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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 7 (July 2018)

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Member Feature: Encouraging Postdoc Wellness

Janine Quijano


In the spring of 2017, the postdoc association at City of Hope National Medical Center (COH-PDA) steering committee decided to make postdoctoral scholars wellness a strategic and programmatic priority. We began this process by collecting data on postdoc wellness at City of Hope (COH) and wellness initiatives at other institutions.

The PhD Project: A Means to Diversifying the Business Professoriate and Corporate America

Joyonna Gamble-George


The PhD Project is an award-winning non-profit organization that promotes diversity in the workforce, especially in corporate boardrooms.

Chicago Women in STEM and Academia Initiative

Lisanne M. Jenkins, Colleen R. Zaccard, Ana Vicente-Sanchez


Considering that the postdoctoral phase is now the typical career progression bottleneck in STEM, the Northwestern University Postdoctoral Forum (NUPF) recently established the Chicago Women in STEM and Academia Initiative to galvanize a local community supportive of early career women.

How to return to your home country after a postdoc in the United States



I moved to the United States together with my husband shortly after we received our doctorate degrees. We found labs in the same city on the East Coast and started our postdoc positions not knowing for sure whether we wanted to stay in the United States or move back to Europe. But a few years, a few publications, and two babies later, we did decide that we wanted to move back.

Where Do We Go From Here? Perspectives on Providing Inclusive Environments for LGBTQ Students in STEM

Joe Grange


It is no secret that many STEM fields struggle to attract and retain a diverse workforce, and additional results from Coming out in STEM: Factors Affecting Retention of Sexual Minority STEM Students strongly hint at important social factors contributing to these challenges. Recognizing the source of contributing issues allows us to make a roadmap towards a more equitable future for the STEM world.

Pervasive Sexual Harassment in Academia: the Call For Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect

Megan Bohn and Catherine Zander


The National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) released a long-awaited report on sexual harassment in academia on June 12. This article aims to review that report.

Tips for Writing Letters of Evaluation for Pre-med/Pre-health Applicants

Emil Chuck


This article shares some resources and advice to help manage the challenge of evaluation-writing as a postdoc or faculty member.

NPA Career Center: A Resource for the Postdoc Community

Julie Fabsik-Swarts


The NPA invites you, whether you are a postdoctoral scholar seeking a position or a leader of an organization seeking postdocs or other employees for your institution, to check out the NPA Career Center.

Associate Editors for July


Thanks to our July associate editors Kristy Hentchel, PhD and Irina Tiper, PhD!


Also a special thanks and fond farewell to Elaine Wells-Grey, associate editor, for all her editing.

Thank you to new and 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 Association For Dental Research Rutgers University Biomedical and Health Sciences
Brigham and Women's Hospital The Rockefeller University
Duke Postdoctoral Services UCLA Graduate Division
Indiana University University of Missouri
McMaster University University of Pittsburgh
Medical University of South Carolina University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Merck Research Laboratories University of Texas Medical Branch
North Carolina State University University of Wisconsin Madison 
Penn State College of Medicine   



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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