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.

ScienceCareers, August 2012

Micella Phoenix DeWhyse: Why should the community care? It's not only because trainees are suffering; it's also because intellectual health is linked with psychological health. Most of us are at our most productive when we're well adjusted—when we feel respected, valued, and confident in our potential. Unfortunately, that describes a rather small fraction of the science-trainee population., July 2012

...students, more than other stakeholders, will be the main catalysts for change in the area of faculty diversity. 'The students will make the difference. They are the ones who put the pressure on the institutions, and there needs to be more pressure from the students.'

Inside Higher Ed, July 2012 examined the careers of a group of sociologists and found that women with children are more likely than childless women to end up in...a tenured job...they are as likely to end up on that career path as are men with or without children.

SACNAS News Summer/Fall 2012

After much painstaking research, I found the ability to pursue one's ideas is dictated by funding and personal connections.

Inside Higher Ed, July 2012

Grutter recognized that having a diverse student body serves a variety of important educational objectives. One of those objectives can be described syllogistically: personal characteristics help determine our experiences; our experiences inform our thoughts and perspectives; therefore, having students with a wide array of personal qualities helps enrich the educational environment by infusing it with a rich variety of ideas and points of view.

Inside Higher Ed, July 2012

Couples in all fields, and particularly those in academe, face struggles over career priorities. For women scientists, the issue is especially acute since...83 percent of women scientists are partnered with other scientists, compared to 54 percent of men scientists.

Inside Higher Ed, July 2012

The study examined minority graduate enrollments in four states -- California, Florida, Texas (where the ban has since been lifted) and Washington State -- that have had bans on the consideration of race in admissions decisions during the years since those bans were adopted. Across graduate programs, the enrollment of underrepresented minority groups has fallen 12 percent under the bans...

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.

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