National Postdoctoral Association

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NPA Diversity Statement | Statement of Inclusion | Diversity Officer Role | Diversity Handbook | Diversity Fellowships | Recommended Strategies to Increase the Participation of Underrepresented Groups in STEM

 

The NPA Diversity Statement


The National Postdoctoral Association seeks to promote diversity and ensure equal opportunity and inclusion for all persons in the membership, leadership and activities of the National Postdoctoral Association regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, disability, country of origin, field of research, socio-economic status, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. 

 

The NPA Statement of Inclusion


The National Postdoctoral Association aims to advance the United States’ research enterprise by maximizing the effectiveness of the research community and enhancing the quality of the postdoctoral experience for all participants. A diverse postdoctoral community has positive effects on research and teaching and enhances the work environment by offering broadened perspectives and encouraging critical thinking. It is therefore a goal of the NPA to create an environment that promotes diversity and inclusiveness, and to create opportunities for all of its members to interact with tolerance, understanding, and respect for others.

The NPA is committed to achieving diversity and inclusiveness among its constituency, and advocates equality for all postdocs, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, disability, country of origin, socio-economic status, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, in all disciplines at all organizations that train postdoctoral fellows. This commitment to diversity and inclusiveness extends to the practices and policies of the NPA, and the NPA strongly urges institutions to embrace this commitment as part of their individual missions.

The NPA strives to ensure that all members have open access and opportunities to contribute to the organization through leadership positions, involvement within the committee structure, and participation in annual meetings and other NPA sponsored events. The NPA promotes advocacy for increased diversity among postdoctoral scholars and fosters diversity through activities, policies, and practices that are attuned to this commitment. 

 

The Role of the Diversity Officer


The NPA is committed to serving the diverse needs of the entire postdoctoral community.  This commitment includes all of the various research disciplines and categories of institutions that sponsor postdocs, such as universities, government, and industry.  The NPA also is working to address the needs of underrepresented groups of postdocs including minorities, such as women, people of color and those with disabilities.

The NPA has developed a number of programs and services to address diversity issues, including:

  • An online clearinghouse of information and resources on diversity issues in the scientific, academic, and research communities
  • An analysis of data gathered through the Sigma Xi Postdoc Survey to determine the unique needs and concerns of diverse groups of postdocs.

To provide leadership on diversity issues, the NPA has appointed a Diversity Officer to bring together postdocs and their allies to develop new resources, track information, promote dialogue, and affect change.  To learn more about the Diversity Officer, click here.

 

Navigating a Complex Landscape to Foster Greater Faculty and Student Diversity in Higher Education


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Association of American Universities (AAU) released a "first-of-its-kind handbook" that  "offers in-depth, cross-referenced legal resources to help promote effective diversity programs for science faculty and students."

This handbook, titled "Navigating a Complex Landscape to Foster Greater Faculty and Student Diversity in Higher Education," includes a list of the factors to consider when deciding whether to classify postdocs as employees, in relation to supporting diversity.

Follow this link to download the handbook. Be sure to read pp. 119-125 of the PDF.

Dr. Shirley Malcom, Director, AAAS Education and Human Resources Programs (EHR), and Dr. Daryl Chubin, Director, Center for Advancing Science & Engineering Capacity at AAAS, each served as a co-project director and contributor for this handbook. They are longtime friends of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA).

 

Diversity Fellowships


Check out http://www.minoritypostdoc.org/view/resources.html#DivPD and other diversity fellowships list compiled by NPA as a resource for underrepresented postdoc groups.

Pivot (need institutional license for access) and SciValL (may need institutional license for access) are is also a good resources for searching funding opportunities.

 

Recommended Strategies to Increase the Participation of Underrepresented Groups in STEM


Many institutions understand the benefits of diversity and would like to enhance diversity among its students, faculty and staff, including postdocs. This has been easier to accomplish in certain fields, yet the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields lag behind. There have been some positive changes at the level of diversifying the students in the STEM fields, but this is not translating into diversification at the faculty level. The long-term goal is to increase the diversity of STEM faculty. In order to do that, steps need to be taken to ensure that a pipeline of individuals can progress through undergraduate programs into graduate programs through a postdoctoral position and into a tenured faculty position. In order to move qualified individuals through the pipeline these primary components are essential 1) recruitment 2) retention and 3) preparation for the next phase.

Continue here to read all of the Recommended Strategies to Increase the Participation of Underrepresented Groups in STEM.

 

From Ph.D. to Professoriate: The Role of the Institution in Fostering the Advancement of Postdoc Women


From Ph.D. to Professoriate: The Role of the Institution in Fostering the Advancement of Postdoc Women is a new resource book developed by the National Postdoctoral Association as part of NPA ADVANCE. The book provides an overview of our current understanding of the various factors impeding postdoc women's continuation in academia and recommended practices that have shown promise for aiding these women in overcoming these obstacles. The goal is to help focus institutions' efforts to support postdoc women to foster their career advancement. 

 

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