Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences has an active postoctoral education program. When a postdoctoral researcher comes to Bigelow Laboratory, they also will participate in our Postdoctoral Education and Ethics Training program. The objective of this program is to provide instruction that will teach responsible conduct of research (RCR) ethics, enhance professional development (e.g., grant writing, faculty position applications, etc.), and provide hands-on experience that will build skills (e.g., bioinformatics techniques, electron and confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, etc.). One of our Senior Research Scientists (SRS) is assigned to be the postdoctoral education coordinator - this position is temporarily being filled by Dr. Beth Orcutt.
Although Bigelow Laboratory is primarily a research institution, postdoctoral researchers are expected to participate in the laboratory-wide educational and outreach programs. These programs include the yearly BLOOM program where Maine high school students are exposed to ocean sciences for a week and the newly established Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program funded by the National Science Foundation. Postdocs are expected to mentor, provide lectures, and guide students in the laboratory. Finally, due to Bigelow Laboratory's dependence on external funding, postdocs are expected to shadow and aid SRSs in grant applications. The volume of grant applications per SRS at Bigelow Laboratory gives postdocs substantial exposure to crucial skill required for maintaining and developing a future research program.
Additionally, postdocs may attend seminars, present research, and invite and host speakers as part of the regular Bigelow seminar series. They also participate in the on-going postdoc organized journal club and several career development symposia. Furthermore, postdocs also may attend SRS and committee meetings, which are the governance vehicle at our soft-money institution. By the end of a stint at Bigelow Laboratory, a postdoc should develop into an independent scientist that is more experienced in every aspect of their chosen discipline, funding a research program, teaching and mentoring students, and institutional governance.