November 2022

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

Location: Zoom

Password: 708142

Quorum:  14


  • Welcome, Zoom etiquette (2’)


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


  • Introductions and approval of minutes (5’)

New postdocs introduction: Hao, Chris Mathy, Merve Kaptan,

Approval of minutes: Julia, Tim

  • Updates/Reminders (20’)
  • Achievements
    • Salary increase
      • From NIH minimum ~$55,000 to $68,238


  • Postdoc Benefits
    • Financial Aid Family grant ($5000 and then $10,000)
    • Child care grant ($5000) and Backup child care
    • Emergency grant-in-aid ($5000)


  • Transitional Housing for incoming postdocs


  • Email extension from 120 days to 2 years


  • Oak Creek Apartments (work in progress)


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


$75000 is $2000 below the low income line

Chinyere: $75000 is the starting point. Salary is from PIs’ funding, R01 is not increasing. We need to support faculties to submit to the provost to see if she can provide funding for faculties to support postdocs.


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


There’s a long waiting list, only 10 available. There are people still living there.

We were told that postdocs will be taxed if they lower the rent (we are going to check IRS rules/laws).

OPA said they need some time to collect data.


Tim: stanford is getting tax breaks for providing house for graduate students; we have data from chinese postdoc association


Maria: the housing is to support postdocs


Chinyere: There are some grants that the faculty are not allowed to increase salary


Vivekananda: company have other benefits to avoid tax, but not the case here


Seungsoo kim: faculties can’t use startup funding for salary increase


Marielle: does NIH have a specific maximum salary for postdocs?


Chineyere: training grants cannot increase salary; technically RO1 offers  $55000 for postdocs, But the provost can provide additional support to faculty to offset that.


NIH Website:


  • Transportation
    • Ride-share program
    • VTA passes


  • Health insurance premiums
    • Any UCSF postdoc w/family, disability or reliant on regular medication?


Please contact if you have any information/ resources/ contacts


Chris Mathy has postdoc benefits information from UCSF



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


SURPAS is going to reachout to the law school to see if we can have some collaboration


  • Retirement benefits
    • Many institutions offer matching 401K benefits
    • Currently Stanford postdoc can pay towards these benefits after 1 year postdoc position – link to compare benefits to other institutions


Emory University has very nice benefits, SURPAS is going to communicate with them to see how their benefits are structured.


Iti: salaried postdocs are not matched based on my experience


Hao: my department staff mentioned that postdocs from stanford do not have 401k


Information from Stanford postdoc benefits website:

“Salary-paid postdocs have two retirement investment options, the Tax-Deferred Account (TDA) and the Roth 403(b) After-Tax Retirement Savings Plan. You contribute pre-tax dollars to the TDA and after-tax dollars to the Roth IRA. Stanford does not provide matching contributions for anyone enrolled in the TDA or Roth IRA.


  • Elections for SURPAS
    • Co-chair
      • Chinyere Iweka – outgoing


  • Community Engagement Liaison
    • Surbhi Sharma – outgoing


  • Advocacy Coordinator


  • SLPA Presentation – Maria Perez-Ramirez (15’)


The Stanford Latinx Postdoc Association (SLPA) is running a series of seminars “The SLPA Charlas”

Two separate programs: Pro: tell me how you do it and Just like you, where Latinx postdoctoral fellows present and share their expertise and experience with the community.

The funds are coming from a diversity and inclusion innovation fund (DIF) from the office of the vice provost for graduate education (2022-2023).

Program 1: Pro: tell me how you do it

  • Monthly seminars
  • Latinx postdoc speaker
  • All postdocs, grads, undergrads invited to hear the talk
  • ~30 min presentations followed by ~15 min discussion
  • Lunch and networking happens ~20 min before the presentation.
  • The goal is to highlight the work of Latinx postdocs


Next presentation Dec 12 11:30-12:45 pm

​​Daniela Rojo

Determining the role of circadian transcriptional control in myelin-forming precursor cells

Where: ”El Centro Chicano y Latino” In front of Stanford bookstore


Program 2: Just Like you

  • Monthly seminars. Directed to underrepresented children
  • Latinx postdoc speaker
  • ~30 min presentations followed by ~15 min activity plus ~15 min discussion (zoom)
  • Light snacks are provided
  • The goal is to humanize Latinx leading experts from across the STEAM fields so children can see themselves reflected in those experts


Jie Pan: Is this related to “Someone Like me”?

Maria: This is different, it’s for Kids


These talks are possible thanks to:

Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education

El Centro Chicano y Latino

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (All Postdocs. All the Time.)


Geetha Saarunya Clarke


  • Postdoc Symposium Update – Chandra and Shakthi (10’)



Currently we have confirmed with Marc Tessier-Lavigne (the president of Stanford) and Stacey Bent (the Vice Provost) for keynotes. We are trying to get a Nobel Laureate for a talk.

Keynotes in the morning, and presentations in the afternoon.

Welcome every postdoc to join!


  • Housing and Transportation Committee – Andrew Batentine, Xiaoyu Chen (20’)



Housing Issues & current aims (2465 postdocs)

  • Supply – Very few on-campus housing options for postdocs
  • Oak Creek Apt (759-unit)
  • Maintain EV access for postdocs (xx%?)


  • Transition – Incoming postdocs, on-campus housing transition crisis
  • Pilot Transitional Housing for Incoming Postdoctoral Scholars
  • Seminars w/ OPA


  • Affordability – Expensive and increasing renting near campus


  • Oak Creek Apt

1.All apartments are unfurnished

2.No utilities are included

3.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.

4.Waitlist application is similar to Stanford West, i.e., indicate the 3 months you preferred and call them at the end of the month you indicated to maintain the waitlist rank.


  • Stanford West

very ambiguous for their BMR, postdoc at 1c priority


  • Pilot Transitional Housing for Incoming Postdoctoral Scholars

$2700 a month


  • Housing Advocacy agenda
  • Seminars w/ OPA. We are currently arranging this with OPA.
  • Advocate for re-evaluating the rent for Oak Creek apartment, and increasing benefits, e.g. furnishing, utilities, smooth application process. Talk to decision makers.
  • Increase Postdoc’s priority among on-campus housing.
  • More BMR units.


  • Transportation Status (information sources)
  • SLPA Financial Survey
  • Useful information on transportation costs, particularly car ownership (72% of postdocs), and their disparate burden on Latinx postdocs
  • SURPAS 2021/2022 Benefits Survey
  • Shows the love for the CalTrain GoPass (26% of responding postdocs rely on it!)
  • Stanford Transportation 2022 campus bike report


  • Need transportation solutions in place by June


  • Transportation advocacy agenda:
  • In talks with OPA and the Transportation office on extending the VTA SmartPass and AC Transit EasyPass programs to postdocs
    • Think we can make this happen, but will take time
      • Got a lot of pushback on including visiting scholars in this effort
      • Neither OPA nor Transportation Office are decision makers here
      • ”The system” cares most about cost-benefit for our direct commutes to work, given our current addresses (which they don’t have to use a survey to get)
        • Trying to shift our arguments towards added value to the postdoc and university
      • Collecting arguments – if this would benefit you please tell us how!
    • Get/Share more data (through transportation office)
      • Transportation office has data, will ask them for postdoc-specific population data
      • Air pollution exposure for postdocs during their commute?
    • Transitional bike program for postdocs
    • Carpool incentives for postdocs
    • Disseminate more transportation information for postdocs (update the website)


In talks with OPA and the transportation office on extending the VTA SmartPass and AC transit easyPass programs to postdocs

            Think we can make this happen, but will take time


  • Idea: Faculty Survey
  • In addition to our salaries, many of our benefits are pulled from ‘Fringe’, which is paid out of grants if we aren’t on stipend
  • How many faculty know:
    • postdocs without external household income are Low Income in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties?
    • The results of our recent surveys?
      • That many postdocs need loans to start their position?
      • That food insecurity can be a concern for their employees?
    • The hope would be that a faculty survey could be a learning experience for one of our biggest(/hardest to talk to) advocates

If you are interested in pushing on this please get in touch!

Housing and Transportation Slack Channel:



  • JEDI Committee – Seungsoo Kim, Michael Lawson (10’)
    • Someone Like Me: monthly peer mentoring
      • Goal: to connect grad students and postdocs to build community and a support network to survive the challenges of academia
    • Better Ally: monthly journal club and action planning
      • Goal: to create a space to educate ourselves and practice supporting minoritized groups
    • Diverse Perspectives Seminar Series: annual invited speaker
      • Goal: to bring established voices from diverse backgrounds to Stanford and local community (other primarily undergrad institutions)
    • Diverse Ambassadors Program: faculty applications
      • Goal: send underrepresented postdocs out to give talks at primarily undergrad institutions, pair with relevant resources on campus


  • Sports Committee – Becky Gullberg
    • Move to January council meeting
  • Meal plan for postdocs


  • Council Member Renewals/ New Members
    • Move to January council meeting



  • Upcoming events
    • SURPAS December Happy Hour
      • SURPAS Gives Back!
      • Thursday December 8th 4-6 pm at LKSC Herb Garden
      • Donations for charity and food shelter


  • Postdoc Symposium

Date: Feb 8th

Location: Clark Center Auditorium and Courtyard

More info coming


  • SURPAS/OPA Meeting

Date: December 20th at 3pm on zoom


  • January Council Meeting

Wednesday, January 25th 2023

11:30 am – 1 pm

Location: Zoom