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Postdocs, you are more skilled than you know!

Postdocs often reach out asking for advice regarding what to look for in a future career. You may have wondered yourself: Should I stay in academia or consider moving to an industry setting? I enjoy talking about science, should I get a job in policy, outreach, or K-12 education?

It is important during these times of uncertainty to look at all you have accomplished during your graduate and postdoc training (you should be celebrated!) and realize that worrying about your future career is completely normal. While it might not seem clear at the moment, you have developed a large number of skills that are valuable, no matter where you work next.

During the 2017 National Postdoc Association annual meeting, Peter Fiske, science communicator and CEO, shared a list of transferable skills graduate students and postdocs likely developed during their training — without even realizing it. A sampling of these skills are shared here:

  1. Public speaking experience
  2. Ability to support a position/viewpoint with argumentation and logic
  3. Ability to conceive and design complex studies and projects
  4. Ability to implement and manage all phases of complex research projects and to follow them through to completion
  5. Ability to combine and integrate information from disparate sources
  6. Ability to evaluate critically and to problem solve
  7. Ability to do advocacy work
  8. Ability to acknowledge many differing views of reality
  9. Ability to suspend judgment and work with ambiguity
  10. Ability to make the best use of informed hunches
  11. And so many more!

These are all skills that are highly valued in careers both inside and outside of academia. You just need to step back and determine how they apply to your unique experiences.

Setting Yourself Up For Career Success

As we head into a new season, it is a good time to take a moment to assess where things stand regarding your career goals. What are your achievements of the past couple of months; of the past year? What skills do you want to hone in the coming months? What kinds of careers are exciting for you right now?

Last week, the Office of Postdoc Affairs welcomed a new cohort of postdoc fellows to the UW community. During the orientation session, we heard from champions of the UW postdoc experience on ways we, as a large university, can help you. These included Dr. John Slattery from UW School of Medicine; Emma Williams from Office of the Ombud; Catherine Basl from UW Career & Internship Center; Dr. Stacey Long-Genevese from the Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS), and Dr. Karla-Luise Herpoldt, Co-Chair of the UW Postdoc Association (UWPA).

We also kick-started a workshop, Making the Most of your Postdoc Experience, highlighting tools and strategies to jump feet-first into your postdoc experience and set you up for success in your next career moves. While your research experiences will be driven by your research project and mentor, we encourage you to spend some time exploring non-bench skills and diverse career options (academic vs. non-academic; public sector; industry; non-profits; entrepreneurship; science communication; etc.). Here are a few tips:

1. Take the time to create an Individual Development Plan, identifying short-term and mid-term goals for your research, your career, and your personal life. Discuss your plans and goals with your primary research mentor and a larger group of mentors who will support your growth.
2. Plan the steps necessary to achieve independence. What skills and strengths do you have and where do you still need to grow? What contribution do you want to make — whether it is your research direction or your career pathway or both?
3. Build your network so you can explore diverse career options. Try out some informational interviews based on even distant connections to learn more about what work-life is like in a variety of sectors. Ask these informants how they got started, and what skills or experiences they recommend cultivating during your postdoc years.

The UW Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has many resources to support all aspects of your postdoc experience. Join us to build on these insights and others at the next professional development event on October 16th (3:30–5 p.m., Health Sciences Building T531). Dr. Keith Micoli, Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs at New York University School of Medicine will be presenting a workshop entitled Beyond the End of the Road: Career Advice From the Wilderness. There, he will share lessons learned and best practices gleaned from his experiences leading the NYU Scientific Training Enhancement Program (NYU-STEP), including the importance of individual career development plan implementation and the identification and cultivation of skills necessary for informed career choices. It’s never too early, or too late, to start thinking about your next career step! We look forward to talking with you at this upcoming event.

