May SURPAS General Meeting

A group of silhouetted people in discussion

Join us for our May monthly meeting! Meet other postdocs and find out about upcoming events and plans!

Wednesday May 26, 11:30am-1:00pm.

Location: Zoom

RSVP here

We would like to invite you to this month’s SURPAS Council Meeting on Wednesday May 26th at 11:30amPlease join us to learn more about open leadership positions and enjoy free lunch. We hope to see you there!

What? SURPAS Monthly Meeting

Where? ZOOM

When? Wednesday May 26th , 11:30am – 1:00pm

On the agenda: Updates and upcoming events, open leadership positions

Joining SURPAS leadership is an excellent way to have your voice heard, make social connections with other postdocs and develop leadership skills for your future career. We also encourage new SURPASmembers to run for these positions, you are only required to attend two council meetings to be eligible, and there are plenty of experienced council members ready to help you learn on the job! Descriptions of all the positions are listed below, and there will be a Q&A with the current leadership team at the meeting. Don’t hesitate to reach out through email or social media if you would like more information.

SURPAS would also like to buy your lunch for the meeting! Please follow the instructions at the end of the email have your lunch reimbursed by SURPAS.


 <3 SURPAS (FacebookTwitter, Web)


Postdocs need your leadership!

We are now accepting nominations for almost all our leadership positions. You can find descriptions below ⬇️, and we’ll cover more details at the May meeting. Joining the SURPAS leadership team is a wonderful opportunity to brush up on leadership and communication skills and learn more about the academic system.

Use this form to nominate yourself!

⬇️⬇️⬇️ SURPAS Leadership Positions descriptions


As Co-Chair of SURPAS, you and your Co-Chair counterpart are responsible for representing all postdocs at SURPASmeetings, meetings on a regular basis with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, Faculty Senate, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs etc. You also organize and lead the council meetings. To accomplish this, you work closely with the SURPAS leadership team and council, and it’s your job to ensure that operations run smoothly.

Useful skills: Communication, organization, positive leader.

Time commitment: 3-5h/week.

Testimonial from a past leader in that position: “What did I gain by being in this position? Developed an incredible network (scientific and administrative), gained valuable institutional knowledge about Stanford (decisions, finances, mission, future), other opportunities for other leadership roles (search committees, advisory committees, retreats, etc.), demonstrable experience managing teams.”

Financial Officer

The Financial Officer is familiar with accounting procedures and policies, keeps all financial records of SURPAS, prepares an annual budget, advises members on financial matters, proceeds payments or reimbursements on GrantEd, and administers awards/grants (DIF, SPIF, etc). Keep budget up-to-date

Useful skills:  Organized in GoogleDocs & spreadsheets, Understanding of GrantEd/ASSU structure; Quick on email requests & communications; Knowledge of SURPAS activities

Time commitment: 1-2 hrs most weeks; can be more if big events are happening like NPAW or a symposium.

Testimonial from a past leader in that position: “What did I gain by being in this position? 

Involved with many SURPAS activities (that cost $$$), Feeling of helping postdocs financially, understanding of the inner workings of SURPAS & Stanford.”

Event Coordinator

The role of the event coordinator is to help build a sense of community between the Stanford postdoc population by organizing or overseeing the organization and successful execution of SURPAS events. This person acts as a liaison between SURPAS committees and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) or other Stanford offices (for bigger events). This position provides a great opportunity to shape the postdoc community, meet people across campus, participate in leadership meetings, and to continue building your management skills.

Useful skills: Good event planning and organization skills, a driver license and a car can be useful.

Time commitment: 1-2 hrs most weeks; 20hrs + during NPAW (one week per year only)

Testimonial from a past leader in that position: “Being Event Coordinator allowed me to not only be part of a community but BUILD that community. Through this position I got to meet many postdocs outside of my department, be creative in events that I could organize, learn how to work with budgets, and learn about the mechanisms through which SURPAS gets its funding.”

Advocacy Coordinator

In many ways, the advocacy coordinator is a connector position, creating bridges within the council and leadership team, as well as between postdocs and the University at large. This translates to staying up to date with issues postdocs are facing, as well as with the new initiatives and plans around the university. Along with the co-chairs, the advocacy coordinator works closely with the OPA, VPGE and other offices around campus to ensure that postdoc voices are represented and taken into account. As part of this effort, the advocacy coordinator also oversees the activity of the SURPAS committees, with help from the rest of the leadership board.

Useful skills: CommunicationEmpathy, Organization and Time management.

Time commitment: 2-4h/week

Testimonial from a past leader in that position: “What did I gain by being in this position? Being advocacy coordinator gave me a unique perspective on Stanford and the postdoc community. It gave me the opportunity to work closely with some of the most influential people at Stanford, and helped me become better at time management and leadership.”

