Communication in the IDP

Tips. Suggestions. Best of lists. Lions, and tigers, and bears...oh, my! The beasts of professional development training are all around us. But...there is knowing, and then there is using. Professional development tools and trainings are developed to further our successes. But, often times these valuable sources of information remain just that...information. Due to the demand of time, scientists in particular are racing against the clock to keep up with research and technological advances in their fields. Communication of this science is often secondary, yet it’s around 50% or more of most Individualized Development Plans (IDPs). Additionally, the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) includes “Communication Skills” as item 3 of their Core Competencies. What are institutions doing to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of their international scientists and scholars to directly respond to the need of effective communication in the sciences?

With English as the undisputed language of science, it is the responsibility of institutions to train all of their scientists and scholars for success in this English dominant field. Brilliant science is being left behind. All scientists need control of the English language beyond their field and need to increase their cultural intelligence to manage the demands of this diverse, international workforce. Scientists know their content, but they don’t always implement the interpersonal and communicative skills needed to bring positive attention to their research, ultimately leaving it behind. This is especially true for non-native English speaking postdocs.

Time, money, and effort have been spent to develop these IDPs, and now it’s time to take action. It’s time to take this information and make it useful. Making the IDP useful and effective in goal setting around communication is only effective if programming truly responds to these identified needs.

Tell us how your institution is meeting these cultural and communicative needs identified on the IDP for all postdocs, including non-native English speaking postdocs.