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The University of Minnesota Post-Doctoral Association got its start in Fall 2002, initiated by a small group of postdocs on the Minneapolis campus who were interested in helping to improve conditions for postdocs at this university. The shared vision that developed out of those early meetings has resulted in a formal organization, open to anyone in the postdoctoral ranks at the U of MN. The U of MN PDA is a channel through which postdocs can express their views to the university administration, and also from which they can find help and proactive support on issues of employment, professional development, and life at this university. Beyond that, we hope that the U of MN PDA will serve as a core in the formation of a vibrant community of non-tenure-track researchers on our campus, where information, ideas, and inspiration are shared. To that end, the U of MN PDA maintains close ties with the Council of Academic Professionals and Administrators (CAPA), and other representative organizations on campus. We also are an organizational member of the National Postdoctoral Association.


The mission of the University of Minnesota Postdoctoral Association is to improve the quality of the postdoctoral experience and to facilitate the long-term success of our members.


Recognition of post doctorates as members of the University community:

  • Recognition of teaching and research accomplishments
  • Representation in decisions and policies that affect post doctorates

Professional development programs:

  • Seed grant opportunities
  • Career and training workshops
  • Job fair opportunities

Clear and consistent human resources procedures:

  • Hiring and Firing
  • Communication of responsibilities
  • Job performance evaluations
  • Conflict resolution resources

Communication and information resources:

  • List server of members
  • Online newsletter, website, member directory
  • Partnership with the U of M Office of Postdoctoral Affairs to achieve our mutual objectives


Members include all non-tenure-track postdoctoral appointments including but not limited to Postdoctoral Fellows, Postdoctoral Associates, and Research Associates.

Officers of the UMN-PDA


    Serves as the primary contact for the University of Minnesota administration. Ensures that all events, scholarships, committee meetings and budgets are created on time and are of high quality. Schedules and coordinates annual Town Hall meetings with the general postdoctoral population at the University of Minnesota. Serves as the liaisons to other postdoc associations at different institutions.


    With the President, ensures that all events, scholarships, committee meetings and budgets are created on time and are of high quality. Takes responsibility for the President's duties in the event of his/her absence.


    Manages the UMN-PDA Budget and acts as a liaison to the OVPR on all financial matters.


    Records and disburses minutes for each Executive Steering Committee meeting.

Policy Liason

    Serve on the P&A Senate to advocate for postdoc-friendly University policies with an understanding of the diverse needs of University of Minnesota postdocs.

General information about the PDA is provided in our 2011 Townhall Presentation (PPT).

Please refer to the Postdoctoral Scholar's Handbook & Resource Guide (PDF) for guidance and direction to relevant postdoctoral resources at the University of Minnesota.

Download the official UMN PDA Bylaws.

PDA Steering Committee


Ninitha AJ (Asirvatham-Jeyaraj) (President)
Susith Wickramaratne (Vice President)
Nagasree Garapati (Treasurer)
Sylvia Wanzala (Secretary)
Rachel Bergerson and Nicole Victoria (Co-Policy Liaisons)
Ninitha AJ (Communications)
Rachel Bergerson (NPA representative)
Charles Gerald Ledonio and Ninitha AJ (Post doctoral writing group)
Brett Colson (Past President)


Brett Colson (Office of Post-Doctoral Affairs or UMN-OPDA)
Ninitha AJ (Webmaster)
Coco(Gengyun) Le (New employee orientation representative)
Brett Colson (International Affairs)


Office of Business Relations
Center for Teaching and Learning
National Postdoctoral Association