Postdocs Rock! Here are 5 Reasons Why

Postdocs are vital members of the University of Washington ecosystem.  During National Postdoc Appreciation Week (September 18-22), we here at the UW Office of Postdoc Affairs (OPA) in the Graduate School wanted to point out just a few of the many reasons why:

  1. Postdocs are often the first point of contact for graduate students and undergrads working on a research team, and provide countless hours of mentorship and guidance to this next generation;
  2. Postdocs are energetic teachers of classes, touching even more graduate and undergraduate students here on campus through their seminars and lectures;
  3. Postdocs often contribute substantial intellectual ideas and strategies to their research groups, making our world-class research at UW even better;
  4. Postdocs are often essential contributors to faculty projects, grants and publications in ways that help their faculty mentors be even more productive;
  5. And finally, you postdocs are here at UW, investing in your own professional development, and we applaud your investment in your future!

For all these reasons, the OPA, in partnership with the UW Postdoctoral Association (UWPA), recognizes and honors the over 1,000 postdocs working across our 3 campuses in every School and College.

Since 2009, National Postdoc Appreciation Week recognizes the significant contributions that postdoctoral scholars make to U.S. research and development. Institutions from across the country participate by holding special events. In 2010, this week was officially recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives.

We will be celebrating you on September 20, 5:30-7pm in the Health Sciences Building Rotunda.  If you are a postdoc – or a postdoc supporter – join us for tacos and beverages.  The OPA will be hosting an orientation with key campus resources that same day 3-4pm and a workshop on planning your pathway to independence aimed at early stage postdocs 4-5pm.  Both of those sessions are in Health Sciences T-531.

Join us, and thank a postdoc!


Postdocs, Know Your Rights!

Along with key partners such as the the Career & Internship Center, and UW Schools & Colleges, the Office of Postdoc Affairs (OPA) works to support over 1,100 postdocs at UW. The benefits and rights of being a postdoc vary based on your funding source and position. We want every postdoc to know your rights, as the University of Washington has worked hard to offer fair benefit packages to postdocs – in most cases, commensurate with the faculty. We want to support you in getting your benefits, and Academic HR can always help as well. We created a new one page resource to outline the basics, and we highlight a few key items here. When in doubt always consult your department administrator.

Salary/Stipend: All postdocs’ salaries are recommended to align with the NIH NRSA salary scale where possible. The NIH NRSA scale is adjusted yearly and has increased by 20.9% since August 2012, including increasing the minimum salary/stipend in December 2016, and accounts for years of experience.

Health Insurance: For all postdocs funded through the university, health insurance is the same as other Academic Personnel. Information can be found online.

Holidays: Postdocs are usually not required to work on the 10 university holidays. An alternative day off should be given if the postdoc is required to work.

Leave Benefits: Postdocs with appointments of Research Associates or Senior Fellows are eligible for 90 days of approved paid sick leave for an illness or injury during each academic year. Paid sick leave covers your own serious health condition as defined by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), temporary disability due to pregnancy, childbirth, or recovery therefrom, and to take care for a family member with a serious health condition.

Leave Without Pay (Partial Leave): In limited circumstances and for a limited period of time, a postdoc employee may be permitted to take a partial leave of absence without pay for reasons related to family obligations.

Professional Development: Given the dual nature of postdoc positions as employee and trainee, a reasonable amount of a postdocs’ paid time may be used for career development activities, even when hired under a federal research grant.

Appointments: Postdoc positions are intended to be temporary positions to advance research careers. National guidelines recommend no more than 5 years in a postdoc position. Currently the majority of UW postdocs are in appointments intended for no more than 6 years after confirmation of terminal degree. Exceptions must be approved by Academic HR.

Appointment Termination: Termination of Research Associates should be notified at least 6 months in advance. Termination of Senior Fellows should be notified as soon as possible, with at least 60-days’ notice required. Termination, or non-renewal of contract, can occur for documented performance reasons or documented loss of funding.

Grievances: The OPA and the Ombud can provide guidance on strategies to resolve conflicts informally. Research Associates may be eligible to pursue grievances through the faculty code process. Senior Fellows may be eligible to utilize their school-based grievance process.

Individual Development Plans (IDP) and Annual Evaluation: OPA highly recommends every postdoc develop and implement an IDP, and the supervisor is encouraged to review and discuss IDP with the postdoc. Postdocs will also receive at least one written progress evaluation each year, and have the right to receive expectations that serve as the basis of these evaluation. Postdocs, along with other Academic Personnel, are eligible for annual merit raises based on this annual review.

