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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 15, Issue 10 (October 2017)

Mobile version

Letter from the Executive Director

Julie Fabsik-Swarts

The executive director rounds up exciting developments and upcoming activities of the NPA. She reveals the theme for the 2017 Giving Tuesday campaign and the location of the 2019 Annual Conference.

Strategic Volunteering to Build Needed Career Skills

Andrew Bankston


A former committee leader and current Board member highlights how his service to the NPA has helped prepare him for post-postdoc life.

Preparing for a Faculty Career at a Predominantly Undergraduate Institution: Insights from Mary Konkle
Christopher Smith

Predominantly undergraduate institutions can offer rewarding faculty careers but call for different priorities and strategies than research-intensive universities.

Research Development: A Career for the Planners, Strategists, and Figure-it-Out-ers
Samarpita Sengupta

If you enjoy supporting researchers, coordinating team projects, and connecting collaborators, then a career in research development might be for you.

Understanding Burnout
Nicole Cranley

Burnout is a serious and debilitating condition that’s widespread among academics. Recognizing the symptoms of burnout is key.

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!

Georgetown University



Thank you for your continued support!

Arizona State University

Brown University

Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Schepens Eye Research Institute/Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Stowers Institute for Medical Research



Past issues (2017- )

Access The POSTDOCket archive (Restricted to members)

Melissa Vaught, Ph.D.

Editor in Chief

Vaught received her doctorate degree in chemistry from Vanderbilt University in 2008. She continued biochemistry and cell biology research as a postdoctoral fellow at the Immune Disease Institute/Harvard Medical School (2009-2010), and Massachusetts General Hospital (2010-2014). Vaught is a scientific editor at PubMed Commons, contracted to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) by Medical Science & Computing LLC. In her personal time, she blogs and tweets about the culture of science and her experiences in academia and beyond.

Vaught'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.


Associate editors include: Viviane Callier, Ph.D., Kristy Hentchel, Ph.D., Stephani Page, Ph.D., Andrew Pike, Ph.D., Ian Street, Ph.D., Irina Tiper, Ph.D., and Elaine Wells-Gray, Ph.D.

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