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Supporting Minority Postdocs


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A critical transition point for entry into the professoriate is a postdoctoral experience. In the STEM and biomedical science fields, one or more years of work as a postdoc are increasingly required for advancement into tenure-track faculty positions, but according to recent NSF data only 8.3 percent of postdoctoral scholars in those fields were from underrepresented backgrounds. Furthermore, underrepresented postdocs are not entering tenure-track faculty positions in sufficient numbers, especially at research-intensive institutions. During this webinar, we will explore known barriers to minority postdoc success as well as the efficacy of national programs designed to advance them to the professoriate (e.g. NIH IRACDA). Speakers will also highlight successful regional programs, such as the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity. The webinar will conclude with information about a proposed action item to partner with national stakeholders to evaluate the impact of diversity programs on postdoctoral scholars.

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Supporting Minority Postdocs

  1. 1. Supporting Minority Postdocs Tuesday, April 18, 1:00-2:00pm Eastern Time Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Coalition of Urban-Serving Universities
  2. 2. Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce Webinar Series Tuesday, April 18, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
  3. 3.  If you cannot hear the audio, check the “Audio” pane on the control panel. You can use your speakers or dial-in using your telephone.  You may ask questions at any time using the chat box.  Handouts
  4. 4.  Webinar series on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce  Share findings from the USU/APLU/AAMC report (July 2016)  Upcoming webinars: work/upcoming-events
  5. 5.  Collaborative effort of APLU/USU and AAMC, supported by NIH  70 experts from 28 universities/academic medical centers  Identify research actions for improving evidence  Examined four areas:  Diverse Faculty Hiring and Advancement  Leadership, Organizational Change, and Climate;  Diverse Student Success;  Recruitment and Admissions
  6. 6. Frances Leslie, Ph.D. Vice Provost and Dean, Graduate Division, University of California, Irvine
  7. 7. What are the barriers to minority trainee success? 7 Supporting Minority Postdocs • Psychological factors, such as science identity and teamwork/leadership self-efficacy are important predictors of commitment of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to a science career (Chemers, et al., 2011) • Some studies also suggest that women and minority scientists’ interests in research careers are more tied to altruistic values (Gibbs and Griffin, 2013; Thoman et al., 2014) Thus, helping early stage graduate students to identify the societal impacts of their research may help to retain them in the pipeline. • Lack of adequate financial support can negatively impact degree attainment and interfere with research (Sowell et al, 2015) • There is a need for mentors that understand the unique needs of URM trainees (Pfund, 2015)
  8. 8. The postdoc phase is a critical point in the transition • Interest in faculty careers at research-intensive universities declines as training progresses, especially for those from minority backgrounds. Suggests that there are aspects of the environment or nature of faculty work that cause qualified URMs to choose other career paths (Gibbs et al., 2014; 2015) • Only 5 -10% of US native postdocs in STEM are URM (Gibbs et al., 2016; – In the life sciences, elite male faculty labs that produce a large proportion of the new assistant professors in the field are also known to employ fewer women trainees (Sheltzer and Smith, 2014) – As recently emphasized by several national studies, postdoctoral positions, which are almost obligatory as the next step for graduate students interested in pursuing a research career, are low-paying and temporary in nature, with little opportunity for mentoring and professional development (National Institutes of Health, 2012; National Academy of Sciences, 2014). This may dissuade dissuade URM scientists, who often have higher debt load (Malcolm & Dowd, 2012), and women who may wish to start a family. 8
  9. 9. Barriers to faculty diversity • Whereas URM PhD graduates in biomedical sciences grew more than 9-fold from 1980–2013, the number of URM assistant professors in basic biomedical science departments grew only 2.6-fold (Gibbs et al., 2016) • Simulations demonstrate an uncoupling of URM PhD production and faculty hiring, and predict that increased faculty diversity will only occur with increased transition of candidates onto the market and their subsequent hiring (Gibbs et al., 2016) • We must therefore ensure the proper types of support (e.g. funding, mentorship and sponsorship) to allow URM postdocs to effectively progress to independence (Valantine et al., 2016). We must also make faculty work environments attractive and supportive for URM and women scientists • We must ensure that faculty recruitment, evaluation, and retention processes support scientists from all backgrounds (Gasman, 2016) 9
  10. 10. Relevant action group recommendations • Partner with national stakeholders to evaluate the impact of diversity programs for postdocs on the institutions participating in such programs, and the impact on larger barriers facing URM postdocs. • Pilot the use of applicant diversity statements at 10 research-intensive universities • Conduct a national study to determine the extent of use of evidence-based practices for faculty hiring • Convene faculty focus groups to identify key determinants of URM faculty retention and advancement in the biomedical sciences 10
  11. 11. UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PPFP) • Established in 1985 • Provides up to two years of postdoctoral salary and benefits and provides $5,000 towards research and professional development • PPFP also provides a hiring incentive, in the form of 5-years of salary, for fellows hired in tenure-track positions within the UC system • Successes of the program – As of 2016, 693 postdocs have participated in the program – 61% have gone on to tenure-track positions, 45% of those positions were within the UC system – Former PPFP fellows account for 10% of the total hiring of faculty from underrepresented groups in the UC system • Program has now expanded to the Universities of Michigan and Colorado 11
  12. 12. Kathleen Flint Ehm, Ph.D. Director, Office for the Integration of Research, Education, and Professional Development and Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, Stony Brook University
  13. 13. Advancing Women, Advancing Science: Postdocs and the Academic Career Pipeline Kathleen Flint Ehm Director, IREP Office and Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Stony Brook University Supporting Minority Postdocs Webinar April 18, 2017 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
  14. 14. Ph.D. Academic Tenure Track Postdoc The PhD Academic Career Pipeline i.e. the incredible shrinking tenure track • More and more PhDs head to other career paths, for many reasons • How can we reduce barriers that cause postdoc women to exit more than men?
