PDA Buddy Program

The postdoc ‘buddy’ program is designed to get postdocs out of their small circles by pairing them with other postdocs in a systematic manner to help them build academically and mentally supportive communities. One hour of support from someone who is in the same shoes can be more valuable than 100 pages of word documents with lists of resources. Sign up and we will match you with another postdoc at MIT, according to your preferences. We’ll send you a gift card so the two of you can meet for coffee or lunch (online or in person)! We match postdocs once per month, and send matches on the first of each month. 

Sign up at this link!

The PDA Buddy Program is supported by a grant from Mind Hand Heart and the PDA DE&I Committee. If you would like to help us run the program and make matches, or if you have questions feel free to email us pda-buddy@mit.edu. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the motivation for this program?

The three main goals of the buddy program are 1) to provide a way for postdocs to meet each other outside of their existing research group 2) to build a diverse and inclusive community of postdocs at MIT and 3) to provide a new source of resources and support to postdocs around the institute.

Can I apply to the program more than once?

Yes! If you enjoyed meeting someone new, we would be happy to pair you with someone else as well. Depending on funding, we might not be able to provide you with lunch a second time, though. If you liked the  program, we would love to have you volunteer to help run it! Send us a message at pda-buddy@mit.edu.

Who can I email with questions?

Postdocs that administer the program can be reached at pda-buddy@mit.edu. 

What happens when I am matched?

Based on your responses, we will match you with another postdoc at MIT. We will then email the matched pair to introduce you. If you noted any specific interests we will mention those to get the conversation going! It is up to you and the matched postdoc to schedule a time to meet. We will send each of you a gift card to the same restaurant to incentivize meeting up. The gift card will cover a coffee.  If you were matched previously, but  did not meet your buddy you are not eligible to receive another gift card.

Are there any requirements if I sign up?

If you are matched, and we send you a gift card we expect that you will follow through and meet with your matched postdoc. We will send a survey afterwards, people that respond to that will be entered into a raffle for another gift card.

Can I give feedback now before you send me the survey? 

Yes! Here is the feedback survey. 



Born in South Korea, Vicky is an avid lover of food and is always open to a new adventure. Recently, she's developed enthusiasm for tennis, rock climbing, wake surfing, and snowboarding.


Originally from China, Xun is tackling Neurodegenerative Diseases as a Mechanical Engineer. He enjoys organizing events, architecture, traveling, and cooking. Also, karaoke!


Vasha is an Oregon Native, and her research interests are in computational models of human vision. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, and trying new things.


Originally from Sudan, Muhammad is a Geoscientist, working on climate change, hydrology and remote sensing. He enjoys reading, writing and meeting new people.


Born in South Korea, Seoung-Tae moves to the US for his postdoctoral career. In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies and TV series and love to talk about them.

Former Organizers


Originally from Switzerland, Ben moved to a more suitable place for studying marine biochemistry than landlocked Europe. He loves to hike, sample an IPA and cook - preferably in that order!


Originally from Colorado, Kyle is a Chemical Engineer working on electrochemical carbon capture. He enjoys the outdoors, watching excessive amounts of tv, reading, and cooking.​


Spencer was born in Buffalo, NY and has made a slow, modest journey east to Cambridge. He enjoys playing board games, hiking, and rooting for his hometown sports teams.


Originally from India, Arusha is always up for fun and new adventure. She loves cooking, traveling to new places, trying new food and watching movies.


Rocío is from California and enjoys all types of outdoors activities, spending time with her dog, and cooking.


Born in Canada, Chris is an enthusiastic fan of musical theatre, volleyball (and sports in general), and, perhaps most importantly, indulging in a nice meal after a long day of work. He’s loves meeting new people and is always happy to chat!


Originally from China, Xiaoxue is an educator and researcher in digital technology working on AI literacy and assessment. She enjoys teaching, traveling, and exploring new things.

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