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Postdoctoral Association Toolkit
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Postdoctoral Associations (PDAs) are a vibrant and dynamic source of support for postdoctoral scholars at their home institutions and nationally. There are many benefits to establishing and maintaining an active PDA. The NPA's PDA Toolkit is intended to serve as a resource guide to assist postdocs and their allies in starting and sustaining an effective PDA. In this toolkit, NPA members will find a wealth of information, including best practices shared from PDAs nationwide, suggestions on how to gain support from key institute administrators, strategies for conducting surveys and methods for affecting institutional policies. This toolkit builds on the extensive library of resources first developed by the Postdoc Network (PDN) of Science’s Next Wave. Links are provided throughout the toolkit to the many articles and summaries created by the PDN. The NPA welcomes additions to this toolkit in the form of submissions from local PDAs that have important experiences to share that may be helpful to others. The PDA Toolkit is a member benefit of the NPA. Portions of the toolkit have been developed with generous support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.


Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Formation of a PDA
  • Identifying Administrators Responsible for Research and Training Policies
  • Gaining Support from Faculty and Administrative Advocates
  • Developing a Budget and Obtaining Funds
  • Legal Issues for PDAs
  • Ensuring Continuity of Leadership
  • Identifying Posdocs
  • Recruiting and Retaining Postdoc Members
  • Strategies for Conducting a Postdoc Survey
  • Postdoc Surveys and the IRB
  • Institutional Procedures Governing Policy Change
  • Providing Guidance on Postdocs' Roles and Responsibilities
  • Developing a Postdoctoral Scholars Handbook
  • Running an Effective Meeting
  • Additional Skills Required for PDA Officers
  • Teambuilding for your PDA Leadership
  • Time Management for PDA Officers
  • Networking with PDA Leaders Nationwide
  • References and Links

Click here to view the Toolkit.

Membership in the NPA is required to view the pages in this toolkit.

If you not a member and are interested in accessing the entire toolkit, please join the NPA.