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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 16, Issue 3 (March 2018)

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Time’s Up for Harassers in Academia

Erika Marín-Spiotta and Blair Schneider


“Academia is having a slow but consistent #MeToo movement, with stories of sexual harassment increasingly coming to light. In an effort to transform the workplace, Erika Marín-Spiotta, Ph.D. and Blair Schneider, Ph.D., along with five other colleagues, are leading ADVANCEGeo.”

Amplifying Voices and Building a National Community of Postdocs

Caleb McKinney and Claire Horner-Devine


Amplifying Voices, aims to provide a national platform to highlight the individual experiences and perspectives of postdoctoral scholars with a focus on amplifying the voices of individuals from groups underrepresented in our community.”

Mentoring for Mutual Benefit: A Profile on 2018 Mentor Award Winner Leanne Redman

Christopher Smith


“In the end, mentoring is often circular – a positive feedback loop – where a mentor’s work, if done well, results in the development of new, independent researchers who then contribute to the advancement of the scientific enterprise for all.”

Inter-Institutional Collaborations at NPA Annual Meetings Nurtured the Boston Postdoctoral Association

Sarah Dykstra, Tony Cijsouw, and Swetha Murali


BPDA members discuss how the NPA Annual Meeting provided a unique opportunity for Boston area postdoctoral leaders to form collaborations with other Boston area PDAs and learn from the many postdoctoral officers.

Scientists and the General Public: Overcoming the Language Barrier One Story at a Time

Hanaa Hariri


Hariri discusses science communication and reviews a book by Randy Olson about narrative in science.

Enhancing the Conference Experience with Social Media

Melissa Vaught


“For many professionals, conferences are a valuable venue for networking, communication, and career development. Increasingly social media platforms are becoming part of the conference experience.”

Standing at the Crossroads: Reflection and Anticipation

Tracy Costello


By sharing, I hope to inspire you to also reflect on your own experience, recognize what drives you, and catalyze your own individual growth.”

Thank you to renewing Sustaining Members of the NPA!


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.



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UT Southwestern Medical Center

National Cancer Institute Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research



Past issues (2017- )

Access The POSTDOCket archive (Restricted to members)

Simone Otto, Ph.D.

Editor in Chief

Simone Otto, Ph.D., received her doctoral degree in neuroscience from the University of Vermont in 2013. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Ion Channel Physiology Group, part of the Neurobiology Laboratory at the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS), she has been researching adult neurogenesis. Otto is an ongoing contributor to the Environmental Factor(E-Factor), an online news publication, and has served as a representative of the E-Factor on the NIEHS Trainees Assembly for several years. Her commitment to a career in science communication led her to serve on the NIEHS Annual Career Symposium (2014-2017), including organizing panel discussions, updating a website and producing a publication for the Symposium. In addition, Otto has frequently sought out opportunities to mentor non-traditional students. In her free time, Otto spends time with her three sons, one of whom is currently in medical school, teaching her cairn terrier to do tricks, or working on ideas for a future novel.


Otto'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.


Ian Street, Ph.D.

Deputy Editor

Ian Street, Ph.D., has a doctoral degree in plant biology from Washington University and was a postdoc in the Schaller lab at Dartmouth College. He is currently a virtual lab manager at HappiLabs. He writes and edits at his science blog, The Quiet Branches, as well as Botany One, and The POSTDOCket. He is also a cohost of The Recovering Academic podcast.


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

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