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The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) is:

A 501(c)3 educational nonprofit organization that seeks sustainable change and improvement for the postdoctoral experience through collaboration with all stakeholders.

Our Founding

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.

Our Founders

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.

Our Mission

The mission of the NPA is to improve the postdoctoral experience by supporting enhanced research training and a culture of enhanced professional growth to benefit scholarship and innovation.

Our Vision

Working in collaboration with the entire research community, the NPA envisions changing the culture of those individuals and institutions engaged in the U.S. research enterprise so that the contributions of postdoctoral scholars are fully valued and recognized.

Our Values

The NPA values:

  • Grassroots participation in the decision-making process, both internally and externally.
  • Professional satisfaction and meaningful career opportunities for postdoctoral scholars, which recognize the importance of balancing work and personal needs.
  • Collaboration and dialogue to achieve consensus among all stakeholders on the best methods for addressing issues and obtaining desired outcomes for the postdoctoral community.
  • Objective data to inform critical decision-making.

Diversity Statement

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

Statement of Inclusion

The NPA 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.

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