January 23, 2009

Ombuds an Important Resource for Postdocs

An informal survey by Science Careers last year identified some of the factors that make science careers inherently stressful:
  • Competition
  • Limited Job Opportunities
  • Mismatch Between Job Demands and Rewards
  • Pressure to Succeed
  • Lack of Control
  • Lack of Support
These stress factors can be acute for postdoctoral researchers. "Some postdocs discover they are advancing the careers of their mentors instead of their own," says Sam Castañeda, director of the Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs program at the University of California, Berkeley. Castañeda often refers stressed-out trainees to the campus's Ombuds office so they can find ways to work out problems and manage stress. (Science.)

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