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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 12 (December 2018)

Mobile version

ImaginePhD: a career exploration and planning tool for the humanities and social sciences.

Natalia Martin


ImaginePhD is a free, confidential online career-exploration and planning tool for the humanities and social sciences that was launched in October 2017. In just one year, it has gained significant traction, with a growing number of users in multiple institutions around the world currently taking advantage of the tool for their career exploration and planning.

Scientific Presentations: When Public Speaking is Unavoidable

Lauren Chaby, Klevis Karavidha


Public speaking is stressful. In fact, researchers use public speaking to induce stress in reticent humans (known as the trier social stress test). Thankfully, there are a wealth of strategies to keep an audience engaged and to attenuate some of the unpleasantness of public speaking.

Cura Personalis: The Foundation for Georgetown University’s Postdoctoral Association and Office of Postdoctoral Development

Caleb McKinney


In recent years, Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) has seen tremendous transformation in postdoctoral training through federally funded institutional training programs and, most recently, through grassroots efforts led by postdocs and administrators to centralize postdoctoral support across medical center departments.

Selling Your Faculty Advisor on the Value of the NPA Annual Conference

By the 2018-2019 NPA Meetings Committee


While you may already be sold on attending the conference just by looking at the location and the exciting list of keynote and plenary speakers, your PI may not be quite as ready to sign-off on time away from your lab/institution. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for talking to your PI/supervisor about the value of attending the 2019 conference.

Intentionality will launch you into 2019 and beyond…

Tracy J. Costello


One of the biggest lessons of 2018, as busy as it has been, is that you can accomplish a lot and yet there will always be something undone. It may be something that’s important. Using intentionality to set priorities important to you, you’ll move forward in the direction of your dreams.

Associate Editors for December


Thanks to our December associate editors Lina Chuey, PhD and Joyonna Gamble-George, PhD!

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.



Welcome to the NPA!


Syracuse University



Thank you for your continued support!


American Association for Cancer Research

University of Kansas Medical Center

Boston Children's Hospital

University of South Florida

Colorado State University

University of Texas at El Paso

La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

National Center for Atmospheric Research

USEPA/Office of Research and Development

Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Virginia Tech

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Wake Forest University

Stowers Institute For Medical 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, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of

Environmental Health Science (NIEHS), focusing on adult neurogenesis. Otto contributed to the award-winning Environmental Factor, an online news publication, and has served on the NIEHS postdoctoral association for several years. Her commitment to a career in science communication led her to serve on the career symposium planning committee, including organizing panel discussions, updating a website and producing a publication for the symposium. In addition, Otto, who is devoted to change, has frequently sought out opportunities to mentor non-traditional students.


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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