Research at the University of South Alabama is increasingly having national and
international impact on development of new technology and improvement in quality of
life. One outcome is the increase in the number of post-doctoral researchers who are
attracted to the University. In response to this growing number, USA’s first Office of
Post-Doctoral Education is being established to further develop critical research
programs and to provide consistent support for these post-doctoral fellows. Post-doctoral
research is considered essential to advancing the scholarly mission of a research
Dr. David Johnson, senior vice president for academic affairs, announced
establishment of the new office during the March 7 meeting of the University’s Board of
The office will be under the direction of Dr. B. Keith Harrison, associate vice
president for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School.
The University presently has close to 50 post-doctoral researchers. All hold a
doctoral degree and are increasing their expertise in a specialist subject, usually in
mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring professional
skills needed to pursue a research and scholarly career path.
“Post-doctoral students will broaden and enhance the University’s research
capacity by bringing more talent to the campus,” said Johnson. “They are extremely
important to the success of USA and to build the nation’s research capacity.”
Post-doctoral fellows are employees of the University with defined benefits and
will be overseen by the new Office of Post-Doctoral Education. The majority of the post-
doctoral fellows are supported by federal, non-profit or industry grants and contracts.