The IPostdocA was established with the goal of facilitating improvements for postdoctoral researchers in the Greater China Region. At the time of its founding, there was no national organization with the primary aim of improving the Greater China Region postdoctoral experience. The formation of the IPostdocA crystallized many ongoing diffuse debates related to postdocs and provide a focal point to enable important administrative and policy changes that would enhance the postdoctoral experience. From its inception, he IPostdocA has worked collaboratively and constructively with research institutions, postdoctoral affairs officesin China, postdoctoral associations(PDAs) in the world, professional organizations, and scientific funding agencies. The IPostdocA has sought especially to encourage the creation of additional PDAs. Through evidence-based advocacy, the IPostdocA has sought to bring about changes that would benefit postdocs and other parties interested in seeing the research enterprise flourish.
- Honorary President : Prof Dr Prosper M. Bernard
- Honorary Advisor: Prof Dr Michel Plaisent
- Honorary Advisor : Prof Dr WANG Jian
- Honorary Advisor : Prof Dr CHU Zh
- Honorary Advisor : Dr XUE Er Yong Postdoc
An ad hoc steering committee composed of postdoctoral representatives from across the country initiated the formation of the IPostdocA. This steering committee coalesced in April 2011 during China Postdoc Network meeting held in Beijing. At this meeting, attendees expressed broad support for lnternational organization that would provide focus and affect positive change for postdocs. In July 2011, the IPostdocA was officially formed.
The founding committee members of the IPostdocA include:
- PHILIP CHAN, PhD, Postdoc (TJU / UQAM / CAG); Founding President
- JAMES CHIANG, DBA Postdoc (UQAM); Taiwan Chairman
- YAU PAK MAN, PhD, Postdoc (UQAM / CAG); South China Chairman
- MIKE HUX, PhD, Postdoc (UQAM); Central China Chapter Chairman
- EDDIE LIU, PhD, Postdoc (UQAM / CAG); Hong Kong Chairman
- CHAN PAK KEUNG, PhD, Postdoc (UQAM / CAG); USA Chairman
The mission of theIPostdocA is to advance theGreater Chinaresearch enterprise by maximizing the effectiveness of the research community and enhancing the quality of the postdoctoral experience for all participants.
To achieve its mission, the IPostdocA works to:
- Provide resources for all stakeholders in the postdoctoral community to foster increased accountability.
- Develop and advocate for implementation of policies that promote positive change in the postdoctoral experience.
- Promote collection, analysis and dissemination of data on postdoctoral scholars.
- Develop a self-sustaining, democratic organization to empower all stakeholders in the postdoctoral community.
Largely run by member volunteers,IPostdocA activities are coordinated by two professional staff members located at IPostdocA headquarters in Beijing. The IPostdocA is supported by its members and grants from private foundations.
The IPostdocA is led by a 7 member Board of Directors that is elected by the dues-paying membership. Within this Board, the Executive Committee and Governance Committees provide direction for the operations of the association. The Board governs the Committees of the Membership and the Executive Director. The Advisory Council also reports to the Board and provides an additional resource for guidance and support to the Board and Executive Director. The Staff reports directly to theSecretary General.
The members of the Board of Directors are elected for a three-year term, and Board elections are held annually. Governance Committee Chairs serve one-year terms. The Board appoints Chairs and Vice Chairs for the Committees of the Membership and the Diversity and International Officers, usually after a call for candidates.
There are 3 different types of IPostdocA membership: Affiliate Member, Member, and Fellow Individual Member. Organizations can obtain a Sustaining Membership that serves as a conduit for complimentary affiliate membership to that organization’s individuals. Any individual may join the IPostdocA under the full membership category.
Committees of the Membership
These committees are run by volunteers and are open to anyone interested in improving the postdoctoral experience.
Outstanding Postdoc Selection Committee:Responsible for selection of Outstanding Postdoc internationally and recommend to the Board for approval.
Advocacy Committee:Addresses advocacy and policy issues affecting the postdoctoral community. Activities of this Committee include the promotion and implementation of IpostdocA recommended policies and practices as described in the Agenda for Change, increasing diversity among postdoctoral researchers, and monitoring the interests of international postdocs training in the United States. Additionally, the Advocacy Committee monitors timely policy issues and helps to maintain relationships with Greater China agencies and national organizations.
