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CHAPTER 3 POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING Recent attention has been given to the status of the growing postdoctoral population in science departments.) As junior faculty appointments became more scarce over the past decade, growing numbers of young Ph.D.s in the biosciences and physics applied for and accepted postdoctoral appointments--usually research associateships--(Figure 3.1) 70 - C: 10 - - Physics Chemistry Biosciences a` 1 1 1 1 1 _. ... 1 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 FIGURE 3.1 Percent of new Ph.D.s planning postdocs, 1972-1980 SOURCE. Doctorate Records File, National Research Council iNational Research Council, Postdoctoral Appointments and Disappoint- meets, (National Academy Press), 1981. 3.1

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some presumably to hold them over until a faculty position became avail- ableO The pay is typically low; there are in fact a few documented cases of unpaid positions. 2 In this chapter, we will examine recent patterns for female and male postdocs, including their numbers, reasons for taking a postdoctoral appointment, the institutions which sponsor them, the average stipend levels, and the relationship of marital status to some of these factors. In the fields where postdoctoral appointments are a common pattern-- physics, chemistry, the earth sciences, agricultural and biosciences-- similar proportions of recent men and women Ph.D.s reported that they planned to take a postdoc (Table 3.1~. In medical sciences also, a substantial fraction of the 1981Ph.D.s plan postdoctoral study but for women it is only one-third compared with one-half of the men. This is perhaps explained by the different field distributions of men and women within the medical sciences group, specifically with respect to nursing. In 1980, 74 out of 278 women received doctorates in nursing versus 2 out of 564 men. For both sexes, there has been very little change since 1977 in the fraction taking postdocs except for a drop in chemistry. Reason for taking a postdoctoral appointment Both men and women report that their primary reason for taking a postdoc is to gain additional research experience in their field of Ph.D. (Table 3.2~. Other reasons cited include wanting to work with a particular scientist or research group (about 15-20 percent) or the desire to switch into a different field (10-20 percent). In medical sciences, women more often than men reported switching fields. Also, in chemistry the men are significantly more likely to state that they are taking a postdoc to work with a particular scientist or research group. An apposite finding from other studies (e.g., Feldman, 1974; Perucci, 1975) is that chemistry departments have tended to provide inadequate opportunities for professional socialization to women students. A surprisingly small fraction of men or women report that inability to obtain employment was the major reason for taking a postdoc. About one-fifth of the psychology Ph.D.s reported "other reasons." Further examination of the data reveals that these are clinical and counselling psychologists who are likely taking a postdoctoral internship. In most fields and for both sexes, about three-fourths of the Pho D. s were able to secure early appointments with one-fourth still searching (Table 3.3~. By far the largest numbers of postdocs are in 2 "Slave Labor on Campus: The Unpaid Postdoc," Science, Vol. 216, May 14, 1982, pp. 714-715. 3.2

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TABLE 3.1 Number and percent of 1977 and 1981 science and engineering doctorates planning postdoctoral appointments by field and sex Field of doctorate Women - Number % Total Planning Planning Total Men Number % planning Planning doctorates postdoc postdoc doctorates postdoc postdoc 1977 Mathematics128129%83191 11 Physics6433521,085499 46 Chemistry18092511,390639 46 Earth sciences592237632158 25 Engineering7412162,567385 15 Agricultural sci.631321861112 13 Medical sciences1656137506202 40 Biological sci.729452622,4431,417 58 Psychology1,081162151,879301 16 Social sciences7495972,795152 5 1981 Mathematics112 98%616105 17 Physics73 3447942424 45 Chemistry235 87371,376537 39 Earth sciences56 1425526158 30 Engineering99 13132,429316 13 Agricultural sci.147 25171,003130 13 Medical sci.310 9932604284 47 Biological sci.986 651662,4111,543 64 Psychology1,472 265181,885320 17 Social sciences843 5862,305164 7 SOURCE: Syverson, 1978, pp. 22-25; 1982, pp. 53-56. 3.3

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TABLE 3.2 Reason for taking a postdoctoral appointment,a1980 doctorates in selected science fields by sex For additional To work with To switch Could research particular into not experience scientist or different obtain Other in Ph.D. field research Group field employ. reason . . . .. Physics Women (n = 18) 61% 11%22% o% 6 Men (n = 268) 68 1510 6 2 Chemistry Women (n = 94) 64 1315 4 4 Men (n = 398) 52 1916 11 2 Medical sciences Women (n = 65) 60 1517 6 2 Men (n = 192) 60 179 5 9 Biological sciences Women (n = 456) 54 2016 5 5 Men (n = 1,126) 57 2212 6 3 Psychology Women (n = 157) 41 198 8 24 Men (n = 200) 43 199 11 20 SOURCE: Doctorate Records File, National Research Council a Respondents were asked to check the primary reason. 3.4

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TABLE 3.3 Status-of postdoctoral appointment at time of receipt of Ph.D., by field and sex, 1980 science and engineering Ph.D.s Number % With % Still planning definite seeking Field of postdoctoral appointment appointment doctorateWomenMen Women Men Women Men Physics 34 443 70% 80% 30% 20% Chemistry 115 524 76 77 24 23 Earth sciences 22 165 77 81 23 19 Agricultural sciences 25 149 72 59 28 41 Medical sciences 93 273 81 84 19 16 Biological sciences 621 1,559 80 81 20 19 Psychology 223 294 72 75 28 25 Social sciences 80 147 62 63 38 37 Shown are fields with more than 20 women planning postdoctoral appointments. SOURCE: Doctorate Records File, National Research Council 3.5