Non-Discrimination: As members of the UW community, postdocs are protected against, and may have remedies for, instances of discrimination and sexual harassment by addressing these situations through the University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (UCIRO) and/or the Title IX Office.

Time and Effort Commitment: Postdocs have a 12-month appointment, and are expected to work 11 months (eligible for one paid month off per year). Arrangements for time off are made beforehand with their supervisor. Postdocs work at least 40 hours per week. In keeping with professional standards, the OPA suggests that work schedules must be reasonable and related to research needs.

Health and Safety: Postdocs should have access to a relevant health and safety training, and should refuse a hazardous assignment until it has been remedied or determined to be safe. UW Environmental Health & Safety can assist with necessary training or workplace needs for chemicals, substances and equipment. For other campus safety issues, UW SafeCampus is available 24/7.

Tips for Postdocs from National Postdoc Association Meeting

On March 18-19, 2017, leadership from OPA and UWPA participated in the 15th Annual National Postdoc Association meeting in San Francisco. Three members from the Fred Hutch Student and Postdoc Advisory Committee also attended, and a postdoc from  Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR) so Seattle was well-represented! There were many good working sessions and an opportunity to learn from our peer institutions and other postdoc-led organizations.  Here are just a few insights for postdocs gathered from the meeting – we will be sharing more in the coming weeks.

  • Seek experiences outside your primary research group. Peter Fiske, plenary speaker and consultant/entrepreneur, advised spending as much as 20% of your time exploring other resources and experiences on and off campus.  Academic training is good at providing deep expertise, and yet “you have a keel without a boat”. PhDs have a tremendous amount to offer, but need more experience in adaptability, collaborative problem-solving, leadership to be successful in future careers, in and outside academia.
  • All jobs come through relationships. Expand your network. Networking is about genuine relationships created through shared interests or connections; it is not about shallow schmoozing with dozens.  Use your existing network of peers and advisors to connect you.  Ask for help. Join our UW Postdoc LinkedIn group as one starting point, and seek out other online spaces (including Twitter) where your professional societies or disciplines connect.
  • Know your rights. As a pregnant postdoc, you have federal protections under the ADA and Title IX.  We will do a separate blog post on this to clarify rights of pregnant and parenting postdocs.  One national survey showed only 40% of pregnant postdocs requested some kind of accommodation during pregnancy (e.g. modifying schedules, avoiding lifting, limiting toxic exposures, etc.) as compared to 70% in other sectors. You need to ask – it is a protected right!
  • Build your Mentoring Plan: We heard advice from the NSF program officers that the culture is changing for postdocs from an apprenticeship model (where you learn by doing and watching) to professional training model.  Be explicit with your research advisor about the time you want to spend on professional development, how and why. And build your mentoring team also, so you have a broader base of input to guide your career development.
  • Include Work/Life Balance in your IDP. Resilience is coping with, bouncing back from, and adapting to difficult situations – and academic life is full of them. Resilience requires we invest in ourselves and the things that renew or sustain us. Set goals and milestones for dimensions of the “wellness wheel” that are important for you now (e.g. financial, physical, nutritional, relational, spiritual…).  Schedule yourself on your calendar to make sure these things happen.
  • Make your dollars go further. Apply for travel awards through professional societies and foundations. Ask your PI or department to match what you bring in.  Seek external sponsors for events you want to hold (e.g. donating pizza to a lunch gathering). Consult with the librarian who researches funding sources and can advise you on tailoring your searches (at UW it is the Graduate Funding Information Service).
  • Culture Fit: If you are considering a position, how do you find out about the organizational culture there? Culture goes beyond stated vision and values to daily practices, and how people engage with each other. Culture is “the way we do things around here”. Ask a range of people about it during your interviews and site visits. Also, do the self-reflection and assessment work to learn what is most important to you in a workplace culture (what makes you happy and productive?). Do your research and ask yourself: Will you thrive, personally and professionally in the organizational culture?

And don’t forget that all UW postdocs, faculty, and staff are eligible for a free membership with NPA because UW is a sustaining institutional member.  You get access to resources behind their firewall and also connected with their networks. Please email OPA if you are interested in the affiliated membership from NPA.

Postdoc Resolution Passes Faculty Senate!

On March 2, 2017, the UW Faculty Senate voted unanimously in support of this Class C Resolution which will be sent to all faculty as a notification this week. The Resolution was drafted by the Faculty Council on Research in consultation with the UW Postdoc Association and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. We are happy to share this important step toward greater institutional support and wider recognition across the faculty and administration of the essential roles postdocs play in our research, teaching and service missions at UW. We share the full text of the Resolution here and will also post a copy on our OPA website. One proposed next step is to form a Task Force to address key policy and practice issues across the UW postdoc population. If you have input for this group to consider, please contact us at

Class C Resolution

The Faculty Council on Research recognizes the invaluable service provided by postdocs to both the research and education missions of the University. Post-doctoral researchers are a critical part of the University’s research enterprise, and provide key mentoring and education to UW graduate and undergraduate students.

The postdoctoral experience is nationally recognized as a temporary and transitional period of advanced mentored training toward an independent career. As an institution and as individual faculty advisors, it is vital for us to commit to recognizing that postdocs are on a pathway to career independence. The National Academies of Sciences has studied the postdoc experience extensively and put forward clear recommendations in 2000 and in 2014. With this resolution, the FCR outlines the commitments and practices that would strongly support the UW in achieving parity with national guidelines and peer standards.

Further, by improving our support and services for postdocs, the UW can continue to recruit and retain the best and the brightest. Prior to the re-opening of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs in 2015, the UW was missing a go-to place for resources, guidance, professional development programming, policies, and coordination of diverse services across many UW units relating to postdoctoral affairs. Centralizing some of these services will provide efficiencies in that faculty supervisors and departments will be able to utilize and adapt rather than building anew, which will additionally help reduce inequities and inconsistencies in our treatment of postdocs at UW.

WHEREAS, the National Science Foundation Survey shows University of Washington ranked 9th nationally out of 323 institutions by total numbers of postdoctoral appointees in science, engineering, and health in 2014;

WHEREAS, several national bodies, including the NIH, NSF, the federal Office of Management and Budget, the National Postdoctoral Association, and the National Academies have defined the role of postdoctoral researcher as “a temporary position of advanced mentored training in research,” and recognize the “dual role” of postdocs as employees and trainees;

WHEREAS, we must, as a university employing over one thousand post-doctoral researchers, commit to fulfilling our obligations toward these vital members of our research and learning ecosystem and align with national guidelines and peer institutions.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate urges the Provost’s Office to make the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs within the Graduate School a permanent part of the University organization with the responsibility of coordinating policies, practices, and procedures for postdocs;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the University recognizes the University of Washington Postdoctoral Association (UWPA) as an organization of interest for the postdoctoral research body of the University and for the University. The University should support, promote and respect the independence of the Association.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate urges the Provost’s Office to create a Task Force for Postdoctoral Affairs to include members from key unit responsible for postdocs, such as: Academic HR, the Graduate School, the Office of Research, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the Faculty Senate, School of Medicine, and the UW Postdoctoral Association.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate urges the Provost’s Office to charge the Task Force for Postdoctoral Affairs to develop the policies and practices that would bring UW in line with national guidelines and peer institutions, including but not limited to the following issues:

  • Limiting the years possible under the various job titles encompassing postdoctoral researcher training, with the goal of promoting postdocs into more independent and permanent positions in a timely manner;
  • Enforcement for the dual role of postdoctoral researchers as both employees and trainees with reasonable release time and support for professional development including workshops, travel to conferences, or teaching opportunities;
  • Commitment to faculty mentorship for postdocs, including advising on Individual Development Plans and diverse career trajectories;
  • Identification of point people within each unit serving postdocs to serve as coordinators with the central Office of Postdoctoral Affairs;
  • Consistency with offer letters extended to postdocs to include clear reference to salary, benefits, terms of appointment, grievance options, role expectations, and connections to university resources;
  • Streamline the job classifications used for postdoctoral research fellows to facilitate tracking and accountability from first hiring to exit;
  • Centralize data collection and tracking of postdocs, including the satisfaction with their training and tracking of employment after leaving in order to quantify the quality of research training received at the University;
  • Through relevant policy, faculty code, or by-laws changes, include postdoc representation on relevant University bodies such as the Research Advisory Board, the Faculty Council on Research, and others.

