Skip to main content
Vanderbilt Background Photo

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs: Events

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs sponsors many events on campus, including grant writing workshops, tips for applying for faculty positions, and other career development activities.  To discover some of the many resources available, select an event below to learn more or search the OPA's Google Calendar .

View OPA's archive of past events.



Teaching 101: A Graduate Student and Postdoc Workshop

Tuesday Feb 5, 9:30 – 11 AM
Vanderbilt Center for Teaching, 3rd Floor Classroom


Have you been thrust into an instructional role for which you feel unprepared? Are you a multi-semester teacher who wants a refresher on some of the basics? Regardless of your teaching experience, this workshop will provide practical, concrete guidance on the mechanics of teaching and classroom presence, with an eye towards small tweaks and adjustments that can have large impacts on classroom dynamics, student learning, and instructor confidence. By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • organize and structure class sessions to maximize student understanding.
  • describe and implement techniques to speak more confidently and present more effectively for student engagement.
  • design and put into practice classroom activities that increase authentic participation and meaningful conversations.

Reserve your spot!

Sponsored by the Center for Teaching

ASPIRE Café for Postdoctoral Fellows: From CV to Resume

Wednesday Feb 6, 9:00 AM
411 CD Light Hall

More information at link above

Sponsored by the BRET Office of Career Development

Sex Ed and Healthy Relationships Week

Feb 11-15


Events through the week:

Monday – Flowers and Foreplay 6 pm, Morgan Reading Room

Tuesday – Unhappily Ever After Bingo: Hollywood’s Suggesstion that Single is Scary, 11 AM, Sarratt 216/220

Tuesday - The 2019 Cuninggim Lecture: 5 (Dirty, Little) Secrets: The Mind-Blowing Science of Sexual Response, 5 PM Sarratt Cinema

Wednesday – Sensual Expression: Activating the Senses to Achieve Non-Sexual Pleasure, Noon, Sarratt 216/220

Wednesday – Involuntary Celibacy and the Perceived Social Stigma of “Not Getting Any” 5 PM Sarratt 216/220

Thursday – Love in the Making: Valentine Crafts and Cookies, Noon, MLC Lounge

Thursday – Living and Loving on Campus: Healthy Relationships at Vanderbilt, 5 PM, Rand 308

Friday – Sex Ed and Healthy Relationships Week’s 5th Birthday Bash, Noon, The Women’s Center


Sponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center

VPA Symposium Planning Committee Meeting

Tuesday, February 12, 12 – 1 PM

Light Hall 350


Volunteers still needed for symposium planning committee. Next meeting this Thursday. Save the date: Annual Symposium April 9th in Student Life Center

The Hate Within: A townhall on homophobia and transphobia in the black community

Tuesday Feb 12, 6 PM
Black Cultural Center


Join us as we discuss homophobia and transphobia in the black community. RSVP.


Sponsored by the Bishop Joseph Black Cultural Center, the Office of LGBTQi Life, and Lambda Association

Project and Time Management for Postdocs

Thursday, February 14th, 12:00 – 1 PM
Light Hall 419


Ever felt like you couldn’t get a handle on your research or projects? Have you felt that you needed more hours in the day? Well, this seminar is for you. As PhDs, we pride ourselves in being good project managers but how do we continue to be effective to make sure we progress in our careers? Come and learn strategies from Dr. David Calkins, the Vice Chair and Director of Research in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, on project and time management suitable for postdoctoral fellows and trainees. Lunch will be provided. Kindly RSVP here.


Sponsored by the VPA

Parenting Group: Making Time for You

Thursday Feb 14, Noon
Buttrick 123


Talk by Jessica Turner, Author of Stretched Too Thin and The Fringe Hours. Please RSVP. Lunch provided on a first-come basis


Sponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center

PhD Career Connections, Featuring Margaret Read, PhD, Alliance Manager for Ancora Innovation

Friday, Feb 15, 10:00am
Light Hall 214

Margaret is the Alliance Manager for Ancora Innovation which is part of the Vanderbilt Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization. Prior to joining Ancora Innovation, she was an independent consultant in the oncology sector for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

Sponsored by the BRET Office of Career Development

Postdoc and Graduate Students of Color Mixer

Friday Feb 15, 3 – 5 PM
Alumni 100 Lounge


Come have some pizza and drinks and meet some of the graduate students of color at Vanderbilt! Please RSVP!


