Postdoctoral Research

The University of Kansas offers professional research training, career development, and other opportunities for postdoctoral scholars across a wide range of disciplines.
A researcher fills a syringe with water during fieldwork at the Konza Prairie
Two women discuss over notes while on a research trip in Tanzania
Two molecular biosciences researchers work together in a lab

KU Postdoc Association

The mission of the KU Postdoc Association is to provide support for postdoctoral scholars on the University of Kansas Lawrence campus in aspects of their professional research training, career development and overall well-being. To fulfill this mission, KUPA will: 

  • Promote an interdisciplinary collaborative community of postdoctoral researchers at KU and foster productivity, novel ideas and promote a scholastic environment centered in self, professional and institutional development by providing network events, professional development workshops, and sharing of research being completed within the institution through regular discussions, meetings, talks, seminars and symposia. 
  • Foster an environment of inclusion and equal representation for KU’s diverse postdoc research community by working collaboratively with departmental and college-wide diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging organizations and committees. 
  • Act as a bridge between KU postdoctoral researchers within different departments to help share ideas and knowledge and promote an environment of inclusion. 
  • Create awareness and collect information and resources to support new postdoctoral researchers' transition from international, out-of-state and regional institutions to KU's Lawrence campus.  

Contact the KU Postdoc Association if you have any questions or are interested in getting involved.

Contact KU Postdoc Association

KU's National Postdoctoral Association Membership

KUPA leadership team

Srivatsan (Sri) Parthasarathy

Srivatsan (Sri) Parthasarathy

Vaishnavi Nagarajan

Vaishnavi Nagarajan

Apoorva Ranjekar

Apoorva Ranjekar

KU Postdoc Association leadership team

Srivatsan (Sri) Parthasarathy is president of the KU Postdoc Association and a molecular virologist in the Department of Molecular Biosciences. His research focuses on understanding the molecular pathways that coronaviruses use to cause infections and the immune mechanisms by which hosts (humans and other animals) resist these viral infections. Dr. Parthasarathy completed his Ph.D. at the University of Kansas in December 2020. His interest in microbiology stemmed from his doctoral studies, when he explored how a beneficial gut bacterium, Enterococcus faecalis, becomes pathogenic and causes hospital-acquired infections in humans. His work has led to several publications in high-impact peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Parthasarathy is known for his ability to communicate his research through talks and seminars, which has resulted in several honors, including the 2019 Borgendale Award, given to graduate students in molecular biosciences for outstanding research presentations. He was also a keynote speaker at the 2023 Nidovirus Conference in Montreux, Switzerland, where he presented his research findings. He is active in extracurricular clubs and activities and served as treasurer of the KU Jayhawks Cricket Club in 2019-20. Dr. Parthasarathy enjoys playing cricket and working out. He is also an avid member of several off-campus clubs and is known to contribute positively to a number of community and outreach events.     

Vaishnavi Nagarajan is a postdoctoral researcher in Michael Wolfe’s lab in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry. As a molecular biologist, her interest revolves around answering scientific questions about neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. She developed a C. elegans model of the disease to interrogate how familial Alzheimer’s disease mutations cause neurodegeneration. She has had immense interest in neurobiology since high school and always looked for opportunities to expand her expertise in the field and contribute to the scientific community. Dr. Nagarajan’s research expertise has resulted in several honors, such as the Robert F. Weaver Fellowship in 2012 and the Cassandra Ritter Award in 2014.

In addition to her research interests, Dr. Nagarajan has a passion for teaching. She believes research and teaching work together in contributing to the growth of science. She has experience teaching undergrad lecture courses on gene expression, and genetics and lab courses on mammalian physiology and principles of human physiology to hundreds of students. She has won several accolades, including the Best Graduate Teaching Assistant Award in 2018.

After earning her undergraduate degree in India, her desire to learn about molecular pathways and interactions brought her to KU’s Department of Molecular Biosciences, where she completed her doctorate in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. Apart from her role as a researcher, Dr. Nagarajan serves as vice president of the KU Postdoctoral Association, where she is involved in supporting KU postdocs by setting up workshops and seminars for professional/career development and organizing events to promote social well-being across the postdoc community.

