• How postdocs enhance Baylor’s academic efforts

    Dr. Jung-Hyun Min, associate professor of chemistry & biochemistry, with Dr. Debamita Paul, a post-doctoral assistant researcher

    There’s a position in higher education that’s deeply appreciated by professors and students, but somewhat unsung outside of those with whom they closely interact: the postdoc. “Postdoc” is academic shorthand for postdoctoral researchers, and we’ll soon be welcoming more of them to Baylor.

    In October, Baylor announced the formation of a postdoc hiring program which will welcome 65 new professional researchers to campus over the next three years.

    So — what does that mean for Baylor?

    “Nothing can fuel a research enterprise faster than experienced researchers,” says Dr. Kevin Chambliss, Baylor’s vice provost for research. “Postdoctoral researchers are completely focused on growing and driving research, providing additional bandwidth for faculty researchers. Postdocs also directly and immediately move the needle in the Carnegie ranking through an infusion of additional research staff.”

    The postdoc position has become a common step on the academic ladder, an intermediate rung between the completion of a doctoral degree and teaching. Postdocs typically spend about three years working alongside professors in labs or offices to support that professor’s research efforts and gain experience that can enhance their own careers. Postdocs are able to manage the day-to-day activities of a professor’s lab and research, thus freeing the professor to focus his/her time and attention other places — including the classroom and the students they teach.

    Baylor’s 65 planned postdoc hires will take place in increments of 20, 20 and 25 over the next three academic years; all told, the hirings will more than double the current number of postdocs already on campus.

    Sic ’em, Baylor postdocs!

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