In its annual ranking of the “Best Places to Work for Postdoctoral Fellows,” The Scientist magazine ranked OMRF 6th among U.S. institutions.
The rankings, which appear in the March issue of The Scientist, were based on surveys that gathered thousands of responses from postdoctoral fellows—postdocs—at nearly 100 institutions. Participants were asked to rate their institutions on 38 criteria in 9 different core areas that included the quality of training and mentoring, pay and benefits, and career development opportunities.
OMRF, which employs approximately 50 postdocs, was the only Oklahoma institution to appear on this year’s list. It topped such universities and research organizations as Princeton University, the Mayo Clinic, the National Cancer Institute and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
“We place a strong emphasis on scientific training at OMRF, and this survey tells us that we’re more than holding our own against the nation’s research powerhouses,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D. “The work they do has a major impact on the quality of our science, so we focus on giving our postdocs fellows everything they need to thrive.”
Postdocs are typically junior scientists who have recently completed their doctoral degrees. They customarily spend 3 to 5 years at a research institution, gaining experience and training under the guidance of senior scientists.
“OMRF scientists provide training and mentorship to help postdocs establish their careers and become independent scientific investigators,” said Scott Hooker, who serves as OMRF’s liaison to postdocs. “Our goal is to help them launch successful careers in medical research.”
“The postdoctoral years are extremely important in helping young scientists mature into competent lab leaders,” said The Scientist’s Associate Editor Jeff Akst, who oversees the magazine’s Best Places surveys. “Our survey provides information about both the strengths and the weaknesses of institutions in training PhDs for that transition—straight from the postdocs themselves.”