ORNL has an active postdoc association that fosters a sense of community among our postdoctoral research staff and connects our postdocs to the larger community inside and outside of ORNL. The Oak Ridge Postdoctoral Association (ORPA) advocates for the postdoctoral community with ORNL leadership; facilitates career development; plans well-being and social events; and creates opportunities, such as the annual postdoc research symposium, for postdocs and scientists across the Laboratory to interact and share information.
ORPA accomplishes its activities through an Executive Committee (ORPEX) whose members head the New Hire, Social, Outreach, and Research committees. ORPEX members also lead communication, advocacy, and cross-lab networking and collaboration initiatives. ORNL encourages all postdocs to be active in ORPA. To reach the current executive committee, email ORPEX@ornl.gov.
New Hire Committee
The New Hire Committee introduces new postdocs to the ORPA community, increases awareness of ORPA among the ORNL research community, and maintains a strong connection between the Executive Committee and all postdocs. New hire affairs include greeting ORNL’s new postdocs electronically, including them on the postdoc email list for future communication, and organizing meetings with ORPEX members. The Communication Chair ensures that postdocs across campus stay up to date on ORPA events and other news. The chair administers an ORNL-hosted internal website and sends out a monthly electronic newsletter and group emails.
The Outreach Committee connects postdocs with similar interests by offering in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities within and outside of ORNL. Our postdocs also partner with the ORNL’s community engagement programs and other community development efforts. ORPA has worked with a wide array of organizations, including YO! STEM and Oak Ridge Computer Science Girls.
The Research Committee introduces postdocs to ORNL’s cutting-edge research. ORPA hosts a monthly seminar series with distinguished researchers at ORNL and from other academic/industry organizations, who share insights into their research. In addition, an annual research symposium is held every summer, which allows postdoc researchers from ORNL and partner universities to share their research.