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Foundational Training

Foundational TrainingMastering the skills of goal planning, scientific or scholarly writing, time management, and mentorship are necessary for a successful postdoctoral experience.

This training will be offered independently throughout  the year to support scholarly work for postdoctoral scholars at all stages.


Inspiring Research: Creative Strategies for Communication

Part of the grAdvantage programming, this intensive four-day workshop will enhance participants’ abilities to vividly articulate their research and inspire audiences. Participants will incorporate storytelling, metaphor and gestures while practicing innovative communication of their research.  During the final day of the workshop, participants will be filmed by an expert interviewer and camera crew in a setting that resembles a professional media capture environment.

  • Dates: Wednesday, January 4 – Saturday, January 7, 2016, 10am to 5:30pm everyday, Dolores Huerta/Philip Vera Cruz Room

  • Applications are available on the grAdvantage website and are due by Wednesday, November 16th.

Postdoc Research Symposium

Organized by Postdoctoral Association (PDA), this symposium showcases the research being conducted by postdoctoral scholars at UC San Diego, one of the premier research institutions in the world.  In addition, the postdoctoral scholars will have the opportunity to connect with your peers, faculty and industry professionals.

November 29, 2017

Research Communications Program

UC San Diego’s Research Communications program draws on scholarship in the sciences, science communication, science education, the arts and other fields to provide the guiding theoretical perspective and the practical experience that is critical to communicating effectively with a wide range of audiences, including those with questions or concerns about the methods, findings or implications of scientific research.

For more information and upcoming events, visit:

More resources:

Financial Education


“Save early, save often” is a mantra touted by many financial planning websites and experts.  Time is critical when saving for retirement or any financial goal.  According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, every 10 years you delay starting to save for retirement, you will need to save three times as much each month to catch up.

To help you get started and understand how to maximize your financial potential, the Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs has teamed up with Curo Financial Planning to offer the “Financial Education Series for Postdocs”. 

Each workshop will discuss the ways to set yourself up for financial success for that specific topic.  Partners and family members of postdocs are welcome to attend.  Come join us to learn about the topics listed below and create a strategy for your financial future!

Date Topic Time Registration

February 1, 2018

Tax Strategies

Learn about:
  • The differences between federal, state and local taxes
  • Maintaining accurate records
  • Making the most of tax-deferred programs
  • The importance of tax diversification
  • Rules for home sales, charitable contributions and child care tax credits
  • Important 2018 Tax updates based on the most recent Tax Reform

 9:00 - 10:30 am

FinEd: Tax

May 3, 2018

Investing 101

A basic overview of investing that explains the difference between saving and investing, including asset classes and investment styles, bonds, stocks and types of mutual funds.

 12:00 - 1:30 pm

FinEd: Invest101

August 2, 2018

Investing 201

Investing can mean many things to many people. For some it’s real estate and for others it’s gold. For those who already have knowledge of basic investment concepts, this workshop provides in depth information about stocks and bonds and what they can mean to an investor.

In this workshop you will learn about:
  • Stocks and bonds and their respective tax implications
  • Performance metrics and what they can mean to your investment choices
  • Identifying and managing different types of risk
  • Determining the right investments 
12:00 - 1:30 pm FinEd: Invest201

November 1, 2018

Smart Money Moves in your 20s and 30s

If you are just out of school or ten or more years into your career, when it comes to money, there’s a lot to learn. We’ve picked ten important tips for you to know and consider to help get you are on the track.

In this workshop you will learn how to:
  • Create and stick with a budget
  • Establish an emergency fund
  • Make the most of your savings and investments
  • Develop realistic goals


9:00 - 10:30 am FinEd: Smart$

As many people are concerned about how to plan for their financial future as their careers advance, the program offers a complimentary one-on-one personal consultation.  These one-on-one consultations are a great way to get individual solutions that fit your specific financial situation. If you would like to schedule a session, time slots will be available to meet on campus the next week after each workshop.  These one hour sessions with a Financial Advisor are confidential and complimentary.  A sign-up sheet will be available at each workshop.

All workshops will be held in Medical Education and Telemedicine (MET), Rm 145, unless otherwise indicated.

Please note that family members of postdocs are also welcome to attend as well as graduate students.

Dates and locations are subject to change.