Approved by the Faculty Council on Research, January 2017
Approved by the Senate Executive Committee, February 13, 2017
Approved by the Faculty Senate, March 2, 2017

When Is It Time to Move On?

A postdoc experience is often a leap of faith.  You might make decisions about what’s next for you after your doctoral program based on need, opportunity, ambition, passion, interest, or a combination of these factors.  Once you land a postdoc position, you will learn different things about yourself, and certainly you will also learn things about your research group that were not always clear through the interview process.

With this newsletter, we pose the question – when is it time to move on? There are numerous factors to consider, but the main thing to know is: it is healthy to ask this question, regardless of your current experience (whether 6 months or 6 years into your postdoc).

Is It Time to Change Groups?

  • Are you getting the opportunities for growth and experience that are important for your next career steps? It is not uncommon for a PI to hire a postdoc because of a skillset they bring to the group.  This is a good thing; but, if you are simply reproducing skills and experiences from your graduate research, you are not growing. You are just working.  A postdoc should be both – work and professional growth.
  • Are you in a mentoring or work environment where you can flourish? Postdocs have diverse needs when it comes to mentoring and work environments.  Learn more about your own needs and seek an environment, a mentor, and a research group that provides the experience you need to become your best.
  • What about letters of recommendation? If you truly have a difficult relationship with a PI, you will likely be concerned about the kind of letter of recommendation they will provide. This is among the reasons we often advocate for building a mentoring team, or a deeper bench of supervisors and researchers who can speak for you. Develop your own succinct, dispassionate narrative of what happened with a given faculty advisor if the relationship has truly broken down and you feel you cannot trust a letter from them. You can think about core elements that are useful to share, such as: I wasn’t getting enough independence in this particular lab group and I need to grow further; we had differences of opinion regarding best directions for the work; I learned a considerable amount but we never connected and it made it difficult to sustain the working relationship… You can make it a positive story – one that emphasizes what you are seeking more than what you are not getting. Regardless of your feelings, it doesn’t look good to future employers if you talk badly about your former supervisor.

Is it Time to Leave Postdoc-ing Behind Altogether?

  • Postdoc experiences are great for building your professional network, gaining more skills and experience, and also doing important self-reflection regarding what kind of career is really going to be meaningful for you.
  • When you’ve garnered enough skills and experience to be competitive, move on! Because of imposter syndrome, some of us may never feel truly ready.  Or myths may circulate about what it takes to be competitive in the job market.  Do your own research on what your field needs, and get feedback from several people about your track record. Hiring committees are comprised of many people and it can help to get diverse perspectives about your strengths and where your gaps may be.
  • Or, after more time in an academic research setting, you may now have enough information to know this isn’t the right trajectory for you.  Maybe for what you want to do next, you don’t need more advanced research training, but instead need to cultivate other skills or experiences. A variety of self-assessment tools can help you identify where your particular interests and skill sets are pointing you, and you may be surprised by the answers.

Whatever your situation, handling yourself professionally through the transitions will go a long way. Asking yourself – am I in the right place, am I getting what I need – is a lifelong practice that will serve you well in finding the best fit in work environment, supervision, and portfolio. And taking a proactive approach will help assure you get what you need. You never know until you ask!  If you need help thinking these issues through, or practicing how a conversation could go with your faculty supervisor, please always feel free to sign up for an office hour or make an appointment with the OPA senior faculty advisors.

