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Northwestern University Postdoctoral Forum

The Northwestern University Postdoctoral Forum (NUPF) is an organization focused on creating a community among Northwestern University (NU) postdocs across all disciplines, while sharing postdoc-specific resources for career and personal development. NUPF works to build partnerships and increase inter-departmental communications, creating an open forum for all postdoctoral fellows to address the needs of their community.

Goals of NUPF

Provide:

  • A venue to communicate and discuss issues relevant to postdoctoral fellows at Northwestern University.
  • Career development information and career advice via seminars and workshops.

Promote:

  • Positive dialogue among postdoctoral fellows, faculty members, administrators and the University.
  • Professional and social interactions among postdoctoral fellows.

Enhance:

  • The postdoctoral experience and connection with the Northwestern University community.
  • The personal development and leadership skills of postdoctoral fellows.

Support:

  • Inter-departmental and inter-disciplinary communication and collaboration within:
  • Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music
  • Kellogg School of Management
  • McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Medill School of Journalism
  • Northwestern University at Qatar
  • School of Communication
  • School of Continuing Studies
  • School of Education and Social Policy
  • School of Law
  • The Graduate School

History

In the fall of 2012, six Northwestern University postdocs lead their way to form a peer community platform, Northwestern University Postdoctoral Forum (NUPF). After 13 months of their determined efforts, The Graduate School (TGS) granted them official recognition. This much-needed group had a very simple mission: To engage the large postdoctoral community — which is spread across 11 schools on the two campuses in Chicago and Evanston — and provide a holistic platform for improving postdoc experiences at Northwestern University. Their commitment to that mission was evident as they all continued to volunteer as the first Executive Committee of NUPF.

Since then, NUPF has grown to an advisory board with eight representatives and three subcommittees; Career and Professional, International, and Social. NUPF has established its own listserv, created a webpage and started groups on social media sites such as Google, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Their annual programming is aimed at organizing a mix of events with three major events every year:

  • NUPF Annual Symposium
  • Annual Social/Networking Event
  • The International BBQ/Potluck

Other popular events include:

  • Publish High Impact
  • Careers for PhDs
  • Brown Bag Lunch with Mentors
  • MCA Night, Food and Concert
  • Subsidized Theater Events in Chicago

To encourage an active dialogue between peers, NUPF holds monthly coffee hours at each campus and monthly happy hours, alternating those events between campuses. 

NUPF continuously seeks support and enhance the needs of our postdoctoral fellows and welcomes ideas from the community.