Grantsmanship - Funding Fest

Funding Fest 2018

The ability to successfully secure funding is a critical part of your postdoctoral training.  However, how does one write a competitive grant?  What funding opportunities exist for postdocs? How does the submission process work? Come and learn the answers by attending the workshops of Funding Fest!  

Funding Fest is an annual series of informational workshops that is held each Spring or Summer and provided by the Torrey Pines Training Consortium.  The Torrey Pines Training Consortium members include Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and UC San Diego. They sponsor training courses and programs designed to provide career development and leadership competencies for scientific professionals at early stages of their career.

Funding Fest workshops are presented by various faculty members, postdoctoral training grant and fellowship recipients and institutional offices.

This year various workshops will be held at the different Torrey Pines Training Consortium institutions from April to May, 2018.


 Grant Writing 101

In this workshop, faculty from the Scripps Research Institute, Ashok Deniz, Glen Nemerow and Bruce Torbett will discuss how to effectively write a grant.

Tuesday, April 17 from 1-2:30 pm

The Scripps Research Institute, Committee Lecture Hall - Skaggs Institute/Molecular Biology Building, 2nd Floor, room 220

Basics of Mentored Grant Writing

UC San Diego Professor Peter Wagner will discuss the different types of grants, structure and components (abstract, aims, method, budget) and how to think and write about them.

Tuesday, April 24 from 1-3 pm

UC San Diego campus, Medical Education and Telemedicine Building (MET), room 145

Fellowships for Research in Japan Information Session

Hundreds of funding opportunities are available to all fields for research to all Japanese Universities and public research institutions. Come learn about funding options from the alumni and staff of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Friday, April 27 from 2-3:30 pm

UC San Diego campus, Leichtag Building, room 107

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Information Session 

Wednesday, May 2 from 12 - 1 pm

The Scripps Research Institute - Office of Graduate Studies, Dining Room 1st floor

How to Apply for a Postdoc Fellowship*

This workshop, given by Rachel Cook, Senior Grant Analyst, Supervisor, Health Sciences Sponsored Projects Office at UC San Diego, will include how to apply for different fellowships, UC San Diego guidelines, and general submission information for fellowships and grants as well as where to look for funding.

Thursday, May 17 from 2-4 pm

UC San Diego campus, Medical Education and Telemedicine Building (MET), room 145

*Although all postdocs are welcome, this seminar is targeted to UC San Diego postdocs.

Funding Opportunities with The American Cancer Society

Michael Melner, PhD, Director of Molecular Genetics & Biochemistry of Cancer, for the American Cancer Society will discuss different funding opportunities available with ACS. This will be a LIVE broadcast from Dr. Melner’s office in Atlanta, GA and can be watched from any computer (see link below).

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 from 12-1pm

Zoom Broadcast (Web Meeting):      

NIH K99/R00 & the NIH Grant Process

 UC San Diego Professor Pamela Mellon will explain the NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) application and review process. In addition, K99 recipients, Florence Varodayan from TSRI and Tsung-Ting Kuo from UC San Diego, will discuss tips & advice on applying.

Thursday, May 31 from 2- 4:30 pm 

UC San Diego campus, Leichtag Building, room 107

Questions? Suggestions? Contact the person at your respective institution:

Ginger Hazen, UC San Diego, or (858) 822-5915

Jean Branan, TSRI,

Nisha Cavanaugh, SBP,

Tricia Wright, Salk,

Health and Wellness

Postdoc Health and Wellness

Postdoctoral training is a time of transition for scholars, which can lead to feelings of uncertainty and stress.  In addition, this training period often coincides with personal milestones (e.g. marriage, parenthood) and usually requires relocation to a new city or even new country.  To address the challenges that confront postdoctoral scholars, this series is designed in collaboration with the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) and Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs (OPVSA) to help postdoctoral scholars have a healthy and productive time while in training.

Workshops addressing different challenges will be held in Student Services Center from 12-1:30 pm. 

Registration is required as lunch will be provided by OPVSA.

Navigating Challenging Work Relationships

All relationships can have their challenges but work relationships can be particularly nuanced. 

Come discuss common workplace conflicts and learn tips for communicating more effectively within

the office environment.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 (Student Services Center, 5th Floor, Room 554)

Presented by Izabel Caetano Francy, LCSW


Working Postdocs with Small Children

During your postdoctoral training, you may either have small children or are on the brink of starting a family.

This workshop is designed to provide tips and share resources as well as introduce parents in similar positions

to each other.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 (Student Services Center, 3rd Floor, Room 300)

Presented by Izabel Caetano Francy, LCSW


Communication in the Workplace

In your position as a postdoc, effective communication can serve you well in building relationships that will support your

success.  Come join us to learn some helpful communication skills and engage in an informative discussion about how

these skills might be utilized in our daily life.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018  (Student Service Center, 3rd Floor, Room 300)

Presented by William Youngblood, LMFT


How to be a Healthier, Happier, More Productive You!

As postdoctoral training is stressful, mostly autonomous and often overwhelming, this workship will provide tools to

help participants recognize the importance of self-care and introduce mindfulness exercises that can help you throughout

your training.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018  (Student Services Center, 4th Floor, Room 400)

Presented by Izabel Caetano Francy, LCSW



For information on the Postdoc Health & Wellness Series, please contact Merritt Bradford, or (858) 534-3553

International Scholar Support

U.S. Job Search Strategies for International PhDs

This workshop is designed in collaboration with Career Center, Graduate Division, International Faculty & Scholar Office and Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs to provide international pre- and postdoctoral scholars with the tools they need to successfully navigate a job search for non-academic long-term employment in the U.S.A.  Concerns that are common among the international population will be addressed including visa limitations, networking and interviewing process.

November 16, 2017

For more information and registration will be available soon.

Permanent Residency Pathways for Postdocs

This workshop offered by the International Faculty & Scholar Office and Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs will touch on the most common pathways that postdoctoral researchers can use to adjust to permanent residency status. Additionally, this workshop will address the topic of internal policies on employment-based permanent residency here at UC San Diego, and the specific appointment titles that allow such sponsorship.


September 21, 2017

Register: Permanent Residency Pathways for Postdocs


Navigating Visa Classifications for your Career

Roark Miller, Director of the International Faculty & Scholars Office, and Emily Kawahara, International Student Advisor in the International Students & Programs Office, will discuss common questions that postdocs and graduate students in J-1, H-1B, and F-1 status have pertaining to their nonimmigrant status, including eligibility for outside employment, planning your next nonimmigrant status in tandem with institutional policies and government regulations, and employment-based permanent residence filing.  After the presentation, visa advisors will offer individual advising appointments to the attendees. Light refreshments will be served.

**Postphoned**June 7, 2018

For more information and to register:

Leadership and Teamwork

Teamwork and Leadership certificate

Part of the GrAdvantage programming, this UC San Diego Extension Specialized Certificate in Leadership and Teamwork is designed to equip participants with skills to help them excel in any working environment; communication skills, self-awareness, time management, and the ability to function on diverse and collaborative teams. The certificate consists of three courses focusing on leadership, teamwork, and project management. Throughout the program, students will implement these skills by working collaboratively on teams to manage hands-on projects on campus. The culmination of the program will include a showcase of the students’ projects to campus leaders, industry guests, and the general public. Upon completion of the certificate program, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will be empowered to transition into their career pursuits.

For more information about the certificate program, call 858-534-9151 or email

For more information about the Gradvantage programs and resources, visit: Plus, check out the Gradvantage program featured on KPBS and featured on the UC San Diego Extension blog.


Leading Yourself and Others to Career Success

This Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) leadership development program is designed for advanced graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to learn more about their leadership styles and preferences, so they can use this information in the context of their career paths to help them and their future teams succeed. Certificates will be awarded to participants who complete all program requirements.


Ambassador Program

In collaboration with the UC San Diego International Faculty & Scholar Office, the Postdoctoral Association offers assistance with the transition of a new postdoc to campus through our Ambassador Program. The program places a new postdoc in contact with a fellow postdoc “Ambassador”.

Summer Research Scholar Program

In partnership with Prof. Elizabeth Komives and UCSD Extension, this mentorship program allows postdoctoral scholars to have hands-on mentorship of high school students from across the country over 3-weeks in the summer quarter.  The postdoctoral scholars will learn how to provide effective mentorship and guide a short-term and manageable research project that will culminate in a formal poster session.


