Bylaws of the University of Nevada, Reno Postdoctoral Association

Approved December 2022



  • The University of Nevada, Reno Postdoctoral Association (UNRPA) was founded.
  • Created Executive Leadership Board of Directors: Executive, Operational, Communication and Technology, Community, and Finance Director.
  • Granted funding for the Postdoctoral Academic & Industry Career Empowerment (PAICE) Program.
  • 108 postdoctoral scholars at the University.


  • Increased minimum postdoctoral salaries.
  • Restructuring of leadership positions and descriptions.
  • Created bylaws.
  • 101 postdoctoral scholars at the University.

Part I: Name and Purpose

  1. The name of this organization shall be the University of Nevada, Reno Postdoctoral Association (UNRPA).
  2. The UNRPA is a volunteer organization formed by University postdocs in 2021.
  3. The UNRPA seeks to provide resources, information, and representation for postdocs at the University. The UNRPA also strives to improve the postdoctoral experience both at the University and in academia by supporting postdocs in their transitions to and from the University, enhancing their research and training opportunities while here, and advocating for the inclusive and equitable transformation of academia. The UNRPA closely collaborates with the University’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

Part II: Membership

  1. All postdoctoral scholars with a current University of Nevada, Reno appointment in a postdoctoral title are automatically full members.
  2. A postdoctoral scholar is defined by NSF and NIH as an individual who has received a doctoral degree (or equivalent) and is engaged in a temporary and defined period of mentored advanced training to enhance the professional skills and research independence needed to pursue their chosen career path.

Part III: Leadership Team Positions and Duties

  1. The following Leadership Team (Officers) will be appointed by the active UNRPA members: the Chair, the Operations Manager, the Events and Social Media Coordinator, and the Finance Officer. All members of the UNRPA are eligible to run for vacant Leadership Team seats.
  2. No elections are necessary if only one individual volunteers for a position.
  3. The nomination process for new leadership members typically begins mid-December and runs until mid-January. The nominated candidates will provide a short statement to the UNRPA Leadership Team, which will be forwarded for elections by all UNRPA members (via e-mail) in the second half of January.
  4. Appointments for Officers of the Leadership Team are for one year (February 1st - January 31st), confirmed by a letter of appointment or email. Officers are expected to serve as advisors to their successors for the next month following the conclusion of their term.
  5. Officers who are no longer able to perform their duties shall notify the Chair in writing and can be replaced by extemporaneous elections if needed.
  6. An individual can serve for any number of elected terms in any combination of positions.
  7. Officers are expected to attend all Leadership Team meetings (in person or virtually).

    If a member fails to attend three meetings in a row, without prior notification to the Operations Manager, he or she will be notified in writing by the Chair that they are no longer an active member of the Leadership Team. An officer can be removed in case of inconsistent values with the Bylaws of the UNRPA or failures of his/her duty.
  8. Descriptions and duties of responsible officers in the Leadership Team:
    1. The Chair oversees the effective running of the association with close support from the officers. A key focus of this position is enhancing postdoc recognition and the association’s long-term sustainability within the university environment through advancing relationships with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, administration, relevant faculty, student groups, and associations, as the official representative of UNRPA. Further, the Chair collaboratively networks with postdoctoral associations and other relevant higher education stakeholders. Within the association, the Chair provides strong leadership and guidance in developing actionable initiatives that contribute to the association's longer-term strategic directions.
    2. The Operations Manager will acquire all the Chair's responsibilities when the Chair is unable to perform them and assist in fulfilling the Chair's duties as needed, through agreement with the Chair. Other duties include managing meeting agendas and minutes, and disseminating a draft of these minutes to UNRPA members via the e-mail listserv (or another form of communication, e.g., Slack Channel) before the next meeting, and the efficient archiving of information. The incumbent provides administrative support to the association’s endeavors and relevant stakeholders, including that relevant information, is communicated to postdoc members.
    3. The Events and Social Media Coordinator develops initiatives and resources to enhance the postdoctoral experience at the University, by creating opportunities for professional development and networking for postdoctoral scholars, in addition to organizing events that raise the profile of postdocs and highlight their work at the campus scale. Responsibilities of this position include community-building both within the postdoctoral community, and within the larger University community including students, staff, and faculty. Other responsibilities include developing and maintaining the Postdoctoral Association’s communications channels and online outreach activities.
    4. The Finance Officer is responsible for the financial status of the Association. The incumbent will manage and monitor the expenditure of funding and provide regular reporting on the financial health of the Association to the directors and relevant University parties and maintain compliance with university regulations. A key focus of this position is to develop initiatives that enhance the association’s financial health and longevity, including developing alternative and non-traditional mechanisms to obtain funding that lie outside of the University.

Part IV: Members’ meetings and Voting

  1. Agenda and meeting time/location shall be announced via e-mail or other communication platforms (e.g., Slack channel).
  2. Additional agenda items can be recommended to the Chair by any UNRPA member up to one day before the meeting.
  3. Each meeting starts with a review of the previous minutes. The Chair shall ask if there are any comments or additions. After general consent, the Chair shall lead the agenda and give a voice to each responsible officer or representative mentioned in the agenda. A record of meetings and agreements should be tracked.
  4. The Chair may make, or call upon others to make announcements. Also, members can make any announcements briefly.
  5. Voting motions can be made by any member when the Chair considers it appropriate.
  6. Decisions shall be made by majority vote.

Part V: Non-Discrimination and Diversity Statement

These Bylaws, the elected officers, and all members shall not discriminate against any individual or organization on account of race, gender (including pregnancy, gender identity or expression), person’s age, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability. UNRPA seeks to promote diversity and ensure equal opportunity and inclusion for all Postdoctoral Scholars, in the membership, leadership, and activities of UNRPA.

Part VI: Review of Bylaws

  1. The bylaws can be reviewed by the UNRPA at any time and at least once per year.
  2. Proposed changes to the bylaws can be made by any member. The proposed changes shall be presented via e-mail to all Leadership Officers unable to attend and voted upon at the next meeting.