PDA Subcommittees

There are currently 9 subcommittees of the PDA - science policy, university affairs, teaching & outreach, seminar, social, social media, survey, symposium, and welcome - short descriptions are below. Contact the Chair of a subcommittee to get involved!

Symposium Committee

This is the largest committee, which is itself made up of several sub-committees.  There are opportunities to get experience in all elements of event planning and coordination.

Seminar Committee

Brings external / internal PhD professionals to UChicago to provide their experiences and discuss career paths. We promote networking opportunities and career connections for postdocs. Our weekly seminar series topics include career advancement, alternative careers, work/life, grantsmanship, and research ethics.  We also plan special one day career development events and a year-long research mentor training program for postdocs.

Survey Committee

 Conducts surveys of the postdocs, by the postdocs, and for the postdocs.  These have traditionally included broad biennial surveys covering topics such as postdoctoral involvement, benefits, mentoring, career plans, and work/life balance. These surveys provide an internal “status check” regarding important issues that postdocs face, and in addition the data may be used as a powerful tool when advocating for change. We have just launched a National Postdoc Survey.

University Affairs Committee

Addresses important institutional policy issues affecting postdocs, ranging from healthcare benefits to issues of equality and representation in science with the aim to help ensure that all postdocs are treated fairly. We work together with administrators to position our university at the forefront of institutional postdoc policy. 

Welcome Committee

Our goal is to meet every new postdoc within their first month on campus - to welcome them to UChicago, and to ascertain whether their transition to campus has been smooth and if they have any questions or issues that may need to be resolved. During our short visit, we confirm that the postdoc has signed up for health insurance, remind them to attend the quarterly Postdoc Orientation Session, and highlight ways in which they can get involved in the postdoctoral community through upcoming PDA events and seminars. 

Science Policy Committee

Identifies current news or important items of interest to the postdoctoral community at UChicago and comments on current policy news through the PDA blog. We also act as liaisons or representatives for the postdocs with administration and faculty and regularly attend the AAAS Annual Meeting and participate in professional society hill days to advocate for science.

Teaching & Outreach Committee

Our committee has two aims: 1) to establish a centralized resource for science-related outreach and guest-lecture opportunities, and 2) work with university administration and faculty to build a postdoctoral teaching program that will include a mentorship component, courses in developing and teaching undergraduate courses, and workshops designed to make UChicago postdocs more competitive applicants for teaching positions. 

Social Media Committee

The voice of the postdoctoral association! We manage the Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn PDA accounts and help our administrator maintain the website. It’s a great way to stay on top of what’s going on in the postdoctoral community regionally and nationally, as well for networking and relationship building.

Social Committee

We plan events for postdocs to promote networking including the annual fall picnic, National Postdoc Appreciation Week events, social hours and Pub Nights.