January 2023

Wednesday January 25, 2022 11:30am-1:00pm

Location: Zoom

Password: 708142


Quorum:  14


  • Welcome, Zoom etiquette (2’)


  • Acknowledgment statement, inc group norms/mutual respect (3’)


  • Introductions and approval of minutes (7’)

New postdocs: Signe Svallfors, Tatjana Bilich

Approval of minutes: Julia, Antara


  • Updates/Reminders (27’)


  • SURPAS priorities
    • Cost of living
      • Increase salary to $75,000


  • Housing
    • Oak Creek Apartments
      • Postdocs get 1st priority
      • 25% discounted



Oak Creek has a total of 759 units.


Currently there are around 10 units available. Although Stanford claimed that over 500 will be for the Stanford community, they are not available all at once. Availability will be continuous but very limited each month during the unclear transition period.


They are renewing leases for non-Stanford residents, but non-Stanford residents’ rent will be higher.


Sam: Is there a way to negotiate a higher salary in this case then?

Chinyere: Need to negotiate with PIs

Sam: if SURPAS can ask for higher than 75,000 as the bare minimum especially considering that Oak Creek apartments are not going to be a possibility in the near future. Not as individuals negotiating with our PIs.

Chinyere: NIH has a bottom line on postdoc salaries, it’s hard to ask for a higher salary. We can start from 75,000.


Andrew: Relevant data: there’s also demand for below market rate units at Stanford West, so that they silently open the waiting list for max of 1 month each year

Andrew: Low income is more like $94k in Santa Clara County (80% area median income) https://siliconvalleyathome.org/resources/finding-affordable-housing/


  • Transportation
    • Ride-share program
    • VTA passes

Cheaper than caltrain


  • Support for international postdocs
    • Buddy system – information coming up in January


About 60% of postdocs are international, look through these legal aids and resources to see if anything might be helpful






  • Pop up food Pantry


They did mention that they will not turn anyone away as of now.


Postcodes are eligible for taking the shuttle to San Antonio shopping center






  • Elections for SURPAS Q&A session right after council meeting
    • ■ Co-chair
      • Chinyere Iweka – outgoing


  • ■ Community Engagement Liaison
    • Surbhi Sharma – outgoing


  • ■ Advocacy Coordinator



  • Sports Committee – Becky Gullberg (9’)


SURPAS Sports groups model:

  • 13 (!) Individual sports groups with appointed leaders that self-organize and to meet up ~1x/week
  • -We advertise these groups with a ~monthly newsletter and links to sign up for the groups
  • -Sports committee funds them with gear to ~$250/year
  • -The leaders/groups find their own space and time for their various sports activities


  • Current sports groups:
  • Squash
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Badminton
  • Boxing Training and fitness
  • Cricket Club
  • Climbing
  • Tennis Club
  • Biking
  • Running
  • Soccer
  • Hiking
  • Yoga (just starting)

SURPAS Sports groups:

  • These postdoc-run groups operate outside other fitness/intramural activities at Stanford, they offer:
    • -a more flexible time schedule for post-docs
    • -friendly / ~equivalent level of competition
    • -free
    • -sports that aren’t otherwise offered at Stanford but internationally significant and important
    • -leadership opportunities

Major challenges:

  • Advertising for hikes
  • Attendance has decreased lately L
  • Reserving space in AOERC!
  • Only 3x per quarter allowed
  • We have 3-4 groups that would like to meet weekly


NEW IDEAS/thoughts:

  • We had a sports-themed happy hr last June that was very successful, would love to do this again with more lawn games
  • Other social/sports events combined?
  • Hike/bbq?
  • Improve our social media presence
  • Improve email announcements?
  • Tournaments/races for each group or combine tournaments for multiple sports to increase turnout


“Social connections amongst researchers within and between fields are a key infrastructure for the Stanford research enterprise. Sports are not only a healthy practice for the individual, but seed and grow connections that can be drawn on to support professional development and spark new ideas and collaborations. Many passionate researchers can also find difficulty in balancing work and life, and the structure of sports clubs is a mold that individuals can use to help practice a better balance of their time to avoid burnout and sustain productive research output at Stanford. Sports are hobbies that can maintain a balanced life that is resilient to peak demands. International sports can also be a key touchstone for researchers who are far removed from the places they grew up, and sharing these important cultural expressions can enrich the experiences of other participants with a broader view of the world.”

-Darach Miller


Chinyere: Can post the committee activities on SURPAS general slack channel, announcements, and website.


  • Council Member Renewals/ New Members (6’)
    • Lucy:
      • 6th year postdoc
      • Family committee co-chair: organized many activities and generated lots of resources for family committee (e.g. parenting and coffee; toy drive, toy swap and Pizza, classes and workshops; family-friendly local activities; resources including monthly e-newsletter, local activities calendar, daycare recommendations, doctor recommendations, and financial aids resources)

Questions from Tim: how can postdocs, especially new postdocs access all the resources?

Lucy: we have a google drive folder with all the information


Voted in: 14 yes


  • Annual Bylaw Update/Vote (25’)
    • Addition to Co-Chairs’ responsibility

Add “Co-Chairs should schedule quarterly meetings with OPA and Affinity group co-chairs”.

13 Yes 1 No

  • Article II: Legislative Branch/Section 2B:

Council member responsibility

     Currently stated as:

“B. Council members must attend more than half of the scheduled meetings in a year of service on council. Excused absences should be coordinated with the Operations Manager in advance of the meeting. Excused absences will not be considered a missed meeting.”

    Suggested changes:

“B. Council members must attend at least 9 (75%) council meetings in a year of service on council. Excused absences should be coordinated with the Operations Manager in advance of the meeting. Excused absences and canceled meetings will not be considered missed meetings. Council members missing 3 (25%) scheduled council meetings will be given a warning. Missing additional meetings thereafter will result in being removed from the roster and losing membership.”

12 Yes 2 No


  • Upcoming events
    • SURPAS
      • Postdoc Symposium

Date: Feb 8th

Location: Clark Center Auditorium and Courtyard


  • SURPAS/OPA Meeting

Date: February 15th at 11 am on zoom


  • February Council Meeting

Thursday, February 23rd 2023

11:30 am – 1 pm

Location: Zoom