  15. 15. Contributing Factors • Early-Career vs. Family Formation – Women cite issues related to children for opting against TT professor track1 • Dual-career challenges – Postdoc women more likely than men to make career concessions for partner2 • Gender bias in hiring and work environment – Letters of recommendation3 & hiring decisions4 – Sexual harassment5 • Limited family-friendly benefits for trainees – 53% postdoc employees have no paid maternity leave6 SOURCES: [1] Goulden, Mason & Frasch (2009), “Staying Competitive Patching America’s Leaky Pipeline in the Sciences.” [2]Martinez et al. 2007, EMBO; [3] Madera, Heibl & Martin 2009; [4] Moss-Racusin et al. 2012; Reuben et al. 2014.; [5] St Johns et al. 2016; [6] Pregnant Scholar Project 2017,
  16. 16. Additional Factors • Isolation and lack of status • “Postdoc clock” vs. “Biological clock” – “Long enough, but short enough” • Low salaries – Finances linked to: Childcare, mortgages, immigration, dual-career decision-making • International issues – Geographic & visa limitations SOURCE: Ehm & Johnson-Phillips 2012. From PhD to Professoriate: The Role of the Institution in Fostering the Advancement of Postdoc Women. National Postdoctoral Association.
  17. 17. • Implement recommended postdoc policies – Take “postdoc clock” into consideration with hiring, part-time and term limit decisions – Pay reasonable salaries – Consider “permanently” hiring your own postdocs, which can help “dual-career” geographical constraints. • Programs like UC Presidential Fellows, Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity – Include postdocs in any institution-wide assessment of climate for women What Can Institutions Do?
  18. 18. • Enhance family-friendly benefits – Develop clear maternity/parental leave guidelines • Limit case-by-case determination • Standardize pregnancy accommodation • “Notify” don’t “ask permission” – Identify paid maternity leave and replacement funding • Example: Supplemental staff support during leave • OR bridge funding for extending a postdoc’s tenure without penalty to the PI – Discounts or subsidies or pre-tax benefits for childcare expenses What Can Institutions Do?
  19. 19. • Incentivize mentorship – Reward as part of core activities – Structured mentoring and mentor training programs • Foster career planning – Particularly helpful with dual-career planning – “Maternity” IDPs can minimize the effect of parental leave What Can Institutions Do?
  20. 20. Sibby Anderson- Thompkins, Ph.D. Director of Postdoctoral Affairs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  21. 21. Mission of the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity • Prepare underrepresented racial and ethnic scholars for faculty careers and the tenure process. • Develop scholars for possible tenure-track faculty appointments at UNC and other research universities. • Provide “protected time” for scholars to focus full-time on research. STEM scholars pictured on right: Lydia Abebe, 2014-2015, Department of Environmental Sciences & Engineering; Sharonda LeBlanc, 2014- 2016, Department of Chemistry; and Robbie Burger, 2015-2017, Department of Biology
  22. 22. Program Overview and Fellow Expectations • Two year fellowship • Stipend: $47,476 • Benefits: Research allowance, relocation, laptop & medical • Attend annual retreat, monthly professional development meetings & socials • Meet with department chair and faculty mentor(s) • Teaching is not a requirement-limited to one course per academic year • Postdoctoral appointment subject to UNC Postdoctoral Scholar Policies
  23. 23. Mentoring Philosophy of the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity A Multi-Tiered Mentoring Model for Tenure Track Success CPPFD multi-tiered mentoring structure includes: • CPPFD Program Leadership • Cohort Peer Mentors (URM postdocs) • Career Counselors and Coaches • Department Chairs and Faculty Mentors • Institutional Leader Mentors • External Mentors (CPPFD Alumni) Llewellyn-Williams C, Johnson VA, Deloney LA, Thomas BR, Goyol A, Henry-Tillman R (2006) The POD: A model for mentoring underrepresented minority faculty. Academic Medicine 81(3): 275-279. Carolina Postdoctoral Fellow CPPFD Program Leadership Cohort Peer Mentors Career Counselors and Coaches Department Chairs and Faculty Mentors Institutional Leader Mentors External Mentors (CPPFD Alumni)
