National Postdoctoral Association

Celebration runs September 20-24 at universities and research institutions across U.S.

(ROCKVILLE, Md.) — NEWS: The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) today kicked off the 12th annual National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW), taking place 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 NPA theme, “I Am a Postdoc,” celebrates the fact that postdocs not only achieve greatness in their work, but also come from diverse backgrounds, possess valuable professional skills, and embrace fundamental virtues.

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.

“The NPA founded NPAW as a platform to celebrate postdocs and their contributions at and outside of the workplace,” said William Mahoney, Jr., Ph.D., vice chair of the NPA. “We’re thrilled to join our partners, members, and sponsors in providing postdocs with more of the recognition they so richly deserve.”

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.

“NPAW celebrates the inspiration and perspiration of the more than 70,000 postdocs working in the U.S. across all disciplines – from immunology to psychology – to make a better world for us all.” said Tom Kimbis, NPA executive director and CEO. “Although more Americans learn every day who postdocs are and what they do, postdocs remain a largely unseen force in the U.S. economy. Through NPAW and beyond, the NPA is dedicated to changing this culture of invisibility.”

In addition to the dozens of events occurring locally, national NPAW activities following on the theme of “I Am a Postdoc” include remarks by the Honorable Sethuraman Panchanathan, director of the National Science Foundation; Robert T. Pennock, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University, and president of Sigma Xi; and, Keith Micoli, Ph.D., assistant dean of postdoctoral affairs at New York University School of Medicine. These will be complemented by a career connection opportunity for postdocs to network with former postdocs now in permanent positions, as well as a hands-on workshop led by NPA partner Postdoc Academy providing training on finding preferred career paths.

A calendar of 2021 NPAW events can be found at

Many local events are being conducted virtually and are open to participation by researchers at other institutions in a spirit of collaboration and cross-fertilization of ideas. 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

To support NPA and its charitable mission to assist postdocs, please visit or text 20FORNPA to 44-321.

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