August 2022

Thursday August 25th, 2022 11:30am-1:00pm

Location: Zoom

Quorum:  14


  • Welcome, Zoom etiquette (2’)
  • Acknowledgment statement, inc group norms/mutual respect (2’)

Antara read acknowledgment

  • Introductions and approval of minutes (5’)

Introduction: Adrian M. Bacong, Kindle Williams

Approval of minutes: Tim, Shruti

  • Updates (8’)
    • Housing:

They told OPA that they might not consider postdocs.

Tim: failure in communication, OPA to us, OPA should let us know about any decisions, OPA is not doing their job.

Chinyere: reached out to Sophia, why they didn’t send us the information earlier, because of the fear.

Tim: They didn’t give us the information of covid vaccine before because of fear.

Usman: People from the hospital got vaccines after the protest.

Chinyere: have to push to get things done at Stanford

Chinyere: propose to start a car polling for postdocs who live far away from campus. OPA is on top of it. Call for representatives for the transportation committee to work on it. Email: surpasleadership

  • SURPAS (15’)
    • SPIF – Silvia Natale

Stanford postdoctoral initiative fund: Maximum $1000 for a project

Could be something like wine tasting

Jade He: how long is the application process?

Silvia: usually very fast

Shruti: how to use this fund? One time thing?

Silvia: One day event, e.g. Book club, wine tasting. If it’s something related to a committee, work with the committee. One time in one year

  • Family Committee – Lucy Xie

 Family supporting initiatives: parenting and coffee, WhatsApp group (events channel, new&expecting fam, playground date,\)

Financial assistance program application seminar: Brent Young

Family connections

Family-supporting local activities

More details here

  • Elections (50’)
    • Council Member Elections/Renewals
      • Silvia Natale

Want to see changes in the SPIF

Expect more funding

VOTED IN: 15 yes

  • Usman Ahmad

LRP committee

VOTED IN: 16 yes

  • Faculty Senate Postdoc Representatives Election
    • C-RES – Alaa Youssef, Mihir Pendharkar


I’m a postdoc at the Department of Radiology and the Co-Chair of the Teaching & Outreach Committee at SURPAS. My research focus on ethics, policy, and clinical safety of artificial intelligence AI-based algorithms.

  • I’m a women, minority, understand and passionately advocating for FAIR policies that promote JEDI for postdocs at Stanford.
  • I’m very knowledgeable about the process, system, and policies in discussion.


  • Reviewed C-Res charge and past years reports. C-Res is responsible for the full research life-cycle at Stanford
    • From proposal, to award, to budget allocation and overhead, research integrity, international/domestic conflicts of interest, and dissemination.
  • Familiar with many challenges postdocs at Stanford face:
    • Research uncertainty, financial difficulties due to salaries inconsistent with cost of living, uncertain contracts, among others.
  • Guided by SURPAS: be a stronger voice for postdocs in C-Res which controls research lifecycle; bring in more safeguards where possible.

Chinyere: Is postdoc’s opinion been taken?

Alaa: Yes, but need to make it clear and transparent when transport to OPA; there are some frameworks to do it.

Usman: some new policies limit benefits for postdocs, sometimes they don’t listen to our voice

Alaa: DEI; advocating for postdocs, let them know the contributions and  expanse of postdocs

Mihir: postdocs are underpaid already; ask for eligibility among postdocs, non-med trainees, med trainees, and students; encourage PhD students who are about to become postdocs to join us; people who has low power but has a voice, we should advocate for us

 Aravind: Any experience from the UC system that can be brought to Stanford?

Mihir: yes. In the UC system, professors in committee of research support a lot, e.g. they help solving the purchasing problems; the US system is well documented, especially for the safety training, safety protocols/policies; people in the position is very efficient

 Other suggestions:

Alaa: advocate for postdocs under representatives, such as women, mothers, and families in engineering or medicine, for higher payment and more opportunities

Mihir: increase diversity, more postdoc representatives.

 VOTED IN: Mihir

  • C-ACIS – Suman Bhasker Ranganath

Postdoctoral scholar, SUNCAT theory group, SLAC/Stanford

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University, 2022

M.S., Chemical Engineering, Louisiana Tech University, 2017

B.E., Chemical Engineering, Visvesvaraya Technological University, 2011

8 years = research on materials and chemical reactions, on supercomputers

3 years = development and support in the IT industry

 Vision, as a postdoc representative,

  • Understand and contribute to the ongoing efforts: computing infrastructure and storage solutions
  • Optimization of resource allocation: assessment of the computing needs of the diverse user base
  • Active engagement: meetings and discussions with users, computing staff, and external vendors; follow up
  • Education: share best practices on computational resource usage through educational programs
  • Documentation: assist in reporting the committee efforts

 VOTED IN: 15 yes

  • C-LIB – Weilai Yu

Postdoc in ChemE

SURPAS goal: committee on libraries (C-LIB), leveraging my perspectives as a student and a scholar to improve the utilization of library resources across the Stanford community.

VOTED IN: 14 yes

  • Bylaw change – Financial Officer

Move to next meeting

  • Upcoming events (2’)
    • September NPAW
      • Need volunteers
    • Symposium
      • Need ideas, keynote speaker
    • September OPA/SURPAS Meeting
      • September 20th
    • September Council Meeting
      • September 28th