Congratulations to Dr. Jeffrey Gralnick and Dr. Suzanne McGaugh on receiving the 2023 Faculty Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Advising!
Jeffrey Gralnick, Professor, Plant and Microbial Biology
Being a postdoc should be one of the most enjoyable positions in one’s career, as you can be truly focused on science without the plethora of distractions that working in industry, academia or government will have. However, as I tell my postdocs when they join my lab - their primary job is to get a job. Early on I encourage postdocs in my lab to begin looking for positions, to network and to gain experience in areas that will help them achieve this goal. Discussing career aspirations is the first step, but identifying training opportunities both inside and outside of the lab is equally important. Participation in developmental experiences should not simply be permitted, but enthusiastically encouraged. Having fun and doing cool science also helps!
Suzanne McGaugh, Associate Professor, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
My postdoctoral mentor was one of the most encouraging, kind, and engaged scientists I've ever known, and my postdoc was easily a highlight in my career. I felt immensely supported, and, as a result, my postdoc was a time of lightning scientific growth and productivity for me. His example, and its impact on my career and my perception of my abilities, has inspired me to emulate high expectations, high encouragement approach with my mentees. While I don’t always meet my own expectations in mentoring and have learned from past mistakes, I try to instill in my mentees just how incredibly talented and valued they are and that they are capable of the very best science if given the proper scaffolding of support.