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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 8 (August 2017)

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The Postdoc Path: Understanding the Value of a Postdoc Before You Commit

Irina Tiper and Ian Street


As they approach the completion of their degree, many graduate students see the postdoc as the default next step. But it’s important to consider how the postdoc might benefit your longer term career goals.

Knocking on Doors to Opportunities: Profile of Administrative Postdoc Natalie Chernets
Lining Zhu


Professional development is an important element of postdoctoral training, and some emerging postdoc fellow positions are taking on a role in this work. Natalie Chernets talks about how she sought a position that didn’t exist and how its preparing her for a career in training and administration.

Reducing Debt While Doing Research: Applications to NIH Loan Repayment Programs Open Soon

Omar McCrimmon


Educational debt can be a major barrier to sustaining a research career. In exchange for a commitment to conduct biomedical or behavioral research, the NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) offer repayment of up to $70,000 of student loan debt.

Cultivating Your Vendors for Career Success

T. Eugene Day


Building your network is crucial in your career—but you might be ignoring easy and potentially valuable connections. Establishing relationships with vendors can offer an edge in searching for jobs outside academia and yield other opportunities to grow professionally.

Mothers Under Pressure and Maternity Leave Around the World

Vivien Lettry


Maternity leave policies vary widely around the world and, in some places, including the United States, can place tremendous social and financial pressure on new moms.

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 Society for Cell Biology

SUNY Upstate Medical University

Georgia State University

Texas A&M University

New York Medical College

Thomas Jefferson University

North Carolina A&T State University

University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

Salk Institute for Biological Studies

University of South Carolina



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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