Survey of the day: Postdoc diploma

October 2, 2015

Are you familiar with any Universities that award some sort of  official recognition of the completion of a postdoctoral term of scientific training? 
When, where, etc if you feel comfortable…..

30 Responses to “Survey of the day: Postdoc diploma”

  1. mH Says:

    I got a sweater (with logo).


  2. neuromusic Says:

    I thought I saw that UTMB did this.


  3. boehninglab Says:

    Johns Hopkins Medical Institute gave me a “diploma” in 2005 acknowledging completion of a fellowship in neuroscience signed by boss and some other higher up (not just a Word template print-out). When I get home I will tweet a picture of it.


  4. boehninglab Says:

    I worked at UTMB for almost 10 years. None of my PDs got a diploma.


  5. lurker Says:

    Certain Major Research Hospital started giving out blue ribbons with gold letters spelling “5 year post-doctoral fellow” and a kabuki process for PI’s to evaluate and advise PDs on their career trajectory. Complete farce. Literally, cheap ribbons like from elementary school sports participation….

    If any institution actually formalized another “certificate” for the PD, then wow I can only imagine the expansion of labor abuses. Isn’t the PI’s recommendation letter already the de-facto recognition of whether a PD has completed said scientific training?


  6. boehninglab Says:

    Haha, you are right neuromusic they do have a certificate program. I just don’t think they get an *actual* diploma upon leaving the Uni. Many of us faculty were not sure what benefit the certificate programs actually conferred to the PD. Where UTMB DOES shine is they limit the number of years a person can be a PD. They are then required to be re-classified as a “research scientist” or similar non-training title.


  7. Chall Says:

    I did my post doc training at a private institute and got a diploma in the end certifying that I had completed post doc training for x months. Diploma was signed by chair of dep and chair of post doctoral training. I think it was more of a “work certificate” for visa issues myself but it looks fancy with cursive font and all. Fmr post docs have framed the diploma and hung it in office.


  8. qaz Says:

    In Germany, one does a “Habilitation”. This is a major step, is a huge test, and for years, one couldn’t get a professorship without it. I think it has fallen by the wayside as the rest of the world doesn’t do that.


  9. MorganPhD Says:

    I got a decrease in salary and benefits!


  10. Joe Says:

    That is hilarious. How do you know when you have “completed” your fellowship? Do you get more stars on your diploma if you do it in four years instead of six years? What about the guy who is only in the lab for one year, does he get a diploma too?


  11. Newbie PI Says:

    I do see the problem with determining when one has actually “completed” a postdoctoral fellowship. However, it would be nice to have some sort of formal recognition that I “trained” at my postdoc university. It would make a nice addition to my office wall.


  12. Ass(isstant) Prof Says:

    I think I would have found it insulting, just like every time I saw that postdocs were “postdoctoral students.” The PhD is a terminal degree. Not all postdocs are exploited, but I think mechanisms and constructs that place them in a student-like definition provide cover for PIs and systems to do so.

    If you are on the academic track, the posdoc diploma is called a “faculty appointment letter.”


  13. Dave Says:

    Here, we recognize the successful completion of a post-doc by awarding the jubilant fellow a prestigious, full-time technician job. The only negative to this is that they are asked to remove their PhD from their resumes before formally applying for the job. But, all in all, it’s a win-win for all involved.


  14. Science Grunt Says:

    In several countries, there is a post-PhD required to advance to full professorship called Habilitation. It’s usually a presentation of your body of work (like going up for tenure). In some countries, having completed a postdoc in a prestigious institution is evidence of international collaborations and being highly connected, so I can see some people wanting to attach such certificate to their material.


  15. Rheophile Says:

    At the end of five years here, you are promoted from “Postdoc” to “Postdoc with cheese.” Where by cheese, I mean the price of an extra block of cheese a month. I am pretty sure there is no certificate, though we perhaps should award one. Like, “Congratulations on helping us avoid the spirit of five-year postdoc caps!”


  16. DJMH Says:

    Friend of mine got a pin at the end of five years.


  17. physioprof Says:

    First prize is a Cadillac El Dorado.
    Second prize is a set of steak knives.
    Third prize is…you’re fired!


  18. MoBio Says:

    When I was a postdoc some decades ago the head of the lab gave out a nice certificate to all who left the lab. These are now highly treasured by all who received them (I did not as he left the institute and I stayed on for a couple more years).

    I resurrected that tradition when I started my lab some time ago and hand them out during a farewell lunch (nicely framed).

    It’s nice opportunity to formally recognize and acknowledge their time in the lab and as most all of the postdocs left for ‘real jobs’ a way to launch them.

    I don’t know what happens to the certificates, though I’ve gotten selfies over the years with the certificates in the background.


  19. 1-75 Scientist Says:

    I got a certificate of completion of postdoctoral training (or something like that) from the University of Michigan when I left. Had been there ~4yrs. It showed up about a month later at my new job, which was a continuation of my PD in mentors lab as we moved. We’ll see if new U also awards me a certificate in the coming months when PD is finally truly finished.


  20. Kevin. Says:

    See, I told you Glengarry Glen Ross was a perfect allegory for academic life!


  21. Eli Rabett Says:

    Physicians get certificates for completing residencies, so why not?


  22. Microscientist Says:

    I got a certificate from Grad studies when I turned in my thesis proving that I was finished so I could go START my postdoc. At the time I thought it was hilarious- sort like the temporary driver’s license until the real one comes in the mail.
    But I would think that an “award” for post-doc-ing for 5 years or so would be more depressing than anything else. Hurrah, you are no longer eligible for most post-doc oriented grant mechanisms! Lets party? Better to celebrate when they move to a permanent position.


  23. Dave Says:

    Physicians get certificates for completing residencies, so why not?

    I think the end of residency should not be compared ever to the end of a post-doc. Two very different outcomes/careers.


  24. Namaste_Ish Says:

    I got a beer punch card. I now get a shitte ton of mail asking me for money


  25. Frostback Says:

    The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, offers a 2 year certificate program while one is a PostDoc.

    “The Postdoctoral Certificate Program serves to augment laboratory training in an effort to better prepare Postdoctoral Fellows for their future endeavors in science. Each semester Postdoctoral Fellows will enroll in courses though the Registrar’s Office. It is a 2 year, 15 semester credit hour program. There is a Career Development Series including grant writing, ethics, communication skills and other related topics. Department Seminars will earn the Postdoctoral Fellow 1 semester credit hour and Supervised Research is required each semester for 2 semester credit hours. An elective of choice will provide supplemental instruction in a specialized area, such teaching, technology or other courses of interest to the Postdoctoral Fellow. Upon completion of fifteen hours of coursework, a certificate will be awarded.*

    I found it useful to meet with PostDocs in other labs and also get info on “the business” of research.


  26. dsks Says:

    No PD training badge, just the obligatory 5 yr long service award from the institution. Couple more years and I might had my hands on a 10 yearer, but alas a couple job offers came in.


  27. imager Says:

    The Habilitation is really more like a PhD body of work without the courses, not really a completion of a postdoc – though a postdoc helps to collect the necessary publications for it.

    The lab where I was a postdoc in gave me a nice self made certificate in a frame. Still hangs in my office. Its a nice gesture, and the more I think about it I should start doing the same.


  28. becca Says:

    Diplomas??! We don’t need no stinkin’ diplomas.


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