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Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
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Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
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Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 43
Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 44
Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 45
Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 46
Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 47
Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 48
Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 49
Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 50
Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 51
Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 52
Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 53
Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 54
Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 55
Suggested Citation:"POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING." National Research Council. 1979. Climbing the Academic Ladder: Doctoral Women Scientists in Academe: A Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18469.
×
Page 56

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

CHAPTER 3 POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING Once limited to a few young scientists of exceptional promise, postdoctoral training has increased dramatically in both the natural and social sciences over the past twenty years, (NFC, 1974c, p. 30) although the rates of increase vary substantially by discipline. Several observers have noted that the increasing popularity of postdoctoral appointments is inversely related to the availability of regular positions, especially tenure-track faculty posts [Cartter, 1971; NRC, 1969; NRC, 1971; Wilsnack, 1977]. Conversely, the availability of postdoctoral positions varies considerably with the amount of research support available in a given field or year. Because research support comes very largely from Federal sources, and because noncompliance with equal opportunity policies threatens withdrawal of such support, science departments which are potentially most vulnerable to such a loss should furnish good test cases for examining recent sex patterns. For that reason, we examine several factors in postdoctoral training (and in faculty employment in Chapter 4) by grouping institutions according to Federal R&D expenditures. The traditional benefits of postdoctoral study include freedom to do research without the pressures inherent in either graduate study or a first job, the expansion of research horizons, an opportunity to establish or expand publication records, and the broadening of professional contacts and personal exposure. A consequence of these benefits for postdoctoral fellows is the increased likelihood of holding tenure-track faculty posts at research universities (Folger et al., 1970, p. 249; NRC, 1974c, p. 65-69). But such consequences may not follow equally for men and women, and a more detailed examination of what happens to women as postdoctorals is therefore important. Some older studies may serve as background to consideration of these issues. The largest of these. The Invisible University (NRC, 1969) treated women scientists themselves as almost invisible, reporting briefly that they received 41

substantially lower stipends than men, remained long-term postdoctorals about three times as often, could not expect to hold regular faculty appointments, and were therefore happy to hold any kind of postdoctoral position [pp. 70, 105, 117-118, 135, 226]. All inequities were uniformly ascribed to family constraints, although nearly half the female population in the study was unmarried. Although women constituted one-tenth of the postdoctoral population under study (computed from NRC, 1969, Table 27, p. 105), the report did not consider how the postdoctoral experience affected them, whether it was significantly different from that of men, or even whether the money spent on them was well invested. The data upon which the report was based were coded by sex, marital status, and number of dependents, but not analyzed to ascertain the differential effects of these variables on stipends or career opportunities. The report is therefore of very limited usefulness for our purposes. Reanalysis of this body of data to establish relationships between sex and marital status, type of postdoctoral appointment, stipends, length of time in postdoctoral training, and subsequent positions held would furnish an important bench mark for comparison with future studies. We strongly urge that such a reanalysis be undertaken. The second major study of postdoctoral training (NRC, 1974c), again collected data by sex (and certain performance measures were standardized by sex; pp. 118-119), but analyses in the body of the report were not broken down by sex, and this report added little to our knowledge of the experience of female postdoctorals. There is some evidence that female scientists were more likely than males to have postdoctoral training (NRC, 1968, p. 81; Reskin, 1976, p. 607), but more complex data for more disciplines are necessary to permit generalizations about sex differences. The importance of postdoctoral training for the individual lies in the direct enhancement of careers, and the only major study of this effect which has been undertaken, for the field of chemistry, (Reskin, 1973 and 1976) gave very different results for men and women. Although the women were more likely to have had postdoctoral fellowships than the men, the male fellows received substantially more prestigious awards. Such indicators of predoctoral quality as caliber of undergraduate institution, prestige of doctoral department, elapsed time from baccalaureate, or productivity of Ph.D. sponsor were found to be significantly related to prestige of the postdoctoral award for men, but unrelated for women. In particular, 42

