Being a successful postdoc professional is like performing an experiment that requires a lot of homework and a trial & error phase. Unfortunately, the methods are not written down, but finding out your own career pathway is part of each postdoc experience. The KI Post-doctorate Association (KIPA) was founded ten years ago and has been looking for post-doctorates well-being and representing these in community agreements.
Somehow, worldwide, a postdoc is considered a transitional phase, where Ph.D. graduates look forward to getting more specialized skills that could yield later into a professional career, either in the academy or the industry. This is distinctive compared to most professions, as soon as they graduate, travel to the industry to work. Reaching the goal of a successful post-doctorate requires that the person develops academic and professional skills while still under the supervision of an experienced researcher. However, as with every transition in life, this is not an isolated process and needs a lot of peer support and networking. Therefore, through KIPA, we provide each post-doctorate a place to develop and reinforce those skills.
In KIPA, we have been working almost every day to provide the necessary tools for an accomplished career for everyone in our network. We have a newsletter, webinar, parties, board games, networking activities, teaching opportunities, and many other activities, that provide you with a broad variety of events that everyone can enjoy. It not only brings more diversity to the laboratory routine but gives a warm environment to our career as postdocs. We want you to remember your postdoc years with memories of all the good people you met here.
If you are more interested in scientific policies and advocacy, we do have the advocacy and representation working group which looks forward to ensuring better working conditions and institutional representation for KI postdocs. The biggest milestone each year is to create a survey and analyze the needs of the postdocs in KI, so we can understand each one’s reality and work towards it.
If you are more engaged about career opportunities, we also have the professional development working group which works to create training and career planning opportunities for KI postdocs. Among the biggest events, we are providing a seminar series about careers inside and outside of academia. Alongside we also provide workshops regarding career orientation and grant writing. This is a big opportunity to join and talk with professionals in both fields, and, at the same time, increase your networking for further cooperation.
We of course also have the community building working group, which works to bring the KI postdoctoral community closer together and allow postdocs to socialize. If you like to know more brilliant postdocs and share experiences or common interests, you should be in tune with all the activities programmed by the community building group.
Finally, we also look forward to ensuring equal opportunities for KI postdocs, regardless of age, gender, ability, sex, sexuality, ethnicity, culture, or religion. The Diversity and Inclusion Officer’s primary goal is to help create a fair and equitable culture at the university.
We understand that many of us needed to move countries in order to pursue our scientific dream or career development. Sometimes it can be challenging when we add the workload that comes with the scientific work and publication stress. Hence, that is why you should join KIPA. Not only to pursue networking and meeting peers but also because here you are provided with the tools to take the next step forward in your career.
I personally enjoy working and cooperating with so many talented people around me. I enjoy being a project manager and helping others to accomplish their goals. That is one of our purposes in this world, isn’t it? Help each other to grow. I am lucky that all my peers on the board are so devoted to their roles and so good at them! Every workshop, every event, and every newsletter contains hours, days, or even months of planning, collaboration, and communication between our members. I have learned a lot from them, and I think you can also learn a lot from us along. I hope we can continue working to make KIPA a better place for everyone.
Some useful links where you can find more information about us, and join us in our activities:
KI website: https://staff.ki.se/ki-postdoc-association
KIPA website: https://kipostdocassociation.org/
We look forward to hearing from you!
Andrea C. del Valle
Chair, KIPA 2022