactive symposium sessions will create a collaborative environment where postdocs can share ideas, foster collaboration, and receive critical assessment of their research. View the full Postdoc Symposium Toolkit to get started with planning your event today!

The NPA serves approximately 210 Sustaining Members and more than 14,000 individual members, making advertising with the NPA a unique opportunity to reach a targeted market of institutions and postdocs to promote resources and services geared toward that population.