selectivity of the B.A. institution and predoctoral publications increased award prestige greatly for men but not for women. Careers of sample members were traced for 10-15 years after the Ph.D. (through 1970). The results showed that the receipt of a postdoctoral award and its prestige facilitated the male chemists' careers in the expected manner (e.g., increased their likelihood of holding a tenured university appointment)t but had no effect on the women's occupational outcome. This finding is especially significant in view of the fact that the subsequent scientific productivity (measured by both number of articles and citations) of both sexes was enhanced by postdoctoral training. Thus women, like men, profited from their postdoctoral training, but unlike men they could not convert their subsequent superior performance to permanent jobs as university faculty. In a larger study of the same chemists (Reskin, 1973) it was found that women's productivity over their first ten years after receiving the Ph.D. was generally unrelated to the positions they held at that time although men's performance and occupational position were positively related. These results concerning an earlier period are cited here primarily to underline the traditional importance of postdoctoral training for men and illustrate the fact that at least in the past women were unlikely to realize the same benefits. We do not yet have a sufficiently long perspective on recent postdoctorals to know whether these inequities persist, or to what extent. An understanding of the ways in which women's careers differed in detail from men's in the past, even with an equal or better start, can serve to highlight the factors which need to be monitored in the future in relation to the outcomes of postdoctoral training. The presence of postdoctoral fellows or research associates also has important benefits for the research groups they join, increasing the group's overall research output and adding new or different capabilities. These benefits accrue most markedly to the group's mentor, and ideally a symbiotic relationship exists between the mentor and postdoctoral fellow (NRC, 1969). Based on Reskin's study dealing with chemistry, women postdoctorals may not have been viewed in the past as promising disciples because of their much lower likelihood of obtaining positions which would permit them to carry on independent research careers (Reskin, 1976; see also Chapter 4) or to achieve other kinds of professional recognition (Chapter 5). This perception may in turn lessen the help and attention they receive from their postdoctoral mentors. New studies, such as the one in progress by the Committee on the Study of Postdoctorals and Doctoral Research Staff of the Commission on Human 43

Resources, should endeavor to assess these rather subtle issues. The Current Patterns of Postdoctoral Appointments At the present time, similar proportions of men and women doctorates plan postdoctoral study though there is considerable variation by field. Table 3.1 shows the percentages of 1977 Ph.D.'s in each field planning such training, as well as percentages of those with definite appointments and those still seeking or negotiating contracts. If we examine similar data for several years we find predictable fluctuations in those fields where women are very poorly represented, and where those interested in postdoctoral work may comprise only a few individuals. It is clear from Table 3.1 that in general, high proportions of doctorates in the biological and physical sciences, excluding mathematics, take such positions. Earth sciences displays somewhat lower proportions than the other physical sciences while engineering shows still lower percentages. Mathematics is in sharp contrast to the other EMP fields in that there are few postdoctoral positions. In psychology, the percentage is relatively low and the social sciences reflect still smaller figures. It is apparent that the requirements of each field that encourage work at this level and the opportunities for postdoctoral study vary widely. A tabulation by sex and marital status of the 1970-1977 degree recipients who were planning postdoctoral study at the time they received their degrees sheds further light on factors associated with postdoctoral study (Table 3.2). As indicated earlier (Chapter 2), married men are the group least likely to plan such appointments. This holds true for doctorates as a whole and in each field except mathematics. The NRC survey of biomedical and behavioral scientists found a similar pattern among 1971-1975 degree holders in these fields: lower proportions of married men held such appointments at any time after the degree or at the time of the study (1976). The married men in both fields who had held such appointments were far more likely than single men or women, and somewhat more likely than married women, to give as a reason for having undertaken postdoctoral work the inability to find a job, as opposed to the goal of obtaining research experience or switching fields (NRC, 1977, Vol. 2, pp. 133-135). The comparison of postdoctoral stipends with the salaries offered in the various employment sectors, presented in Table 4.21 of this report, in relation to the assumed financial responsibilities of married men makes this finding understandable. Thus the lower incidence of postdoctorals among married men is probably due to societal pressures on this group for greater earnings. 44

