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NIEHS Ranked Third-Best Place for Postdocs

NIEHS has been ranked third-best place for post- docs in the United States. NCI followed at number four, and NIH came in at tenth.

That ranking came from The Scientist, which conducted a survey of people who describe themselves as non-tenured life scientists working at a non-commercial research institute.

Multidisciplinary research, economic stability and an affable working environment were factors cited for job satisfaction. NIEHS ranked #1 in overall quality of training, quality of facilities and infrastructure as well as for effectiveness of the postdoc organization and providing the necessary training, supplies and equipment.

An estimated 48,000 survey invitations resulted in just over 3,500 useable responses identifying 929 institutions in the U.S., Canada, Western Europe and Israel.

NIEHS Trainees Assembly steering committee member Friederike Jayes fills out a personality inventory form. She was an attendee at an NTA workshop designed to help postdocs learn more about having and being a mentor.

"This recognition is a great honor to the institute and is a tribute to Dr. Deborah Swope for her outstanding leadership, vision and energy as director, Office of Fellows' Career Development," said NIEHS director Dr. Ken Olden. That office was formed about a year ago to work with the NIEHS Trainees Assembly to identify and implement programs for postdocs.

The Scientist staff reviewed information on 61 U.S. institutions that received at least 10 responses and 30 non-U.S. institutions with at least five responses. Top slots in the U.S. went to Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, respectively.

The NIEHS Trainees Assembly was formed in the mid-1990s by a group of fellows who wanted to improve the lot of postdocs. Swope came to NIEHS as a postdoc herself. She got involved with the NTA in 1998 and later chaired its steering committee for about a year and a half. She and current chair Diane Klotz said the committee members deserve the credit for the ranking, since it was their hard work that resulted in the programs cited as reasons why NIEHS is among the best places for postdocs in the United States.

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