Overview of doc2008

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postdoc in the US

One more thing, I found this blog looking for the most current NIH standards.From the "Everyday Scientist" blog,http://blog.everydayscientist.com/?p=590, commenting on the Sigma Xi postdoc survey.There is a great graph showing the salary range of people according to education, in the following order -
Grad student ($25K), HIgh school diploma ($28K), Post-doc ($38K), Bachelor's degree ($45K), Master's degree ($56K), Doctoral degree ($71K):
"Most schools base their postdoc salary from the current NIH postdoc stipend rate. These rates are only marginally adjusted for years of experience and do not reflect the differences in cost of living between, say, Ohio and NYC. Furthermore, most schools do not treat their postdocs as students so on-campus housing, medical, gym, and other “perks” are significantly more expensive."

postdoc in the US

I'm in the U.S. Here are NIH (National Institute of Health)standards that are often used - at least as a basis. Often you can negotiate for more from other funding. I don't know your field and if there are any other perks involved - insurance coverage, housing, paying for you to come over here etc? $30,000 is pretty low, even lower than NIH which is low. Consider the rent, and and heating costs, all of which I think are less than Europe but as was said, not all cities have great public transportation systems so also include need for car, insurance, and gas. But if the field and position are really competitive and you would gain tremendous experience or get to work with top notch people in the field, than thats worth it. Good luck.

NIH Minimums as of Feburary 22, 2007
Years Completed
0 (1)
---- $46,992 ----
---- $48,852 ----
7 or more ---- $51,036

Post Doc Salary in US

I'm in the U.S.; Don't know about non-universities, but most research institutes using federal funded grants for post-doc programs seem to pay per the NIH guidelines:
Postdoctoral Years of Experience:
0 $36,996
1 $38,976
2 $41,796
3 $43,428
4 $45,048
5 $46,992
6 $48,852
7 or more $51,036
They can be supplemented from other funds to make a more liveable/competetive salary. These stipends are terrible, amounting to a paycut even at the 7+ year experience slot compared to what I am currently making as a research associate with an graduate degree and a lot of experience. Another route is 'Staff Scientist" which usually gives a better salary, but may not have all of the mentoring/protected time for getting your own funds as a post-doc, depending on who you work for.


I assume your goal is saturation with the interviews - no no themes emerging? Guest, et al, (2006) found that saturation occurred in ethnographic research within the first twelve interviews, with meta-themes present as early as six interviews. They suggest using samples of 12 participants per group of interest when examining how two or more groups differ along a given dimension. (Guest, Greg, Arwan Bunch, & Laura Johnson 2006 How Many Interviews are Enough? An Experiment with Data Saturation and Variability. Field Methods, 18 (1): 59-82.)
Hope this helps

Thanking your research participants

I was critiqued by a grant committee for not including 'thank you' gifts in my proposal, so when I reapplied I included them in the budget, however my advisor thought that requirement was ridiculous - plus unafforadable - so unless I get the grant, my thank you gift will be in the form of coming back to the organizations I recruited from and doing a talk on my findings.

using mixed methods in social science research

Are you trying to figure the timing of the methods? I always understood to first do the qualitative to inform the developement of the quantitative tool, which will, for most, be used on a larger scale target population. I am using mine concomitantly, in the interest of time and budget - but the surveys will be given to participants after the focus group or interview to minimize response bias. Eventually the results of this project will inform the development of a more detailed quantitative tool to be given a larger population (post-doc project)Depending on the details of your topic and the numbers you are gathering (and their accessibility), I would think a year is fine - I'm hoping to have mine completed, analyzed, written and defended by summer, talk about over ambitious!

using mixed methods in social science research

I'm using mixed methods in my med anthro dissertation, focus groups and in-depth interviews, along with some short surveys for all participants. I think its the way to go for acceptability in the med/scientific and also to provide some triangulation of data. The qualitative provides the richness, nuance and details that pure quant misses, while surveys will allow some correlational studies.

Software to organise qualitative research

I took a course on using Atlas.ti - and it was fine, but really any of them are only as good as what you are choosing and putting in, how much context you use, etc.; they will graphically organize and chart things, and are great for attaching memos and trying out organizational ideas - when I asked my advisor which she preferred (she is strictly about ethnography) she replied none, she does the old cut and paste. Kruger too uses a table method, which essentially is cut and paste.I'm probably going to go with Atlas.ti only because I learned it, but I'm still thinking about cutting/pasting methods or using a slightly more advanced mechanism with 'word' format and color coding.Good luck!

Social Science question - grid/group Cultural Theory of Risk

Another Douglas question - has anyone used this framework in their analysis? If so, do you have participants plot themselves? I understand the theory, its the use of it I'm not sure I get, maybe I'm thinking too qualitatively, and so many questions = so many moves on the grid or group axis, but now that seems far too complicated. One of my committee members thought it would be grand to work this into my design...

Qualitative research on issues of moral purity and risk perception

Initially I was going to start with interviews then use focus groups to triangulate/clarify issues with focus groups. However upon pilot testing, the focus groups were far more successful, just opened up so much more then the interviews did. So now I'm flipping the design to start with focus groups, and use interviews to find saturation with particular issues that emerge in the groups.
One committee member suggested relaying a story that gets to the value systems I'm looking for and gauging reactions.

Qualitative research on issues of moral purity and risk perception

For all you social science folks (I'm medical anthro) I'm trying to get my question guide together for my focus groups, and I'm looking at colon cancer and risk perception, and trying to tease out issues of moral purity - using a symbolic anthropologic/Mary Douglas framework - how illness can be explained/perceived as a moral event, especially one involving such a 'polluting' organ as the intestine and its marginal matter. I'm looking at this in the Jewish populations (all denominations, not just Orthodox) which is based on purity laws, but I want to get beyond the manifest/ritual meanings to deeper levels of values we may have - even if we don't follow all the 'laws'- but not recognize. I'm a bit stumped on how to draw them out in a subtle way - any suggestions?

Qualitative research focus groups

Are you also planning on having someone with you to co-moderate and take notes? That way they can get the essence of the answers going on at the discussion while you focus on moderating the focus group itself.

Terrified, actually petrified now the date has arrived.

I was so nervous my first committee meeting; we all met to review my proposal and get ready for writing my qualifying exam questions. Essentially my committee tore apart my proposal, and methodically built it (and me) back up, so I walked out feeling great and with a really well constructed plan of moving ahead. When I relayed this to some cohorts, they all said their experiences were the same, so I think in my department its a matter of showing who the expert is and how things will be done (doesn't everything boil down to power?)There should be a study of this, it would make a great dissertation topic!

Comic Relief - journal editor

It brings such perspective to one's day. But nothing that some nutella and a beer - plus a great pep talk from my 11 year old - didn't solve. It will just go to another (more deserving) journal. Interestingly, these reviewers must use a voice recognition software or transcriptionist for their reviews, because some of it made no sense, including this last one; grammatically, it very poorly written with some words out of context. Perhaps if they reviewed their reviews than those of us receiving them could more accurately meet their recommendations...

Comic Relief - journal editor

Thought I'd post a bit about my day..I'm deep in the middle of my qualifying exams, which luckily for my program is a series of take home questions that require exceedingly long (journal article length) answers, and then an oral defense, but still about 2/3 done - and feeling like I'm at a good writing clip, actually feeling confident - when I get a reply today from a journal regarding an article I sent in. After revising & resubmitting - now three times - exactly as per their recommendations, they have decided the article is no good, and I really need to get native speaker in English to review it before resubmitting. Evidently being monolingual in English for all my 40 years isn't cutting it.