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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 6 (June 2018)

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Making Science Inclusive Requires Partnerships and Collaborations

Maryam Zaringhalam


500 Women Scientists’ leadership reached out to Ciencia Puerto Rico’s Director of Communication, Mónica Feliú-Mójer, PhD, with a campaign to raise money for STEM education initiatives called Science Salons for Puerto Rico.

Keeping the LGBQ Community in STEM: A need for a change in academic climate

Joe Grange


Recently, the University of California Los Angeles Higher Education Research Institute has quantified the consequences of barriers facing sexual minorities in STEM. Their four-year analysis of surveys indicates that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Queer (LGBQ) community disproportionately struggles to succeed in STEM.

As NIH Raises Stipends, NPA Advocates Sustainable, Consistent Annual Increases

Megan Bohn and Catherine Zander


On May 9, the National Institutes of Health announced increased stipend levels for the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Service Awards (NRSA) for fiscal year 2018. Stipend levels now begin at $48,432, a two percent increase over the previous level set in December 2016.

MEMBER FEATURE: Postdoc Industry Consultants (PICO) Program at Medical College of Wisconsin: Real-World Training for PhD Scientists

Christopher Smith


The Postdoc Industry Consultants (PICO) program is a bioscience consulting group providing research-based recommendations for biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms while broadening the business acumen of postdoctoral scholars and graduate students at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW).

Considerations on Organizing a Successful Symposium as a Postdoctoral Scholar

Swetha Murali, Sarah Dykstra, Sandrine Ettou and Yao Zhang


Over the course of planning and executing two large symposia, the Boston Postdoctoral Association and its committee organizers have learned valuable lessons in project management and event planning that may be useful to others planning a large-scale meeting or symposium.

The University of Alabama Postdoctoral Office Adapts to Meet the Needs of All Trainees

Jami K. Armbrester and Lisa Schwiebert


The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) was one of the original institutions to have a PDO. With strong institutional support, the UAB PDO has the opportunity and flexibility to pursue many initiatives to support trainees over the past 20 years.

Finding Your Path Through the NPA

Jennifer Aumiller and Catherine Zander


The NPA is a great organization for postdoctoral fellows to learn new skills, network, and create meaningful connections that will benefit them in their career development. The Outreach Committee is starting a new series highlighting members of the NPA that have used these valuable connections and skills to move on to the next stage in their careers.

Chair’s Update: Holistic Approaches to Career Development

Tracy J. Costello


Those who have entered their postdoc need to continue dreaming large as they train and work towards independence. The NPA recognizes the exciting and terrifying road ahead and strives to provide guidance and advocacy.

Associate Editors for June


Thanks to our June associate editors Lina Chuey, PhD, and Stephanie Page, PhD!

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.



Thank you for your continued support!

American Physiological Society Stony Brook University
American Society for Cell Biology University of Florida
Boston University University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Drexel University College of Medicine University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Harvard Medical School University of Nevada, Reno
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Vanderbilt University
Pennington Biomedical Research Center Yale University 
Society of Toxicology   



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., Lina Chuey, Ph.D., Irina Tiper, Ph.D., and Joyonna Gamble-George, Ph.D.

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