Additional Resources:

The Postdoc Experience Revisited

The University of Washington, along with many peer institutions, is working to integrate the recommendations for revisiting the postdoctoral experience made by the National Academies of Sciences in 2014. We will keep you posted on progress as we move forward, and we invite you — postdocs, leaders within your units, faculty champions — to advocate for and adopt these changes locally. The following are excerpts from the primary recommendations of the report:

1. Limited Period of Service: The committee endorses the recommended practice, put forward by the NIH, the NSF, and the National Postdoctoral Association in 2007, that postdoctoral research training is and should be a “temporary and defined period.” Postdoctoral appointments for a given researcher should total no more than 5 years in duration, barring extraordinary circumstances.

2. Title and Role: In many instances, positions currently occupied by postdoctoral researchers are more appropriately filled by permanent staff scientists (e.g., technicians, research assistant professors, staff scientists, laboratory managers). The title of “postdoctoral researcher” should be applied only to those people who are receiving advanced training in research. When the appointment period is completed, postdoctoral researchers should move on to a permanent position externally or be transitioned internally to a staff position with appropriate…salary.

3. Career Development: Host institutions and mentors should, beginning at the first year of graduate school, make graduate students aware of the wide variety of career paths available for Ph.D. recipients, and explain that postdoctoral positions are intended only for those seeking advanced research training. Career guidance should include, where feasible, the provision of internships and other practical experiences. The postdoctoral position should not be viewed by graduate students or principal investigators as the default step after the completion of doctoral training.

3.3 Mentors, in addition to providing guidance based on their own experience, should become familiar with and disseminate information about all forms of career development opportunities available either at the host institution or through their professional society.

4. Mentoring: Mentoring is an essential component of the postdoctoral experience and entails more than simply supervision. Mentoring should not be solely a responsibility of the principal investigator, although he or she should be actively engaged in mentoring. Host institutions should create provisions that encourage postdoctoral researchers to seek advice, either formally or informally, from multiple advisors, in addition to their immediate supervisor. Host institutions and funding agencies should take responsibility for ensuring the quality of mentoring through evaluation of, and training programs for, the mentors.

5. Data Collection: Current data on the postdoctoral population, in terms of demographics, career aspirations, and career outcomes are neither adequate nor timely. Every institution that employs postdoctoral researchers should collect data on the number of currently employed postdoctoral researchers and where they go after completion of their research training, and should make this information publicly available.

Strategies for Getting to Independence

As part of our Monthly Postdoc Conversation this week, we discussed challenges postdocs face when working on the pathway to establish research independence.  The group discussed common situations such as:

  • What happens if I am doing work that just utilizes skills I already have?
  • How do I carve out my research direction?
  • What happens if my PI doesn’t let me “leave the lab”?
  • How do I ask for protected time?
  • How do I find independent resources to support independent work?

The OPA staff and UWPA leadership were on hand to offer these Tips and Tools to help you succeed in your pathway to independence:

–        Negotiate up front.  Ideally, release time and beginning to discuss your pathway to independence is part of your postdoc interview and will give you insight into whether it is the right environment for you. Since few people do that, what can you do next?

–        Ask for what you need. Develop a plan (for research, for independent grant funding, for a professional development opportunity) and present your case to your PI.  Be clear about what you are asking for, how it will help you, and how it may ultimately help the research group if that is possible. Use your broader mentoring team of trusted advisors to get feedback on your plan before you discuss it with your primary faculty supervisor. You can also talk through strategies for presenting your plan with Dr. Bill Mahoney, Senior Faculty Advisor with the OPA during his office hours (or by appointment).  For tips on how to be proactive about getting the mentoring you need, see the “Managing Up” posting.

–        Leverage the Federal Office of Management and Budget policy on release time within federally funded grant projects.  That is, they recognize the postdoc is in a dual role of employee AND trainee and therefore require that a % of your effort should be dedicated to professional or career advancement, even when funded on a federal research grant.

–        Show and share in success.  If you were accepted to present on your independent work, perhaps from your doctoral research, publicly thank your current PI and research group for their ongoing support (and apply for an OPA travel grant to help you get there).  All faculty value positive press, and when the departmental or School or UW news picks up on your research, they will enjoy their affiliation with you.

