Improving Postdoctoral Training Programs through Alumni Perspectives and Experiences: A Study of NCAR’s Advanced Study Program
The Advanced Study Program (ASP) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research has supported the career development of postdoctoral fellows for over 60 years. This study of ASP alumni helps better understand their career paths and provides a window into the geoscience community. It examines career aspirations and job satisfaction, as well as experiences with mentoring and attitudes about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. While about half of ASP alumni today work in academia, job changes and pursuit of careers outside of academia are increasing. Former ASP participants are actively engaged in mentoring and are supportive of efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Alumni who identify as women reported feeling less supported by their employers in their career growth and in their service activities such as mentoring than alumni who identify as men. The study also found that women engage in a broader range of DEI activities and mentor more often out of altruistic reasons rather than as an expectation of their position. In addition to mastering research and teaching skills, future postdocs will need training in leadership, grant writing, DEI, and project management to succeed in today’s geoscience workforce.
Citation: Haacker, R., M. Vara, V. Sloan, P. Montaño, C. Davis, S. Landolt, and S. Briggs (2024), Improving Postdoctoral Training Programs through Alumni Perspectives and Experiences: A Study of NCAR’s Advanced Study Program, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-22-0029.1.