Sponsored by VU-EDGE, GSOC, and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

ASPIRE Café for Postdoctoral Fellows "A Fair Look: How to Review A Paper"

Wednesday Feb 20, 9:00 AM
415 CD Light Hall


Sponsored by the BRET Office of Career Development

Green Dot Bystander Training

Wednesday Feb 20, 5 – 9 PM
Moore A117


The Green Dot bystander intervention curriculum is a comprehensive approach to violence prevention that capitalizes on the power of peer and cultural influence across all levels of the socio-ecological model. Informed by social change theory, the model targets all community members as potential bystanders, and seeks to engage them, through awareness, education, and skills-practice, in proactive behaviors that establish intolerance of violence as the norm, as well as reactive interventions in high-risk situations—resulting in the ultimate reduction of violence. Please RSVP.


Sponsored by Project Safe

Feminism and Faith

Thursday Feb 21, 6 PM
The Women’s Center


Join the Women’s Center for conversation about feminism and faith. Consistent attendance not required. A light dinner will be provided.


Sponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center

Academic Pathways Fellowship Symposium

Friday Feb. 22, 8:30 AM – 12:45 PM
E. Bronson Ingram College MPR 1003


Finalists for the 2019 Academic Pathways Postdoctoral Fellowship Program will be on campus Feb. 18-22 to explore research directions with Vanderbilt faculty members and learn more about the opportunities that would be available to them at Vanderbilt. The finalists will present on their current research and share some of their new project ideas during the Academic Pathways Fellowship Symposium on Feb 22. The Symposium, which is open to the Vanderbilt community, will be held in the E. Bronson Ingram College Multi-Purpose Room (1003) from 8:30 AM to 1 PM. A complete schedule of the presentations can be found here.


This program is administered by the Graduate School’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and is sponsored by the Office of the Provost with additional funding from the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate of the National Science Foundation.

Queer People of Color Mixer

Tuesday Feb 26, 5 PM
BCC Auditorium


An opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to meet LGBTQIA+ people across a wide variety of departments and disciplines. This will be a casual get together to create community. Refreshments will be provided. RSVP


Sponsored by the Bishop Joesph Johnson Black Cultural Center and LGBTQi Life

Making the IDP Work for You

Wednesday Feb. 27, 12 – 1 PM
Alumni 201


Make your IDP not just another form to fill out, but a useful document for your professional development! Come to this presentation by Roger Chalkley, the Senior Associate Dean for Biomedical Research and Training (BRET), and learn about how to maximize the usefulness of your IDP. Lunch provided, please RSVP by Feb. 22. 


Sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

Mindfulness for Stress Reduction

Wednesday Feb 27, Noon
Sarratt 216/220

Presentation by Michelle Foote Pearce, Director of Mindfulness Programs and Outreach Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

Coordinated by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center and sponsored by the Graduate School and the Vice Provost for Academic and Strategic Affairs

PSC Book Club

Wednesday Feb 27, 3 - 5 PM
Project Safe Center

Project Safe offers a monthly Book Club gathering for graduate and professional students and postdoctoral scholars.  Book selections vary.  Topics will pertain to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and interpersonal violence.  Sessions occur on the last Wednesday of each month from 3-5 PM at the Project Safe Center.  Contact Project Safe to learn more.  RSVP

Sponsored by Project Safe

Summer Camp Fair

Thursday Feb 28, 11:30 – 2 PM
North Lobby of Light Hall


The Summer Camp Fair is a free event for the community featuring representatives from 15+ day camps, overnight camps, Vanderbilt-sponsored camps, and a veriety of programs from all over the region. Stop by Light Hall Lobby to gather information, ask questions, plus have face-to-face interaction with many of our exhibitors.


Sponsored by the Vanderbilt Child and Family Center

Work-Life Workshops: Navigating Organizational Politics

Thursday Feb 28, Noon
Sarratt 216/220

A lecture-based lunchtime program for faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows the Work-Life Workshops cover a blend of self-care and professional development topics such as navigating organizational politics, salary negotiation strategies, stress management, mindfulness and more. 

While some workplaces are more political than other, it can be useful to have political skills. This may be particularly true in workplaces where positions of power are held by men. In this workshop, we will define political skills and discuss strategies to navigate these challenges. RSVP and more information

Sponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center

Happy Hour Social Mixer

Thursday, February 28th, 5 – 7 PM
Double Dogs Hillsboro Village

Thanks to all those who RSVP’d and/or attended the themed happy hour last month. It was a great turnout! This month, we will be back to our regular schedule programming. Come and join your colleagues over some free food/drinks this time at Double Dogs in Hillsboro Village (1807 21st Ave. S, Nashville, TN 37212).

Sponsored by the VPA

Dissertation Writers' Retreat

March 4 through 5
1801 Edgehill

Over Spring Break, the Writing Studio will host a two-day dissertation writers’ retreat, which will provide dissertating graduate students with loosely-structured time to work individually in a quiet, collegial atmosphere. We will couple ample writing time with optional, one-on-one consultations and daily workshops. Lunch will be provided each day.

A link to the application can be found here. Please complete the application by February 17.

Space in the retreat is limited. We use your answers to these questions to select those applicants who seem most ready to benefit from the retreat’s format of loosely structured writing time. Those selected to participate will be invited by February 22 and asked to confirm their attendance by March 1.

The Writing Studio will also host a summer retreat. Summer Retreat: June 3-7. Applications Submitted by May 5, Notification of Acceptance by May 10, Confirmation of Attendance by May 17

Questions? Please contact Simone McCarter.

Sponsored by the Writing Studio

ASPIRE to CONNECT: Building Professional Relationships

Friday March 8, 2019, 8 - Noon
Located in Featheringill Hall


We are excited to welcome keynote speaker Jean-luc Doumont, PhD founding partner of Principiae. Breakout sessions will provide insight on informational interviewing, networking etiquette, and LinkedIn. Register at link above!


Co-sponsored by the BRET Office of Career Development and the Graduate School 

How to Give a Lightning Round Talk: Tips for the Annual Symposium

March 14, 12:00 – 1 PM
Light Hall 419


The Lightning Round Talk at the Annual Postdoctoral Symposium is designed to be an introduction to your research and poster to generate interest in all the great things we do as postdocs. Think of it as a 5- 10 min elevator speech. During this session, we’ll answer all your questions about how to deliver a Lightning Round talk and you’ll hear from the winners of last year’s talks. Lunch will be provided.


Sponsored by the VPA

Registration is now open to postdocs for the Tiered Mentoring Program (TMP). The TMP was developed in conjunction with the Evidence Based Teaching Workshop to find new ways to provide support for our current and future STEM faculty. The TMP focuses on helping participants navigate issues of identity and authority in a variety of teaching contexts, including classroom instruction and one-on-one mentoring in the lab or office. Each TMP cohort is comprised of senior faculty members, junior faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students from differing academic departments.  

Each cohort meets monthly over the course of a year to discuss and learn about various topics pertaining to success in teaching within a faculty career. Topics addressed include self-presentation in the classroom, documenting teaching effectiveness, establishing relationships with undergraduate and graduate student mentees, time management, and self-advocacy. Additionally, there are several peer to peer meetings for the faculty group and grad student/post doc group which wll allow for discussion of level specific topics.

Register here.

Sponsored by VU-CIRTL, VU-WISE, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and Graduate School

Thursday afternoons, beginning September 13, 3:30 to 5:30 PM
Alumni Hall Cafe (formerly Bamboo Bistro)

Come for coffee, cookies, colleagues and board games – just a relaxed space.  The Graduate Life Coach will host and campus colleagues will also hang out on occasion to chat. 

Sponsored by Vanderbilt Graduate School Career Development Office


The purpose of the Certificate in College Teaching, co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching and the Graduate School, is to assist Vanderbilt graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who wish to gain a clearer, deeper, more active approach to teaching and learning in higher education. The certificate focuses on the research on learning and best teaching practices, and supports the university’s pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning. The certificate is ideal for graduate students and postdocs whose goals are to become more effective educators and who want to prepare for future careers in higher education teaching.

To receive a Certificate, participants must complete the following:

  • Seminar in College Teaching. A one-semester seminar which explores and develops teaching skills. Participants attend 8 group sessions, complete a microteaching experience and develop a philosophy of teaching statement with feedback provided by a private 1:1 consultation. Additionally, participants may attend an optional  teaching visit.
  • College Teaching Practicum. A one-semester practicum in which participants enhance the effectiveness of their current teaching and assessment practices. Participants complete an observation of their classroom teaching. Additionally, participants will refine their philosophy of teaching. 

The Certificate in College Teaching Program is highly popular and now maintains a wait list with no less than a semester wait to get in.  Wait list applicants are considered on a first come first serve basis till all sections are full. If you do not get into the upcoming semester for the Seminar, your position on the wait list will be maintained for the next cohort by the date you applied.

More information and a link to seminar sign up can be found here.

While all postdocs are welcome to visit the Graduate School Career Development Office, two offices collaborate to provide career and professional development opportunities for postdocs. Postdocs in the natural sciences, engineering, nursing, business, education, social sciences, or humanities receive their primary career services from Dr. Ruth Schemmer . To make an appointment with Dr. Schemmer, call 615-343-0844 (Sheri Kimble, Administrative Assistant). Dr. Schemmer’s office is in 010 Alumni Hall of the Graduate School.

Postdocs in biomedical departments and programs** (see list below) should email Dr. Kim Petrie if you wish to make an appointment. Dr. Petrie’s office is in the BRET Office of Career Development, 340 Light Hall. Visit the career development page on the BRET website, and the BRET programs for postdocs.

**Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care
Biomedical Informatics
Cardiovascular Medicine
Cancer Biology
Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery
Cell and Developmental Biology
Clinical Pharmacology
Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism
Endocrinology and Diabetes
General Internal Medicine
Genetic Medicine
Health Policy
Hearing and Speech Sciences
Infectious Disease
Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Pediatric Cardiology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Infectious Disease, and Nephrology
Radiation Oncology
Radiology & Radiological Sciences
Reproductive and Development Biology
Rheumatology & Immunology
Section of Surgical Sciences
Surgical Oncology

Grad/Postdoc Writing Group

Thursdays 2-5 pm and Fridays 9-12 pm

1801 Edgehill, Suite 112


The Writing Studio offers writing groups for Graduate and Postdoc students throughout spring semester (with the exception of university holidays and breaks).  Much like our Writers Retreats, these writing group meetings are an opportunity for graduate students and postdocs to come and write alongside others in a quiet, supportive atmosphere. To sign up for these sessions, please visit the Writing Studio website and click the “Schedule an Appointment” link to access the online schedule. Thursdays and Fridays include the “Grad/Postdoc Writing Group” which allows up to eight people to schedule. Questions? Please contact Beth Estes


Writing groups will be closed on March 7-8, and final groups for Spring 2019 will be April 25-26.


Sponsored by the Writing Studio

Tuesdays, 8:30 to 10:30 AM
LOCATION CHANGE:  2525 West End Avenue,

6th floor Boardroom* on 1st Tuesday
6th floor EPC Conference Room other Tuesdays


You know that paper that won’t get finished?

You need Shut Up and Write (SUAW) to get dedicated writing time to finally do it. SUAW groups provide a time and place to show up, shut up, and write your grant or manuscript. Learn more here.


Summer and Fall 2018:

  • July 3*, 10*, 17, 24, 31
  • August 7*, 14, 21, 28
  • September 4*, 11, 18, 25
  • October 2*, 9, 16, 23, 30
  • November 6*, 13, 20, 27
  • December 4*, 11, 18

Spring 2019:

  • January 8*, 15, 22, 29
  • February 5*, 12, 19, 26
  • March 5*, 12, 19, 26
  • April 2*, 9, 16, 23, 30

Let us know if you can be there so we can have your seat and coffee ready. RSVP to Aimee Edgeworth

Shut Up & Write! is sponsored by Edge for Scholars and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

Drop in on Tuesdays from 9:00 AM to noon
The Women's Center

Questions?  Contact Rory Dicker.

Sponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women's Center

Yoga for Trauma Survivors

Fridays 9:30 – 11 am
Center for Student Wellbeing

In collaboration with the Center for Student Wellbeing, Project Safe offers this 90-minute program for Survivors of Trauma. The first 30 minutes will be an informative session about the ways trauma impacts the body and the benefits of yoga practice. The last hour will be an opportunity for students to practice newly learned skills. Students of all levels are welcome to join. Contact Project SAFE to learn more.  Sign up via Anchor Link.

Sponsored by Project SAFE and the Center for Student Wellbeing.

Faculty (and Postdoc) Writing Sessions

Fridays Monthly, 8:30 – 11 AM

Kissam MPR 210


The Office of Inclusive Excellence is hosting a series of Faculty Writing Sessions. The sessions are part of a community building initiative targeted towards faculty to open up a space where colleagues can enter into freely, dedicate personal time towards scholarship, and build a peer network across campus that can have a great impact on faculty engagement over time. Faculty are invited to use this time to as motivation to work on personal projects that may be at any phase.

The format includes time for light breakfast / networking, a brief welcome from the Inclusive Excellence Office, and writing advice from a senior faculty member before dedicated writing time (the main focus of these sessions).

Registration not required but appreciated.


Friday, February 1

Friday, March 1

Friday, April 5

Friday, May 3


Registration link:


Sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence

Office of Inclusive Excellence Webinars

Monthly, 12 – 1 PM
Sarratt 363


Wednesday, January, 30 | “How to Develop a Daily Writing Practice”

Thursday, February, 21|“How to Engage in Healthy Conflict”

Tuesday, March 26 | “Mastering Academic Time Management”

Monday, April, 15 | “Overcoming Academic Perfectionism”


Registration link:


Sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence

From their website: ImaginePhD is a free online career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

Humanities and social sciences PhD students and their mentors have long recognized the need for more resources to help bridge the knowledge gap between doctoral education and the realm of career possibilities. ImaginePhD is designed to meet this need by allowing users to:

  • assess their career-related skills, interests, and values
  • explore careers paths appropriate to their disciplines
  • create self-defined goals
  • map out next steps for career and professional development success

Create your account and begin using this tool at



Visit the Edge Bulletin Board to check their current list of national research funding opportunities with upcoming deadlines, updated often.

To submit national opportunities, email Edge for Scholars.



Learn more about the L'Oréal USA for Women in Science Fellowship.