Social Media Coordinator

The Social Media and Website Manager oversees all of the SURPAS social media accounts (@stanfordSURPAS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and the website. Your primary role is to keep SURPAS activities and achievements up-to-date and easily accessible to individuals at Stanford as well as those around the world. Additionally, via these accounts, you will provide a friendly and welcoming first point of contact for new arrivals to Stanford. Experience with managing social media is not required, nor is any coding experience. A helpful skill, but not necessary, is basic graphic design (Adobe Creative Suite)

Useful skills: Organization & time management, strong communication skills, and basic graphic design capabilities (very minimal, but helpful!)

Time commitment: 2-4 hours/week

Testimonial from a past leader in that position: “What did I gain by being in this position? This position has sharpened my communications skillset and provided me the opportunity to work with a lot of our incredible postdoc affiliate groups and SURPAS committees. In addition, being a part of the SURPAS leadership team has given me the privilege to work alongside an awesome group of motivated postdocs with a collective desire to make the Stanford postdoc experience the best it can be!”

Communications Coordinator

As Communications Officer, you will be the point person for all communication from SURPAS to the general postdoctoral population. You will oversee 2 active listserves and a slack channel, by subscribing new postdocs and tending to moderator requests.  This position makes you the virtual voice of SURPAS, drafting and formatting email announcements about upcoming meetings and events, and responding to general inquiries. If you are quick of wit, and nimble of fingers… this job’s for you!

Useful skills: written communication skills, email etiquette

Time commitment: 2-3 hrs/week

Testimonial from a past leader in that position: “What did I gain by being in this position? My email writing and proof reading and became a lot more efficient! I gained connections with postdoc leaders and affinity groups, and learned about their events and initiatives. I built my leadership and communication skills, and made social connections outside my lab and department.’

Operations Manager

Your job is to run the internal operations of SURPAS smoothly. You schedule the council meetings, set the agenda for them in consultation with co-chairs and rest of the leadership, take minutes, keep track of meeting attendance. You also keep track of election cycles of each council member, plan and run elections for council members’ seats and leadership seats (including recruiting new interested postdocs), maintain records of council and committee members. You are also in charge of communicating the above items to the council members.

 Useful skills: organization, note taking, time management, documentation

 Time commitment: ~1-2 hour/week (flexible)

Testimonial from a past leader in that position: “What did I gain by being in this position? Be part of a wonderful postdoc community at Stanford. Make new friends, Build professional network, Soft-skills.”

Community Engagement Liaison

The Community Engagement Liaison helps make the resources of SURPAS available to all Stanford Postdocs. The Liaison works with Postdocs interested in working with SURPAS as a sponsor or mentor to help them meet all applicable rules and regulations. The Community Engagement Liaison stays informed with Stanford policies, serves as the official SURPASrepresentative to the OSE and ASSU, oversees SURPAS committees, and works with the Event Coordinator to optimize logistics for SURPAS sponsored events.

Useful skills: effective personal communication, coordination between groups, empathy.

Time commitment: 1-2 h/week

Testimonial from a past leader in that position: “What did I gain by being in this position? A greater understanding of how different parts of the University fit together. Meeting many people from across our community. Experience working with a committed team in representing community aspirations.”

Lunch Reimbursement Instructions

1.    Buy your lunch (either in person, online, take out, groceries, Door Dash etc…), KEEP YOUR ITEMIZED RECEIPT! 

2.    Attend Council Meeting via zoom for at least 45 minutes (half) of the meeting.

3.    Take a picture of your receipt and submit for reimbursement on GrantEd. (Watch this 10-min training: Submitting Documentation and Initiating a Reimbursement in GrantEd  – STARS Code: SSE-1001).

a.    Make sure you have a receipt with itemized items and not only a credit card statement or email confirmation. The later ones will be rejected.

b.    Write a descriptive line in GrantEd. Ex: Reimbursement for SURPAS council meeting lunch on 04/29/2021.

c.    The date of the receipt has to match the council meeting date.

d.    It does not matter if the receipt is for over $15. If so, we will partially reimburse up to $15.

e.    You will receive your reimbursement as a direct deposit in your bank account within a week or 2. No banking information needed as GrantEd is linked with your SUNet ID.

Reach out to if you need more guidance for the reimbursement.

If you have other questions and/or want to get involved, feel free to contact us! We always appreciate the help and welcome new ideas! Visit or email us at


Our monthly meeting times alternate between the last Wednesday and last Thursday of the month to accommodate more postdocs’ schedules!