Apoorva is a postdoctoral researcher affiliated to the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis and works at KU-Innovation Park in West campus. He is currently working on a project for the catalytic conversion of sugar derivatives into value-added chemicals. Prior to joining here as a postdoc, he has designed and taught Energy Technology courses at the Centre for Energy Studies, Savitribai Phule Pune University, India. His past research has focused on sustainable hydrogen production using steam reforming of alcohols, its comparison, analysis, and catalyst development. He also comes with immense experience in administrative and organizational roles as he has served in several executive association and has organized professional events like international conferences.

Follow the KU Postdoc Association

KU Postdoc Association Travel Awards

The KU Postdoc Association will begin accepting applications for research travel awards on Jan. 1, 2024. These funds provide $500 to help cover the cost of travel to conferences, workshops or other professional development opportunities for any postdoctoral researcher on KU's Lawrence campus. Funds can be used for transportation, accommodations and registration. The number of available awards is limited.

  • You must be employed as a KU postdoctoral researcher on the KU Lawrence campus at the time of application and award dispersal.
  • Only one award per person per academic year. 
  • Travel must be to a conference, workshop or other professional development opportunity.
  • Applications can only be submitted for travel that will occur in the future.
  • Applications will be funded until funds are exhausted.
  • Awards will be competitive and allocated to applicants from a wide range of research backgrounds.
  • The application period opens Jan. 1 and continues through April 30.
  • Fill out the Qualtrics form to submit your application


Application review

  • Begins Jan. 1

  • Closes April 30

Join the National Postdoc Association

KU is an organizational member of the National Postdoctoral Association. Lawrence campus postdocs can become affiliate members for free.
Aerial view of campus with National Postdoctoral Association logo

Benefits of NPA membership

There are nearly 100 postdocs on KU’s Lawrence campus contributing in significant ways to research, scholarship, creative activity and innovation. We value the diverse ideas, expertise and perspectives you bring to the KU research community.


In 2022, the Office of Research became an organizational member of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), which entitles KU postdocs to become affiliate members of the NPA for free. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.


Signing up is simple. Just visit the NPA website, select the “Affiliate Individual Member, Postdoc” option, and follow the registration process. Once you click “Submit,” NPA staff will review your affiliate membership, and you will receive an email when it has been approved.

As an NPA affiliate member, you are entitled to these benefits:

  • Connect with fellow postdocs across the country through the NPA network.
  • Learn from subject-matter experts how to navigate pressing issues, from career exploration to improving health and well-being.
  • Empower your career by volunteering with the NPA to grow leadership skills and your networks.
  • Access NPA resources, including a boutique postdoc career center and tools for postdocs and organizations.
  • Participate in research that tracks evolving issues impacting the postdoc community.
  • Support the national voice of postdocs and postdoc offices on critical policy issues, such as immigration.
  • Reduced registration fees to the NPA Annual Conference and eligibility for the NPA travel award program.
Three engineering researchers stand in front of a KU race car and examine it

Postdoc positions at KU

Visit KU's employment website to view open postdoc positions. Enter the term "postdoc" in the search bar on the staff job postings page.

Find postdoc positions

Postdoctoral Achievement Award Winners

Graphic with text reading, "Research Postdoctoral Achievement Award. Georgios Krintiras. Postdoctoral Researcher. Physics & Astronomy."

Georgios Konstantinos Krintiras

Physics & Astronomy
A graphic shows Vadim Karatayev on the right and on the left reads, "Postdoctoral Achievement Award, Vadim Karatayev, Postdoc Researcher, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology."

Vadim Karatayev

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
A graphic shows Yousef Alhammad on the right, and a photo of a hand motioning toward vials in a lab on the left. The graphic reads, "Yousef Alhammad, 2022 KU Research Postdoctoral Achievement Award."

Yousef Alhammad

Molecular Biosciences
A graphic shows Anna Wallisch on the right and reads on the left, "Anna Wallisch, 2021 KU Research Postdoctoral Achievement Award"

Anna Wallisch

Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, Life Span Institute

Nominate an outstanding postdoc

Nominations due Nov. 1
The Postdoc Achievement Award comes with $5K for research or professional development
Learn more