Postdoc Table Talk

Postdoc Table Talk

Postdoctoral scholars rely on a network of mentors and advisors for success during their training and beyond.  Some postdoctoral scholars may not have the opportunity, contacts or venue to broaden this network, especially with academics in another field. 

To address this, the and Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs (OPVSA) and the Postdoctoral Association (PDA) have collaborated to create a platform for postdoctoral scholars and UC San Diego faculty to connect over an informal lunch at the Faculty Club once per quarter.

During this lunch, up to 5 postdoctoral scholars and a faculty member of the scholars’ choosing will have the opportunity to engage in discussions, such as postdoctoral training, research, life in and outside of academia and more.  The topics are driven by the attendees and all are expected to participate in the discussion.  OPVSA will sponsor the lunches at the Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club.

We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to meet with UC San Diego faculty members as they share their insights and experiences.

Please do not apply if the featured faculty member is your mentor. The intent of the lunch is to broaden the postdoctoral scholar's network.

Lunches will be held in the Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club from 12 – 1:30 pm.

Writing and Publishing



Camp Fellowship is a series of three events to support the preparation of your postdoc fellowship through in-person training and practical application.

The first event, Becoming a Successful and Effective Science Writer Workshop, is intended for anyone interested in improving their writing skills. 

The final two events, F32 Fellowship: Application, Process and Panel and F32 Writing Group are intended to support those working toward the upcoming F32 submission deadlines.

Note that all the events will provide general assistance to those considering postdoctoral fellowships based on the standard structure.

Details below. (Flyer)

Learn how to be a more effective scientific writer!

Becoming a Successful and Effective Science Writer Workshop with Prof. Joshua Schimel 

Successful papers don’t just present a nice dataset, they also tell a clear and powerful story about how nature works. They are also written in a way that is clear, direct, and engaging. In this workshop, we will “open the toolbox” to explore some of the ways you achieve each of these goals.

In the first part of the workshop we will focus on story structure, exploring the different structures we use in writing science—not the simple document format of IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion), but of the different ways we can organize the structure of the actual story. When do you use a front-loaded structure where you make an argument and then flesh it out vs. building to a final conclusion?

In the second part of the workshop we will focus on energizing writing, activating language, de-jargonizing it, and creating flow and power.

Date: Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017

Register: Becoming a Successful and Effective Science Writer

There will be a morning and afternoon session for this workshop.  Please only select one option during registration.


Learn how to prepare and apply for the F32 from study section members and F32 recipients!

F32 Fellowship: Application, Process and Panel

Lorraine Pillus, Assoc. Dean of the Division of Biological Sciences, and Mark Lawson, Director of UC President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, will explain the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32) application and review process from their experience on study sections.  In addition, F32 recipients, Karen Tonsfeldt, Postdoctoral Fellow of Reproductive Medicine and Stefano Brigidi, Postdoctoral Fellow in Division of Biological Sciences, will discuss tips & advice on applying.

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017

Time: 12:30 – 3 pm

Location: Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Building (PSB), room 1120

Register: F32 Fellowship: Application, Process and Panel


Put the tools you learned into practice!

F32 Writing Group

Adam Engler, Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Mark Lawson, Faculty Director of Postdoctoral Training and Education, will provide guidance and structured work time to share and receive feedback from peers.  As a participant, you are expected to bring a draft of your fellowship (or notes/outline) and be ready to write!

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017

Time: 8:30 – 11:30 am

Location: Medical Education and Telemedicine Building, room 215

Register: F32 Writing Group




Garnett-Powers & Associates (PSBP Insurance Broker) - (800) 254-1758

International Faculty & Scholar Office (International Center) -; (858) 534-3730


Research Ethics

UC Learning Center - Registration system and catalog of training available to postdocs

UCSD Extension - Postdocs are eligible for  a 10 percent discount, up to $50 per quarter, on eligible courses to eligible students at UC San Diego Extension.

UCSD Whistleblower Hotline - (877) 319-0265

Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination - (858) 534-8298;

Office of the Ombuds - (858) 534-0777

Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) - (858) 534-5523

Lactation Accommodation at UCSD

UCSD Early Childhood Education Center

Garnett-Powers & Associates Wellness Programs

For more information about benefits and services for UC San Diego postdocs, visit: