November 2010 Issue • Volume 38 • Issue 8

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Call for Nominations

ASA Seeks Volunteers for New Task Force on Post-Doctorates in Sociology

At its August 2010 meeting, the ASA Council approved a proposal by the Executive Office to establish an ASA Task Force on Post-Doctorates in Sociology. Nominations of volunteers to serve, including self-nominations, are sought for this new Task Force. This initiative follows on the heels of a successful selection process this past spring for the first cohort of the new ASA/NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship program in sociology, housed at Cornell University, Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Task Force will work to better understand the place, purpose, and future career trajectories of post-doctoral appointments in the discipline and to formulate policy recommendations for review by Council. The ASA staff liaisons are Roberta Spalter-Roth, Director of Research, and Jean H. Shin, Director of Minority Affairs.

The mission of the new Task Force on Post-Doctorates in Sociology includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. work with the ASA Executive Office to weigh evidence from the evaluation of the new ASA/NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship program in sociology including issues of mentoring and training;
  2. identify a network of research universities and programs that house post doctorates to increase potential dialogue and cooperation;
  3. do research on post-docs comparing findings for sociology and other disciplines, both within and outside the social and behavioral sciences and work with other professional societies as appropriate;
  4. identify and investigate research and policy concerns in science and higher education including an agenda for future research on post doctorates and career-related issues;
  5. weigh which aspects of the natural science model sociology might follow and what are the potential problems and issues that need to be addressed; and
  6. identify recommendations for new and existing post-doctorate programs in sociology.

Task Force members will serve for two years, beginning on or about June 1, 2011. The Task Force will report to ASA Council on its progress prior to submitting its final report for Council action. Council could extend the term of the Task Force needed. This effort will involve a substantial time commitment; the Task Force will meet at the 2011 and 2012 ASA Annual Meetings in Chicago and Denver, respectively, as well as remotely on occasion.

All nominations should include a statement of interest and a brief biographical sketch on relevant background and expertise. Send nominations and supporting materials to Karina Havrilla, ASA Minority and Student Affairs Coordinator, at or by postal mail at the American Sociological Association, 1430 K St. NW #600, Washington, DC 20005. Deadline: December 17, 2010.

Much of the vitality of ASA flows from its diverse membership. With this in mind, it is the policy of the ASA to include people of color, women, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons, persons with disabilities, sociologists from smaller institutions or who work in government, business, or other applied settings, and international scholars in all of its programmatic activities and in the business of the association. logo_small

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