20 avril 2013

Quarterly summary with a special call out to postdocs

By David Kent. It’s the one-year anniversary of the Black Hole moving over to University Affairs. Jonathan and I are very pleased with the added exposure and it’s been a real treat to work with Léo, Peggy and company over the last 12 months – Happy Anniversary! We hope that our readers have enjoyed the content and that they continue to follow along and contribute with excellent comments and guest posts. Another important message attached to this summary, though, is for postdoctoral fellows to help inform the policy that governs their status, salaries and future opportunities in Canada by filling out the CAPS postdoctoral survey. Last week, I wrote a UA news article on its importance and encourage you all to read through it and forward to your postdoctoral colleagues (including international postdocs in Canada and Canadian postdocs abroad!). Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 23:02 - - Permalien [#]


13 avril 2013

Survey asks: Who is the Canadian postdoctoral fellow?

By David Kent. Lack of data makes it difficult to craft good policy to meet postdocs’ needs, say organizers. In 2009, the newly created Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars undertook its first survey of postdoctoral fellows, or PDFs. The results revealed that the average fellow in Canada was between 30 and 35 years of age, earned under $40,000 and had limited access to extended health coverage or other benefits.
This workplace snapshot was taken at a time of great unrest for PDFs, as the federal government had recently changed its taxation policy to make student scholarships – but not postdoctoral fellowships – tax-exempt. As a result, a substantial cohort of PhD graduates who continued in academic research as PDFs now earned less pay than they received during their graduate student years. In an effort to see if the situation has changed, CAPS has launched a new survey of PDFs and is encouraging all postdoctoral fellows in Canada to take part. Jeremy Mitchell, former chair of CAPS and leader of the current survey, said there is a pressing need for more complete and up-to-date data. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 19:16 - - Permalien [#]

07 avril 2013

2013 taxes for Canadian postdocs: The goal is consistency

By David Kent. Each year, our site gets flooded with visitors looking for information on taxation policy with respect to Canadian postdocs. Of course, much of this enthusiasm was sparked by the decision in Budget 2010 of the Canadian Government to stipulate specifically that the 2006 scholarship exemption would not be applicable to postdoctoral fellowships. Some of our readers are no doubt part of that affected cohort (2006-2009) and may find information they are looking for in our previous entries:
The inconsistent status of postdoctoral fellows across the country has resulted in some very unfortunate personal situations for our highest tier of young academics, including back-dated claims from the Canada Revenue Agency of thousands of dollars, long legal battles and differences of several thousands of dollars of take home pay for postdoctoral fellows due to receiving a different tax form for the exact same national fellowship. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:43 - - Permalien [#]

The Itinerant Postdoc

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/profhacker-nameplate.gifThis is a guest post by Adrianne Wadewitz, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Digital Learning + Research at Occidental College. In previous posts in this series, I have discussed a day in the life of a digital humanities postdoc, digital scholarship at a liberal arts college, and the invisibility of digital work. In this last post, I would like to discuss the time management and life choices involved in a postdoc. One of the real joys of my position is that I have time to learn new skills, such as coding. I can take time out of every day to work on projects that flesh out my skills. For example, I can take real time to develop this website on the New England Primer that I have been working on only sporadically for the past few years or I can experiment with 18thconnect’s TypeWright project. However, I have to rein in my desire to start lots of new projects and focus on developing my dissertation project into a book. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:07 - - Permalien [#]

09 mars 2013

Fewer postdocs with higher salaries? Hold your horses!

By David Kent. There has been a lot of rumbling over the last few years about how poorly compensated postdoctoral fellows are and how the system churns out too many doctoral students. Many have suggested that the best solution is to trim the number of positions and increase the salaries of those remaining. However, I suspect that many of the people arguing for better pay and fewer postdoc positions do not consider that they might be part of the cohort who would lose their jobs if such a measure were undertaken. I imagine that just about everyone would like to have more money and more job security, so I always find the “pay me more” arguments tough to swallow unless they are backed up with some good reasons and a clear plan for how things will be paid for. There are certainly good examples of exploited and underpaid postdoctoral fellows – I know this is especially prevalent in Canada and would love to remedy it. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:46 - - Permalien [#]

02 mars 2013

If postdoctoral life is about playing by the rules, what are the rules?

The Guardian homeBy Five years have passed since the end of my PhD. This seemed a suitable moment to take stock of my professional achievements and shortcomings and to make plans for the further development of my career. So I booked an advising session with Karen Kelsky, an academic careers consultant and former professor at a major US university. Do take a look at her blog – it considers, from a US perspective, some of the professional development issues that we all face. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:14 - - Permalien [#]

16 décembre 2012

Free journal access for postdocs in between positions

By . Further underscoring the acute strain on human resources in academic circles, Elsevier has just announced a unique program to help out researchers who find themselves in between positions (thanks for the heads up C!). While many parents are no doubt crying about how their clever child with a PhD bounces from one short-term contract to the next, this is actually good news for those who find themselves trapped by funny employment rules, grants that have expired, or other circumstances that prohibit their normally institutionally supplied access to scientific papers. The announcement can be found here, but note the deadline: December  15, so get moving! You’ll need a letter from your previous employer too, so that makes it a little tougher. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:13 - - Permalien [#]

08 février 2012

Portrait-robot des doctorants et post-doctorants franciliens

http://www.lesmetiers.net/plugins/LesMetiersPlugin/images/header_logo.gifQui sont les étudiants qui préparent une thèse de doctorat en Île-de-France? Quelle trajectoire professionnelle poursuivent-ils? La Région, qui attribue des allocations de recherche à certains d’entre eux, a réalisé une étude afin de mieux connaître ses « apprentis chercheurs ».
Les doctorants
sont des étudiants qui préparent une thèse de doctorat. Le doctorat est le plus haut titre universitaire. Il s’obtient après au moins 8 années d'études supérieures et se prépare durant 3 années minimum après le master.
On dénombre environ 70 000 doctorants en France, dont 40% vit, étudie et travaille en Ile-de-France.
L’étude, la première du genre menée, a été réalisée par la Région auprès des bénéficiaires de ses bourses. Elle permet de dresser un portrait-robot des doctorants franciliens.
Le doctorant est en majorité un homme âgé de moins de 28 ans (67%). Une grande partie des doctorants (60%) fait ses recherches dans le domaine des sciences dites « dures »: 39% sont spécialisés en biologie, médecine et santé, et 21% en maths, physique et chimie. Ce domaine des sciences dures est d’ailleurs très masculin, puisque les hommes y sont 78%. Pour en savoir plus, reportez-vous au site de la Région: http://www.iledefrance.fr/. Suite de l'article.
http://www.lesmetiers.net/plugins/LesMetiersPlugin/images/header_logo.gifKto sú študenti pripravujúci svoju dizertačnú prácu v Ile-de-France? Aké profesijnú dráhu aj naďalej? Kraj, ktorý udeľuje granty na výskum, aby niektoré z nich, štúdiu pre lepšie pochopenie jeho "učebné výskumných pracovníkov". Celý článok. Viac...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:35 - - Permalien [#]
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