Meetings Committee:Plans and coordinates IPostdocA-sponsored meetings and seminars. The main tasks revolve around the Annual and Regional meetings, including development of agendas, logistical arrangements, marketing and fundraising activities, and conducting post-meeting evaluations
Outreach Committee:Conducts outreach activities to promote the mission, values, goals, and business objectives of the IPostdocA. Its main activities include development and implementation of an annual campaign to recruit and retain IPostdocA members, and expansion of member benefits through partnerships with organizations, businesses, and institutions. This committee is working on cultivating relationships with news media, societies. and other groups interested in postdoctoral issues.
Resource Development Committee:Develops and maintains tools and resources for use by the postdoctoral community. Main activities of this Committee include maintaining the IPostdocA website, publication of The POSTDOC, the quarterly publication of the IPostdocA, and creation and implementation ofIPostdocA-sponsored surveys.
Diversity and International Officers
The Diversity Officer provides leadership on diversity issues and brings together postdocs and their allies in order to develop new resources, track information, promote dialogue, and affect change for underrepresented groups. The International Officer serves as the public face of international postdoc issues for the IPostdocA. The Officers work with the membership committees to ensure that the IPostdocA addresses the needs of the communities they represent and are the primary resource and expert advisor to the IPostdocA Board of Directors, the Staff, and committees.
Governance committees are generally populated by the members of the Board of Directors, although members of the IPostdocA Advisory Council may be invited to serve if their skill set matches the agenda of the Committee.
- Oversight Governance
- Strategic Planning
IPostdocA Program Activities
The IpostdocA program activities are focused in three key areas:
The association advocates for policy change within research institutions that host postdoctoral scholars. Since the association’s founding, more than 16 institutions have adopted portions of theIpostdocA’s Recommended Practices. The IPostdocA continues to work with the leadership ofChinafunding agencies to develop new programs and policies for postdoctoral training, compensation, and benefits. The IPostdocA values its partners in advocacy, including prominent national associations and organizations that represent the scientific, research, and higher education communities.
The IPostdocA hosts annual and regional meetings to provide opportunities for the postdoctoral community to gather and share best practices. The association also maintains various listservs and a Web site to facilitate networking nation-wide.
The IPostdocA continues to provide the tools and resources that postdocs and administrators need for success. Most IPostdocA publications are available online, with selected resources for members only. These include: an International Postdoc Survival Guide, Toolkits for Postdoc Associations & Offices, an Institutional Policy Database, and a Career Development Clearinghouse.
Ever since its birth, the IPostdocA convenes once a year for a meeting that focuses on postdoc activities (e.g., career development, training standard, advocacy, etc…). The meeting locations alternate between the SouthChinaand the NorthChina, and spans two-and-a-half days. The first day of the meeting includes on site registration,a poster session, sessions for new attendees and round table networking meetings about the structure and functioning of the PDAs, as well as opening reception. The second day includes many plenary sessions, and concurrent workshops that cover topics of interests for postdocs, as well as keynote speaker. The third day continues with some concurrent sessions, plenary, and the meeting concludes with a town-hall meeting for the IPostdocA, where ideas for new topics are exchanged.
Over the years, session have included: career development and immigration planning for postdocs, underrepresented minority in academia, science and policy, issues related to communicating with non-scientific audience, a transition from academia to industry workshop sessions, posters describing activities in various postdoc associations nationwide.
National Postdoc Appreciation Week
Starting 2012, every year the IPostdocA holds a celebration to highlight the important contributions of postdocs. This event takes places on the third week of September. Institutions and universities around the Greater China participate in that event through major networking activities, including happy hour, seminars, and more. Although postdoc training is considered a temporary position, postdocs are a vital part of the research body, and contribute a major portion of publications and grants. Therefore, the IPostdocA decided to focus on the role postdocs play by celebrating an annual National Postdoc Appreciation Week. This event includes not only postdocs, but also graduate students and faculty members, friends and family… so that everyone gets to know about the amazing job postdocs do.