Last February, the Computing Research Association (CRA) — the umbrella organization of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) — launched an effort to engage the computing research community in a conversation about postdoctoral fellows, at a time when survey data were suggesting that a growing number of recent Ph.D.s in the field were pursuing postdoctoral fellowships — a trend that has continued. A white paper, the result of a CRA-commissioned committee, was posted to the web, presenting statistics about academic and industry hiring, and articulating relevant issues about postdoctoral fellows. The CRA sought input from the community, encouraging faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students to discuss the various issues and opine on the website.
Following months of discussions in departments and conversations by CRA’s Board of Directors, CRA today is releasing a consensus white paper — a statement by the community to all those concerned about the issue of postdoctoral positions in computing. The paper provides — to graduating doctoral students, to mentors, to hiring departments, and to funding agencies — guidelines on when a postdoctoral position is a positive experience as well as expectations of postdoctoral fellows, their mentors, and their supporting departments.
Among the guidelines in the white paper:
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