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National Postdoc Appreciation Week Toolkit
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National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) Toolkit

Prepared by the NPA Outreach Committee

This toolkit is designed to help you decide what kind of event you would like to hold, be it a coffee hour, a happy hour, or a combined event with other institutions in your city or region. There are suggestions for different types of events, how to advertise the event, and getting sponsorship for your event. We've also provided fliers for you to download, customize, print out, and pass out.

To maximize your results, be sure to have sign-up sheets at your event and ask people to join your postdoc association and the NPA!

Suggested Events | Maximize Your Results | Choose a Location | Regional/City-wide Events | Publicizing Your Event | Sponsorships | Invite Faculty and Administrators | Appreciation Week Fliers


Suggested Events


  • BBQ
  • Picnic
  • Coffee hour
  • Sporting events
  • Ice cream social
  • A regular postdoctoral office (PDO) or postdoctoral associaiton (PDA) event designated in honor of this day


  • Happy hour
  • Dinner
  • Live concert/music
  • BBQ
  • Karaoke night

Maximize Your Results

  • Sign-up postdocs as members of your PDA and/or the NPA: have sign-up sheets ready and collect new members on sight (follow this link to download a sign-up sheet and membership fliers). Let people know that they are entitled to a free Affiliate membership if their institution is a Sustaining Member of the NPA already but also make them aware of the Full, Individual membership category.
  • Schedule PDO- or PDA-run seminars on the same day (e.g. monthly career seminar) to publicize the event to larger audiences.

Choosing a Location

  • Talk to the management of the place and let them know what is happening and how many people you expect to attend; they may help you to promote the event or offer some freebies.
  • If you anticipate a large crowd, it will be especially important to talk to the management in advance.
  • When considering off-campus locations make sure it is easily accessible, as well as handicap-accessible.
  • Consider mid-way points if you have more than one campus at different locations.

Regional/City-wide Events

  • If you are interested in combining your event with another institution, get in touch with that institution as soon as possible.
  • Identify the PDO or PDA contacts at other institutions, and send an invite to them to discuss the feasibility of a joint event.
  • If you need help, contact the NPA staff, who will put you in touch with other institutions by sharing your contact information and request with them via email or a phone call.

Publicizing the Event

Consider using any/all of the media below to promote and advertise your event.

  • Email the NPA staff information about your event, and they will post it on NPA's website.
  • Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter/Instagram: The NPA has an account on all of these networking sites.
  • Consider creating an institutional Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter page and linking it to the NPA page.
  • Publicize the event in your institution with emails, fliers, and the NPAW logo.
  • The rule of thumb is that a person needs to see or hear about an event about seven times before they might decide to attend; what will your seven points of contact be?
  • On the day of the event take photographs and/or videos of the event and use them to highlight the success of the event. Plus, NPA will post the best photos on its website.
  • Contact the media and let them know about your event.
  • Use the campus press office as a means to release it to the media.


  • Identify local TV stations/newspapers that might be interested in covering the event.
  • Two to three weeks before the event, download the press release template, customize it, and fax or email it to the media.
  • Be prepared to explain who a postdoc is to the media! (There's a fact sheet you can download, too!)


Sponsorship is not vital but might be useful in holding some of the events listed above.

  • Be prepared to tell sponsors how many persons you are expecting and how it will benefit them to sponsor this event.
  • Use any existing methods you have for obtaining sponsorship at your institution.
  • Invite companies to bring a table and sit and show their products in return for sponsorship.
  • Alternatively invite them to give a seminar on the day in return for sponsorship.
  • Ask sponsors for small gifts for a drawing at your event.

Invite Faculty and Administrators

  • Email the faculty to advertise your event. (Depending on your institution this email may need to be sent through your PDO or the Public Relations/Affairs office.)
  • Talk to faculty one-on-one and ask them to support the day by encouraging their postdocs to attend the event.
  • Send formal letters of invitation to the president/chancellor of your institution, the dean of the research office, and other administrators.