United States National Postdoc Survey results and the interaction of gender, career choice and mentor impact

McConnell, S. C., et al. (2018). "United States National Postdoc Survey results and the interaction of gender, career choice and mentor impact." eLife 7: e40189.

The postdoctoral community is an essential component of the academic and scientific workforce, but a lack of data about this community has made it difficult to develop policies to address concerns about salaries, working conditions, diversity and career development, and to evaluate the impact of existing policies. Here we present comprehensive survey results from 7,603 postdocs based at 351 US academic and non-academic (e.g. hospital, industry and government lab) institutions in 2016. In addition to demographic and salary information, we present multivariate analyses on factors influencing postdoc career plans and satisfaction with mentorship. We further analyze gender dynamics and expose wage disparities. Academic research positions remain the predominant career choice, although women and US citizens are less likely than their male and non-US citizen counterparts to choose academic research positions. Receiving mentorship training has a significant positive effect on postdoc satisfaction with mentorship. Quality of and satisfaction with postdoc mentorship also appear to heavily influence career choice.

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