The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Welcome from the Assistant Dean

Dr. Laura Kasman 
Dr. Laura Kasman

Welcome to the Medical University of South Carolina and its Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, housed within the College of Graduate Studies at MUSC. Our goal is to ensure that your postdoctoral years at MUSC are a journey to a fulfilling career in science, whether it be in academia, industry, policy or entrepreneurship. We are here to help you with information and advice about career development, postdoctoral salary and benefits, mentor-mentee relations, university resources and policies, and life in Charleston.

Please contact me anytime for assistance by email or in person. I have office hours every Monday and Thursday, 3-5 pm, and other times by appointment.

I look forward to working with you,

Laura Kasman, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs
College of Graduate Studies

The Dean of the College of Graduate Studies created the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs in October 2005 to better address postdoctoral trainees' unique needs. The initial goals were revitalizing the dormant Postdoctoral Association, evaluating postdoctoral policies and resources, counseling postdoctoral scholars in career development, and serving as representation for MUSC postdoctoral training on the national level.

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) consists of the Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Program Coordinator for Postdoctoral Affairs. The Assistant Dean approves all postdoctoral appointments. All mentors must have Graduate Faculty status. Funding for the OPA comes from the College of Graduate Studies and supports workshops and activities of the MUSC Postdoctoral Association (PDA). The Assistant Dean advises postdocs on career development issues, approaches for resolving conflicts with their mentor, or any general professional or administrative problem.

There are currently 126 postdoctoral trainees at MUSC, 87 as postdoctoral scholars and 39 as NIH postdoctoral fellows, approximately 76 percent of which are US or permanent residents and 24 percent internationals. Gender distribution is 44 percent male and 56 percent female. Of the US postdocs, 14 percent come from underrepresented ethnic or racial groups. Approximately 31 percent of MUSC postdocs are supported by either individual fellowships or NIH T32 training grants.

Charleston, South Carolina, is a city known for its enchantment and charm, as well as its fascinating beauty, history and culture. Since its settlement in 1670 by English colonists, the charming historic seaport of Charleston has been a favorite vacation and relocation destination.
Steeped in history, Charleston is often called a "living museum." Its past and present are intertwined like no other city, and is evident in its culture, architecture, plantations and famous gardens.

With its lively and historical festivals and cultural events, there's never a dull moment in Charleston. From the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition every February, to the Spoleto Festival USA held each May, to the wide array of nightlife activities, there is always something going on in Greater Charleston. The mild coastal climate makes Charleston's world-renowned golf courses and beautiful beaches fun to enjoy year-round. For more information, please visit the Charleston Area Visitors Guide.
The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has served the citizens of South Carolina since 1824. It has expanded from a small private college for the training of physicians to a state university with a medical center and six colleges for the education of a broad range of health professionals, biomedical scientists and other health related personnel.

Policies and Procedures pertaining to postdocs may be found here (accessible with NetID).  Postdoctoral Trainees are defined at MUSC in accordance with the NIH and NSF definition: “An individual who has received a doctoral degree (or equivalent) and is engaged in a temporary and defined period of mentored advanced training to enhance the professional skills and research independence needed to pursue her or his chosen career path.” All policies are constructed with this definition in mind.

All postdoc salaries are to be reviewed annually by the OPA before onboarding. To do so, please submit an up-to-date CV of the postdoc along with a completed Salary Verification Form (accessible with NetID). Additional information on postdoc salaries and benefits may be found in PolicyTech (link coming soon).

Purpose and Function of the MUSC Postdoctoral Association (PDA)

  • Scholarly Learning: This includes inviting outside speakers, organizing workshops, continuing education and giving postdocs opportunities to present their work in local meetings.
  • Networking Activities: This includes formal and informal meetings and gatherings of postdocs. In addition, this includes social activities both at the University and outside of the University. The PDA shall have a commitment to promoting networking opportunities both within the postdoc community as well between the postdoc community and faculty.
  • Postdoc Advocacy: The PDA should be a source of information and a sounding board for complaints and concerns. The PDA is a place to pass those concerns on to the appropriate channels; however, the PDA does not, in and of itself, have authority to directly alter any policy except its own bylaws and governance. The PDA interacts with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs in the College of Graduate Studies, as well as, faculty to address the concerns that are brought forward.