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Published: 2010-02-26

Umeå University ranked 4th best workplace outside the US for postdocs

NEWS Umeå University is the fourth best place to work outside of the United States for postdoctoral researchers in the life sciences. This is shown in a survey carried out by the prestigious American magazine The Scientist.

Ikenna Obi, postdoc at Umeå Centre for Microbial Research and Department of Molecular Biology. Photo: Eva-Maria Diehl

“We are obviously pleased and proud about this selection.” says Marianne Sommarin, researcher in the life sciences and Vice-Rector at Umeå University with the responsibility for research development and research evaluation. “I see it as a confirmation that Umeå University is an attractive international environment, with the ability to attract many talented young researchers that enjoy working here.”

For the eighth consecutive year, The Scientist surveyed which institutions postdocs believe have the best research environments and work opportunities within the field of life sciences, namely medicine and biology. The survey results are presented in two top lists, one for U.S. institutions and one for the rest of the world, where Umeå University is placed fourth. One other Swedish institution made the list, the ninth placed Karolinska Institute.

Umeå University received top marks for its standing on family and personal life, and compensation. The postdocs also highlight the quality of the facilities and infrastructure and they highly value their experience as a postdoctoral researcher at Umeå University. Furthermore, they believe that there is a well-functioning communications system at work, and strong opportunities to network with other researchers.

“We have a collective campus which creates a feeling of closeness, and it is easy for postdocs to meet together. This can be particularly important if you are not from Sweden, as many of our postdocs come from all over the world. Moreover, there is another thing that most people refer to something positive, it is the Swedish coffee culture in which researchers from different research groups can gather and discuss their research questions. In Sweden, postdocs are regarded as a major asset, and the senior researchers see them as a more equitable resource which is not the case in all countries,” says Marianne Sommarin.

Umeå University has approximately 150 postdoctoral researchers in the life sciences.

Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC) has on two previous occasions been named as one of the best places to work for postdocs by The Scientist. This year, UPSC also stands out in several areas of the survey, including career development opportunities. Since aspects of UPSC are included in Umeå University's life science research, the research centre is also part of this distinction given to Umeå University.

A postdoctoral researcher position (postdoc) is the continuation of a research career by a person who has completed his or her doctoral studies, and is often done abroad. The notion is that new doctoral graduates will have the opportunity to further deepen their expertise and develop their research profile.

Read more about the Scientist’s surveyTop US and International Institutions

For further information, please contact:

Marianne Sommarin, Vice-RectorPhone: +46 90-786 60 63 Mobile: +46 70-662 38 74
E-mail: marianne.sommarin@adm.umu.se

Editor: Karin Wikman