New guidebook aims to help female postdocs

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

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It’s no secret that women pursuing careers in science face various challenges, and those related to having children can be particularly pronounced for female postdocs. To help address some of these issues, the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) has released the Elsevier Advancing Postdoc Women Guidebook. And while the guidebook is primarily intended for women, much of the information—including chapters about career planning and building good mentoring relationships—is relevant for all readers, regardless of gender.

One of the guidebook’s primary aims is to make readers aware of the many resources that are available to them, particularly from professional societies and associations, such as mentorship programs, career development workshops, and funding opportunities. “There are a lot of really great resources available that I don’t believe people know about, so this guidebook is intended to shine a light on them,” says NPA Executive Director Belinda Huang, who edited the guidebook and wrote a chapter. Different societies and associations offer different programs and resources, so seeing them all in one place can also alert postdocs to opportunities they might not have realized were lacking in their disciplines and empower them to advocate for themselves. “If you don’t find the program or resource offered, ask your society for it,” Huang advises. ()

The guidebook was funded through our Elsevier Foundation 2012 New Scholars Grant. The New Scholars Program supports projects to help early- to mid-career women scientists balance family responsibilities with demanding academic careers and addresses the attrition rate of talented women scientists.

Read the full article, which made the front page of Science Careers, on this newly published guidebook and download the guidebook as a PDF at: