UIC Postdoc Association FAQ
The Postdoctoral Association (PDA) was established in 2009 and serves as the voice for the UIC postdoc community. The PDA is run by the PDA Board, a postdoc-driven volunteer organization that plans regular community building events, professional development activities, seminars of special interest to postdocs, and the Annual Career Development Symposium in collaboration with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA). You can read the PDA by-laws here!
Click to learn more about the PDA Board:
What is the PDA Board? Heading link
The PDA is run by the PDA Board which is composed of all the PDA members. The Board holds executive meetings regularly, where events are planned, issues are discussed, and decisions are made. The structure of the PDA and its internal functioning is determined by active PDA members to efficiently and effectively carry out the PDA mission. To that end, three committees are established within the PDA as follows:
- Event programming committee: Responsible for planning and developing an annual events agenda based on topics that are of interest to UIC postdocs. This includes event logistics as well as monitoring event success (from both the attendees and speaker/host point of view).
- Communications committee: Serve as main point of contact for those outside the PDA. Responsible for all incoming and outgoing PDA communications including (but not limited to) emails (at the email@example.com account) and mailing lists (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com), flyers and social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). Welcoming new UIC postdocs, surveying interests/needs of the UIC postdoc community and answering questions/requests from UIC postdocs are a priority as per the PDA mission.
- External relations committee: Liaise with the larger research community outside of UIC, including other Chicago-area Postdoc Associations/Offices, National Postdoc Association, Association for Women in Science, CHIentist, Future of Research, etc. Will focus on strengthening relationships with these organizations, finding common goals/interests, and bringing those to the attention of all PDA members.
In addition, some PDA members choose to join as a general board member, without joining one of the established committees. Committee members will work together towards their goals in collaboration with all PDA board members, sharing their progress and requesting help and feedback during executive meetings.
Committee membership is agreed during executive meetings and any PDA member can participate in any committee during any given time.
When does the PDA Board meet? Heading link
The PDA Board meets monthly. For academic year 2023-2024, the PDA Executive Committee will meet from 4-5 pm on the last Thursday of each month. Find meeting details on our Upcoming Events and Training page!
To facilitate attendance by as many postdocs as possible, meetings are held via Zoom. Any UIC postdoc is welcome to join any Monthly PDA Board Meeting.
Can any postdoc attend a PDA Board meeting? Heading link
YES! The monthly meetings are open to all postdocs who would like to attend. No need to be an official member of the PDA Board to participate in the meetings and provide input.
Why should I get involved with the PDA Board? Heading link
Working in research can be very isolating at times, so connecting with fellow postdocs can be very enriching at a personal level. Making personal and professional connections in a community where information specific to postdocs circulates can be very beneficial. For example, international postdocs who need to navigate the intricacies of the US immigration system and may not be aware from previous experience how the health/real estate/tax/academic/professional system works in the US. Getting involved in the PDA Board is a great way to start building your community here at UIC.
Getting involved in the PDA Board is also an excellent way to network, bolster your resume, and develop leadership skills that will serve you well in future positions. Previous PDA Board members have received competitive grants and gone onto successful careers in academia and industry and many attribute it to volunteering their time to the UIC PDA. Joining the PDA Board is also an excellent venue to voice any concerns you have and share your ideas for upcoming events and training at UIC.
When can I join the PDA Board? Heading link
You may join the PDA Board as a board member or committee member at ANY time during your postdoc career. All UIC postdocs can become PDA Board members at any time by expressing their interest to the PDA Board (via a PDA member, attending a PDA meeting or through any other means of communication -email, social media, etc.). PDA Board membership will be re-confirmed at the beginning of every academic year.
What is the time commitment to be involved in the PDA Board? Heading link
Postdocs may get involved in the PDA Board as much or as little as you wish. Here are some examples of ways you could get involved:
- Any postdoc may attend a monthly PDA Board meeting. You are not committed to joining the PDA Board by attending a meeting.
- You may choose to join the PDA Board as a board member, which includes no hard time commitment aside from the expectation that you attend the monthly PDA Board meetings if possible. Attending the meetings however is not a requirement and you are still very welcome to join the PDA Board and participate however you are able as long as you connect with the PDA in other ways. If you would like to officially join the PDA Board, you may email the PDA at firstname.lastname@example.org, express your interest at an executive meeting, or reach out to a current PDA Board member, and you will be added to the PDA Executive Committee Listserv and Microsoft Teams Channel.
- Some postdocs choose to get involved only in the committee to plan the Annual Career Development Symposium, which is separate from the PDA Board.
- The greatest time commitment comes for postdocs who choose to join one of the three executive committees. The duties and tasks of each committee will be determined by the members of each committee. The responsibilities of each committee are described here.