Mentors' obligations also include providing their postdocs practical counsel and aid in moving to their next post, as well as all needed facilities and supplies. And mentors should never add "surprise" responsibilities, a practice that is simply "not fair," Cech said.
"Given postdocs' dependence on their mentors for both current working conditions and future career prospects, potential effects on mentor-postdoc relations have raised concern. Predictions range from destruction of that crucial partnership to a new era of improved mutual respect."
"Cost of living adjustments? Nobody's getting those," says Shawn Hayes, chair of the statewide University of California Council of Postdoctoral Scholars and a postdoc at UC Davis. There's also discussion of "the possibility of a 10% across-the-board salary cut for everybody, including faculty."
" Narod has spent 2 decades simultaneously "at the vanguard of a brand-new science" and at the helm of a corporation lucrative enough to support overseas mountaineering trips and a handsome home in an upscale neighborhood."
"Key to the problematic status of most non-tenure-track scientists is universities' widespread refusal to allow them to apply for their own research funding, the sine qua non of scientific credibility."
" According to the NLRB decision, Brown graduate assistants are ineligible to form a union because they are not employees. Rather, they "are first and foremost students, and their status as graduate student assistants is contingent on their continued enrollment as students."
[F]or all the stump-speech hyperbole, a single, remorseless reality must govern the next president's actions, no matter who he is. The huge budget deficit, the war in Iraq, and the war on terrorism will combine to squeeze federal scientific agencies not directly involved in defense, homeland security, or several earmarked projects. Competing for scarce funds with a myriad of other money-strapped domestic agencies, the civilian science agencies face the likelihood of budget cuts, some quite substantial.
Correcting the problems and inequities that bedevil postdocs will require changing the culture of labs and universities across the country, and the National Science Foundation can and should take steps to catalyze reform.