Postdoc Survival Guide

New and newly accepted postdoctoral applicants may have questions about OSU, and the orientation process. To have these questions answered and more, please download our Postdoc Survival Guide

Postdocs should visit with their mentors and others in their workplace to learn about relevant professional organizations. Professional organizations, often organized around academic disciplines or research interests, sponsor journals of special interest to scientists and hold meetings that provide opportunities for scientists to present talks and poster sessions. The networking opportunities enrich the research experience, enhance research skills, and provide information about jobs that are available upon the completion of the postdoc training period.

Oregon State University's Resources

Your mentor can help you identify research resources that support your work. In addition, several resources on the OSU campus are available to support faculty, postdocs, and students. Three examples are:

  • The Valley Library provides a wide variety of resources. Visit its web site, stop by the library, and ask your mentor which of the resources best support your training activities. For example, you may find some of the workshops offered to enrich your research activities.
  • The Writing Center offers free help with any writing task at any stage of the writing process and is open to all OSU students, as well as to staff, faculty, and members of the Corvallis community. Writing assistants can help with all aspects of the writing process from brainstorming and organization, to questions of grammar and usage. Postdocs should visit with their mentors to deterrmine whether assistance in writing skills might enhance their research training experience.
  • The Center for Teaching and Learning supports Oregon State University faculty, graduate teaching assistants, departments and colleges achieve professional excellence in teaching and learning by encouraging and facilitating the scholarship of teaching and learning. Although most postdoc training focuses on research activity, some postdocs may participate in instruction. Ask your mentor whether your training plan is expected to include any instruction.

Online Mentoring Resources

Many online resources are now available relating to mentoring. Below are a few examples:

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA)

The National Postdoctoral Association was formed to assist postdocs, postdoc mentors, and administrators. The NPA provides useful information on a wide variety of topics. Because Oregon State University is a sustaining member of the NPA, OSU faculty, staff, and postdocs at Oregon State University may apply for free affiliate membership. Information on membership is available on their web page. Once you navigate to the web page, choose the membership link.

The NPA web site is divided into sections for faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and supporters. The NPA has a diversity officer who develops special programs to address diversity issues. An explanation and a link to the diversity officer can be found by choosing the diversity tab on the NPA web page. The NPA also has international officers. Learn more about them by choosing the international issues tab. International postdocs may be especially interested in the International Postdoc Survival Guide.

Although some content can be viewed by anyone, OSU faculty, staff, and postdocs are encouraged to apply for affiliate membership. To further support the organization, you should consider obtaining a full membership for yourself.