Postdoc Diversity and Inclusion Forum

Postdocs at UW-Madison play a vital role in our University’s research enterprise. Yet, the concerns of postdocs are often overlooked. This is particularly true for postdocs belonging to underrepresented groups, including individuals who are BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+, and/or individuals with disabilities.

To address this matter, the UW-Madison Postdoctoral Association is holding a Postdoc Diversity & Inclusion Forum on Friday, April 30 from 2:30-4:00 PM. This unique virtual event aims to highlight diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) issues and challenges faced by UW-Madison’s postdocs from underrepresented groups. We will bring together university leadership, subject matter experts, postdocs, and other campus members to listen to and engage with the experiences of postdocs.

We invite all campus members to attend the Postdoc D&I Forum. Please register for the Zoom webinar here with your UW email address. There will be limited opportunity for questions from the audience at the end of the event.

The UW-Madison Postdoctoral Association has surveyed postdocs and solicited stories and ideas from postdocs for the Postdoc D&I Forum that intersect with DEIJ issues at UW-Madison and its surrounding community. Submitted narratives highlighted a variety of issues. Drawing on common themes from these narratives, we will discuss issues and solutions from the following categories:

  1. Mentor-mentee power dynamics
  2. Benefits for postdocs

  3. Culture of community at UW-Madison and the city of Madison

  4. D&I training

The Postdoc D&I Forum will be structured by (1) reading select narratives and proposed solutions and (2) response by panelists, who have been tasked with recognizing the issues brought forth from the postdoc community, providing feedback from the University’s perspective on our proposed solutions, and integrating the issues highlighted into their work. Our panelists are

  • William Barker, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs, CALS

  • Cheryl Gittens, Interim Vice Deputy Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement

  • James Keck, Associate Dean for Basic Research Training, SMPH

  • Gloria Marí-Beffa, Interim Associate Dean for Research, L&S

  • Oliver Schmitz, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Affairs, College of Engineering

  • Amy Wendt, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research in the Physical Sciences, OVCRGE

The event will be moderated by Jennifer Sheridan, Interim Associate Dean for Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity in the College of Engineering.

If you have questions or comments, please contact Postdoc D&I Forum Committee co-chair James Romero-Masters, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Oncology (jcromero@wisc.edu).

Sincerely,

UW-Madison Postdoctoral Association Diversity & Inclusion Forum Committee Members

Brian Butterworth, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Anahid Ebrahimi, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate, Mechanical Engineering (co-chair)

Dave Hyman, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate, SSEC/CIMSS

Jessica Kelliher, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology

Charlie Lenell, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Trainee, Department of Surgery

James Romero-Masters, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Oncology (co-chair)

Committee Advisor

Imogen Hurley, Ph.D., Director, UW-Madison Office of Postdoctoral Studies

 

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Postdoc Diversity and Inclusion Forum: A Diversity of Stories

Building on the Diversity and Inclusion Survey we conducted in summer 2020, the UW-Madison Postdoctoral Association Diversity and Inclusion Committee is planning a unique virtual event aimed at highlighting diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) issues and challenges faced by UW-Madison’s postdocs from underrepresented groups. This event will bring together university leadership, subject matter experts, postdocs, and other stakeholders to engage with and listen to the experiences of postdocs from underrepresented groups, including policy recommendations across the many scales of the university hierarchy. We hope you will share your stories with us! 

A principal goal of this event is to center the lived experiences of UW-Madison’s postdocs from underrepresented groups in the necessary discussions of racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination operating within the university. Our hope is that this event will build common cause between postdocs and university leaders and will enable direct discussions of these issues and policy recommendations through a mixture of storytelling and discussion.  

The event will consist of two parts:

  1. A listening session wherein postdocs’ experiences and policy recommendations will be shared through storytelling.
  2. A discussion with university leadership, subject matter experts, postdocs, and other stakeholders to discuss the narratives shared at the event and how the university plans to respond to these issues.

To ensure that the listening event is a safe space to share these potentially sensitive topics, narratives will be read during the event by committee members.

In addition to the event, we will compile the stories we receive into an anonymized document which will be available on our website. Our hope is that this document will serve as a powerful and motivating resource going forward for informing university leadership, departments, research group heads, and others toward making UW-Madison more welcoming, supporting, and equitable for postdocs from all underrepresented groups. 

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Sharing the experiences of Postdocs from Underrepresented groups with campus leadership

For the listening event, the committee is soliciting stories from postdocs which intersect with DEIJ issues at UW-Madison and its surrounding community. 

This solicitation is intended to elicit narratives from three broad categories:

  1. Personal narratives, experiences, or perspectives on these issues and their relationship to individual postdoc trajectories through the university
  2. Firsthand accounts of successful DEIJ initiatives within labs, departments, or the university community more broadly  
  3. Recommendations for changes to policy or procedures impacting the DEIJ landscape at any scale within the university. 

Please use our survey to record your stories and recommendations. Further details are provided within the survey.

Thank you for your time and help,

Committee Members

Brian Butterworth, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Anahid Ebrahimi, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Mechanical Engineering

Imogen Hurley, PhD, Director, UW-Madison Office of Postdoctoral Studies

Dave Hyman, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate, SSEC/CIMSS

Jessica Kelliher, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology

Charlie Lenell, PhD, Postdoctoral Trainee, Department of Surgery

James Romero-Masters, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Oncology