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									    NC State University’s
Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

     Rhonda Sutton, PhD, LPC
Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
Background Information

• Created August 1, 2008
• Recommendation from the 2003/04
  Postdoctoral Task Force
• Housed within the Graduate School
• Reports to Dr. Rebeca Rufty, Associate Dean
• Position is ¾ time (30 hours a week)
   Number of Postdocs at NC State University
                            Total = 313 (as of 10.30.2008)

                       Number of Postdocs in Each College

                      96     94
# of Postdocs

                20                                14         7
                                                                 1     1
                      CVM   CALS   PAMS    CoE    CNR    CoT     DSN   CED
Office of Postdoctoral Affairs:
Vision and Mission

Vision:    enhance, support and promote
           the postdoctoral experience at NC State

Mission:   •   create and strengthen identity
           •   advocacy
           •   professional development
           •   assist with NSF mentoring requirement
           •   clearinghouse of information
           •   promote core competencies from
               the National Postdoctoral Association
    Office of Postdoctoral Affairs:
    Current Activities
•   Updating and improving website (
•   Identifying postdocs
•   Creation and utilization of postdoc list serve
•   Forming postdoctoral association
•   Informational interviews with postdocs
•   Creating faculty advisory committee
•   Professional development programs/developmental model
•   Career counseling and assistance with questions/concerns
•   Meeting with key people across campus
•   NSF requirements/IDP
•   Policy development
•   Potential collaborations with Sigma Xi
    Meetings: Introduction to Campus

•   Associate deans in all colleges contacted (have met with
•   HR/Benefits Research Administration Office of
    International Services
•   University Career Center and CALS Career Services
•   Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Diversity
•   Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
•   Department Heads Steering Committee Meeting on
    Tuesday, October 7, 2008
•   University Research Committee Meeting on Wednesday,
    October 15, 2008
       Meetings: Off Campus
•   Molly Starback, Director of Office of
    Postdoctoral Services, Duke University
•   Sibby Anderson-Thompkins (and staff),
    Director of Office of Postdoctoral Affairs,
    UNC-Chapel Hill
•   Dr. Wendy Perry, Director of Graduate and
    Postdoctoral Professional Development
    Programs, UVA
•   Katie Lord, Director of Marketing and
    Communications and Phillip Cates, Director of
    Organizational Advancement, Sigma Xi
Postdoc Association and Faculty
        Advisory Group
Postdoc Meetings Held Thus Far:
 • Wednesday, September 3, 2008
 • Thursday, September 4, 2008
 • Wednesday, September 17, 2008
 • Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Faculty Advisory Committee Meeting:
 • Monday, November 24, 2008
 OPA Faculty Advisory Committee
Dr. Alex Smirnov, Chemistry
Dr. David Tarpy, Entomology
Dr. Donald Brenner, Materials Engineering
Dr. Ken Adler, Molecular & Biomedical Sciences
Dr. Linda Hanley-Bowdoin, Biochemistry
Dr. Matt Ronning, Research Administration
Dr. Melissa Pasquinelli, Textile Eng., Chem. & Science
Dr. Paul Franzon, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Dr. Paul Maggard, Chemistry
Dr. Ralph Dean, Plant Pathology
Dr. Rebeca Rufty, Graduate School
Dr. Stephanie Curtis, Genetics
      Professional Development
       Programs for Postdocs

Wednesday, November 5, 2008: Finding Your Way
  to Academia: Stories from Assistant
  Professors (panel discussion)
Friday, November 14, 2008: Jobs in Industry:
  Insights from a Recruiter (Kelly Scientific
Tuesday, January 27, 2009: Fundamentals of
Tuesday, April 14, 2009: Tales from Both Sides of
  the Bench: Suggestions for Managing a Lab
  (panel discussion)
      NSF Mentoring Requirement
NSF proposals requesting "funding to support postdoctoral researchers
must include, as a separate section within the 15-page Project Description,
a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such
individuals. Examples of mentoring activities include, but are not limited to:
career counseling; training in preparation of grant proposals; publications
and presentations; guidance on ways to improve teaching and mentoring
skills; guidance on how to effectively collaborate with researchers from
diverse backgrounds and disciplinary areas; and training in responsible
professional practices. The proposed mentoring activities will be evaluated
as part of the merit review process under the Foundation's broader impacts
merit review criterion. Proposals that do not include a separate section on
mentoring activities within the Project Description will be returned without
review." (Section II.C.2.d.i)
( )
       Individual Development Plan
 Adapted and used with permission from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
                                    (FASEB) Science Policy Committee

