• How postdocs enhance Baylor’s academic efforts

    Dr. Jung-Hyun Min with Dr. Debamita Paul, a postdoctoral 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 alongside professors and students, they’re an important part of the research being done at Baylor.

    In October 2019, Baylor announced the formation of a postdoc hiring program designed to double the number of postdocs on campus by 2022. The plan has worked; Baylor currently employs 89 postdocs, up from 43 in 2019. And the plan’s not done yet; the program aims to hire approximately 20 more in the years ahead.

    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.”

    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.

    The growing number of postdocs on campus are supported by Baylor’s Office of Postdoctoral Scholars, which was formed to provide resources and education that connect these new Bears within the university and help them to grow professionally.

    Sic ’em, Baylor postdocs!

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