Have you hugged a postdoc lately? Well, this would be the week to show your thanks to a postdoc in celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week! In 2010, the United States Congress passed a resolution “expressing support for designation of the week beginning on the third Monday in September as ‘National Postdoc Appreciation Week’.” This resolution of support attests to the essential need of postdocs in science and their important contributions to humankind. In reality, we know that postdocs tend to be under appreciated and not fully acknowledged for their achievements, so take the time to thank your postdocs for all their hard work! Events have been planned around the country, but it’s not too late to show your appreciation for postdocs this week (and you don’t have to limit this to one week a year!) You can skip the hugs if you want (which may be a bad idea considering that the postdoc may have spent all night in the lab ;)), but here are some suggestions from the National Postdoc Association for celebrating! Most importantly, a simple gesture (i.e., sending a thank you note, taking a postdoc to lunch/coffee and having a conversation about the postdoc’s career development plans) can be enough to show a postdoc that they are appreciated!
Here are a few other useful links for postdocs and their mentors to help facilitate career development discussions:
National Postdoc Association – membership information
Best Places to Work Postdocs, 2012 – results from the annual postdoc survey (The Scientist magazine)
Editorial: Planning Career Paths for PhDs – by Jim Austin and Bruce Alberts (Science Careers)