Goals of the IDP: helps the postdoctoral scholar identify long-term career options
he or she wishes to pursue and the necessary tools to meet these; offers short
term goals for improving current performance
Pre-IDP: Postdoc conducts a self-assessment; talks with mentor about available
opportunities and chooses the opportunities that helps meet goals and
developmental needs

Write IDP: the IDP maps out general path the postdoc wants to take and helps
match strengths and skills to career choices; it is a changing document and
needs review by mentor on a regular basis to discuss revisions; establishes goals
and defines approaches to obtain the specific skills and strengths the postdoc
wishes to acquire during the postdoctoral appointment
       Some Input from Current Postdocs

•   We feel “invisible” and wonder if we really matter to the
•   It's important to have an office here at NCSU because we
    previously didn't have one, and it shows that NCSU is
    serious about developing postdocs and not just exploiting
    our status. In addition, having a large campus like we do,
    the office helps to pull us all together so we can meet other
    postdocs not necessarily in our department.
•   The presence of such an office or organization is one of the
    things that I think people do take into consideration when
    they are looking at universities to post doc at. I definitely
    noted which universities had post doc associations or not
    when I was looking around.
    I’m from UC Davis and the first thing I did was try to locate
    the postdoc office when I came here.
 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs:
 Contact Information

The Graduate School
221 Research Building III
Centennial Campus
1005 Capability Drive
Box 7102
Phone: 919.515.0326
 Postdoc Office: Peer Institutions

Cornell University
University of Florida
Pennsylvania State University
University of California – Davis
University of Minnesota
University of Wisconsin - Madison
   Postdoc Offices: South
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Duke University
Wake Forest University
University of Alabama
University of Kentucky
University of Virginia
Vanderbilt University
Virginia Commonwealth
   Postdoc Offices: Throughout U.S.
Arizona State University             University of California – Berkeley
Boston College                       University of California - Davis
Boston University                    University of California - Irvine
California Institute of Technology   University of California – Los Angeles
Case Western                         University of California - Riverside
Columbia University                  University of California – San Diego
Emory University                     University of California – San Francisco
Georgetown University                University of California – Santa Cruz
Harvard University                   University of Chicago
Johns Hopkins University             University of Cincinnati
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology    University of Massachusetts
Northwestern University              University of Michigan
Princeton University                 University of Nebraska
Rice University                      University of Southern California
Stanford University                  Washington State University
Temple University                    Yale University
Tufts University
     National Postdoctoral Association:
      Postdoctoral Core Competencies

1. Scientific Knowledge
2. Research Skills Development
3. Communication Skills (writing, speaking,
   interpersonal communication, special
4. Professionalism (personal, social, workplace,
    institutional, collegial, and universal)
5. Leadership/Management Skills
6. Responsible Conduct of Research
     The Developmental Process for Postdocs
Phase 1: Adaptation
Postdocs adapting to a new role that lies somewhere beween that of
graduate student and faculty member or (independent) research scientist.
Phase 2: Augmentation
Postdocs recognize need for professional development; can identify areas of
weakness. More earnest focus on career goals.
Phase 3: Amalgamation
Final phase of the postdoctoral experience. Goal is to have research and/or
teaching skills that have been developed coalesce with the professional
development acquired at the university.
Phase 4: Benefaction
Former postdoc “gives back” by sharing wisdom and insights with current

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