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NPA News and Committee Corner
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The Committees of the Membership, along with the International and Diversity Officers, are at the core of the NPA. They work to develop events and resources that support the postdoctoral community, and their work would not be possible without volunteers. Volunteering with an NPA committee is a great way to gain professional experience at the national level, while giving back to the postdoctoral community. Here are some highlights of what committees and officers have been up to and how you can get involved.


Advocacy Committee:

The Advocacy Committee has begun establishing campus representatives who can be a point of contact at the postdoctoral level for the NPA in that institution. Currently they have met their first goal of 10 campus representatives and are moving forward to increase this program.


Advocacy has published an article in The POSTDOCket entitled “NSF and NIH Take Initial Steps to Combat Sexual Harassment in Academia.” on the NIH and NSF response to National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released their report on sexual harassment in academia.


Advocacy is currently working on creating a toolkit addressing mental health issues in academia.


Diversity Officers:

Diversity has updated the fellowships database and included new fellowships geared towards diverse populations, as well as updating the diversity website with this fellowships list; these resources will be available to members when the new NPA website goes live.


Diversity has published a piece in The POSTDOCket entitled “Community and Career Development: LATTICE for Early-Career Underrepresented Minority Women in Engineering.” Diversity officer, Claire Horner-Devine, PhD, spoke at the NIH Blueprint meeting for Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) scholars about transitioning to a postdoc and how to have a successful postdoc.


International Officers:

The International officers have established a task force to work on website updates. In addition they have been establishing a vision and specific goals for the coming year and working with Meetings Committee to review abstracts for workshops focused on international postdocs at the Annual Conference.


Meetings Committee:

The Meetings Committees has announced the keynote and both plenary speakers for the 2019 NPA Annual Conference at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Now approaching its 17th year, the Annual Conference remains the largest national conference and networking event dedicated to the postdoctoral community.


The Meetings Committee have opened and closed the combined call for workshops and posters, as well as travel and childcare awards. They have shared a new formal prospectus for fundraising for this year’s conference. Please enjoy the article above about the 2019 conference!


Registration starts on November 19 for the Annual Conference. Be the first in your institution to register! We once again will be using a Whova app, to improve your conference experience, which you can download.


November 19 also is the first day of the pre-conference silent auction.


Outreach Committee:

Outreach would like to thank everyone for an extremely successful National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) 2018! With more than 400 reported events across the United States, Canada, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Indonesia, and the United Kingdom, this was the largest NPAW ever. Please see our article above for some highlights from this event. The Outreach Committee is working in creating NPAW awards for programming during NPAW; expect details to follow in the coming months.


Avanti Dey, PhD

Avanti Dey, PhD

Kayla Herball, PhD, RN

Kayla Herball, PhD, RN

Camile Castilho Fontelles, PhD

Camile Castilho Fontelles, PhD 

The POSTDOCket Committee:

The POSTDOCket would like to welcome three new associate editors to the editorial team, and thank all the other postdocs who took the time to submit applications.


Avanti Dey, PhD, is currently a postdoc at the Center for Vital Longevity at University of Texas at Dallas. Her work examines cognitive aging and the factors that contribute to different behavioural and neural trajectories across the lifespan, including the role of bilingualism. She believes strongly in the NPA’s mission to foster a sense of community amongst postdocs, and hopes to contribute relevant content as an editor. Her goal is to pursue a career in scientific editing/publishing, and being able to contribute to the NPA as an editor will be a significant milestone.


Kayla Herball, PhD, RN, is a distance-mediated postdoc of the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing. Herbell works clinically as a psychiatric mental health nurse and her research is focused on uncovering behavioral mechanisms which may buffer the effects of violence against women. Herball states that the NPA has been an amazing resource for her at a distance because it makes her feel engaged despite being hundreds of miles away from her institution and other postdocs.


Camile Castilho Fontelles, PhD, is a postdoc in oncology at Georgetown University. Born in Brazil, she is a bookworm, passionate about science communication, and she loves to share her knowledge. She has published several journal articles and has created a blog where she translates scientific topics for lay audiences.


The POSTDOCket Committee is looking forward to working with these new editors! They are also working on updates to their webpage.


Resource Development Committee:

The Resource Development Committee has finalized webinars for the coming months and has created a draft for a proposed faculty resources project.


MyPostdoc webinars are held at 1pm eastern time on the first Wednesday of the month. The topic for the December myPostdoc webinar will be “How to Choose (or not choose) a Postdoc Position,” a discussion with Keith Micoli, PhD, assistant dean for postdoctoral affairs at NYU School of Medicine.


NPA in the Community:


2018 NPA Board Election Results Announced

The NPA has elected three individuals to the Board of Directors for the three-year term of service beginning on January 1, 2019: Tracy Costello, PhD; Natalia Martin, PhD; and Claudia Spani, PhD.


The directors were elected from a field of three candidates during the 2018 election, which ran from September 17, 2018 through October 1, 2018. The newly elected directors will join the following members of the Board: Andrew Bankson, PhD; Tullia Bruno, PhD; Stephanie Eberle, MEd.; Josh Henkin, PhD; Barbara J. Natalizio, PhD; Shakira Nelson, PhD; Kristen Scott, PhD; and Yvette Seger, PhD.


Leader Wanted to Serve as Co-Chair of the Meetings Committee

The NPA is currently seeking a motivated and committed leader to serve as the next co-chair of the Meetings Committee. If you know someone who can fill this position (including yourself), please let us know.


Nationwide Events Honor Contribution of Postdoctoral Scholars‎ During Annual Celebration

In 2018, a record 410 events were hosted at 104 organizations in 76 cities in 31 states. NPAW continues to grow beyond the United States, with events being reported in Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.


NPAW is coordinated by the Outreach Committee, which works to promote the mission, values, goals, and business objectives of the National Postdoctoral Association. In 2019, NPAW will be held September 16-20. For more information about NPAW and to view events across the nation, visit this page.


Second Plenary Speaker for the 2019 Annual Conference Announced

The NPA has confirmed Angela Byars-Winston, Ph.D., as plenary speaker at 2019 NPA Annual Conference. The conference will take place April 12 - 14, 2019, at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, FL.


Sustaining Members: Use your 10 free job posts on the NPA Career Center by December 31, 2018!


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