This past week, Gladstone celebrated National Postdoc Appreciation Week by recognizing the creativity, hard work, and dedication of its postdocs—the highly skilled scientists who drive much of the scientific research at Gladstone.
“Gladstone has more than 100 postdocs, and their contributions are vital to the quality and importance of the research coming out of Gladstone. In addition, we are constantly attentive to providing them new skills and experiences that advance their careers as scientists.” said Dr. Sandy Williams, president of Gladstone. “Planning an entire week of events focused on our postdocs was intended to recognize and thank them for their scientific contributions, and to create some special learning and networking opportunities.
On Monday, the postdocs gathered to learn about the goals, mission, and accomplishments of the Gladstone Postdoc Advisory Committee, the governing body of the postdoc community.
On Tuesday, scientist and author, Dr. Peter Fiske, spoke to the postdocs about scientific careers for scientists and engineers, which was followed by a team-building lunch. His talk was entitled, “Put Your Science to Work—Practical Advice and Proven Techniques to Land the Job of Your Dreams.”
“I thought that Dr. Fiske's talk was phenomenal,” said Dr. Maria Telpoukhovskaia. “His practical advice on professional development, his use of real people's careers as examples, and his personal career track resonated with the crowd.”
Wednesday brought the ExCITe workshop, “The Art of Networking,” which focused on the power of networking and highlighted best practices when expanding their professional network.
On Thursday, Gladstone launched a new program through an event called “Career Exploration and Mentorship: Launching a Peer-Support System.” The mission of this new program is to introduce a career exploration program that will connect like-minded postdocs to learn more about career options and how they can achieve their career goals. The program will provide a framework for postdocs to form small groups of peers who will meet regularly to share what they are learning, challenge each other, and keep each other motivated while exploring and realizing their career goals.
On Friday, the week wrapped up with a networking event that provided postdocs at both Gladstone and its affiliate institution, the University of California, San Francisco, an opportunity to mingle, collaborate, and celebrate.
During the week, Gladstone also made an exciting and surprising announcement that it will be increasing postdoc salaries starting next month. Gladstone has already been providing its postdocs with more competitive benefits than most other institutions across the country, and they are pleased that they are now able to offer them even higher compensation.
“Postdoc appreciation week is an occasion for us to recognize and appreciate our postdocs and their science,” said Dr. Sudha Krishnamurthy, program director of the Office of Postdoctoral and Graduate Affairs at Gladstone. “We had great attendance throughout the week and the postdocs really got to know one another through a variety of activities. These types of events contribute to the strong sense of community that we have throughout Gladstone.”
The festivities of this past week are only one aspect of the many efforts that Gladstone has made to enhance the experience of its postdocs. Last year, Gladstone was highlighted in a report by the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) for consistently receiving high marks by postdocs in The Scientist's annual survey of the “Best Places to Work for Postdocs.” For the past 8 years, Gladstone has been one of the Top 15, and it secured the #1 spot in 2006 and 2008.