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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tracking Career Outcomes for Postdoctoral Scholars: A Call to Action.

  • Author(s): Silva, Elizabeth A
  • Des Jarlais, Christine
  • Lindstaedt, Bill
  • Rotman, Erik
  • Watkins, Elizabeth S
  • et al.
Abstract

The oversupply of postdoctoral scholars relative to available faculty positions has led to calls for better assessment of career outcomes. Here, we report the results of a study of postdoctoral outcomes at the University of California, San Francisco, and suggest that institutions have an obligation to determine where their postdoc alumni are employed and to share this information with current and future trainees. Further, we contend that local efforts will be more meaningful than a national survey, because of the great variability in training environment and the classification of postdoctoral scholars among institutions. We provide a framework and methodology that can be adopted by others, with the goal of developing a finely grained portrait of postdoctoral career outcomes across the United States.

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