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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.



Parenting Group

Thursday, July 18 12:00-1:00 PM
Buttrick 123


The Parenting Group offers parents a space to connect with and learn from other parents in the Vanderbilt community. Please RSVP


Sponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center

Publishing: Choosing the Right Journal

Wednesday, July 24 12-1 PM
Alumni 201

RSVP by July 19


Trying to get your latest work published? Learn from some journal editors and successful publishers about what they look for in an article. At this event you’ll hear from Ray Blind, an assistant professor of Pharmacology and Biochemistry at VUMC editor of the Journal of Lipid Research, and others about some strategies for success including what journals look for when publishing articles and how to best prepare for submission. The panelists have significant experience and have served as editors and reviewers for a number of years. Please RSVP, lunch provided.


Sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association

Data Science Essentials – ASPIRE Module

Application Deadline July 26


In the 2019-20 academic year, the BRET Office of Career Development is again offering the  ASPIRE module, Data Science Essentials, for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows from biomedical sciences who are interested in:

  1. learning what data science careers entail;
  2. acquiring introductory technical competencies to break into the field of data science;
  3. honing their communication skills, both to articulate their PhD-level strengths to employers and to convey technical information to non-technical audiences;
  4. meeting data science professionals from a range of industries.

Twelve trainees will be selected to participate in this program, which is a partnership with the Nashville Software School.  The deadline to apply is Friday, July 26. Learn more here.


Sponsored by the BRET Office of Career Development and Nashville Software School.


VPA Happy Hour

July 30th, 5-7 pm
Alumni Hall Café


Come and meet the new leadership of the VPA Executive Board over some free food and drinks in this month's happy hour!


Sponsored by the VPA

Amgen Postdoc Day
Application Deadline July 30th

This program is designed for senior graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who are evaluating the next steps in their career and would benefit from spending a day at Amgen to learn about innovation, drug discovery, and drug development in an industry setting. The day will include talks from Amgen leaders, a panel discussion with Amgen staff, facility tours, and plenty of networking opportunities, including a closing reception. This event is a multi-disciplinary program that showcases not only the diversity of science at the Amgen Cambridge site, but also how scientists link together across disciplines to collectively discover, develop, and deliver new treatments to patients worldwide.

More information available here

Coordinated by the BRET Office of Career Development

Vanderbilt Center for Qualitative Sciences Summer Institute

Aug 5-16
Kissam C216


Our CQS Summer Institute offers four great courses that will sharpen your quantitative research skills and give you methods and tools to deepen your understanding in biostatistics and bioinformatics.  Registration is expected to open in early May and participants are highly encouraged to enroll in multiple courses.  Space for each course is limited so register quickly to reserve your spot!

Registration closes July 29th.


Sponsored by the Vanderbilt Center for Qualitative Sciences

Day of the Documents: Spend the Day Creating Your Academic Job Market Materials

Thursday Aug 15, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Heard Library Community Room


The Graduate School and Center for Teaching invite Vanderbilt graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to attend a day-long event to help participants prepare for the academic job market. A series of mini-workshops focusing on important job markets documents will be followed by time to draft these materials and/or to make edits to existing drafts. Participants will also be able to engage in one-on-one consultations to get immediate feedback on these documents. In addition, a panel of new Vanderbilt faculty fresh off the job market will occur during lunch to talk about their experiences on the job market and give helpful advice.

The Center for Teaching will provide mini-workshops covering how to write your teaching philosophy statement, diversity statement and teaching effectiveness document. The Graduate School will provide mini-workshops covering how to format your C.V. and write your cover letter and research statement. Continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided throughout the day. Please see below for event details and to register for some or all of the day.

Schedule of Events:

  • 8:30-9:00 am - Welcome; Light Continental Breakfast provided
  • 9:00-10:00 am - 3 Mini-workshops: Teaching Philosophy Statement; Diversity Statement; Teaching Effectiveness
  • 10:00-12:00 pm - Work time and Consultations on Documents
  • 12:00-1:30 pm - Panel of New Faculty to Share Their Experience on the Job Market; Lunch provided
  • 1:30-1:45 pm - Break
  • 1:45-2:30 pm - 2 Mini-workshops: C.V./Cover Letter; Research Statement
  • 2:30-4:30 pm - Work time and Consultations on Documents; Snacks provided

Open to Graduate Students and Postdocs

Space is limited! Please REGISTER HERE for some or all of the event.

Sponsored by the Center for Teaching and the Graduate School Career Development

Parenting Group

Thursday, Aug 15 12:00-1:00 PM
Buttrick 123



The Parenting Group offers parents a space to connect with and learn from other parents in the Vanderbilt community. Please RSVP


Sponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center

Translational Research Forum

Abstracts due Aug 26


The Translational Research Forum will take place Friday, Oct 4, 2019 at the Student Life Center. We are accepting abstracts from all Vanderbilt (VU and VUMC) and Meharry students and investigators at any level from undergraduate to faculty and staff. Abstracts can be work in progress or completed work. Prizes include registration and travel costs to attend Translational Science 2020 in Washington, DC. Submission guidelines listed here. Submit your abstract here.


Sponsored by VICTR

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

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

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.

Community Writing Sessions

Fridays, 8:30 – 11 AM
E. Bronson Ingram 1003


The Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence will host Community Writing Sessions approximately every-other Friday from 8:30-11:00am with quiet writing time, coffee, tea, and a light breakfast to support writing, research, and projects. For the summer, we will be in the Multipurpose Room 1003 in the new E. Bronson Ingram college—the entrance is the archway between Alumni Hall and Kirkland Hall, and through the door to the left.


Summer Fridays: 

May 17

June 7

June 21

July 12

August 2

August 16


RSVP appreciated:


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.