TABLE 3.1 Number and Percent of 1977 Science and Engineering Doctorate Recipients Planning Postdoctoral Appointments by Field and Sex Field of Doctorate Men No. Women No. Total Planning Postdoc All Fields 3956 26.3 1260 14.3 Math 95 11.4 11 8.6 Physics/ Astronomy 503 46.4 33 51.5 Chemistry 645 46.4 91 50.6 Earth Sciences 157 24.8 22 37.3 Engineering 380 14.8 12 16.3 Agricultural Sci. 110 12.7 13 20.6 Medical Sciences 201 39.7 61 37.0 Biological Sciences 1410 57.7 449 61.5 Psychology 301 16.0 162 15.0 Social Sciences 455 9.8 221 12.1 Definite Postdoc All Fields 2945 19.6 664 20.2 Math 61 7.3 3 2.3 Physics /Astronomy 372 34.3 18 28.1 Chemistry 498 35.8 68 37.8 Earth Sciences 112 17.7 18 30.5 Engineering 234 9.1 7 9.5 Agricultural Sci. 70 8.1 7 11.1 Medical Sciences 158 31.2 50 30.3 Biological Sciences 1137 46.5 351 48.1 Psychology 210 11.2 105 9.7 Social Sciences 303 6.5 142 7.8 Seeking Postdoc All Fields 1011 6.7 249 7.6 Math 34 4.1 8 6.3 Physics /Astronomy 131 12.1 15 23.4 Chemistry 147 10.6 23 12.8 Earth Sciences 45 7.1 4 6.8 Engineering 146 5.7 5 6.8 Agricultural Sci. 40 4.6 6 9.5 Medical Sciences 43 8.5 11 6.7 Biological Sciences 273 11.2 98 13.4 Psychology 91 4.8 57 5.3 Social Sciences 152 3.3 79 4.3 Source: Gilford and Syverson, 1978, pp. 22-25. 45

TABLE 3.2 Percent of 1970-1977 Science and Engineering Doctorate Recipients Planning Postdoctoral Study After Graduation by Field, Sex, and Marital Status Married Field of Doctorate Women Unmarried Women Married Men Unmarried Men All Fields 30.2% 31.4% 22.8% 35.3% Mathematics 8.0 4.2 6.3 12.8 Physics/Astronomy 47.6 61.8 42.1 59.3 Chemistry 54.1 53.4 43.6 61.4 Earth Sciences 33.7 36.8 20.1 32.9 Engineering 14.9 11.6 9.6 19.3 Agricultural Sci. 32.9 23.9 12.2 26.0 Medical/Biological Sci. 61.5 57.9 48.6 67.9 Psychology 14.5 18.3 12.5 18.9 Social Sciences 6.3 6.3 3.6 5.5 * Percent based on total number of Ph.D. recipients who either had definite commitments or were negotiating contracts at the time of graduation. Source: Survey of Earned Doctorates, 1970-1977, National Research Council. Interim Report to National Science Foundation and Proposal for Continuation of Study of Postdoctorals in Science and Engineering in the United States. June 29, 1978, p. 76.

In contrast, on the whole and in nearly every field, single men are most likely to plan postdoctoral work (Table 3.2). Why they should make this choice more frequently than single or married women is not obvious. Nor, without a closer examination of each field, can the exceptions be explained: the higher proportions of single women in physics and earth sciences and of married women in agricultural sciences. Table 3.3 illustrates recent trends in the sex composition of the postdoctoral population as well as the changes that have occurred at institutions of different rank in the sciences as a whole and in two fields. Except for a very slight decline among the top 25 institutions in 1977, there is a steady rise in the proportion of women at the postdoctoral level. Similar results are found for the individual fields of chemistry and biosciences which consistently have postdoctoral populations that are large enough to be examined in this way. Table 3.3 also shows that in the biosciences, the proportions of women postdoctorals have been and continue to be larger at the lowest-ranked institutions, but this has not been the case in chemistry. The greater concentration of women in "all other" institutions throughout the 1973- 1977 period is largely accounted for by women in the biosciences who make up the great majority of all women postdoctoral appointees (see Table 3.4). The percentage increase of women in the biological sciences during this period has, however, been smaller at low-ranking institutions than among the top 25. Table 3.4 illustrates the changes in the proportions of women at the postdoctoral level in a different way by showing the percentages by fields of the members of each sex employed in academic institutions who were in postdoctoral positions in 1973 and 1977. Proportions of women increased in all fields except medical sciences. In several fields with very few women—physics/astronomy, earth sciences, engineering, and agricultural sciences—the percentages of women increased markedly over the four-year period so that there was a substantial difference between the sexes in 1977 but it should be noted that the numbers are very small. A similar pattern was observed in the social sciences, a field in which there are very few postdoctorals of either sex. In chemistry and biology, the fields with the largest numbers of postdoctorals, the proportions of women were larger than those of men in 1973 and the difference increased in 1977. The acceptances of men and women applying for postdoctorals are illustrated in Table 3.5. Shown are the total number of new Ph.D.'s who desired postdoctoral appointments (i.e., fellowships, traineeships, research associateships, etc.) and the percentage of those who had 47

