Now we are Northwestern Postdoctoral Association: Starting in September 2018 we replaced our old name of Northwestern Postdoctoral Forum.
We have become much more than a forum: While our organization is officially recognized by Northwestern, and still regularly meets with university officials, our actions have increasingly become centered around the professional development of postdocs and social activities to form a community across all departments of Northwestern. Coinciding with the change of our name from forum to association, we introduce several new ways to become involved. These include loose contributions that do not require participation in committee meetings.
Some ways to improve the postdoc experience lie beyond Northwestern: Many postdoc related issues can be solved locally and by our community of volunteers. However, other issues may be best addressed more broadly, and outside of the possibilities of a university. Hence we are also a member of the National Postdoc Association, which represents 40,000 postdocs and develops guidelines for postdocs together with funding agencies. Northwestern and our group yearly celebrate the National Postdoc Appreciation week organized by the National Postdoc Association – also this September.
NUPF is unpronounceable: We commonly referred to the Northwestern Postdoctoral Forum as NUPF, which is difficult to pronounce, and - worse - made it difficult for new postdocs to recognize who we are.