July 2022

Wednesday July 27th, 2022 11:30am-1:00pm 

Location: Zoom

Quorum:  12

  • Acknowledgment statement, inc group norms/mutual respect (2’) 
  • Welcome, Zoom etiquette (2’) 
  • Introductions and approval of minutes (5’)

2 new postdocs ( Marielle van Kooten, Milad Bakhshizadeh) introduced

  • Acknowledgement statement, Introductions and approval of minutes (2’)

Acknowledgement statement read by Julia

Minutes approved by Julia and Shruti Jain

  • Updates (30’)
    • OPA Meeting update
      • Postdoc Housing Lottery

Tim: postdocs are having a hard time, the purpose is to appear to help without the university spending any money to help us in reality

Alaa Youssef: got rejected for the second run, feels disappointed because not being treated fairly.

Chinyere: discussing feasible solutions for postdoc housing, want something that is more permanent for postdocs. Please contact us if your lease is after August 14th. 

Lucy: family committee will do a seminar to share resources for financial resources at tomorrow meeting (July 28, 2022)

Marielle van : people having children don’t have time to find and apply financial resources , why don’t they automatically apply to postdocs who have children 

Chinyere: There are issues on eligibility, restrictions, and privacy concerns for the financial resources

Marielle: Stanfrod should share more information with the public, for example, number of people applied, application results, and who got rejected.

Chuchu:  we have circulated this housing thing to SCPA community.

Financial resources for postdocs (PPT)

  • Emergency Grant-in-aid
  • Childcare Assistance Program
  • Family Grant Program
  • Backup Childcare Program


  • C-RES


Topics include:

  • Formulate research policy and review its implementation by Vice Provost and Dean of Research
  • Recommend standards for Stanford-sponsored PI proposals or awards
  • Review decisions regarding allocation of Stanford services and overhead rate for research activities

Alaa Youssef: 

2 main topics: 1)  the conflict of interest of policy that applied to faculties now applies to postdocs as well. Postdocs who do consulting work outside your research at Stanford, the consulting time commitment should be no more that 13 days/quarter (or 1 day/week). Be aware of what type of consultation work you are working on, discuss with PI, talk to OPA or postdoc representative center to make sure everything is right. 

2) Involvement of International postdoc from specific countries for specific research: be aware of the condition and restrictions, for example, SLAC and nuclear research.

Other policies : travel, new sustainability research

Shruti: how about consulting work without payment or working permit?

Alaa: This policy is more for people with working permit and payment.

  • C-LIB
    • Open


Topics include:

  • Review of finances and activities of Stanford University press
  • Decisions regarding library storage facilities and circulation policies
  • Fundraising efforts and budgeting decisions for Stanford libraries

Haven’t meet any policy that affect postdocs in the past year

  • C-ACIS


Topics include:

  • Resource allocation for computing on the Stanford Campus and at SLAC
  • Decisions on computing facility management
  • Initiatives to educate Stanford community on computing resources and best practices

Karun Kumar Rao

IT policies, software, licenses, programs 

Main job: bring ideas to IT people; review policies, guidance, and give feedback to the IT department

Camera in campus: major discussion topic in the past year

  • Faculty Staff Help Center (FSHC) (20’)
    • Rosan Gomperts

FSHC Mission:

  • Provide an easily accessible channel for resolving work-related and personal problems
  • Assist clients in restoring or improving levels of job performance, morale, and personal and professional well-being.

FSHC Services:

  • Free, confidential counseling and consultation for faculty, staff and post-docs of the University and Hospital and clinics including immediate family members through age 25
  • Up to 10 sessions per issue after assessment
  • Help with referrals to community resources 
  • Groups and workshops 
  • facilitated conversation
  • On-line resources
  • Part of university threat assessment team

FSHC Services to Departments:

  • Grief in the workplace
  • Managing stress and change
  • Communicating with Tact and Skill
  • Facilitating workplace difficulty
  • Building trust and emotional intelligence
  • Facilitated conversations
  • Department consultations
  • Individual coaching for EQ and communication skills

Request online or through email, usually pretty fast

Check the website for more information: 


Also check the postdoc benefits website for more useful information: 


  • Meru health: very helpful, online/cheap; 
  • Teladoc for behavioral health: antana; 
  • Brightline: for children (~$20, very accessible ); 
  • Resources for living: free for 1st time, continue with $5 for later appointment; 
  • Televideo counseling: $5. 
  • Worklife center: support postdoc child care

A new number for mental health crisis: 988


Question from Aravind Natarajan: What are missing now? There might be resource constrictions.

