October 2022

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

Location: Zoom

Password: 708142

Quorum:  14


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


  • Welcome, Zoom etiquette (2’)


  • Introductions and approval of minutes (3’)


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


Acknowledgement statement: Chinyere

Introductions: no new postdoc introduced

Approval of minutes: chinyere, Tim


  • Updates/Reminders (6’)
    • Housing at Oak Creek

Oak Creek Apartments

  • Transitional Housing

From pilot program → Permanent



Sam: the transitional housing was very helpful for new postdocs


  • Email Forwarding



  • Travel Grants


  • Recruitment Travel
  • Diversity & Inclusion Conferences
  • Dependent Care at Conferences
  • Recruitment as Service
  • SLPA Moving & Living Expense Survey Results- Belen (23’)

Maria-Belen Perez-Ramirez; Clare Abreu; Fatima Pardo

Survey results: https://slpa.github.io/survey2022/


Lucy: There are about 2500 postdocs currently: 26% with spouse only; 15% with spouse and children; 2% with children and no spouse; that adds up for a total of 43% with either a spouse or children, 41% have a spouse (26% + 15%), 17% have children (15% + 2%)[around 425 postdocs have children currently]

Notes: The percentages of spouses and children are estimates and may be underestimated. They are based on dependents and beneficiaries reported on insurance, some postdocs may not have included their spouse or children.


 Tim: Glad the relocation expense was highlighted. DEI should be considered by OPA as well.


Chinyere: Postdoc GoPass is not going away, it’s a permanent thing. For graduates, it was taken away. We need all help to move these things forward!


Sam: Are postdocs eligible for any other kind of transport pass?


Andrew Barentine: there is a carpool program through the university transportation office. I am reaching out to them to see if they can help us coordinate specifically for postdocs – aiming for incentives such as parking for postdocs carpooling with each other.


Tim: low income is classified as 80% area median income; a single postdoc with no dependents makes 60% area median income, falling solidly in the low income category. Postdocs with dependents fall into very low income. https://siliconvalleyathome.org/resource-map/finding-affordable-housing/


Andrew Barentine: Great question Sam! The VTA smartpass might be available (https://transportation.stanford.edu/transit/free-transit-and-incentives/vta-eco-pass/about-vta-eco-pass ). I’ll double check the eligibility for postdocs.


Sam: I asked this, because I tried requesting the VTA pass, and they said I cannot request this since I already have a GoPass.


Tim: That doesn’t make sense because they are different transit options. Encouraging public transit helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Usman: Residents have a moving allocation/stipend


Tim: That is really important and useful to know. Residents and postdocs are at similar career stages and perform similar roles in the university


Usman: Pay scale for residents might be a little lower depending on what kind of postdoc, but yes very similar.

  • Council Member Renewals/ New Members (17’) 12:36
    • Tim MacKenzie- renewal

Graduate and postdoc at stanford, like to advocate for the community, doing things and working together, and making sure we can focus on career development and work, not economic things

Committee:  co-chair of long range planning


Voted in: 18 yes


  • Poonam Agarwal- renewal

Worked with sports committee and helped running events last year;

Volunteered for happy hours;

Loves SURPAS and is willing to help SURPAS as much as possible


Voted in: 17 yes


  • Vivekanandan Ramalingam- renewal

3rd year postdoc in genetics;

has been participating in activities from long range committee, JEDI and family committee;

Is interested in advocating for postdocs, hopes to continue to be in the council to be involved in all the activities


Voted in: 17 yes

  • David Agyeman-budu-renewal

Postdocs for ~ 3 years;

co-chair of symposium last year, has been supporting the symposium this year

would like to stay in the council to help with anything


Voted in: 14 yes


  • Samyuktha Suresh- new


New Postdoc in the Oncology Division

Why join SURPAS council? Meet new people, and do what I can to help other postdocs have a pleasant and memorable experience at Stanford


Tim: Do you have ideas about topics you are interested in?

Sam: housing and transportation, happy to advocate for anything needed


Voted in: 17 yes

  • Social committee Update- Nate (14’)

What: Postdoctoral scholars ball

When: Late January, Early February


Ticket price:$35 per person

  • $10 for alcohol (self-purchased)
  • $25 for food (caterec)


Appetizers & small plates, self-served

Bartenders required to serve alcohol

Dance floor, photo booth


Current status: Need a venue, need a budget


Venue 1: Arrillaga Alumni Center, McCaw Ballroom

Venue rental: $4000 (for Friday or Saturday)

Event services:  $3000 for setup/teardown

Capacity: 1000+ (and can go higher)

Already equipped with tables, bars, seating, etc.


Venue 2: Black Community Services Center

Reservation cost: $500 + cleaning services

Maximum capacity: 200-300 at any given time (depending on room arrangement)

Postdoc Gala 2019 was hosted here


Additional extra (optional) costs:

  • DJ or band: $250/hour (based on quotes received)
  • Decorations, table pieces, photo booth
  • Alcohol and beverage license: $50


Help is appreciated with sourcing funding!

Creative problem solving is also appreciated!


Lucy: Maybe do a general fund raising?


Nate: maybe try to do fundraising outside postdoc community (natej@stanford.edu)


Black community services center (SURPAS, social budget)


  • Family committee Update- Lucy (4’)




2 co-chairs will step down, committee meeting on Nov 17 ,

Fall event: Over 300 people



Tim: Thank you for the amazing work! Any suggestions/protocols for other people?

Lucy: we have a google drive under SURPAS; we also have a Family committee gmail to keep track of all communications


Julia: talk to members in family committee for co-chair election, SURPAS can also help to advertise


Lucy: we do have some some people who are interested, but also want to have more people engaged


  • NPAW Feedback (4’)

Tim: a better way to set up the flow of people in the BBQ section (suggestion for OPA)

So many opportunities to talk to postdocs during that week


Aravind: How do we do the NAPAW BBQ historically?


Julia: OPA takes care of everything food related, SURPAS: alcohol. OPA can’t purchase alcohol. It’s a collaboration between OPA and SURPAS.


Tim: We had the party, someone paid for it.

But there were cases that we ran out of food or drinks, so postdocs had to pay by ourselves


Julia: We did pay for the alcohol using SURPAS budget, OPA paid for the food.

Talked to OPA to have a ~ 25% budget increase for next year. Due to inflation, there might be less happy hours. We are trying to get more money from School of Medicine as well.


Sam: Were there budgets during covid, did we save some money from covid period?


Julia: Not much left. Because we  had 10 active committees in the past year. There were only 2-3 active committees before covid, .

  • Upcoming events (2’)
    • November Council Meeting
      • Wednesday November 30th at 11:30 pm to 1pm on Zoom