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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 9, 2010

UI establishes Office of Postdoctoral Scholars

The University of Iowa has established an Office of Postdoctoral Scholars to provide a professional and administrative home for postdoctoral scholars and fellows on campus.

A collaboration of the Graduate College and the Office of the Vice President for Research, the office will assist postdoctoral scholars and their mentors with activities such as recruitment, education, mentorship and networking. Postdoctoral scholars hold a doctoral degree and are pursuing mentored research and scholarly training to become independent researchers.

Historically, postdoctoral scholars at many universities were employed directly by a faculty member and had little interaction with other university offices. Today, top research universities across the country are establishing offices to enhance training experiences for postdoctoral scholars and to help them feel connected at their universities.

The UI employs about 300 postdoctoral scholars per year, with about 60 percent trained in the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. Positions are limited to five years and are unique because the scholars aren't classified as students, faculty or staff.

"Until now, postdocs were without a programmatic home, which can leave some a bit too isolated," said Graduate College Associate Dean Minnetta Gardinier, who oversees the new office. "We will promote and support postdocs from a professional development standpoint and help them develop a sense of community on and off campus."

On the office's agenda are plans to develop welcome and orientation sessions, a postdoctoral scholars handbook and a professional development seminar series.

"We are delighted to be part of the formation of a strong Postdoctoral Scholars Office at the UI," said UI Vice President for Research Jordan Cohen. "Mentoring of postdoctoral scholars is critical for their future success and for the success of our overall research programs here at Iowa."

Graduate College Dean John Keller said, "The Graduate College hopes to offer valuable assistance and resources to postdoctoral scholars as they transition into a new and important phase of their academic and research careers."

For more information, visit the new Office of Postdoctoral Scholars Web site at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Graduate College Office of External Relations, 205 Gilmore Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: John Riehl, 319-384-1309,