postdocs and respect
ravena at cco.caltech.edu
Mon Aug 18 14:57:24 EST 1997
In article <5ta3o5$lpj at gap.cco.caltech.edu>,
Catherine Sarisky <sarisky at cco.caltech.edu> wrote:
>Actually, what you describe doesn't sound so different from what grad students
>at Caltech get. We get free use of the gym, free (and pretty darn good) health
>insurance, and other benefits. I wonder, aside from having 'faculty' on the
>card, how different things are between postdocs and grad students?
In my own experience, being a postdoc is better than being a graduate student
in the following ways:
1. Twice as much money (in grad school, I had an NSF fellowship, which,
when I was awarded it, paid $12000 per year. My first postdoc year the
Caltech minimum was $24000).
2. No required coursework, studying for prelims, writing a thesis, etc. etc.
3. Knowing more and not feeling like I had to "prove myself" as much
(more a psychological benefit, and not institution-based).
Perhaps your posting points out that Caltech is just a pretty nice place to
work, whether you're a student or a postdoc. Being a PI on the other hand,
looks to me to be pretty difficult and stressful (although for this I would
"blame" larger forces such as the funding situation, not Caltech the
institution). I'm not sure I really envy them, which could be why I'm
in no hurry to leave my postdoc.
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