OK, apologies, chemblogosphere: today is apparently write-guest-posts-for-Chemjobber day.
He poses an interesting question in his "Ivory Filter Flask" post from earlier today:
" What is the median length of a postdoc these days, anyways?"
Well, I may have some answers to that question. Looking through the New Hires, I put together a list, and ran some basic statistics*:
MAX: 8 years
(n = 38)
It's tough to make general statements about such a small cohort, but I noticed two trends:
1) Disciplines such as chemical biology, nanomaterials, P-chem, and computational chemistry tended to stay in longer postdocs.
2) About 20% of the faculty profiles were in more than one postdoc or other fellowship program prior to their faculty appointment.
Thoughts? Sound right, or wrong? Please let me know in the comments!
These postdocs reflect pending faculty appointments; I'm clearly not counting those who went into government, pharmaceutical, industry, or left chemistry entirely. If someone has a good idea for how to capture that data, I'm all ears.
Counting time: If someone gave a graduation year - "Ph.D. 2009"- I assumed a postdoctoral stint until their faculty start date. For example, 2015 start = 6 years a postdoc. If, however, they provided a range - "postdoc 2012-2014" - I assumed that they postdoc'd the difference of that time, or 2 years, despite the fact that, depending on start and end dates, that could reasonably be interpreted as any length of time between 13 months (Dec 2012-Jan 2014) and 36 months (Jan 2012-Dec 2014).
Of the 73 new faculty starting in 2015 or 2016 (as of June 2015), I was only able to find bio-sketch information for half. The following people from my list are represented in the above statistics: Li, Engle, Hyster, Matson, Menard, Personick, Thoi, Tsui, Wasa, Blakemore, Browne, Devery, Gahlmann, Kempa, Limmer, Nelson, Sing, Thompson, Bantz, Hubbard, Garcia-Bosch, Huo, Wei Li, Miller, Rossini, Seiple, Wu, Anand, Boudreau, Genereux, Jiang, Sletten, Theberge, Fu, Ke, Conley, Raston.