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Cognitive Solutions & Foundations at IBM Research - Almaden


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Postdoctoral Scholar Program

Definition of a Postdoctoral Scholar (Postdoc)

  • The appointee is a recent recipient of a Ph.D. (typically, no more than two years prior)
  • Postdocs are IBM long-term supplemental employees (LTS)
  • The standard appointment is two years
  • Postdoctoral appointments are temporary. At the end of their appointment, postdocs are expected to move to a regular academic or research position.
    There should be:
    • No assumption that a postdoc will be hired as a Research Staff Member or Software Engineer
    • A postdoc appointment should not be construed as a probationary appointment to such a position.

Characteristics of a Postdoc Appointment

  • Full-time engagement in research and project participation under the supervision and guidance of members of the group to which the postdoc has been appointed
  • Position is viewed as preparatory for a full-time academic and/or research career
  • The appointee has the freedom and is expected to publish the results of his/her research or scholarship during appointment
  • A postdoc can participate in all activities and meetings of the research community, except in recruitment and personnel-related meetings
  • Advisor
    • A senior member of our community, appointed by the Director of Computer Science
    • Point-of-contact for all postdocs throughout the year
    • Receives and gathers feedback about the program from the postdocs, and listens to any concerns
    • Organizes a roundtable discussion for postdocs once or twice a year.
  • Connections Coach
    • Should be assigned to every new postdoc
    • Different than the mentor or the manager of the postdoc
    • Serves as the point-of-contact for the new hire during their first 60 days.
  • Mentor
    • Member of the research team, usually appointed by the first-line manager
    • Engages the postdoc in research projects, offers guidance in research, and fosters an environment conducive to a successful postdoc experience
    • Mentors in all areas of professional development, such as development of written and oral communication skills, feedback and advice on the preparation of papers and presentations in seminars or conferences
    • Exposes postdoc to other research groups in the organization
    • Provides career counseling and advice on preparing applications for regular positions (e.g., help with the preparation of resumes and research statements).
  • Job Preparation
    • New postdocs should give a seminar on their research within the first three months of their appointment
    • Additional seminars reporting on new findings suggested as their research progresses.

Evaluation of Postdocs

  • Feedback on their performance at regular intervals of time
    • Oral communication by manager or mentor in consultation with the manager
  • Expected to submit a "bragsheet" annually during ranking period in November
  • Formal annual performance evaluation and feedback at senior-manager level.