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Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Association (PGA)

  • From left to right- Back row: Per Hydbring, Neil McCarthy , Yang Wang, Patrick Grossmann, Tobias Otto, Michael Spellberg. Middle Row: Josephine Hai, Siddha Kasar, Jennifer Spangle, Anne Fassl, Alison Taylor. Front Row: Nadia Hassounah, Joyce O’Connell, Michalina Janiszewska, Meghan Bushway

    The Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Association (PGA) at Dana-Farber was founded in February 2005 by a group of postdoctoral fellows with the guidance and support of the Postdoc and Graduate Student Affairs Office (PGSAO). The PGSAO supports PGA initiatives by serving as a liaison between postdocs/grad students and the Institute.

    The PGA aims to build a strong postdoc and grad student community with the ultimate goal of improving the postdoc and grad student experience at Dana-Farber on several levels (i.e., scientific, professional, social, etc.) through training, mentorship and organized activities. Postdocs and grad students who have their primary appointment at Dana-Farber are automatically members of the PGA.

    Mission and Principles

    The mission of Dana-Farber's PGA is to address the needs and concerns of individuals affiliated with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute who hold a doctoral degree but are not tenure-track faculty, and grad students.

    The Dana-Farber PGA will support and advocate for postdocs and grad students at Dana-Farber in all aspects of their professional research training and career development.

    Members will strive to promote interactions among Dana-Farber postdocs and grad students on an academic, social and cultural basis, while assisting the PGSAO in this endeavor.

    The PGA will act as a liaison between the postdoc/grad student populations at large and the PGSAO to represent the interests of postdocs and grad students.

    All actions of Dana-Farber PGA shall be undertaken without discrimination on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability.

    Committees

    The PGA has six core committees:

    • Advocacy
    • Mentoring
    • Newsletter
    • Retreat
    • Seminars
    • Social

    Bylaws

    The PGA bylaws were assembled by the PGA to give a defined structure and organization to our association.

    PGA Bylaws

    In addition, the PGA has outlined a set of current and future goals that we hope to achieve in the next few years.

    Goals

    Current Goals

    1. Organization of an annual retreat for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students
    The PGA will continue to organize this valuable event to build a stronger postdoctoral and graduate student community while also striving to increase active participation in the retreat. The PGA will continue to recognize outstanding oral and poster presentations by offering awards.

    2. Mentoring
    The PGA will continue to have an active role in recognizing exceptional mentoring and improving mentorship opportunities at Dana-Farber.

    3. Alumni Network
    The PGA will use established social networking websites to identify DFCI alumni who are willing to give talks, participate in PGSAO seminars, or provide career and networking guidance to current Dana-Farber postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.

    4. Salary and benefits
    The PGA will continue to advocate for postdoctoral fellows to receive (a) better pay and (b) equal benefits, regardless of funding source.

    5. Increase active participation in the PGA
    The PGA will continue to provide information about our association to new and existing postdoctoral fellows and graduate students in order to encourage their involvement within the PGA.

    6. Periodic review of the PGA bylaws
    The PGA will continue to examine and revise our bylaws on a regular basis in order to reflect the changing needs of the PGA.

    Future Goals

    1. Network with other LMA/Boston postdoc associations
    The PGA should establish strong relationships with other postdoctoral associations within the Boston area so that we can learn how to speak with a collective voice for issues that matter to us as a population.

    2. Fundraising for events and awards
    The PGA hopes to establish and maintain relationships with the Dana-Farber Development Office in order to obtain independent financial support to fund PGA-sponsored events, internal fellowships, and travel awards.

    3. Child care
    The PGA should advocate for more inexpensive daycare for the Dana-Farber postdoctoral community.

    Meetings

    The PGA meets on the first Thursday of every month from 1:00-2:00 p.m., excluding holidays. Please email the PGA to find out the conference room location of their next meeting.

    We welcome your active participation! If you would like to get involved in the PGA, please come to one of our meetings, or email one of the co-chairs listed below.

    PGA Leadership

    If you have general questions about the PGA or how to get involved, email dfci_pga@dfci.harvard.edu or the 2019 PGA co-chairs directly: Sondra Downey and Tiki Hayes.