Readings and Items of Interest

Below we highlight published items of interest to current/future postdocs and other PhD professionals. We are especially interested in drawing attention to policy issues, minority postdocs, and national/regional postdoc diversity affinity groups. For busy PhD professionals, we will scan the diversity literature and news outlets.

Inside Higher Ed, June 2012


  • "Positive Choices and Interventions Women Scientists and Engineers Can Make:
  • Seek affiliations with women in science and engineering, status of women committees, women's studies, or the women's caucus of your professional society to obtain support needed for your career.
  • Realize that having a spouse/partner supportive of your career is equally or more important than having a supportive mentor.
  • Look for evidence of women-friendly and family-friendly policies, lactation stations, women's studies programs and other institutional policies and practices that may facilitate your career when interviewing and considering whether to accept a position in a particular laboratory or institution."


ScienceCareers, June 2012

The report recommends that more postdocs be supported by training grants and fewer by PIs' research grants, with the total number of NIH-supported postdocs remaining constant or perhaps decreasing.

Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2012

...countless processes, norms, and cultures are daily stumbling blocks to women's advancement. Female faculty are the handmaidens of academe, serving with their time, talent, and treasure in ways that move their institutions forward. But their contributions are often missed in considerations of tenure, promotion, recognition, salary increases, and leadership succession. Four decades after the passage of Title IX, it's no wonder that women still suffer from chilly climates or vote with their feet and leave academe for greener pastures. The situation is especially perilous for women from minority backgrounds.

Inside Higher Ed, June 2012

Faculty of color wouldn’t be seen as rare and exotic species if college campuses were more diversified and more integrated. It would also help minimize the circus sideshow during faculty orientation. What I am opposed to, however, is all the talk and emphasis that administrators put on our diversity to the detriment and outright neglect of everything else we bring to the table.

Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2012

...a lot is already known about why students drop out of STEM studies. Among the leading reasons are uninspiring introductory courses, difficulty with the required math because of a lack of adequate preparation, and an academic culture that is sometimes not welcoming, particularly to women and minorities, who constitute 70 percent of college students but earn only 45 percent of STEM degrees.

NatureBlogs SoapboxScience, June 2012

There often is a commonality of experience made unique by our race and gender. Consequently, from one Black woman to another there can be a uniquely crafted kind of mentorship relative to the challenges of being black and female in a white and male dominated profession.

Chronicle of Higher Education, April 2012

...the fact is, community colleges have been hiring more and more Ph.D.'s—mostly because they can, given the glut of Ph.D.'s on the market, but also because many two-year colleges these days aspire to become four-year institutions.

Chronicle of Higher Education, March 2012

Today's typical college leader is a married white male with a doctorate in education. He is 61 years old... racial and ethnic minorities, who represent 13 percent of college presidents, are slightly less prevalent than they were in 2006, when 14 percent of college leaders were members of minority groups.

Chronicle of Higher Education, September 2011 (subscription required)

...this is about more than diversifying undergraduate education. When we look at the relatively small change that has happened across the board, change has been very minuscule. When it comes to diversifying top positions, we have to be more intentional.

Last updated: 2020-06-28