(ROCKVILLE, Md.) — NEWS: The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) today kicked off the 13th annual National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW), taking place today through Friday. NPAW is the nation’s largest celebration of postdoctoral scholars who serve at more than 300 institutions, acknowledging the significant contributions “postdocs” make to research, innovation and scientific discovery. This year’s NPAW theme, “Finding Your Balance,” recognizes the challenges postdocs face in balancing the rigors of their research positions with maintaining their health and wellness.
Postdocs are individuals holding doctoral degrees engaged in a temporary period of mentored research or scholarly training to gain needed skills to excel in their careers. These scholars conduct a large share of critical, cutting-edge research across all disciplines at universities, research institutions and industry members across the United States.
“Postdocs require exemplary discipline, focus, and balance to succeed in their challenging positions,” said Tom Kimbis, J.D., executive director and chief executive officer of the NPA. “They are the backbone of science and research leadership in our country and deserve recognition throughout the year. Carving out a week to celebrate their remarkable work ethic and achievements is the least we can do.”
The contribution of the roughly 70,000 U.S. postdocs, whose numbers are concentrated in the STEM fields and are instrumental to much of the early-stage research that occurs throughout the country, is often overlooked, as the academic postdoc is neither a student nor a faculty member. Yet, postdocs represent the highest-educated individuals in our society and drive innovation daily.
“Many don’t realize that thousands of postdocs work in the social sciences – from economics to psychology – and go onto leadership positions in government, industry, and non-profit organizations,” commented Stephanie Eberle, M.Ed., executive director of BioSci Careers at Stanford University. “Like those in the physical sciences, their roles are critical to societal growth and innovation.”
Since its founding by the NPA in 2009, NPAW has grown into a truly national event, with universities, medical centers, industry members, and others hosting events this week to acknowledge the contributions of postdocs. Popular events during NPAW include professional and career development workshops, networking activities, and social events celebrating the immense contribution of postdocs to our nation’s thought leadership. This year, roughly 40 free national events are open to all postdocs, in addition to local events happening on campuses across the nation.
NPAW 2022 is anchored by a kickoff event with opening remarks by Sharon Milgram, Ph.D., director of the Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and a panel discussion, featuring Robert Hable, Ph.D., innovation and product commercialization coordinator at BASF; Inge Hansen, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and director of well-being at Stanford University; and Yen Teng Tai, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher at Penn State University College of Medicine. The discussion will focus on challenges early career researchers face, lessons learned from their own struggles, and a framework for postdocs to build better balance in their professional lives as they navigate their career progression.
A calendar of 2022 NPAW events can be found at https://www.nationalpostdoc.org/page/2022NPAW
This year, NPAW is made possible by NPA Distinguished Partner, Gallagher Insurance, and NPA Gold Partner, Proteintech.
The NPA is a national charitable and educational non-profit association headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, that seeks to improve the postdoctoral experience by supporting a culture of inclusive connection. At the individual, organizational, and national levels, the NPA facilitates enhanced professional growth, raises awareness, and collaborates with stakeholders in the postdoctoral community. Membership in the NPA is open to all organizations and individuals interested in advancing the interests of postdocs in the United States.
Affiliate membership in the NPA for most postdocs is free and available at https://www.nationalpostdoc.org/.
To support NPA and its charitable mission to assist postdocs, please visit https://www.nationalpostdoc.org/page/donate or text NPAW2022 to 44-321.
Related link: https://www.nationalpostdoc.org/
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