Who are we?

The MIT Postdoctoral Association (PDA) is a postdoc-led organization with the goal of providing support for over 1500 postdoctoral trainees appointed in 50 departments at MIT. The PDA is structured according to the guidelines provided by the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) for forming and maintaining a PDA and supported by the MIT Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR).

The MIT Postdoctoral Association seeks to establish a self-sustaining organization that will support all MIT postdoctoral trainees during their professional research training and career development. The MIT PDA will serve as a liaison between postdoctoral trainees and the faculty and administration of MIT, and strives to engage with and improve the MIT community. The MIT PDA seeks to enhance all aspects of the postdoctoral training experience, and foster a sense of community which promotes and encourages an environment of peer support. The MIT PDA will continually aid incoming postdoctoral trainees as they integrate into the MIT community as well as continue to maintain an alumni network of past postdocs. The MIT PDA will not discriminate based on race, religion, sex, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity.

The MIT PDA Executive Board is responsible for the general operations of the MIT PDA and be responsible for awarding the Postdoc Initiative Grants (PInG). The MIT PDA Executive Board will be composed of 5 positions: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary and Recording Secretary.

The President (email) shall:

  • Be the executive officer of the MIT PDA
  • Preside over and chair all General Meetings and set the agenda for General Meetings
  • Act as a liaison between the MIT PDA and the Office of the Vice President for
    Research at MIT
  • Act as a representative of the MIT PDA in the Faculty Postdoc Advisory
    Committee (FPAC)
  • Be responsible for the condition of the MIT PDA and the proper discharge of the duties of its officer
  • Hold regular Executive Board meetings to coordinate the operations of the MIT PDA.
  • Call for the formation of a temporary Election Committee to run the general elections
  • Ensure that officer positions are filled.
  • Coordinate the training of incoming officers.

The Vice President (email) shall:

  • Assist the President
  • Act as President in the absence of the President
  • Assume the duties of the President in the case of extended absence or vacancy

The Treasurer (email) shall:

  • Follow all MIT financial procedures and keep a systematic financial record of the MIT PDA’s finances
  • Report on PDA’s finances upon the request of the President
  • Coordinate the generation of a working budget for the MIT PDA, which will be presented and voted on at a MIT PDA General Meeting within 60 days of the general election
  • Facilitate and coordinate purchases and reimbursements for the MIT PDA

The Corresponding Secretary (email) shall:

  • Carry on the MIT PDA’s correspondence with MIT and external community including: advertising, etc
  • Coordinate with the President and provide oversight for internal correspondence between MIT PDA officers regarding official MIT PDA activities and meetings

The Recording Secretary (email) shall:

  • Keep the minutes of General Meetings, including attendance
  • Be responsible for the PDA records, including a good working knowledge of the MIT PDA Constitution and Bylaws
  • Ensure that the PDA Constitution and Bylaws are kept up to date and ensure the Constitution and Bylaws are properly followed
  • Maintain an active list of all officers of the PDA

Standing Committees are responsible for fulfilling a specific set of responsibilities consistent with the MIT PDA mission. Committee Chairs shall be responsible for fulfilling the duties of their Committees and the recruitment of postdocs into their committees, as needed. Committees may have two Chairs, referred to as Co-chairs.

The Advocacy Committee (email) shall:

  • Communicate concerns to the faculty & administration on behalf of the postdocs
  • Identify and address issues pertaining to careers, health care, benefits, salary, immigration, child care, grant-funding mechanisms, etc.
  • Establish a unified postdoc voice and increase the profile of postdocs within the MIT community

The Professional Development Committee (email) shall:

  • Promote the ethical conduct of research
  • Establish mutually rewarding mentoring relationships with members of the MIT community
  • Organize events such as career-building workshops, research symposiums, industry ventures, etc.

The Community Building and Outreach Committee (email) shall:

  • Encourage participation and involvement of postdocs within the MIT community
  • Enlist the support of MIT postdoctoral trainees towards PDA efforts through committee participation and involvement
  • Organize networking and social events that create a supportive peer group and integrate postdocs into the larger MIT community

The Information Flow and IT Support Committee (email) shall:

  • Set up efficient communication and publicity systems (i.e. Email Listserv, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook groups, etc.)
  • Maintain an up-to-date internet site of resources and information

The Alumni Committee (email) shall:

  • Serve as liaison between the PDA and the MIT Alumni Association.
  • Work with the PDA Administrator to ensure and maximize inclusion of postdocs in the Infinite Connection
  • Foster an MIT postdoctoral alumni network, including events and communications

The Fundraising Committee (email) shall:

  • Secure funds for the PDA through solicitation and fundraising events

The Human Affairs Committee (email) shall:

  • Encourage fair treatment, prevent and eliminate discrimination, and foster mutual understanding and respect among all postdocs
  • Will serve as the postdoctoral representative for the MIT committee on race and diversity
  • Support programs for postdocs and postdoc groups related to the goals and missions of the Human Affairs Committee (health & wellness, diversity & inclusion, etc.) such as the Postdoctoral Women Engaged in Research (POWER), Postdoc REFS Program, Postdoc Venture Group etc.

The Orientation Committee (email) shall:

  • Coordinate the MIT PDA Orientation for new postdocs
  • Generate and maintain resources relevant to new incoming postdocs. Issues include, but are not limited to: housing, commuting options, benefits, child care support, etc.

The Sports Committee (email) shall:

  • Organize sports events for the postdoc community
  • Help coordinate the participation of postdocs in MIT community sports events such as Intramural tournaments, etc

The Constitution of the MIT establishes its mission and general organization. (Download)

The Bylaws of the MIT PDA describe its general operation including the roles of officers and committees, budgetary matters, and procedures for general meetings and elections. (Download [Ratified July 09, 2018])

Current PDA logo created based on Sara da Luz Areosa Cleto’s design:

old PDA logos