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Essential Training

Essential Training

This training will provide the foundation for postdoctoral  scholars as they begin their training at UC San Diego and addresses the common needs across disciplines and  chosen career directions.

This essential training should be completed by the end of  the first year of postdoctoral training.

EPIC Bootcamp: Your Summit to Success

This day and a half professional development event is designed for postdoctoral scholars at the beginning of their training to understand their role as a postdoc and to help them succeed during their training at UC San Diego and beyond. This event will be offered twice per calendar year in late January and July.

Day 1: Who are you?

EPIC Bootcamp.  Your summit to success.

At the end of Day 1, postdoctoral scholars will be able to:

  • Identify roles and responsibilities of being a UC San Diego postdoc
  • Access UC San Diego resources available
  • Communicate research with a clear and concise message
  • Assess personality type and distinguish those of others
  • Recognize and interrupt implicit bias
  • Explore career options through networking opportunities, such as informational interviews

Day 2: What are you doing here?

At the end of Day 2, postdoctoral scholars will be able to:

  • Clarify transferrable skills
  • Create and assess structured short term and long goals
  • Determine a course of action for a successful postdoctoral experience
  • Evaluate course of action with peers and faculty members


Next event

February 21 & 22, 2019 in the Medical Education and Telemedicine Building (MET)


Registration Required: EPIC Bootcamp (Only UC San Diego postdoctoral scholar title codes are eligible).

Registration Fee: $125 payment only accepted via recharge. An index number will be required to complete your registration. Registration includes lunch both days and breakfast on Friday, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment and StrengthsFinder 2.0 book.

If you are unable to attend due to limited professional development funds, please contact Heather Dillon ( for information about the EPIC Bootcamp scholarship.

Registration Deadline: February 14, 2019

Cancellation policy: The last day to cancel your registration for a refund is the week before the first day of the Bootcamp. If you cancel your registration after that date, the index you used for registration will still be charged the registration fee. For questions about the cancellation policy, please contact Heather Dillon at

See 2018 schedule for more information.

Inaugural event on January 26 and 27, 2017 received excellent evaluations. 

See infographic of evaluations from January 2017 event and flyer for more information.

Ethical Challenges of Research Program

ECR 2017

Postdoctoral scholars are strongly encouraged to complete the certification as part of their research training and education.

2019 Introduction Session Schedule

Register:  ECR: Intro

2019 Special Topic Session Schedule

  • Instructor: Michael Kalichman, Ph.D., Director, Research Ethics Program
  • Course offered from 12-2 pm the third Wednesday of every other month, starting in February 2019.
  • All sessions will be held in Student Services Center, room 400 unless otherwise indicated.

Talking to your PI: Crucial Conversations

A successful science career may depend more on our interactions with others than it does on the quality of our science. Unfortunately, good science is all too often impeded by breakdowns in communication. When this happens, our emotions and reason can both sabotage our ability to find a successful resolution. This workshop will review several strategies to increase the chance that a crucial conversation will be a successful conversation.

February 20, 2019

Register: ECRST: Crucial

Data Acquisition, Integrity and Ownership

The integrity of research fundamentally depends on data. The purpose of this workshop will be to consider the many ways in which that integrity can be compromised without intending to do so. Participants will review some of those challenges, as well as consider strategies to protect against error due to inadequate attention or bias.

April 17, 2019

Register: ECRST: Data

Authorship: Expectations and Collaborations

Science is inevitably a collaborative enterprise. As investigators tackle larger and more complex problems, research teams have grown increasingly inter-disciplinary, involving experts with varying backgrounds and sometimes-competing expectations. Collaborations involving multiple labs and/or institutions in different countries exacerbate the challenges of effective cooperation. Even collaborators within a given lab often confront thorny issues when it comes to assigning fair credit and authorship. This workshop aims to engage participants in identifying and analyzing problems in scientific collaboration. The ultimate end involves developing effective strategies for managing (or avoiding!) conflicts. This is an interactive workshop using case studies and participant experiences.

June 19, 2019

Register: ECRST: Authorship


Statistics are an important tool for much of research, allowing researchers to better summarize findings and to provide inferences about the likelihood of particular outcomes. However, statistical procedures are diverse and may well be beyond the expertise of some scientists. This workshop is not designed to teach about any particular test procedures, but instead to focus on general principles, the challenges that come with an incomplete understanding of those principles, and the risks of statistical misuse. This workshop is designed as an interactive lecture with small or large group discussion.

August 21, 2019

Registration will be available soon.


Recently, it has become disturbingly clear that much of published science may not be reproducible. The problem is not so much one of research misconduct, but rather departures from good practices of science. This workshop will first consider the scope of the problem: How often is research not reproducible? Does it depend on field? What are the personal experiences of the participants in the workshop? Then, we will turn to practical questions of why research is often not reproducible and what should be done about this challenge. Our discussion will touch on topics such as authorship, collaboration, data management, mentoring, peer review, and social responsibility.

October 16, 2019

Registration will be available soon.

Image Manipulation

Effective communication of science often depends on having convincing pictures. While a story can frequently be told better with a picture than words, it isn't always easy to produce a definitive image. Our goal to effectively communicate a story is also challenged because we don't want to communicate something that isn't in fact representative of the truth. With tools like Photoshop at our disposal, we have the ability to "clean up" a messy image, but is it OK to do so? It seems reasonable to expect that some kinds of manipulation of a picture should be OK, but how much is too much? This workshop will focus on the personal experiences of the participants, review some cases of published digital manipulation, and consider some standards that might be adopted as good practices in science.

December 18, 2019

Registration will be available soon.

Dates and location are subject to change.

New Postdoc Orientation

The Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs offers a New Postdoc Orientation on the second Thursday of every month.

The orientation is mandatory and new postdocs must attend within the first two months of their appointment.

The orientation will cover topics such as benefits, leave policy, research compliance training, professional development planning and opportunities, and resources available to postdocs.  You’ll meet some members of the Postdoc Association (PDA).  And lastly, the UAW, the union that represents postdocs will share information about union membership.

State law prohibit posting of the exact schedule on this public website, so if you are a new postdoc, please refer to your offer letter, contact your department administrator or sign into the UC Learning Center (LMS) for information on date, location and time.

For information, please contact Merritt Bradford at or (858)534-3553


Postdoc Individual Development Plan

Postdoc Individual Development Plan

Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a tool to identify skills, knowledge, and interests; outline career goals; and manage an individual’s career development progress.

For assistance on creating your IDP, assessing your skills, working with mentors and setting realistic and achievable goals, attend the EPIC Bootcamp.  Each postdoctoral scholar will have the opportunity to develop and present his/her IDP to faculty participants for feedback and by the end of the session have the foundation of an IDP to guide his/her career objectives.

For one-one assistance in the creation of your IDP, you may request a career advising appointment.

Subscribe to the Postdoc listserv to be sent more information and how to register for these and all upcoming events. UCSD email address required for subscription.

Questions? Suggestions? Contact Heather Dillon at:  or (858) 822-5915.