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About ORCD

Background

The creation of the Office for Research Career Development, in the summer of 2005, recognizes the dramatic growth in the MGH research community. The traditions and strengths of our research community at the MGH have been augmented by the large and growing numbers of researchers holding the Ph.D. degree or a combination of Ph.D. and M.D. degrees that are focused primarily on research. In general, Ph.D. research faculty are entirely dependent on soft money and have a set of concerns related to career development that are unique. These concerns include publication standards and structures in their fields that are often unfamiliar to those outside their fields who must evaluate them for promotion and a diverse range of highly specialized scientific disciplines not easily judged by non-specialists in the field. They are not teaching faculty, but they typically do teach without remuneration recognizing the need for scientific communication with students as a vital component of research. Teaching also offers the opportunity to recruit graduate students, who have an essential role in productive research laboratories. Given the career pathways and institutional expectations for research faculty at the MGH, as an academic medical center, are different from traditional academic structures, the ORCD was formed to address those differences and facilitate the careers of the research faculty.

In addition to the research faculty, there exists an exceptional group of postdoctoral fellows conducting research who have remained largely hidden in the shadows of the laboratories at the MGH. The institution recognized the important contributions of this group of young scientists as an invaluable asset to the MGH through discussions within ECOR, the Ph.D. Steering Committee, and the Center for Faculty Development. This office was then charged by ECOR with addressing the career needs of postdoctoral research fellows. Particular emphasis will be placed on developing a institution-wide postdoctoral policy to enhance the recruitment and job satisfaction of research fellows, career mentoring and counseling, and fostering pathways to independence so that today's research fellows may become tomorrow's leaders.

Center for Faculty Development Office for Women's Careers Office for Research Career Development