Postdocs on the Rise


Fulfilling a commitment to strengthen the academic ranks at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, Scripps has dedicated institutional funding for the recruitment of new postdoctoral scholars each year. Now in its second year, three new postdoctoral scholars are working at Scripps as part of the 2008 Scripps Postdoc Scholar Program.

In launching the Scripps Postdoctoral Scholar Program in 2007, Scripps put the spotlight on postdoctoral researchers as valuable assets to its research enterprise.

Postdocs, recent Ph.D. graduates, are experienced, productive members of research teams, and are considered by Scripps Director Tony Haymet to be important contributors to Scripps' research endeavors.

This year's new postdocs include one from each of Scripps' science fields: Nichole Price, who works with Jennifer Smith in biological sciences; Sasha Peter Carter, who works with Helen Fricker in earth sciences; and ChuanLi Jiang, who works with Sarah Gille in physical oceanography.

"I am very excited to have this opportunity to work with all of these Scripps scientists that I admire," said Jiang, whose research focuses on air-sea exchange in the Southern Ocean. "I believe this is going to be an essential step in my career."

Scripps' commitment of institutional support for these positions is significant because postdoctoral employee recruitment is typically funded entirely by the scientists who seek them, which can impact the already sparse resources needed to conduct research.

During the search to fill the three institutionally funded postdoctoral positions this year, 10 other postdoctoral candidates were identified as well qualified and all were hired. Funding for those additional positions came from the Scripps scientists for whom they are now working.

Last year, Scripps filled four postdoctoral positions from a pool of more than 100 applicants. Scripps was recently ranked 11th best in North America and fourth best on the West Coast in the "Best Places to Work for Postdocs" survey published by The Scientist magazine.

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