The Postdoctoral Association of Colorado (PAC) was formed in 2004 to serve the needs of individuals holding postdoctoral positions at the University of Colorado Boulder or in the national labs collaborating on campus research projects. The PAC is an association run by postdocs for postdocs. Our goal is to create an environment that fosters professional advancement through programming, support services, and networking opportunities for all Postdocs (and to have a little fun along the way!).
The Research & Innovation Office and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Colorado at Boulder placed supports for postdoctoral fellows under the Graduate Teacher Program in 2003. An initial Postdoc focus group requested that the university provide professional development to address Postdoc's unique needs and positions, specifying a focus on training for faculty and research positions, job search support, research team management techniques, and an introduction to nonacademic or alternative career paths for individuals who hold the doctorate. Because the Graduate Teacher Program offers extensive preparing future faculty activities and two certificates in teaching at the university level as well as a Professional Development Certificate for Business, Government, Industry, and the Arts, postdoctoral fellows were referred to the Graduate Teacher Program for training in teaching.
In 2004, CU Boulder joined a national survey effort on postdoctoral fellows led by Sigma XI. Survey data on the 50 institutions surveyed, as well as answers to the 17 questions posed locally to postdoctoral fellows in the Boulder area, underscored the need to provide professional development for both academic and nonacademic careers for postdoctoral fellows. In 2004, we created the Postdoctoral Association of Colorado (PAC) to give a public face to our support for postdocs in the Boulder area. Postdoctoral fellows at the University of Colorado at Boulder and in the National Labs are welcome to attend teacher training activities through the Graduate Teacher Program and to participate in all Postdoctoral Association of Colorado activities.
In 2011, the PAC, originally working with the graduate school, moved to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research (OVCR) under administrative supervision of Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, Patricia Rankin.
In 2016, the PAC is facing a new page of its history with the creation of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA). The PAC and OPA are now working together to enhance the postdoctoral experience on campus.