About the Office

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is proud to train over 750 postdoctoral trainees who are performing research in fields ranging from astronomy to the humanities.

Postdocs are vital to UW–Madison’s research enterprise and require specialized mentoring and training resources, support and opportunities that differ from those provided to undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty. The Office of Postdoctoral Studies seeks to address this need.


The UW–Madison Office of Postdoctoral Studies strives to enhance the postdoctoral experience by:

  • Providing postdoctoral trainees with access to robust professional development training.
  • Assisting faculty in the recruitment, mentoring and professional development of postdoctoral trainees.
  • Advocating for postdoctoral trainees and optimizing the postdoctoral training experience.
  • Educating the campus community on issues related to postdoctoral training.
  • Collaborating with local offices and national organizations to address the unique needs of all parties involved in the postdoctoral training enterprise.

Postdocs hold three job titles on our campus: research associate, postdoctoral fellow and postdoctoral trainee.


The SMPH Office of Postdoctoral Studies was formally established in the summer of 2012 by the appointment of Dr. Alan C. Rapraeger, Professor of Human Oncology, as Director. Dr. Rapraeger has over 25 years of experience as an NIH-funded Principal Investigator, a student mentor and a postdoc trainer within SMPH and across the UW–Madison campus. In Fall 2013, Dr. Imogen Hurley was recruited as Assistant Director for the office. Dr. Hurley’s high level expertise in research administration, her scientific training, and her experience as an advocate for postdoctoral affairs during her own postdoctoral studies, equipped her to be uniquely effective in this role. The office was created in order to serve postdocs and their mentors within SMPH, although the services that the office provided were informally available to other schools and colleges across campus.

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (OVCRGE), in partnership with the SMPH, recognized that all UW–Madison postdocs would greatly benefit from the robust set of support services provided by the SMPH Office of Postdoctoral Studies and that such support would better position the UW–Madison as a leading institution for scientific training, and better enable it to compete for federal training grants and other awards. In July 2015, the UW–Madison Office of Postdoctoral Studies was therefore established. At that time, Dr. Alan C. Rapraeger was appointed as Executive Director, Dr. Imogen Hurley as Director and Mr. Andrew Cusick was recruited as Career Development Officer for the office, providing postdocs for the first time with the opportunity to seek professional advice and training on career opportunities and job seeking skills. The office is directly overseen by an Executive Committee, chaired by Dr. Richard L. Moss, SMPH Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Education, who in turn reports to Dr. Marsha Mailick, the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education.

Feedback, questions or accessibility issues: webmaster@postdoc.wisc.edu.
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