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NC State University’s *New* Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. Rhonda Sutton, PhD, LPC Director. Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Background Information. • Created August 1, 2008 • Recommendation from the 2003/04 Postdoctoral Task Force • Housed within the Graduate School

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Nc state university s new office of postdoctoral affairs

NC State University’s*New*Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Rhonda Sutton, PhD, LPC


Office of postdoctoral affairs background information
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 at NC State UniversityTotal = 313 (as of 10.30.2008)









Office of postdoctoral affairs vision and mission
Office of Postdoctoral Affairs:Vision and Mission

Vision: enhance, support and promote

the postdoctoral experience at NC State

Mission:• create and strengthen identity


•professional development

• assist with NSF mentoring requirement

•clearinghouse of information

• promote core competencies from

the National Postdoctoral Association

Office of postdoctoral affairs current activities
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
Meetings: Introduction to Campus

  • Associate deans in all colleges contacted (have met with CALS; COT; CVM; DSN)

  • 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
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 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
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
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 Resources)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009: Fundamentals of Teaching

Tuesday, April 14, 2009: Tales from Both Sides of the Bench: Suggestions for Managing a Lab (panel discussion)

Nsf mentoring requirement
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
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
Some Input from Current Postdocs

  • We feel “invisible” and wonder if we really matter to the university.

  • 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
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
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
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
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
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 draft
The Developmental Process for Postdocs***Draft***

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