Each disciplinary society should examine the purpose of the postdoctoral experience for its discipline, and ask the following question: What are the professional standards that our discipline demands at the end of the postdoctoral experience? Each society should be proactive in striving to have those standards met. Such standards could perhaps determine whether a postdoc progresses from associate membership to full membership in the society.
The theme underlying this guide is that all parties to the postdoctoral experience—postdocs, advisers, institutions, funding organizations, and disciplinary societies—must reach a clear, mutual understanding of the purpose of a postdoctoral position. Once such an understanding is gained, all parties can work together to enhance the postdoctoral experience. COSEPUP hopes this guide will help them to do so.