The Stanford University Postdoctoral Association (SURPAS) is a volunteer organization formed by Stanford University Postdocs.Our mission is to enrich the Postdoctoral experience at Stanford, to enable Postdoctoral Scholars to explore opportunities, and to empower Postdoctoral Scholars to become leaders in areas of their choice.
How do I join SURPAS?
If you are a doing a postdoc at Stanford, you are already a member! Come to SURPAS events and meet with fellow postdocs, or join a committee to make your voice heard. Our monthly (council) meeting is a great place to start!
How is SURPAS organized/run?
by postdocs, for postdocs
All Stanford Postdocs are members of SURPAS and can choose to participate as actively as they wish. Our events, programs and advocacy activities are coordinated by a core Leadership Team, supported by a larger SURPAS Council. Additionally, postdocs with specific interests can be involved in one or more of our committees, which greatly extend the programming power of SURPAS.
The surpas council
SURPAS council is made up of regular postdoc volunteers to organize events and committees. Council meetings are held once a month to raise issues, discuss, and brainstorm together, as well as to socialize and meet with fellow postdoctoral colleagues. Any SURPAS member can attend a council meeting to observe or participate in discussions on agenda items.
To join council, a SURPAS member must attend one council meeting and be nominated (you can nominate yourself), and current council members will vote on new members. New council members are initiated at the next council meeting.
Council meetings are generally on the last Wednesday of the month, and include a free lunch! Check the events calendar to check on the location of the next meeting.
What are the SURPAS committees?
Committees are member-run groups that focus on one aspect of postdoc life. Any Stanford postdoc can join a committee.
the SURPAS Leadership team
The leadership team is a core group of council members who ensure the smooth-running of SURPAS affairs and progress of the postdoc situation at Stanford and nationwide. We work closely with the rest of the SURPAS Council and Committees, as well as Stanford administration (primarily the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA), VPGE etc) to make sure the voices and needs of postdocs are well heard and represented.
Leadership positions are yearlong. With the exception of the mid-year co-chair, elections are typically in June for a leadership transition in July. The mid-year co-chair is elected in January with a one year term, to ensure continuity in leadership. To run for leadership positions, you must be a council member, which means you must have attended at least one meeting prior to leadership elections.
Current SURPAS leadership
Ioana is a postdoc working with Dr. Carla Shatz. Originally from Romania, she is a graduate of Lafayette College (Easton, PA) and received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia. In science, her dream is to be able to integrate research from different areas to understand how the brain works. In life, she believes one can achieve many things by just showing up and asking. As advocacy coordinator, she tries to make people realize that postdocs are the future of academia and investing in their potential is super duper important.
John Hegarty is a postdoc in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford studying the neurobiology of autism. He is originally from the east coast and completed a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Missouri before coming to Stanford. John began his work with SURPAS as the Co-chair of the Sports Committee and you may have seen him out on one of our recent hikes. He hopes to be able to use his new position as Advocacy Coordinator with SURPAS to help ensure that all Stanford postdocs receive fair and equal treatment during their postdoc tenure and push forward initiatives to improve quality of life for Stanford postdocs and their families
Brittany Ann Demmitt
Paola is a postdoc in the department of Developmental Biology and currently works in the lab of Dr Will Talbot. Her research is focused on the development of myelinating glial cells in the central nervous system using zebrafish as model system. Paola is originally from Italy where she earned her master in Biotechnology at the San Raffaele University in Milan. She moved to Buffalo (NY) to pursue her PhD in Biochemistry before moving to the sunny California and begin her postdoc. She believes that postdocs deserve to shape their careers in research while building their personal lives, which is hardly feasible in the Bay Area. Through SURPAS Paola wants to advocate for the affordability crisis in the Stanford postdoc community.
Gina is currently a postdoc in Sylvia Plevritis’ lab in the department of Radiology. Her work focuses on the role of the tumor microenvironment in metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells. Gina is originally from Québec, Canada and has a PhD in radiation sciences and biomedical imaging from the University of Sherbrooke. She left her cold hometown to learn more about big data analysis and enjoy California outdoors. Gina is convinced that the postdoctoral experience should be all about passionate science and enjoyable years, building your future scientific network. By being a member of the SURPAS leadership team, she wants to help making this experience amazing for every Stanford postdoc.
Social Media and web manager Director
Catherine is currently a postdoc at Priest lab where she is studying the genetic risk of congenital heart diseases and Assimes lab where she is working on the genetic risk of coronary Artery diseases in different populations. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris Saclay in France where she studied the role of several polymorphisms, susceptibility genes, and copy number variations in differentiated thyroid cancer among Europeans and Melanesians. Catherine is excited about improving the visibility of postdoc on Stanford Campus, and through social media, as she believes that the more SURPAS is present on social media, the more our voice will be heard in the Scientific community.