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VAI Voice

The official blog of Van Andel Institute
18 Sep 2018

Five reasons we appreciate our postdocs

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We are thrilled to recognize National Postdoc Appreciation Week, which highlights the contributions of postdoctoral fellows, early career scientists who have earned their Ph.D.s and are undergoing additional professional training, much like medical residency training. They are vital members of the research community at the Institute and beyond (learn more about postdocs’ roles by watching this video). To help mark the occasion, here are five things we most appreciate about our postdocs:

  1. Creativity and innovation: Postdocs bring new ideas, techniques and approaches to their labs. Many fellows undertake postdoctoral training in related but different disciplines than their graduate research, which leads to creative and innovative thinking that can push labs to tackle research problems in new ways.
  2. Technical skills: Postdocs are highly trained scientists that produce much of the Institute’s cutting-edge research. In addition to their own work, they often train and mentor other scientists, including graduate students.
  3. Leadership: Postdocs are the scientific leaders of tomorrow who are making an impact today. Locally, VARI postdocs serve on committees that provide vital input and feedback on the work underway at the Institute.
  4. Community: In addition to being active members of the scientific community at large, postdocs have their own communities within and outside VARI, which offer social support and allow the dissemination of ideas across labs, institutions, states and countries.
  5. Diversity: Postdocs are a diverse group, bringing wide-ranging and valuable perspectives, experiences and ideas to their labs. The Institute’s postdocs hail from 13 different countries and hold graduate degrees in fields ranging from computer science to neuroscience.

To learn more about the Institute’s postdocs, please check out their profiles here.