Last week BNL Diktys Stratakis gave an outstanding
introduction to working in government labs.
Government post-docs are roles where potential
scientists are interviewed over a longer period
in what he referred to as a “feeder system”.
There are a few grad students who work at national
labs but mostly permanent staff and post-docs
work on significant scientific and technical
problems like space launches, diseases and
Since there are fewer students, it is challenging
to be in a position for many papers. Performance
is observed and evaluated on weekly group
meetings. It was quite interesting to learn of
the promotion ladder system at BNL:
research associate, 2-3 years
assistant scientist, 2-3 years
scientist these two– max 5 years.
TENURE DECISION POINT
One of three results, namely tenured Senior
Scientist, Continuing appointment (without tenure)
and moving on.
To achieve tenure it is imperative
1. be a leader in a project important to the department
2. be known and respected outside your department
3. author publications and be invited to present
He concluded that a person starting out in a position
seek to work on important problems
seek funding, be involved in discussions and writing
of proposals [to enable obtaining Continuing
appointments leading to Senior Scientist level]
Earlier we have indicated what is involved in
applying for a post-doc position 1 .