Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Laurier acknowledges research contributions of postdocs during "Postdoc Appreciation Week"
Dr. Matthew Smith, Assistant Dean, Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
September 17-21 is “Postdoc Appreciation Week” in Canada and the US.
What is a postdoc, you ask? “Postdoc” is the short form for “Postdoctoral Fellow” “Postdoctoral Researcher” or “Postdoctoral Scholar.” The Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars defines postdocs as “newly qualified researchers with PhD and/or MD backgrounds. They are a critical piece in the framework of research that is done at research-focused academic institutions in Canada and around the globe.” In short, postdocs are recently graduated PhD’s doing research, usually at a university under the supervision of, or in collaboration with, a faculty member. Postdoctoral training is sometimes compared to a Residency done by MD’s while developing a specialty. Postdocs are most common in the Sciences, but they are also becoming increasingly common in the Arts and Humanities. There are typically 15-20 postdocs working at Laurier across campus at any given time, and their numbers at Laurier have been on the rise in recent years, meaning that they are becoming increasingly important to the research enterprise and output of the university.
Postdoctoral Fellows engage full-time in research activities, which allow them to hone their research skills, develop additional expertise in a research area, and gain other important experiences for future positions in either Academia or industry, such as applying for grants and helping to supervise less experienced researchers. Laurier also provides professional skills development opportunities to postdocs who wish to develop other important skills outside their particular field of research.
Responsibility for postdoctoral fellows at Laurier was assigned to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in 2009, which resulted in the name change to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
For more information about postdoctoral studies at Laurier, and to see biographies of many of the postdocs who are currently working, or have recently worked at Laurier, visit the “postdoctoral fellows” homepage: www.wlu.ca/gradstudies/postdocs.