The NPA was established with the goal of fostering necessary improvements to the postdoctoral situation in the United States. At the time of its founding, there was no organization with the sole aim of achieving improvements in the postdoctoral experience. The NPA sought to crystallize the diffuse postdoc debate and provide a focal point for achieving administrative and policy changes. The early leadership of the NPA consisted of a democratically-elected group of postdoctoral scientists. From its inception, the NPA worked collaboratively and constructively with research institutions, postdoctoral affairs offices, postdoctoral associations (PDAs), professional organizations, and scientific funding agencies. The NPA sought especially to encourage the creation of additional PDAs. Through advocacy based on hard data, the NPA sought to bring about changes that would benefit postdocs and other parties interested in seeing the research enterprise flourish.
The founding board was comprised of postdoctoral representatives from across the country, each a chair or founding member of an institutional postdoctoral association, initiated the formation of the NPA. This board began as a committee that coalesced during Science's NextWave Postdoc Network meeting in April 2002 in Washington D.C. At this meeting, attendees expressed broad support for a national postdoctoral organization that could provide focus and effect positive change. The founding board secured funding, put together the Bylaws, set up the committee structure, and did all the tasks required to set up a new organization.
Read more about the founders and their lives since the founding here.
Initial Collaborations / Relationships