TABLE 3.3 Trends in Number and Percent of Women Among Postdoctorals in Science and Engineering by Field of Doctorate and R&D Expenditures of Post- doctoral Institution*, 1973-1977 1973 1975 1977 No. % No. % No. % ALL SCIENCE/ENGR. FIELDS Top 25 Inst. 209 11.7 301 18.9 387 17.4 Second 25 Inst. 124 14.1 162 16.6 200 18.9 All other Inst. 443 17.6 763 21.7 951 22.5 CHEMISTRY* Top 25 Inst. 48 13.8 47 13.4 75 20.4 Second 25 Inst. 29 15.8 24 12.1 36 18.8 All Other Inst. 49 9.3 95 15.1 104 15.8 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES* Top 25 Inst. 120 17.9 156 27.6 199 23.0 Second 25 Inst. 70 17.1 95 25.3 133 26.3 All Other Inst. 311 27.9 459 27.0 622 32.2 * See Appendix B-l for a description of ranking of institutions by R&D expenditures. For fields other than chemistry and biological sciences, the number of postdoctoral appointees was not sufficient to permit a break-out by institution group and sex. Source: Survey of Doctorate Recipients, National Research Council. The statistics in this table are weighted estimates derived from a sample survey of 65,000 Ph.P's in science and engineering. The estimates are subject to two types of error — sampling and non-sampling, (e.g., non-response bias). A discussion of the survey is provided in Appendix D. 48

TABLE 3.4 Trends in Number and Percent of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers in Academe Who Were on Postdoctorals by Field and Sex, 1973-1977 Field MALE No. % 1973 FEMALE No. % MALE No. % 1977 FEMALE No. % Mathematics 47 0.5 4 0.6 47 0.5 6 0.7 Physics/Astronomy 766 8.9 23 8.8 638 6.9 34 12.0 Chemistry 935 9.9 126 16.3 1005 8.7 215 18.0 Earth Sciences 154 3.3 8 5.3 261 4.8 30 12.0 Engineering 339 2.9 0 0 337 2.5 12 13.2 Agricultural Sciences 65 1.1 * * 150 1.9 19 13.5 Medical Sciences 289 6.1 62 9.8 670 9.8 113 9.6 Bio Sciences 1693 7.8 501 15.0 2350 9.8 954 19.6 Psychology 120 1.3 28 1.4 262 2.3 87 2.8 Social Sciences 150 0.8 22 1.1 217 0.9 68 1.8 Estimates based on fewer than 3 sample individuals are not shown. Source: Survey of Doctorate Recipients, National Research Council The statistics in this table are weighted estimates derived from a sample survey of 65,000 Ph.D's in science and engineering. The estimates are subject to two types of error - sampling and non-sampling, (e.g., non-response bias). A discussion of the survey is provided in Appendix D. 49

signed contracts or awards at the time of Ph.D. It should be noted that in some fields there are wide year-to-year fluctuations due to small numbers. In chemistry and biological sciences—the fields with the largest numbers of postdoctorals—rates of awards to women over the past decade have been consistently lower than for men, although the differences are not large. Physics shows no improvement in relative awards to women since the advent of affirmative action, and this pattern coincides with what is perhaps the weakest employment prospect of all science fields. However, in the medical sciences, the comparative figures favor women in 1977. Holding Status An issue that has long been posed with respect to women postdoctorals is whether, in fact, they remain in these appointments in a kind of "holding status11 because they cannot find any other employment or because they are prevented by marital ties from moving elsewhere to look for jobs. This was the assumption clearly stated in The Invisible University (NRC, 1969, pp. 70, 118). In the only detailed analysis of sex differences in postdoctoral experience, Reskin's study of 1955-1961 Ph.D. «s in chemistry found that women, and particularly married women, were indeed more likely than men to have held multiple appointments and to have held these longer (1976, pp. 608- 609). The recent NRC survey of 1971-1975 biomedical and behavioral science Ph.D^s, however, did not find this pattern. Although breakdowns of the data were not made by marital status or other factors, men in the behavioral sciences were much more likely, and in the biomedical fields somewhat more likely, than women to have had their postdoctoral appointments prolonged or to have held them for more than 36 months (NRC, 1977b, Vol. 2, pp. 31, 78). Again, we need an updated and detailed analysis by field of the experiences of men and women at the postdoctoral level. Postdoctoral Stipends Stipends are an important measure of equity for several reasons. Inequities at this level may contribute to disadvantages in subsequent salaries. Further, systematic inequities are harder to uncover here than in readily visible criteria such as rank because salary information frequently remains private. Postdoctoral stipends are also subject to the normal economics of supply and demand, and to the exigencies of research support, so that they may vary quite significantly 50

