Continued advances in biological and biomedical sciences requires attention to current scientists and the next generation of researchers. We believe emphasizing the whole scientist, as opposed to just the science, elevates considerations and needs of the human aspects of a healthy, sustained scientific workforce.
Postdoctoral Researchers' Variable Access to Basic Benefits
PART 1A: WHAT IS A POSTDOC?
This factsheet gives a basic overview of what a postdoc is and presents data on how many postdocs are in the United States producing research in science, engineering, and health fields.
PART 1b: WHAT IS A POSTDOC?
This factsheet is an expansion of the above version that provides an overview of what a postdoc is, the number of postdocs in the United States in science, engineering, and health fields, as well as the percentage of postdocs that are temporary visa holders.
PART 2: ACADEMIC POSTDOC "TRAINEES" LACK ACCESS TO BENEFITS
Academic postdocs are labeled “trainees,” which can be more easily understood by a general audience when comparing postdocs to other fields such as medical residents and junior members of the general workforce. However, postdocs face limited access to benefits because of this “trainee” status, unlike their counterparts in other fields.
PART 3A: FUNDING MECHANISM DICTATES POSTDOC BENEFITS
The percentage of academic institutions that provide benefits such as health insurance, matched or tax-deferred retirement, time off, and parental leave is shown for postdocs who are paid from an individual fellowship through their institution and are not considered employees and postdocs who are funded from research grant dollars and are considered employees. PART 3B: FUNDING MECHANISM DICTATES POSTDOC BENEFITS
Expanding on the above, this factsheet shows the percentage of academic institutions that provide benefits such as health insurance, matched or tax-deferred retirement, time off, and parental leave for postdocs being paid from fellowships directly given directly to the awardee in addition to individual fellowships and grant research dollars.
PART 4: CASE STUDY IN DIFFERENCE IN POSTDOC BENEFITS
This case study demonstrates benefit scenarios for four different postdocs. Despite performing effectively the same job function, the mechanism of pay can dramatically alter access to benefits.
National Science Foundation STEM Workforce Data
National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics collects and disseminates data on the science and engineering enterprise in the United States. FASEB utilized data presented in the Survey of Earned Doctorates, Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering, Survey of Doctorate Recipients, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering report, and Science and Engineering Indicators report to highlight themes of interest in this series of workforce factsheets.
PART 1: FEMALE DOCTORATE RECIPIENT REPRESENTATION, FUNDING, AND DEBT
This factsheet explores female PhD representation in the life sciences, resources used to support educational and living expenses during graduate school, and overall debt by sex for all PhD recipients.
PART 2: FEMALE PHD EMPLOYMENT AND SALARY IN 2019
Highlights work sectors by sex for life sciences doctorate recipients, rank, and salary for life sciences faculty at U.S. four-year educational institutions and doctorate recipients from all fields that are not employed or seeking work.
PART 3: DOCTORATE RECIPIENT DEBT
Accumulated debt related to graduate education is more significant than undergraduate education for doctorate recipients in all fields of all races and ethnicities, and apparent disparities exist across racial and ethnic backgrounds.
PART 4: INTERNATIONAL PHDs
Temporary visa holders that earn a doctorate in the United States intend to stay in the country at rates higher than securing a definite work offer. The current graduate and postdoctoral population in the sciences significantly represents non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
PART 5: MASTER'S DEGREES IN SCIENCE
In the sciences, master’s students have a greater representation of those who identify as female and ethnic or racial minorities than doctoral students, and there are more master’s students than doctoral students in the sciences, largely accounted for by increased part-time enrollment.
PART 6: MASTER'S DEGREES BY FIELD PRIOR TO DOCTORATE DEGREE IN 2019
Earning a master’s degree before a doctoral degree varies by field, with fields such as biology and chemistry not emphasizing earning master’s degrees as much as other science fields.
PART 7: PHDS WITH A DISABILITY IN 2019
This factsheet shows representation of doctoral degree holders in the workforce with one or more disabilities in various science fields, types of disabilities reported, and calls for additional evidence collection.
Mental Wellness Resources
- Asian Mental Health Collective
- BetterHelp (online text and virtual)
- Bridges (New York City-based services for Asian American and Pacific Islander community)
- Dragonfly Mental Health
- Free Black Therapy
- Liberate Mediation
- National Alliance on Mental Health
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Open Counseling (low cost or free)
- Pride Counseling (online text and virtual for LGBTQ+ clients)
- Psychology Today
- Silver Lake Psychology (in Southern California)
- Therapy for Black Girls
- Therapy for Latinx