  24. 24. CPPFD Annual Retreat, Monthly Professional Development Programs, and Mentoring Lunches Some of the topics and events include:  Annual Fall Retreat  Making the Most of the Fellowship  Individual Career Development Plan  Navigating the Ivory Tower  Inside the Search Committee  Negotiating the Offer  Tenure Track‐ How it Works  Navigating Departmental Politics & Relationships  Communicating Your Science  Finding Funding  Grantsmanship  Personal Branding  Creating a Strategic Plan for your Research and Writing  Identity and Intersectionality in the Academy  National Center for Faculty Diversity & Development Webinars*  Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning Communities (STEM)* *Additional resources available to CPPFD through Institutional Memberships
  25. 25. At a Glance: CPPFD Facts & Figures 73% 7% 2% 15% 1% 1% 1% African American/Black American Indian Asian American Hispanic/Latino
  26. 26. CPPFD Impact on STEM Faculty
  27. 27. Faculty at 46 Colleges and Universities 32 Full Professors and Distinguished/Endowed Professorships 1 University President
  28. 28. Institutional Investment to Advance Faculty Diversity: Dr. Smith • Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity – Dr. Smith’s Stipend: $47,476 (Minus Department Contribution, $8000) – Health Insurance Coverage: ($4,310) – Research Support: $2000 – Two Year Appointment – Total: $91,572 • UNC Targeted Hire Program – Dr. Smith’s Salary Per Year: $75,000 – Four Years – Total: $300,000 $391,572
  29. 29. Key Partners UNC Targeted Hiring Program • Managed by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost to further campus goals for a more diverse faculty. • Program provides up to full- salary for a period of up to 4 years. • There is no maximum salary for this Program; however it is dependent upon the availability of funds at the time of application. • After the initial four years, the hiring unit assumes fully the support of faculty member hired. • Provides university-wide leadership in creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive environment. • Advocates for promoting diversity and inclusion, shaping University diversity related policies, and executing University diversity goals. • Supports the University’s mission by leading efforts to conceptualize, assess, and cultivate diversity and inclusion. Provost’s Targeted Hiring Program Chief Diversity Officer
  30. 30. UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs What is Working: Our Formula Carolina Postdoc Targeted Hiring Program Minority Hire Waivers Demographics: 61% were women, 85.4% were URM faculty. 2009 to 2014 Of the 103 from these three processes: 81.6% were recruited into tenured and tenure track positions.
  31. 31. Jessica Faupel-Badger, Ph.D., MPH Director, NIGMS Postdoctoral Research Associate (PRAT) Program, National Institutes of Health
  32. 32. NIGMS Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA/K12) Program Jessica Faupel-Badger, PhD, MPH Program Officer, NIGMS
  33. 33. IRACDA Program Features • Structured, institutional postdoctoral training programs developing research and teaching skills • Scholars must be within 2 years of receipt of PhD and are supported for 3 years • Multiple mentor model (i.e. research mentor, teaching mentor, IRACDA program director, and others) Research Intensive Partner 75% Research 25% • Pedagogy • Teaching • Other Skills
  34. 34. Active IRACDA Programs
  35. 35. Career Outcomes Assessment • IRACDA program started in 1999 with 2 awards, now 22 awards and over 450 alumni • Examine current employment of IRACDA alumni (1999- 2014) using NIH databases and public sources, with emphasis on academic careers and institution type
  36. 36. IRACDA Alumni Are Diverse IRACDA Alumni (n=496)
  37. 37. IRACDA Alumni Career Outcomes % 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 academic faculty government research industry research science non- research health professional non-science IRACDA all alumni (1999-2014) N=391
  38. 38. Academic Institutions Employing IRACDA Alumni % n=285 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Associates Baccalaureate Masters Doctoral Research Universities Research University (High/VH) and Medical School
  39. 39. Demographics of IRACDA Alumni in Academic Positions by Institution Type N=72 N=141 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Research Intensive Institutions All Other Institution Types Unknown/Withheld Well-Represented Under-Represented
  40. 40. IRACDA Alumni Outcomes • IRACDA alumni reflect diversity of biomedical research talent pool • >70% in academic research and teaching positions • Hold academic positions in a diverse array of educational institutions
  41. 41.  Please submit questions through the chatbox
  42. 42.  Contact info: ◦ Julia Michaels, Project Manager ◦ (202) 478-6071 ◦  Next webinar… Improving Campus Climate for Diversity and Inclusion Wednesday, May 17, 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern Time