In Morehead Planetarium on Wednesday, UNC postdoctoral scholars and their families gathered to celebrate the 2023 National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW).
Postdocs are scholars who have already finished their doctoral degree, Essie Torres, the interim director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, said. Beyond personal research and discovery, she said scholars have innovative ideas, provide different perspectives and assist faculty with their research.
Free headshots, a board game social and a “Postdoc Planetarium Show” were some of the events the OPA and the UNC Postdoctoral Association organized in celebration of NPAW.
The UNC PDA is a peer-led volunteer organization that supports UNC postdocs.
In a campus-wide email, Penny Gordon-Larsen, vice chancellor for research, said that NPAW is a “nationally recognized celebration of the contributions postdoctoral scholars make toward U.S. research and discovery.”
The email also encouraged faculty mentors to celebrate their postdoc scholars on Thursday, Sept. 21.
Larsen said that there are 950 postdocs working in a range of disciplines across the University.
“Our postdocs really contribute to Carolina being one of the leading research institutions in the U.S. and globally,” she said.
During NPAW, to recognize these contributions, the OPA helped organize a career panel in the social sciences and a panel for postdocs who are interested in career paths in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.