By-laws of the UConn Health and JAX Genomic Medicine Postdoctoral Association (UJPDA)
Foundation, Mission and Goals
Section I: Foundation
The UConn Health Postdoctoral Association was established in 2016. Membership was officially extended to postdocs at The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) Genomic Medicine in 2017, thereby establishing the UConn Health–JAX Postdoctoral Association (UJPDA). The UJPDA aims to be a self-sustaining organization that will support all postdoctoral fellows (postdocs) employed by UConn Health or JAX Genomic Medicine throughout their appointments.
Section II: Mission and Goals – Connect. Communicate. Collaborate.
The UJPDA will liaise between postdocs and the faculty and administration of UConn-JAX, in order to enhance all aspects of the postdoctoral training experience, and foster a sense of community that promotes and encourages an environment of peer support.
The UJPDA will aid incoming postdoctoral trainees as they integrate into the UConn-JAX community as well as maintain an alumni network of past postdocs.
The UJPDA will support postdocs’ professional development by connecting them to UConn Health resources and organizing professional and career development activities.
The UJPDA will help to ensure that individuals are welcomed and included in higher education environments regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, gender, nationality, cultural background, religion, or beliefs.
Subsection I: Definition
The members of the UJPDA include any postdoctoral trainee or fellow based at the Farmington UConn – JAX campus.
Subsection II: Membership
Membership includes three categories:
(a) Executive Board – consisting of six elected officers members: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Social events Coordinator and Webmaster.
(b) Supporting Committee Officers – consisting of designated Floor Reps and other appointed officers.
(c) General Members – who are all the remaining members of the UJPDA.
Any General Member is eligible to serve as an Executive or Supporting Officer in any capacity. New Supporting Offices can be created by demand. All officers are expected to join a forum (currently the Google Group) for discussion among postdocs. General Members may also join the Google Group if they wish.
Executive board, duties, and terms of office
(a) Elected Executive Board Officers
- President: The president will keep UJPDA projects on track, stay informed of policy and guidelines relevant to postdocs, liaise with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) and the National Postdoc Association (NPA), and provide a vision and direction for the UJPDA.
- Vice-President: The vice-president will assist the president, liaise with other officers, and serve as a president-in-training.
- Secretary: The secretary will prepare agendas with input from members and officers, record and disseminate meeting minutes, and liaise with members.
- Treasurer: The treasurer will manage events (in particular, order food for monthly postdoctoral seminars), coordinate with OPA, organize charity or action events in collaboration with University Health Professionals (UHP), and write budgets, including justifying expenses for traveling speakers.
- Social Events Coordinator: The social events coordinator will plan social events (make reservations, invite members, and help attendees locate the group), including happy hours once per month or so.
- Webmaster: The webmaster will maintain the UJPDA website and/or the UJPDA tab on the OPA website, including up-to-date information about business and general meetings, seminars, social events, and life for postdocs in the area.
(b) Support Committee Officers
- Floor/Area Representatives: This team welcomes new postdocs in their areas and helps to answer any questions they might have. They communicate concerns to leadership and relay suggested meeting topics.
- UHP Representatives: This team shall attend UHP rep meetings (once per month, currently at noon at the cafeteria’s Onyiuke dining room), takes note of relevant topics for postdocs, and communicates important information to the membership. UHP Reps will also join the UHP contract negotiation team and prepare proposals for changes in contract language relevant to postdocs.
- Career Development Event Coordinator: This officer could, for example, assist OPA with career development events, organize a grant-writing supporting group, or organize career development events with invited speakers.
- HR Liaison: Ideally these two officers, one international and one national, will liaise with HR and ensure that important information about visas is easily accessible to international postdocs.
- Community Outreach Team: This team can work with the UHP Community Outreach team on existing actions (back-to-school supplies collection, Thanksgiving events, Christmas baskets, winter clothes donations, book collection for hospital patients, etc.).
(c) General members Duties
- All members must observe the by-laws of the UJPDA.
- All members are encouraged to petition or propose policy initiatives to the Executive Board, get involved in the Supporting Committee, and vote in Officer Elections.
Executive Board Officers Elections & Support Committee Officers Nominations
(a) Election process:
- General Elections shall be held once per year in May.
- All Officers shall be elected for a term of one year, beginning in August, following a Transition Period since the elections.
- Outgoing officers shall provide formal notice to the Executive Board of the date of their last day in office.
- To be eligible for the position of President, a UJPDA Member must have previously served as an UJPDA Officer for a minimum of 60 days or have attended a minimum of one third of all PDA monthly General Meetings within a 12-month period immediately preceding the election.
- All members of the UJPDA, including officers, may nominate another member or be nominated by another member for other offices.
- Officers may be re-elected to positions held in a previous term or to new positions.
- Should the President leave office before elections have been held, the Vice-President shall take their place. Should another officer leave office before elections have been held, including the Vice-President in the previous case, the Executive Board shall appoint a replacement. Should an officer leave after elections, the incoming officer shall take their place.
- Should no member be nominated for a vacated office, the Executive Board shall decide whether to appoint a member to the office, hold the office vacant until a nomination is made and a special election held, or dissolve the office. (The office may always be restored later through the usual nomination process.)
- Outgoing officers (at any time of the year) shall complete a report detailing their accomplishments, ongoing initiatives, and feedback for future officers.
- When possible, outgoing officers should meet with incoming officers to discuss the position, offer guidance and assistance in taking on responsibilities, transfer knowledge, access relevant resources, etc.
Business Meetings and General Meetings
(a) Business Meetings: shall be held once per month for one hour. Agendas shall be prepared by the Executive Board with input from supporting officers and general members, and shall conclude with an open comment period for anyone present to contribute. All elected officers should be present if possible, and attendance shall be open to all postdocs.
(b) General Meetings: shall be held once per month for 30 minutes ahead of the monthly OPA Postdoc Seminar, and optionally on months for which no seminar is scheduled. Meetings will typically consist of brief updates on PDA projects and current events relevant to postdocs and shall conclude with an open comment period for anyone present to contribute. All postdocs should be encouraged to attend.
Adoption of and Amendments to the By-laws
(a) These by-laws shall go into effect upon support by a majority of voters in an online ballot open to all postdocs at UConn Health and Jackson Genomic Medicine.
(b) Changes and amendments to these by-laws may be proposed by any member and brought to a vote either by the Executive Board or by a petition by 12 or more members.