Madhusree Mitra and Mareike Gutensohn.

Madhusree Mitra and Mareike Gutensohn.

Hej everyone! We are Madhusree and Mareike, the current duo leading the Umeå Postdoc Society (UPS) for the next six months. After the recent UPS board election, Madhusree has taken the helm as President, with Mareike stepping up as Vice-President. We are thrilled to lead together UPS together and make postdoc life in Umeå even better!

We are both postdoctoral researchers at the Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC).

Madhusree: I joined the Department of forest genetics and plant physiology, UPSC, at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in 2021 as a postdoc. My research focuses on exploring novel linkages between polysaccharides and lipids in the plant cell wall using mass spectrometry. I have been an active UPS member since 2022.

Mareike: I’ve been living in Umeå for almost six years. My PhD at the Department of chemistry brought me from Germany to Umeå, and since last autumn, I started as a Postdoc at the Swedish Metabolomics Centre within UPSC. My research focus on mass spectrometry method development for plant metabolites.

Our Vision for UPS

For the upcoming months, we have big plans to enhance the postdoc experience in Umeå. Research is important, but it’s not the only part of our lives as young career researchers. Our vision is to improve career development and work-life balance for all postdocs here.

What is Happening?

Fun and Social Events: Our social events office keeps things lively with pub nights, hikes, improv club, and board game nights. These activities are great ways to connect with postdocs from various departments all year round.

Professional Development: We are also focused on career development with workshops on grant writing and career planning. As postdocs, we don’t get the same level of support as PhD students since we’re considered as independent researchers. Our goal is to bridge that gap and provide support for us young researchers.

Mental Health: From our surveys, we know many postdocs struggle with mental health issues. Therefore, our last Postdoc Day focused on mental health, featuring related activities and lectures. Keeping mind and body balanced is key to being a joyful researcher!

Coming Up: This autumn, we’re organizing the Postdoc Retreat, a yearly tradition all about mingling, connecting, and having fun. It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and recharge.

Who do We Represent?

Anyone with a PhD degree but not in a PI position is considered a postdoc by UPS. We represent postdocs from both UMU and SLU (Umeå campus). However, all our social events (except the retreat) are open to everyone affiliated to UMU or SLU.

Become One of Us!

The UPS is a diverse group of people from all over the world, working voluntarily to make life better for postdocs. We’re always looking for new motivated members! Check out our webpage, connect with us, and join the fun!

Glad midsommar and all the best from the Umeå Postdoc Society presidency office!