Feb 3, 2014 | Atlanta, GA
Since opening last fall, Tech’s Office of Postdoctoral Services has been connecting the dots among postdoctoral fellows, faculty mentors, and the administration by hosting networking events, orientation sessions, and workshops.
Now the office is launching a website featuring resources for postdoctoral fellows and faculty mentors.
“The website will be a one-stop-shop for information regarding policies, career development resources, benefits, grants and fellowships, and mentoring,” said Jana Stone, who started last September as the first manager of the Office of Postdoctoral Services.
“We want the website — and the Office of Postdoctoral Services — to be a resource for postdoctoral fellows and faculty,” Stone said. “Incoming postdocs can learn about what to expect at Georgia Tech, current postdocs can learn about career opportunities and how to apply for grants and fellowships, and faculty mentors can review best practices.”
The Office of Postdoctoral Services, which is under the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Affairs, is charged by the Office of the Provost to invest in the culture of postdoctoral fellows, also called “postdocs,” to help build their skills so that they can move on to rewarding permanent positions. A postdoc holds a doctoral degree, is in a temporary position pursuing research with a faculty mentor, and is acquiring the professional skills needed for career advancement. Of the 355 postdocs at Tech, half are in the College of Engineering and one-third are in the College of Sciences.
“The excitement from around the campus about the creation of the postdoc office has been striking,” said Susan Cozzens, vice provost of Graduate Education and Faculty Affairs. “Postdocs are key to the success of many of our research areas. To attract the best, we need to offer a strong range of career development opportunities and favorable conditions of work. We want our postdoctoral scholars to move into productive career pathways and become ambassadors who build Georgia Tech’s international reputation.”
In addition to launching and maintaining a new website, the Office of Postdoctoral Services has several other projects underway, including:
- Collaborating with the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning to offer a Tech to Teaching workshop based on the principles of learner-centered teaching.
- Creating a road map of activities for postdocs to follow, from the initial conversation to career development.
- Writing a strategic plan that will address postdocs’ concerns identified in the Campus Climate Survey and a 2011 survey of postdocs.
“We’re looking for other opportunities to collaborate across campus and also with other institutions and organizations,” said Stone, who is vice-chair of the National Postdoctoral Association’s 2014 meeting. “We welcome all suggestions that will help us improve the postdoctoral experience at Georgia Tech.”