About the UWPA


The University of Washington Postdoctoral Association is a community of postdoctoral fellows dedicated to realizing the full potential of the postdoctoral training experience and to maximizing the success of postdoctoral fellows both at the University of Washington and in their careers beyond. We aim to establish and maintain a peer network that provides opportunities for scientific and social interactions within the postdoctoral community, and to identify resources and support available to postdoctoral fellows for their professional development.

The UW Postdoctoral Association (UWPA) was formed in October 2004. Its formation was inspired by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-sponsored workshop for postdocs on teaching and mentoring (see HHMI Future Faculty Fellows). Strikingly, this retreat offered the first opportunity for many postdocs working within the same department to meet each other.


Since its formation, the steering committee of the UWPA has had monthly meetings, established a website and a listserv for other postdocs to join. Social events have included many happy hours and group trips to Town Hall meetings. Scientific events have included several postdoctoral research symposia (usually held in fall) and "5 @ 5" presentations, in which 5 postdocs present a single slide in 5 minutes starting at 5 pm.


The goals of University of Washington Postdoctoral Association are to:

  1. Establish an active social and scientific network of postdoctoral trainees at the University of Washington and affiliated institutions by identifying and reaching out to postdoctoral fellows, junior research faculty, and Ph.D. level research scientists who may benefit from membership in the UWPA.
  2. Gain institutional recognition and support for the UWPA and to establish an Office of Postdoctoral Affairs within the University administration (see the UWPA Proposal for an OPA). Our vision is that the UWPA and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs will collaborate to accomplish each of the goals outlined below.
  3. Provide information to and support current, new and prospective postdoctoral fellows in the following ways:
    1. Enhance communication between postdoctoral fellows and university administrators, faculty, and students.
    2. Develop and maintain a UWPA website containing our mission and goals, a calendar of events, and resources that pertain to postdoctoraltraining and professional development.
    3. Provide an orientation packet to new postdoctoral trainees with information about the University of Washington and the Puget Sound area.
    4. Provide information and resources addressing the specific needs of international postdoctoral fellows working at the University of Washington.
    5. Inform fellows about University of Washington training grants, as well as private and government-sponsored fellowships that fund postdoctoral trainees.
    6. Offer methods for postdoctoral trainees to foster productive mentor-trainee relations, for example through periodic evaluations and cooperative assessment of career goals.
    7. Help identify opportunities for scholarly training and professional development, such as teaching and mentoring experiences, that are consistent with the current appointment and career goals of the trainee.
  4. Facilitate career development opportunities for postdoctoral fellows in the following ways:
    1. Seminars/discussions to help postdoctoral fellows balance work and life, define career goals, and pursue opportunities best suited to the individual trainee.
    2. Advertise and promote workshops geared toward the academic job search, to help develop skills in areas such as grant-writing, interviewing, and job negotiations.
    3. Seminars to educate postdoctoral fellows about the skills needed for non-academic careers, such as those in private industry, public policy, or patent law.
    4. Provide a seminar format for current faculty to educate postdoctoral trainees about what makes a successful academic job search so as to increase the success rate of new faculty hires from the University of Washington postdoctoral pool.

UWPA Charter and Bylaws

Adobe Acrobat file icon UWPA_Charter_Final-1.pdf79K Download View Download (PDF)

2013 UWPA Officers and Committees


Calvin Mok (Genome Sciences)
Adam Warner (Genome Sciences)


Abbie Schindler (Psychiatry)


Ryan McMahan (Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences)

Webmaster, Parents Group Liason:

Shannon Ewanick (Forest Sciences)


Jessica Kuong (Pathology)


Lucia Vojtech (Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology)

To contact the UWPA, click the link below:

Send an e-mail to the UWPA.


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Jun 17, 2013 11:06 AM
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Send questions about this workspace to Shannon Ewanick.