TABLE 3.5 Percent of Science and Engineering Doctorate Recipients with Signed Contract for Postdoctoral Appointment,* by Field, Year of Doctorate and Sex, 1969-1977 Men Women Postdoctoral s Postdoctoral s Mathematics Total Planning Post- doctoral No. No. Seeking Signed I With Total No. No. Signed Planning Seeking Signed Contract Post- doctoral I With Signed Contract 1969 35 17 68 80* 3 1 2 67% 1971 82 23 59 72 7 3 4 57 1973 102 30 72 71 13 2 11 85 1975 106 31 75 71 8 4 4 50 1977 93 32 61 66 11 8 3 27 Total 468 133 335 72 42 18 24 57 Physics/ Astr. 1969 498 98 400 80% 16 6 10 62% 1971 651 143 508 78 19 5 14 74 1973 684 168 516 75 29 10 19 66 1975 576 148 428 74 31 10 21 68 1977 499 127 372 74 31 13 18 58 Total 2,908 684 2,224 76 126 44 82 65 Chemistry 1969 593 71 522 88% 48 8 40 83% 1971 869 122 747 86 80 20 60 75 1973 832 179 653 78 75 30 45 60 1975 720 121 599 83 87 26 61 70 1977 632 134 498 79 90 22 68 76 Total 3,646 627 3,019 83 380 106 274 72 Earth Sciences 1969 87 18 69 79% 6 3 3 50% 1971 108 27 31 75 3 - 3 100 1973 138 47 91 66 10 3 7 70 1975 131 35 96 73 7 2 5 71 1977 155 43 112 72 22 4 18 82 Total 619 170 449 72 48 12 36 75 Engineering 1969 221 68 153 69% _ . - . 1971 385 152 233 60 1 - 1 100% 1973 462 169 293 63 10 5 5 50 1975 376 149 227 60 6 3 3 50 1977 265 131 234 38 12 5 7 58 Total 1,709 669 1,140 67 29 13 16 55 *Postdoctoral appointment includes a postdoctoral fellowship, research associateship traineeship, or other study. 51

TABLE 3.5 (Continued) Men Women Agricultural Total No. No. Planning Seeking Signed Post- doctoral Postdoctoral s % With Total No. No. Signed Planning Seeking Signed Contract Post- doctoral Postdoctoral s % With Signed Contract Sciences 1969 99 32 67 68% 3 2 1 33% 1971 132 48 84 64 9 4 5 56 1973 164 64 100 61 8 3 5 62 1975 145 51 94 65 7 3 4 57 1977 106 36 70 66 13 6 7 54 Total 646 231 415 64 40 18 22 55 Medical Sciences 1969 112 16 96 86% 15 4 11 73% 1971 136 20 116 85 25 6 19 76 1973 136 24 112 82 33 3 30 91 1975 157 21 136 87 32 5 27 84 1977 198 40 158 80 59 9 50 85 Total 739 121 618 84 164 27 137 84 Biological Sciences 1969 926 131 795 86% 232 41 191 82% 1971 1,301 218 1,083 83 279 63 216 77 1973 1,245 228 1,017 82 371 87 284 76 1975 1,308 230 1,078 82 471 97 374 79 1977 1,386 249 1,137 82 444 93 351 79 Total 6,166 1,056 5,110 83 1,797 381 1,416 79 Psychology 1969 168 30 138 82% 48 9 39 81% 1971 218 35 183 84 78 18 60 77 1973 201 46 155 77 98 24 74 76 1975 246 61 185 75 129 31 98 76 1977 293 83 210 72 155 50 105 68 Total 1,126 255 871 77 508 132 376 74 Social Sciences 1969 77 17 60 78% 4 2 2 50% 1971 82 24 58 71 19 10 9 47 1973 145 40 105 72 24 10 14 58 1975 95 34 61 64 48 22 26 54 1977 147 54 93 63 57 20 37 65 Total 546 169 377 69 152 64 88 58 Source: Survey of Earned Doctorates, National Research Council, 52

