Postdoctoral Appreciation Week celebrations set at CU Anschutz

Slate of events begins Monday

The Postdoctoral Association (PDA) at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus is celebrating the National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week (NPAW), Sept. 18-22.

NPAW consists of a series of exciting on-campus and off-campus events to celebrate the contribution of postdoctoral fellows or “postdocs.” According to the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), postdocs are trainee scientists with Ph.D. degrees who are currently preparing for their future career through “mentored advanced training to enhance the professional skills and research independence.”

Postdocs make vital contributions to our university, the economy and science as a whole, but historically the contributions of postdocs have not been well-recognized. To address this, NPAW was started in 2009 by NPA, a nonprofit educational association. By 2016, NPAW expanded to 350 events in the U.S. and abroad, including CU. NPAW 2017 at CU Anschutz will be even bigger with several new events and further support from the administration, for postdocs at the university and its affiliated hospitals.

PDA will kickoff NPAW with “Gong a Scientist” night at Spangalang Brewery in Denver, where postdocs will describe their research without jargon. This event encourages a positive interaction between postdocs and the Denver community by explaining science in an accessible way, and provides postdocs with valuable speaking, presenting, and networking opportunities.

Tuesday consists of networking on-campus with fellow postdocs over hors d’oeuvres.

Wednesday will be an approved day-off from campus for community service in collaboration with the Community-Campus Partnership, further supported by the dean of the Graduate School.

Thursday takes us to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for the Science Lounge event “Beer,” where postdocs will celebrate the art of brewing with local experts and network over beer. The PDA is sponsoring 30 free tickets for postdoc attendees there.

Friday and Saturday offer a PDA-sponsored ice-cream social and a “Postdoc Parents Picnic” for postdoc families along with our Women in STEM group at Fred Thomas Park in Denver, respectively.

Additionally, our PDA and its subcommittees volunteer all year to support our postdocs through the monthly seminar series, hikes and the annual Postdoctoral Research Day, which was attended by multiple government representatives this year.

We hope that the CU community joins the NPAW celebrations to meet and support the postdocs.

Event details

Acknowledgements: PDA Committee members for putting NPAW together mentored by Bruce H. Mandt, Ph.D., director of the Postdoctoral Office; Hannah Hathaway, Ph.D., and president of PDA, for providing resources and critical comments on this article.

Submitted by Rwik Sen, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow at Artinger Lab

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