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The purpose of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Postdoctoral Association (WHOI-PDA) is:

  • to provide advice to the WHOI Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean, the WHOI Educational Council, and the WHOI Educational Assembly, and through the Dean and Assembly to the President and Director of WHOI and the WHOI Board of Trustees, about matters pertaining to the WHOI Postdoctoral Program, postdoctoral professional activities, and postdoctoral life at WHOI;
  • to work with the Dean, the Postdoctoral Coordinator, and other staff in the Academics Programs Office and the Human Resources Office to organize activities and informational resources to advance postdoctoral activities and postdoctoral life at WHOI;
  • to provide postdoctoral representatives to the Educational Council and Educational Assembly for purposes of integrating postdoctoral programs into the academic governance of the Institution’s Academic Programs;
  • to further participation in regional, national, and international activities or organizations related to postdoctoral interests.


The WHOI-PDA shall be governed by a group of seven (7) representatives elected from among the WHOI Postdoctoral Scholars, Postdoctoral Fellows, and Postdoctoral Investigators (the electorate) in an election conducted by the Postdoctoral Coordinator of the Academic Programs Office in September of each year. The initial election will occur no more than two (2) months after approval of membership in the Educational Assembly by the WHOI Board of Trustees. The first elected representatives will serve the remainder of the initial election year, plus the following year.

To achieve an equitable and reasonable representation of the interests of all postdoctoral researchers, the elected representatives will be chosen such that each of the five science departments is represented, with the Marine Policy Center also given the opportunity to provide a representative. The remaining representatives will be elected at large from amongst all the eligible voters.

The seven elected members of the WHOI-PDA will be the representatives of the WHOI Postdoctoral Association to the Educational Assembly. The postdoctoral members of the Educational Assembly will elect a representative and an alternate representative to the WHOI Educational Council from amongst themselves.


A two ballot election procedure will be used, with the first ballot (Ballot A) listing current postdoctoral researchers by department, and the second ballot (Ballot B) listing current postdoctoral researchers alphabetically. Voters will select one (1) representative from their own department from Ballot A, and one or two representatives from the alphabetical list on Ballot B. Those receiving the most votes in each department on Ballot A will be declared elected, and their names will be deleted from Ballot B prior to counting that ballot. Ballot B will be counted and the representative(s) with the most votes, not already elected on Ballot A, will be elected.

If an elected postdoctoral researcher declines to serve, the person with the next highest number of votes will be elected. In case of a tie, a chance mechanism will be used to determine the outcome. An Academic Programs Office member will count the ballots in the presence of two postdoctoral witnesses.

Existing members may be reelected. In the case of a vacancy occurring during the tenure of the elected representatives, the individual with the next highest vote count will be appointed to serve the remainder of the vacant term.

The newly elected representatives will select a President, Vice-President, and Secretary/Treasurer from amongst themselves. The elected representatives may establish subcommittees to carry out the purposes of the WHOI-PDA. From time to time, the PDA may designate one of its members to act on its behalf, for purposes of interacting with other persons or groups. The PDA shall develop its own by-laws and operating procedures.

The WHOI-PDA will meet at least once every two months. The PDA will report at least annually to WHOI postdoctoral researchers at an open meeting.


Amendments to this charter may be petitioned by any fifteen percent of the electorate. The proposed amendments must be distributed to the electorate at least thirty (30) days prior to a vote. Amendments must be approved in a secret ballot by a simple majority of the voting electorate.

This charter is to be granted by the Educational Assembly of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, to be reviewed after three years.

This charter is to be granted by the Educational Assembly of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, to be reviewed after three years.