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The POSTDOCket is the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) newsletter covering news items and features of interest to the postdoctoral community.


The NPA welcomes member submissions for inclusion in The POSTDOCket. Please contact the POSTDOCket editor in chief, to share your story ideas. Interested in advertising with the NPA?


In This Issue



Volume 15, Issue 7 (July 2017)

Mobile version

Letter from the Executive Director

Julie Fabsik-Swarts


The NPA executive director reminds us of the imperative to talk the public about the important roles postdocs play. She also highlights some NPA initiatives to celebrate and support postdocs.

Opportunities to Celebrate Postdocs during National Postdoc Appreciation Week

Shakira Nelson, Jennifer Aumiller, and Catherine Brooks Zander


National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week is just a couple of months away! Learn about how two institutions have leveraged this week support and celebrate postdocs, as well as NPA planning resources.

Implementing and Sustaining a Postdoc Seminar Series

Charmion Cruickshank-Quinn


Cruickshank-Quinn shares background and implementation of a growing initiative: a seminar series, organized by postdocs for postdocs to present their work, network, and build their community.

Advocating for Science by Engaging Local Communities 

Atulya Prasad


Prasad highlights exciting ways in which scientists can give back to their local communities, from legislative advocacy to educational activities and community outreach events.

Developing Effective Communication Through Aligning Programming to Needs

Mallory Fix-Lopez and Rebecca Toner


Communication and self-advocacy are critical skills for postdocs. Fix-Lopez and Toner look at how to support development of these skills among postdocs whose native language is not English.

NPA Leaders in Action


NPA Board members work behind the scenes and on conference platforms to support the NPA’s mission through outreach, mentoring, and professional development opportunities.

The NPA thanks the following institutions for renewing their Sustaining Memberships!


Sustaining Members are a vital part of the NPA. Sustaining Members represent a range of professional societies, postdoc associations, postdoc offices, and other organizations that serve the postdoctoral community. Students, postdocs, faculty, and staff at NPA Sustaining Member institutions are eligible to join the NPA, at no cost, as Affiliate Members. Check to see if your institution is an NPA Sustaining Member.


American Association for Dental Research

Boston Children's Hospital

Boston College

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

McMaster University

National Institutes of Health

Penn State College of Medicine

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

University at Buffalo

University of California, San Diego

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Missouri

University of Nevada, Reno

University of Pittsburgh

University of Wisconsin Madison

Washington State University

Wright State University

Yale University



Past issues (2017- )

Access The POSTDOCket archive (Restricted to members)

Melissa Vaught, Ph.D.

Editor in Chief

Vaught received her doctorate degree in chemistry from Vanderbilt University in 2008. She continued biochemistry and cell biology research as a postdoctoral fellow at the Immune Disease Institute/Harvard Medical School (2009-2010), and Massachusetts General Hospital (2010-2014). Vaught is a scientific editor at PubMed Commons, contracted to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) by Medical Science & Computing LLC. In her personal time, she blogs and tweets about the culture of science and her experiences in academia and beyond.

Vaught's involvement with The POSTDOCket and the NPA are personal, and do not represent any endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or National Institutes of Health.


Associate editors include: Viviane Callier, Ph.D., Kristy Hentchel, Ph.D., Stephani Page, Ph.D., Andrew Pike, Ph.D., Ian Street, Ph.D., Irina Tiper, Ph.D., and Elaine Wells-Gray, Ph.D.

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