UIC Postdoc Association FAQ
The Postdoctoral Association (PDA) was established in 2010 and serves as the voice for the UIC postdoc community. The PDA is run by the Executive Committee, 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!
When does the Postdoc Association Executive Committee meet? Heading link
The PDA Executive Committee meets monthly. For academic year 2021-2022, 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 in a hybrid format (option to attend in-person or via Zoom), so postdocs can choose to attend the meeting in whichever format is most convenient.
Can any postdoc attend a Postdoc Association Executive Committee meeting? Heading link
YES! The monthly meetings are open to all postdocs who would like to attend. No need to be a member of the PDA Executive Committee to participate in the meetings and provide input.
What is the PDA Executive Committee? Heading link
The Executive Committee consists of the PDA Executive Board members and Executive Committee members.
Executive Board positions are elected positions. Elections take place at the start of each academic year, typically during the month of October and the position terms are 1 calendar year. The six elected positions are:
- Vice President
- Director of Communications
- Director of Event Programming
- Newsletter Editor
- Director of External Relations
The duties of each elected position are described here. In addition, any postdoc may join the Executive Committee at any time as an Executive Committee member. Serving as an Executive Committee member is an excellent starting opportunity to get more involved, which requires no hard time commitment.
Why should I get involved with the PDA Executive Committee? 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 Executive Committee is a great way to start building your community here at UIC.
Getting involved in the PDA Executive Committee is also an excellent way to network, bolster your resume, and develop leadership skills that will serve you well in future positions. Previous Executive Committee 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 Executive Committee 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 Executive Committee? Heading link
You may join the PDA Executive Committee as a committee member at ANY time during your postdoc career. If you wish to serve as an Executive Board member (elected position), elections take place at the beginning of the academic year, typically in October. You do not have to have previous experience serving on the PDA Executive Committee to run for an elected position.
What is the time commitment to be involved in the PDA Executive Committee? Heading link
Postdocs may get involved in the Postdoc Association as much or as little as you wish. Here are some examples of ways you could get involved:
- Any postdoc may attend a monthly Executive Committee meeting. You are not committed to joining the Executive Committee by attending a meeting.
- You may choose to join the Executive Committee as an Executive Committee member, which includes no hard time commitment aside from the expectation that you attend the monthly PDA Executive Committee meetings if possible. Attending the meetings however is not a requirement and you are still very welcome to join the PDA Executive Committee 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 Executive Committee, you may email the PDA at firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 Executive Committee.
- The greatest time commitment comes for postdocs who choose to run for an elected Executive Board position. The duties of each elected position are described here.