from year to year, field to field, or even project to project. When groups of reasonable size within a particular field are compared, however, their salaries would not be expected to differ significantly in the absence of group biases. Such comparisons are not easy to generate for postdoctoral fellows, and information from previous studies is not abundant. About a decade ago, women postdoctorals were reported to earn an average of about $1400 less than men (NAS, 1969). Table 3.6 shows that the large differential narrowed since then, but now appears to be rising again as the academic job situation deteriorates. Postdoctoral stipends for biomedical and behavioral scientists reported for 1976 { NRC, 1977, 2:131-2) showed considerable variation between the two areas; male postdoctorals in biomedical sciences earned 3.6 percent more TABLE 3.6 Trends in Postdoctoral Stipends for Doctoral Scientists and Engineers by Sex, 1973-1977 1973 Median Annual Stipendro1r o 1975 Men Women Men Women 1977 Men Women Number of * 2,427 Individuals 588 $8,290 5,137 1,254 6,173 $12,180 1,572 $11,330 Median Stipend $8,760 $ Difference in $10,980 $10,440 Medians $470 % Men's Stipends Exceed Women's 5.7% $540 4.9% $850 7.5% *The figures do not include individuals who earned doctorates in the last 6 months of the year preceding the survey year. +Stipends for 9-10 months have been adjusted to a full-year equivalent. Source: Survey of Doctorate Recipients, National Research Council 53

than women, but for behavioral scientists the men's earnings exceeded the women's by 11.8 percent. For postdoctorals under age 30, the differences were 1 percent and 6.5 percent for biomedical and behavioral scientists, respectively, but for those aged 30-39, men's earnings exceeded women's by 4.6 and 11.8 percent. When the data were controlled by marital status and sex (Table 4.21), married men were found to have the highest stipends. Efforts to disaggregate the salary data for postdoctorals by field, Ph.D. cohort, and type of institution are not very informative because the various categories contain too few women to yield meaningful information. Conclusions and Recommendations A postdoctoral appointment is an important career stage intended as a springboard, but it is not clear that it yields the same results for women as for men. The responsibility for achieving maximal benefits from postdoctoral appointments rests individually with postdoctoral sponsors and collectively with science departments, and must be shared by women scientists themselves in a heightened awareness that decisions made at this career stage may have very far-reaching consequences. Postdoctoral awards represent a gray area in equal opportunity, not explicitly addressed by the statutes referring to either education or employment. Depending on individual institutional practice, a postdoctoral may have student or staff status, or no defined status at all. For affirmative action monitoring, the position may therefore not be subject to reporting, or may fall in one of several possible categories, faculty among them. From the point of view of compliance (in addition to others, such as fair employment practices) clarification of postdoctoral status is needed. Dependent as most postdoctoral awards are on federal research support, they comprise a category of employment which should be subject to more careful assessment of equality of opportunity. Research awards which support postdoctorals should ideally be contingent in part on effective provision of equal opportunity and demonstrable absence of biased procedures. Nonetheless, we hesitate to recommend a blanlcet policy of compliance monitoring of postdoctoral positions, mindful of the fact that agency program staffs are unlikely to be good compliance officers, and vice versa. As a beginning, however, major granting agencies, including especially NSF and NIH, should develop standards for effectively evaluating the bias-free distribution of postdoctoral appointments and methods for applying such standards to the award process. In order to 54

provide a sound basis for such standards, the relationships between merit, nature, quality and number of awards, and sex, of the sort suggested in this report, need to be developed in greater detail. Investigators applying for postdoctoral funding could then evaluate their own progress, and would submit appropriate reports with their applications for support. Such a procedure would have the advantage that responsibility and authority would rest with both individual departments and the specific persons most likely to be directly affected. By contrast, current regulations leave at least as great a paperwork burden on departments but ultimately spread the blame—and, if one were imposed, the penalty—over entire institutions. On the basis of available data, it appears likely that at least a large part of the salary differences between men and women postdoctorals derives from bias. At this level no significant differences in overall ability or promise can be documented (see Chapter 2), and male and female scientists should be rewarded equally for comparable work. Systematic salary differences at this early career stage are important not only for their immediate relevance to equity but also as a portent of future status. The case of sex differences in postdoctoral stipends presents difficult policy questions, however. In our judgment, individual stipends are apt to be determined more often by what the research budget will bear than by a prior decision to offer lower salaries to women as a group. Women who do not consider themselves primary wage earners or who lack alternatives may accept low offers more readily than men. Some of the differential we see in the data may be due to dependents' allowances provided in many kinds of fellowships; past experience suggests that women may not claim such allowances if they have employed husbands, or may not be granted them in such cases. We urge that the Commission on Human Resources study of postdoctoral staff currently in progress particularly address the details of these salary differentials. We believe salaries to be important indicators of possible discrimination as well as potential success. A detailed analysis, however, is outside the scope of the present study. 55

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