–        “Say no to say yes.” Sometimes you have to turn down particular assignments or repeat projects if they aren’t growing your skillsets in order to create more space for new work.  That said, sometimes saying yes will get you into unexpected collaborations with colleagues in other departments or across the country, which can further distinguish you from your postdoc faculty advisor.

–        Establish the evidence you need to demonstrate your contributions and independence. Research is often done in teams, and it is a positive quality to pitch in and help when needed.  And, sometimes four years can go by and you may find you don’t yet have a first authored paper from the work or a grant since you’ve been busy writing for other people.  Sit down with your faculty advisor and look at your CV together.  Discuss your career goals and what additional evidence you will need to be competitive.  Is it a first authored paper? Negotiate for taking the lead on the next piece of work completed by the group (and document these decisions with the whole research team so expectations are clear to everyone).

–        “Lean in.” “Just do it.” That is, fight the imposter syndrome.  You might not feel ready to step out on your own, but growth happens when we take risks and push our edge. Get feedback from people you trust about your areas of strength and growth.

Let’s keep this list of tips growing.  If you’ve had things work for you, or others around you, write us and let us know about them.  We’ll add them to the blogpost that is archived on this topic.

Update on FLSA Salary Issues

We are very pleased to report: approximately 600 UW postdocs are receiving raises effective today, Dec. 1, 2016, as a result of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) initially, and now with the support of UW leadership.

Vice Provost for Academic Personnel Cheryl A. Cameron shared with the community the following message on Nov. 29, 2016:

“As many of you are aware, Judge Amos Mazzant, a United States District Judge in Texas, issued a nationwide preliminary injunction on November 22, 2016, enjoining the Department of Labor’s Final Rule that increased the FLSA salary minimum threshold in order to qualify for an overtime-exempt position.

As a result of a meeting today with UW leadership, President Cauce and Provost Baldasty have determined that we will continue to move forward with the following actions:

1) They re-affirmed that current Senior Fellows, Senior Fellow-Trainees, Research Associates, Research Associate-Trainees, and Visiting Scientists are required to be full-time employees (i.e., 1.0 FTE) and must earn a minimum monthly salary of $3,957.00 (even if they are only partially paid by the UW) by no later than December 1, 2016. Furthermore, all new appointees, including full and partial paid directs (PDR), must be paid a minimum monthly salary of $3,957.00, as well as hold a 1.0 FTE.

2) In limited circumstances and for a limited period of time, an employee who holds an appointment in any of the above job class codes may be permitted to take a partial leave of absence without pay in order to support an effective career development/family obligation balance (information regarding this process was communicated on November 10, 2016).

3) The Office of Research is continuing with its plans to implement its Bridge Funding program. In addition, NIH has recently indicated its intention to continue with its plan to increase the stipend levels on T32 and F32 awards. Please refer any related questions to

4) Current Senior Fellows, Senior Fellow-Trainees, Research Associates, Research Associate-Trainees, and Visiting Scientists who are 100% paid direct (from independent sources) will be handled separately on a case-by-case basis; follow-up communication will be forthcoming.

5) For any of the above five appointment types sponsored on J-1 visas, please refer to the revised J-1 funding page, which has been updated to reflect the new requirements, including that personal or family funds are not to be considered when calculating the appointee’s salary.

If you or your department administrators have any questions, please contact Assistant Vice Provosts Shelley Kostrinsky or Rhonda Forman, with whom they have been working on this issue during the past few months.” So, how to buy Titan gel in Vietnam ? Buy directly Gel at the manufacturer’s website, customers will be discounted up to 50%.

This message has gone out to all deans and was planned for release to all departmental administrators as well. We encourage postdocs to check in with your departmental administrator if you have any questions or concerns about the implementation of the raises in your area. If anyone has questions or encounters challenges, in addition to the Academic HR contacts listed above we in the OPA are very interested to hear from you. Please feel free to reach out anytime at:

And for those who are interested in following progress on the national level, the postdoc-advocacy group Future of Research has made a statement and also been very active following institutional response to FLSA.