Rosan: Not sure, maybe Postdoc discussion groups? 

Chinyere: maybe provide referrals for postdocs to reach out. Get sooner appointment.

Rosan: Access is hard, a lot of other therapists don’t take insurance. This is a good postdoc benefit, refer through postdoc benefits rather than atana, it’s much cheaper.

Question from Chinyere: How to increase the diversity of therapists?

Rosan: The current diversity is not terrible, we have 2 spanish, 1 mandarin, 1 taiwanese, a few asian, and 3 african americans. Choose people who are more booked, usually can get appointments less than 2 weeks if open to more therapists, if feel uncomfortable with one therapist, talk to the team to get help

Tim: I tried a while ago to access mental health care. I tried teladoc but it wasn’t that great for me. I got connected to Peninsula Behavioral Health. There was an intake call to get connected with an open therapist and I’ve been having weekly $5 sessions which have been good. 

    • Council Member Elections/Renewals (7’)
      • Divya Pathak- new member
  • Postdoc from Biochem 
  • Co-chair of teaching and outreach committee
  • Why council? 
  • post-Pandemic, want to involve more with postdoc activities and interact with other postdocs
  • Can Interact more with OPA if become a council member
  • VOTED IN: 17 yes
    • Antara Chakravarty – new member
  • Want to join the community to meet with more people, came from southern California, part of teaching community 
  • VOTED IN: 13 yes
    • Rohini Datta-renewal
  • Events coordinator last year, organized happy hours coffee and National postdoc week
  • Contributing social life on campus, excited about training next events coordinator, mentor for women, enjoying teaching. Look forward to playing an active role in council 
  • VOTED IN: 15 yes


    • Chuchu Wang-renewal
  • Co-chair last year
  • Wants to continue with Sports committee
  • Question from Tim: perspective of what you can do to help postdocs next?
  • Chuchu: volunteer for events, support leadership team
  • VOTED IN: 15 yes


    • Leadership Elections (10’)
      • Events Coordinator: Divya Pathak – new member
  • Have met a lot of people at happy hours, volunteered at happy hours, most postdocs are international, like to connect with and help postdocs
  • Advocating for postdocs
  • Contribute and help SURPAS
  • Events- Best places for new folks to meet other postdocs 
  • Coordinate with other committees and affinity groups to have a themed happy hour
  • Question from Chinyere: how to make the national postdoc appreciation week more smooth?
  • Divya: Talk to Rohini about her experience, prepare backup options for uncertainties, e.g. run over time
  • Shruti: Can you suggest one event that really benefits the communities?
  • Divya: More physical activities, games, simple board games. Make sure more people can be involved, family/single people topics/themes
  • Shruti: kid friendly games
  • Lucy: plans work with other committees,e.g. family/sports?
  • Divya: Happy hours, introduce each committees, have different teams for the happy hours
  • Tim: How often?
  • Divya: Every month
  • Rohini: new postdocs feel awkward, icebreaker ideas?
  • Divya: Don’t have a suggestions for icebreaker at this moment for each happy hour, people stay short for happy hours , can discuss more
  • Rohini: name tags, volunteers to help interaction
  • VOTED IN: 13 yes


    • Social Media/Web Manager: Antara Chakravarty
  • Postdoc, Priscilla Yang Lab, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine
  • Experience: 
  • Graduate student at the University of California, Riverside (UCR)
  • mentored all on, and off-campus teaching assistants (~300) for two years at UCR GradSuccess
  • worked with a team of seven to create and facilitate events
  • maintained mailing list sending out updates related to teaching
  • updated websites using both Drupal and WordPress software and created pages, blocks, and modules related to teaching development
  • created social media posts and flyers using Canva, posted twice a week on UCR Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages to update TAs about upcoming events, workshops, and other opportunities
  • mentoring underserved students through FEA, India
  • Vision: 
  • to provide postdocs at Stanford with information that is accurate, up-to-date, and easy (and intuitive) to find
  • to organize, annotate, and integrate data to empower postdocs to make information-driven choices
  • to work with the team and other stakeholders in the university administration to have immediate access to information
  • to maintain and increase visibility at Stanford and beyond
  • VOTED IN: 12 yes


  • Bylaws
    • SURPAS Financial Officer position update

Move to next meeting

  • August Happy Hour
    • August 15th at 4 pm in Alway Courtyard
  • August OPA/SURPAS Meeting
    • August 16th at 3 pm on Zoom
  • August Council Meeting
    • August 25th at 11:30 pm to 1pm on Zoom
    • Elections for C-RES, C-ACIS, C-LIB