Policy ForumEducation

The Evolution of Postdocs

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Science  08 Oct 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5694, pp. 232
DOI: 10.1126/science.1104916

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The last four years have seen many constructive activities designed to enhance the postdoc experience. The greatest remaining concern is the quality of mentoring by advisers. Many principal investigators view postdocs not as apprentices but as skilled, bargain-rate assistants, who become increasingly valuable with time. In this Policy Forum, Maxine Singer notes that when the independence of junior researchers is postponed, science suffers. Other strategies and incentives are discussed that can promote continued constructive change in the postdoctoral system.