By Anthony M. Franchini, MLS(ASCP)CM Ph.D., out-going SMD co-chair; Melissa Polonenko, Ph.D., AUD(C), UR PDA Communications Representative; and Monica Javidnia, Ph.D., incoming SMD co-chair
In total, UR has just over 210 postdocs, approximately 140 of whom work in the School of Medicine and Dentistry throughout the basic research and clinical departments on campus. But how many of these postdocs know of each other or interact in any meaningful way? The inherent nature of a postdoc complicates this matter immediately: postdocs arrive every month in small numbers, and are expected to dive right into their research in order to create their respective career paths to independence. The average length of a postdoc appointment sits between one and two years, the length of most master’s degree programs. Speaking from our collective experience, this usually leaves little time for social events, on-campus service, or down time. The UR Postdoctoral Association began to wonder: how can we foster and expand interaction between postdocs without cutting into their research time?