Minority Postdoc Summit

Postdoctoral research is a critical step in a scientific career. However this stage is often poorly defined resulting in a vulnerable part of a scientist’s career development. Can current minority postdoctoral fellowships serve as a model for enhancing the training for all postdocs? The Summit provided a forum for postdocs, funding organizations, and academic institutions to discuss issues, solutions, and outcomes concerning the postdoctoral experience. The long-term goal is to improve the recruitment, mentoring, and success of minority postdocs thereby facilitating the diversification of the scientific workforce. The short-term objective of the Summit was to network and brainstorm among participants to create annual career development opportunities for minority postdocs. The summary of the recent Diversity breakout session at the COSEPUP convocation served as talking points for the Summit. The Summit occurred October 21, 2004 preceding the 31st annual SACNAS conference in Austin, TX.

Download slide presentations by taking our Reader Survey to have access to our member-only content.

Topic Areas


Alberto I. Roca, Ph.D., Summit Chair
University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California-Irvine
Welcome, overview, acknowledgements

Arti Patel, Ph.D., M.P.H.
National Postdoctoral Association’s Diversity Committee, Chair
Cancer Prevention Postdoctoral Fellow, National Cancer Institute

Juana Rudati, Ph.D.
SACNAS Postdoc Special Interest Group, Chair
Postdoctoral Researcher, Argonne National Laboratory


Shirley Malcom, Ph.D.
Director, Education & Human Resources Programs, AAAS
“Science and Engineering: Having a Career and Having a Life”

Panel 1: Postdoctoral Fellowships Devoted to Diversity

Jerry Bryant, Ph.D.
Fellowships Director, UNCF/Merck Science Initiative
UNCF/Merck Postdoctoral Science Research Fellowships

Carlos Garza, Ph.D.
Research Geneticist, NOAA - National Marine Fisheries Service
University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Christine O’Brien
Program Supervisor, Ford Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Research Council
Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Diversity Fellowships

Muriel Poston, Ph.D.
Acting Deputy Division Director, DBI/BIO, National Science Foundation
NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

Panel 2: Academic Institutions Championing Diversity

Charles Ambler, Ph.D.
Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, University of Texas-El Paso

Saundra Johnson, Ph.D.
National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities (GEM) (13 MB file!)

Joel Oppenheim, Ph.D.
Leadership Alliance, New York University School of Medicine

Panel 3: Majority Funding Organizations

Judith Nyquist, Ph.D.
National Research Council Associateship (Postdoctoral) Programs

Clifton Poodry, Ph.D.
Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE)
NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) (presentation not available)

Anthony Rene, Ph.D.
NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Michael Sesma, Ph.D.
NIH National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)


Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), Diversity Committee
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)


Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Office of Public Affairs

Who Should Attend

Individuals who recognizes that fostering the career of minority postdocs is key to diversifying the scientific workforce. These include representatives from fundraising organizations, diversity committees in professional science societies, mentoring societies, academic institutions, minority networking organizations, and policy organizations. We encourage minority scientists who attend to provide testimonials by reflecting on their own postdoctoral experiences.

Last updated 24-Jul-2012,
Originally published 11-May-2004