Below is a FAX-BACK comment we received for a topic raised in the September issue.

How postdocs regard mentorship at NIH
"Floundering is not the proper term. A more accurate description is that postdocs at NIH are PISSED OFF. An essential problem with this notion of mentorship is that it assumes that the postdocs don't know what is good for them and that the "mentors" act in the best interest of the postdoc. This is rarely the case. Quite often, mentors act in their own best interest. They need the work done in the lab. In many cases, the people who should advise new postdocs are the old, worn-out postdocs who have been through the wringer, often many times. A way to improve the mentorship at NIH could be to have a forum for post-docs not sanitized by the Office of Education. It would deal with the realities of the postdoc experience, academic appointments, job prospects, etc. I don't want to hear the experiences of the one in 100 who got that tenured position -- I want to hear from the other 99." -- Kevin G. Becker, NINDS

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