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He described the 3 P’s of success equation as “purpose, passion and persistence.” A very nice follow up was the second plenary session on “Managing Your Postdocs: Mastering the Core Competencies” where speakers indicated how to develop and market leadership skills, different career options for postdocs, and the importance of identifying transferable skills. Importantly, they highlighted that academic skills are transferable and apply to industry and non-profit organization.

Workshop - “Developing Comprehensive Orientation Packages for the International Postdoctoral Community”

by Amita Bansal, Ph.D.

This was a particularly exciting meeting as it included several international postdoc focused sessions. Ken Dutton-Regester, Ph.D. and I, as NPA International Officers, organized a session on “Developing Comprehensive Orientation Packages for the International Postdoctoral Community.” International postdoctoral researchers face unique challenges when moving to the U.S. to complete their research programs. This can range from navigating the complexity of visa requirements, to finding accommodation in unfamiliar territory, to adapting to differences in cultural customs. As such, orientation packages for international postdocs are incredibly valuable in helping postdocs transition into another country, adapt to their new surroundings, and improve their productivity. Therefore, this Innovation in Action Workshop was designed with an aim to bring together postdocs, PDO’s and PDA’s to discuss what should be included in an ideal orientation package for international postdocs.

We started with an overview of Penn’s BPP postdoc orientation session and BPC welcome session. Following the talks, to allow brainstorming and networking among diverse participants, we organized interactive breakout groups focusing on useful information to know before and after arriving in the US. We grouped attendees into groups that discussed points related to Visas and Institution Requirements, Cultural and Social Transitioning, Accommodation, Housing and Amenities, and Personal (Health, Finance, Licensing). Each group was allocated 20 minutes for the brainstorming, following which, two members from each group presented their ideas. The ideas and discussion points generated from this workshop will be compiled into a guide for creating the ideal orientation package for international researchers. This package will be made available to the community and PDO’s to tailor customized orientation kits for the international postdoctoral community at their respective institutions.


Penn postdoc and BPC Co-President Doreen Becker presents a poster at the annual NPA Meeting at the Van Andel Institute. (Image Credit: Amita Bansal)

The 3 P's of success - purpose, passion, and persistence.