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Letter from the Executive Director
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Julie Fabsik-Swarts


I don’t know about you, but for me, this year seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. It feels like yesterday that we were preparing for the NPA Annual Conference in Cleveland, OH. As I think about 2018, I am reminded of all of the good work the NPA accomplished this year.


The NPA ran a wonderful conference in Cleveland with great speakers and wonderful interactions during which new and old members could connect in meaningful ways. Arguably, Cleveland had one of the best networking events in the history of the organization. More than 300 people attended the networking event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and connected with one another during this wonderful event.


Other accomplishments include publication of the institutional policy report by the hard-working Board of Directors and NPA staff. This report illustrated the condition of postdoctoral fellows in the United States. The study was published in the American Scientist journal.


A big “thank you” to all of the volunteers who make the NPA work!


Additionally, NPA Manager of Membership & Special Projects, Kryste Ferguson, has spent many hours completing customized policy reports for individual universities that want to see where they stand on specific postdoc issues compared to peer institutions. The NPA study on sexual harassment in the postdoc community is close to publication. Board member, Tulia Bruno, Ph.D., deserves recognition for her leadership on the committee that conducted this study. I eagerly await this publication.


The NPA Career Center continues to grow rapidly. In 2018, there were more than 560 jobs posted and approximately 90,000 job views. We want to encourage all postdocs to place their resume on the site. There is no charge for this service. Recruiters can view an applicant's credentials without their name and contact information. If they are truly interested in meeting them, they will pay a small fee. This eliminates recruiters contacting individuals unless they are very interested in their candidacy. The NPA Career Center can be accessed at


Upcoming activities for the new year include:

  • The premiere of the new NPA website. There have been many people working countless hours to create this great new resource.
  • The start of the next NPA Institutional Policy Survey. Make sure your organization participates when asked. It is the only way the NPA can determine the status of postdocs nationwide.
  • The Annual Conference moves south to sunny Orlando, FL, on April 12-14, 2019. Great events, wonderful speakers, and a lot of networking fun will be in store for attendees. Registration is now open, so don’t miss out on this outstanding event.

A big “thank you” to all of the volunteers who make the NPA work! Without them, we couldn’t do many of the great things that happen each year. Also, thanks to NPA staff members Kryste, Amy, and Sam for all of the work they do on behalf of postdocs. They are a great team and deserve all of the appreciation possible. I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is ready to face a new year with all of the hope and possibilities it offers.


Julie Fabsik-Swarts, MS, CFRE, CAP, is the executive director of the NPA.


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