To add another side to the current postdoc discussion, I think something
needs to be said about what's good about the jobs we have. I am an
Associate Professor of Biology at a smaller school in the Texas A&M
system (approx. 6000 students, 300 Biology majors). The teaching load is
12 hours a semester which is 3 to 4 classes depending on if you teach
your own labs. This semester I will be teaching Plant Physiology with a
lab, Cell/Molecular Biology (Freshman Biology), and Senior Seminar with
preprofessional advising. While this is lots of teaching, there's still
time for small scale research projects. These projects may not result in
papers that can be published in top tier journals but, they can be
published. Also since there's not a great push for major research I feel
more able to experiment on things that I find curious that may or may not
go somewhere. I get to experiment on things that I'm curious about.
There are not many University funds for research supplies but, the dean
and provost do come up with money now and then. I have got to spend the
last four summers doing research in other labs (Georgia Tech and USDA) by
virtue of retraining grants (NIH) and an ROA (NSF).
The job situation isn't exactly what I had in mind when I was a grad
student at a UC or a postdoc (at UGA and Hawaii) but, I get to teach, I
get to work one-on-one with students doing research, I get to publish, I
get to travel occasionally and I've even got to be an officer in a
regional society (SS-ASPP).
The bottom line is, I am happy with what I'm doing, I make a decent
living, and it's right for me. When I was first looking for a job I was
more concerned with what my mentors would think about the job I
"settled"for. I don't feel like I "settled" for anything.
For those just starting on the job search, there are jobs out here. Just
be open minded in your search.
I know this is alot more than 0.02 cents worth but... I make more than
Dr. Cynthia M. Galloway
Dept. of Biology
Campus Box 158
Texas A&M University
Kingsville, TX 78363