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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.


Communicating Your Research

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: The next workshop will be offered in 2019

Check the grAdvantage website for updates.

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.

Date: The next symposium will be held in Fall Quarter 2019

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.  UCSD graduate students 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 & Location Registration

February 7, 2019

Tax Strategies

This workshop addresses basic practices to help individuals plan in a tax efficient manner. It includes information on record keeping, tax law changes, state and local taxes, tax credits and tax-deferred programs.

9:00 - 10:30 am

Leichtag 107


FinEd: Tax

April 18, 2019

Smart Money Moves in your 20s and 30s

Whether 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 - from creating a budget to establishing an emergency fund to making the most of your savings and investments - to help you get and stay on track financially.


9:00 - 10:30 am

MET 145

FinEd: Smart$

June 6, 2019

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.

9:00 - 10:30 am

MET 145

FinEd: Invest101

August 1, 2019

Investing 201

For those who have attended Investing 101 or have significant investment experience, this workshop provides in-depth information on investing.  Topics covered include determining the right investments, tax implications, performance measurement, terminology, and risk management. 

9:00 - 10:30 am

MET 145

FinEd: Invest201
October 10, 2019

The Roth Advantage in your 20s and 30s

It may be hard to focus on something that is 30, 40, or more years into the future, but saving for retirement is important and Roth accounst may help you to acheive your goals.  In this workshop, we will discuss what makes Roth accounts so special, budgeting, the power of compounding, and tax benefits.

9:00 - 10:30 am

MET 145

FinEd: Roth

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.

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

Please note that UCSD graduate students and family members of postdocs are also welcome to attend.

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.

Workshops will be held at the different Torrey Pines Training Consortium institutions from April to May, 2019.

Registration: Comming Soon!

See descriptions below of the 2018 workshops

 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.

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.

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.

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Information Session 

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to finding the cures for Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. We fund cutting-edge studies at major medical institutions, nurture investigators at the early stages of their careers, and finance underdeveloped areas of research.

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.

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 

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.

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

Heather Dillon, 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.

Keeping Your Life While You Build Your Career

Without a clear focus, postdoctoral work can be life consuming.

Join us for a creative discussion exploring life priorities that will support your overall career growth.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 (Student Services Center, 3rd Floor, Room 300)

Presented by William Youngblood, LMFT and Bryan McNutt, Ph.D.,LMFT


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 disucssion about how these skills might be untilized in our daily life.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 (Student Services Center, 3rd Floor, Room 300)

Presented by William Youngblood, LMFT


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, August 14, 2019  (Student Service Center, 3rd Floor, Room 300)

Presented by Izabel Caetano Francy, LCSW


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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019  (Student Services Center, 3rd Floor, Room 300)

Presented by Izabel Caetano Francy, LCSW



For information on the Postdoc Health & Wellness Series, please contact

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

Funding Your Future


Applying for and securing funding demonstrates and develops a variety of skills that are highly sought after by employers. The Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs has designed this series to help you learn about and successfully apply for fellowship awards.  

Seminars and workshops will be held from 3-5 pm in Leichtag, Rm 107 unless otherwise indicated. All UCSD and TPTC postdoctoral fellows and graduate students are welcome to attend.


Date Topic Time & Location Registration

January 25, 2019

Applying for Fellowships: The Why and the How

In this seminar Professor Mark Lawson, Faculty Director of Postdoctoral Training and Education, will provide an introduction to why applying for fellowships is important for all trainees, regardless of their career objectives.  Participants will learn what opportunities are available, the criteria on which application are evaluated, and the general anatomy of a fellowship submission.

3-5 pm

Leichtag 107

FYF: Intro

February 1, 2019

Introduction to Foundation Funding

Private foundations can be a great source of funding, if you know where to look!  This seminar will provide an overview of foundation fellowships and how they compare to other funding sources.

3-3:30 pm

Leichtag 107

FYF: Foundation

February 1, 2019

Tips for Submitting a Successful Application

Take advantage of this opportunity to get tips from trainees who have submitted successful fellowship applications.  Panelists will discuss best practices and answer your questions about writing and navigating the submission process.

3:30-5 pm

Leichtag 107

FYF: Success
February 8, 2019

Writing Your Specific Aims, Research Strategy and Training Plan

What distinguishes a well written fellowship application?  In this session, we will dissect what you should include in your Specific Aims, Research Strategy, and Training Plan sections and how to effectively convey your message through your writing.


3-5 pm

Leichtag 107


FYF: Writing
February 15, 2019

Writing Workshop: Fellowship Outline and Specific Aims

Start your fellowship application off on the right foot by getting feedback from faculty reviewers and your peers on your fellowship outline or Specific Aims page.  Participants should bring a printed copy of the material they would like to have reviewed during the session.

4-5 pm

Leichtag 107

FYF: Outline
March 8, 2019

Review Workshop: Fellowship Draft

Don’t miss out on the chance to have your application reviewed by a faculty member who has experience serving on fellowship study sections!  Participants will be asked to submit their fellowship drafts one week in advance for review to receive feedback on their submission during this session.

3-5 pm

Leichtag 205

Coming Soon

Most workshops will be held from 3-5 pm in Leichtag, Rm 107, unless otherwise indicated.

All UCSD and TPTC postdoctoral fellows and graduate students are awelcome to attend.

Dates and locations are subject to change.


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: