Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Daily Pump Trap: 7/19/16 edition

A few of the positions posted at C&EN Jobs over the last week:

Woburn, MA: Organix is looking for M.S./Ph.D. synthetic chemists.

(Organix is looking for a M.S. chemist? Is that new?)

La Jolla, CA: Calibr is looking for synthetic/medicinal chemists for postdoctoral positions.

(Is anyone else noticing the plethora of small non-academic institutions calling entry-level Ph.D. chemists "postdoctoral fellows"? (Needed caveat: this really isn't about Calibr, that's just something that reminded me about my feelings about it.) Does anyone else think this contributes to the devaluing of entry-level Ph.D. chemists? Senior graduate students, I urge you to think about taking these positions, and asking potential employers:
  • You're calling this a postdoctoral position - what kinds of unique training am I going to get? 
  • What is the fate of your postdocs? Where do they go? 
  • Will I be the first postdoc at your company? How can we assure that I get the training and mentorship implied in the title?
  • Will I be allowed to publish my work?)
Cleveland, OH: Lubrizol is looking for an experienced chemist to be a technical manager for wood coatings. 

Milford, OH: PPG, also looking for a coatings chemist; this time it's beverage-related.

Davis, CA: Novozymes wishes to hire a B.S./M.S. chemist for an analytical position towards metabolomics.

Pleasanton, CA: Astex is looking for a contract analytical chemist; B.S. and 5 years experience required. 


  1. Entry level positions as "post-docs" are the new contract positions. The company gets a highly skilled worker in for cheap and if in a year they don't like the worker, they can get a new post-doc.

    Also if you get this "post-doc" you now have a full year interview process so watch you p's and q's.

    Corporate America will take your advanced degree that you have worked very hard for and turn it against you.

    1. "Corporate America will take your advanced degree that you have worked very hard for and turn it against you."

      Well, yes, capitalism is man exploits man (opposite of communism.....ahhh Keynes): it's the system we want and it works pretty well, admittedly better for those on top. Don't see how this turns one's degree 'against you'.

      To be fair, for any job if 'they' don't like the worker, the worker can easily be fired so nothing different here.

    2. But that's the funny thing, right? I feel that in many places, people are rarely fired because of "we don't like you". Rather, it takes a couple of years and magically they're on the list of people to be laid off.

  2. Well, I agree with you on industrial 'post-docs'. But, this Calibr place is a not-for-profit research institute, so in their case, I think the answers to your questions would be more satisfactory as opposed to a postdoc in Pharma or BASF.

  3. I have a friend who was an industrial postdoc in a very front-end research position. He could, and did, publish. He also made $85K as a postdoc, which isn't too shabby. We hired a postdoc a few years ago to smooth out a two-body problem. We had a full time position for her, but not for him, so we brought him on as a postdoc for a year. That allowed us to evaluate him, and when a position opened, we hired him. Wasn't a postdoc in the true sense, but it paid him better than if we had hired him as a contractor, and the alternative was to hire only one of the two of them, so I'd say this worked out for all parties.

    1. Glad to hear there are good examples out there, although I have to ask - why call him a postdoc if he's just an entry-level scientist?