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the biosciences: approximately 500 women and 1,250 men had definite awards by the time they received their Ph.D. Although relatively few social scientists--male or female--seek postdoctoral fellowships, of those who did in 1980, only 60 percent reported that they had an appointment in hand upon graduation. Marital status and postdoctoral patterns About one-fifth of all postdoctorate have held long-term appoint- ments--for more than 36 months (Table 3~43. A "holding" pattern is evident in both the physical and life sciences. Among life scientists married women are more likely than single women to be in this category. They also report that their postdoc status was prolonged because of difficulty in finding employment. For men, the pattern is reversed, with single men more likely to hold long-term appointments. Marital status plays a role in the postdoc decision in yet another way. In a survey of 1978 Ph.D.s who were postdocs, as many as 70 percent of the married women cited geographic limitations as an "important factor" in their taking a postdoctoral appointments Geographic constraints were also a deciding factor for 33 percent of the single women and about 25 percent of the men postdoctorate (Table 3.51. Host institutions Similar proportions of men and women postdocs with new awards in 1980 were accepted at major research universities. Table 3.6 shows the distribution of new postdoctoral appointees by type of institution and sex. It should be noted that these numbers are based on those reporting definite acceptance by the time of receiving the doctorate; the total number of 1980 Ph.D.s who received appointments for the following year may be higher. In chemistry, the top 25 institutions accounted for about 40 percent of the new postdocs awarded, for both men and women. Because of the comparatively small number of female postdocs in a single year, however, this translates to 29 women with new awards in chemistry or roughly one per top-25 department. In the biosciences, the leading research universities were the destination for about 25 percent of the postdocs, with no dif- ference by sex. 3.6

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TABLE 3.4 Percent of 1972 Ph.D. recipients who held long-term (>36 months) postdoctoral appointments by sex and marital status Women Total Single Married Men , . . Total Single Married All science/engr. fields . Total taking postdoc Prolonged postdoc because of difficulty in finding employment Held postdoc appt. >36 months Engineering, mathematics, physical sciences Total taking postdoc Prolonged postdoc because of difficulty in finding employment Held postdoc appt. >36 months Life sciences Total taking postdoc Prolonged postdoc because of difficulty in finding employment Held postdoc appt. >36 months Social sciences . Total taking postdoc Prolonged postdoc because of difficulty in finding employment Held postdoc appt. >36 months 501230271 3,7501,0332,717 30%25%34%28%35%26% 232124 182415 8335481,9415941,347 (43)% (43)% 20 (20) 328 152 31% 25% 36% 29 25 32 t44)%32%36%31% (21)162013 1761,3683541,014 28%37%25% 243321 90 43 47 441 85 356 14$ (14)% (15)% - 3 7 0 11% 21% 9% 6 7 6 NOTE: Percentage estimates reported in this table are derived from a sample and are subject to an absolute sampling error of less than 5 percentage points, unless otherwise indicated. Estimates with sampling errors of 5 or more percentage points are reported in parentheses. SOURCE: National Research Council, 1981, p. 152. 3.7

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TABLE 3.5 Geographic limitations as a factor in taking a postdoctoral appointment, by sex and marital status, 1978 science and engineering Ph.D.s Women Single Married Men Single Married All science/engineering fields Total taking postdoc Geographic limitations Important factor Incidental factor Not a factor Engineering, mathematics, physical sciences Total taking postdoc Geographic limitations Important factor Incidental factor Not a factor Life sciences Total taking postdoc Geographic limitations Important factor Incidental factor Not a factor Social sciences Total taking postdoc Geographic limitations 463436 33%70% 23 44 8 22 5952 24%(60)% 17 59 (36) 234237 22 52 71% 8 21 170 147 1,465 1,742 22 25 52 704 22 29 49 26 25 50 605 26 23 51 554 954 16% 25 58 25% 25 50 207 183 Important factor (44)% (73)% (40)% 28 Incidental factor 26 10 13 27 Not a factor 29 18 (47) 44 NOTE: Percentage estimates reported in this table are derived from a sample survey and are subject to an absolute sampling error of less than 5 percentage points, unless otherwise indicated. Estimates with sampling errors of 5 or more percentage points are reported in parentheses. SOURCE: National Research Council, 1981, p. 151. 3.8

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TABLE 3.6 Host institutions for 1980 Ph.D.s with definite postdoctoral appointments, by sex and field WOMEN MEN Total no. Total no. postdocs, postdocs, excluding % excluding 96 medical Top Second Other medical Top Second Other schools 25 25 inst. schools 25 25 inst. Physics 12 50 17 33216 4113 47 Chemistry 74 39 16 45322 4015 45 Biological sci. 389 25 12 641,026 2412 64 Psychology 92 33 11 57150 259 66 a Institutions are categorized by federal R&D expenditures. the institutions, see Appendix C. SOURCE: Doctorate Records File, National Research Council 3.9 For a listing of

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Postdoctoral stipends . As of 1981, women postdocs were paid roughly the same as men, judging by median stipends in chemistry and biosciences (Figure 3.21. This contrasts with the situation about 12 years ago when women post- doctorals were reported to be earning an average of about $1400 less than men and just 4 years ago when the pay differential was estimated at $800.3 As noted in the Committee's earlier report, equity at this level is important in that one might expect it would lead to comparable salaries in subsequent employment. Whether the latter statement has been realized will be examined in the following chapter. Chem istry Biological Sciences FIGURE 3.2 0 2.0 4.0 Postdoctoral stipends ~ Women 6.0 8.0 100 12.0 14.0 16.0 $ IN THOUSANDS in two fields by sex, 1981 Median annual stipends. Stipends reported for a 9-10 month period have been adjusted to a full-year equivalent. Includes both first- year and renewed appointments. These two fields were selected because they have substantial numbers of female postdocs. SOURCE: Survey of Doctorate Recipients, National Research Council invisible University (1969) and Climbing the Academic Ladder. _ _ . . 3.10