September 2017

Council Meeting Minutes

Stanford Postdoctoral Association

Sep 27th, 2017, 11.30-1:00pm

Lorry Lokey Stem Cell Building, G1002



Council members: Anand Rao,Saumyaa, Daniel Joyce, Virginie Gabel, Ioana Marin, John Hegarty, Clarice Aiello, Matthew Gebbie, Gina Bouchard, Arnaud Bruyas, Abby Sarkar, Meng-Meng Fu , Tristan Lerbs,  Brian Griffiths, Jorik van de Groep, Christian La,  Jesse Isaacman-Beck, Sharon Greenblum, Roberta Sala, Bradley Tolar, Lise Retailleau, Sarah Eagleman, Catherine Tcheanndjieu, Dilip Thomas, Mariapaola Sidoli, Callie Willington, Idil Ulegin, Stephane Deny, Subhomoy Das,  Antonio Santos, Mar Margalef, Julia Co, Justin Klein, Kacie Deters, Mital bhakta, Diva Arvola, Lori Ling.  


Quorum:  Yes, 22  council members



  • Meeting called to order by co-chair, Anand

  • Unanimous approval of Aug 2017 minutes


NPAW overview -Virginie

The following events were organized during the National Postdoc Appreciation week.

  • Dish Hike- around 15 people attended

  • Ice-cream Social- about 30 people showed

  • Bike tour was cancelled because nobody showed up

  • Open-mic night - around 20 people attended)

  • Pet-a-dog- around 40 people attended)

  • SURPAS happy hour- around 40 people attended

  • Rodin Sculpture garden- people attended but the tour guide was not there. Organized by OPA

Turned out the tour lead was inside the building, not outside.

  • Meditation- very few people attended maybe because it wasn’t advertised

  • Pub Crawl - about 15 people headed towards SJ and similar number headed towards SF

  • BAP picnic- about 90 people showed up. Stanford had a good representation


Concerns/ ideas/ suggestions:

  • Sarah Eagleman: There were too many steps for registration, which is a little discouraging when there are so many events. Maybe making the registration process simpler will encourage participation.

  • Roberta Sala: We should invite faculty to our events. They should show support for postdocs.

  • Anand Rao: OPA backed out their support to fund and invite department sponsored events throughout the week

  • Ioana Marin- We should start planning very early to allow time for more involvement from Faculty and administration

  • Jesse- We should document everything from this year very well- attendance, event organization pointers, volunteer lists etc. We can then  hand it over to team next year for smooth transition and quicker planning.

  • We should not restrict events to postdocs, grad students and faculty should we welcome too since they are the ones who appreciate and support us. Bradley mentioned that he brings his grad students as his plus one or two.

  • Roberta: We should have someone else, like grad students organize events for us too.


By-laws amendments - Anand:

-Change in mission statement

-Change in extended leave of absence

- Size of council - Discussion ensued on whether we should cap the council at 30 or keep it open.

- Ioana -  We should cap the council  at 30. With people more that that it will be harder to organize things. It will be harder to reach quorum. We must make getting on the council more strict, so only people who are seriously committed occupy the limited number of council seats.

- Bradley- In the past council had trouble reaching quorum. That being said, attendance has been good recently. More people should be welcome on the council.

- We  should make people attend two council meetings ( instead of one) before they can run for election for a council seat.


Council member elections:

- Introduction of new council members elected at August council meeting ( since they did not get a chance to speak about how they would like to contribute to SURPAS):

Brian Griffiths (got elected as a council member + Webmaster during August election)- He will work as a webmaster and will work on revamping the SURPAS website. He has already started working on it.

Sarah Eagleman ( got elected as a council member)- She has already taken up the role of chair of family committee- a brand new SURPAS committee. She will work on gathering information on the requirements of postdocs with families and in what ways SURPAS can help them. The  family committee will also social events targeted to postdocs with families.


- Election of new council members:

Statements of the two candidates running for council election this month-

Mariapaola- She has experience participating in student organization during her grad school  in Europe. She would like to channel her energy and anger towards action, and work with a young and diverse group of postdocs.

Dilip Thomas- He has experience in organizing multiple events as  member of academic committees. He wants to extend this experience to enrich postdoc environment at Stanford. He is already working with Christian on SPIF.

Catharine- As a part of minority she has ideas to push for more diversity. She would like to work on that with SURPAS.

All 3 were elected to the council.


-Election for faculty senate Representative- RESEARCH

Statements of the three candidates running for election:

John Hegarty- He is involved in translational research and has his personal goals for an academic career will benefit by understanding the administrative side of things.

Daniel - He did similar work during PhD and enjoyed getting a strong voice on board. He is also doing a lot of translational- basic and clinical science research. NIK policies are really affecting all this. As a junior investigator these issues are really important to him and he would like to be involved in this discussion at the administrative end.

Clarice - She was involved in similar committees during grad school. It would be a nice opportunity to see the administrative side of things. It will be curios for her to see whether the presence of a postdoc as opposed to grad student, changes anything. There are some specific issues she wants to raise-

  • Postdocs can’t apply as co-PIs (mostly). In particular international  postdocs can’t apply as co-PIs

  • When leave a lab, there should be measures in place to ensure that they can take a part of the project with them

Clarice was elected for the Faculty Senate- RES position with 13 votes. Daniel and John received 5 and 4 votes respectively.


-election for Faculty senate Representative- LIBRARIES

Gina has been serving on this position and would continue to like to do so.

She was re-elected for this position with 21 votes.


Symposium committee update - Callie :

  • Symposium will run for 2 days.

    • Oct12 (afternoon-evening): There are professional development workshops on various topics - Grant writing, Transition to industry, interviewing skills, science communication, IMPROV, Ethics

    • Oct13 (all day): Keynote will be by Bill Burnett on ‘ designing your life’. There are postdoc research talks during first half, networking lunch, poster session, award ceremony/ SURPAS HH.

  • Will Talbot and VPGE will sponsor the entire symposium ( 2/3rd and 1/3rd respectively).

  • Around 250 people registered so far.


Committees Overview- Ioana:

  • New Slack Channel for committee and council communications (thanks, Virginie, for creating it). All committees are encouraged to use it for their activity!

  • Each committee is allowed a budget of $50/ month for meeting refreshments as an incentive to meet, discuss and plan activities.

  • The committees are encouraged to apply for SPIF funding to fund their events/ initiatives

  • Council members are encouraged (/expected) to be part of one (or more) committees to satisfy their “active” status within SURPAS.

  • Please sign-up for a committee if you haven’t already.


Meeting called to closure at 1.30pm by Anand