Skip to main content

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 2020

Check the grAdvantage website for current schedule.

Postdoc Research Communication 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.

Dates: The next symposium will be held on December 4, 2020

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:

Next event:

Explaining Everything in Two Minutes or Less (with Joe Palca)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 from 10-11 am | Tata Hall Auditorium

You really can convey a lot information in two minutes. Of course your audience won’t be getting a graduate seminar understanding of your topic, but that level of detail should be saved for graduate seminars. Join renowned NPR science correspondent, Joe Palca, to learn how you can crisply capture a research story to reach a wide audience.  The seminar is open to all.  No registration necessary.


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 Research 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 6, 2020

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 am

MET 145

UC Learning Center Registration

April 2, 2020

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 am

MET 141

UC Learning Center Registration

June 4, 2020

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.

11:30 am

MET 145

UC Learning Center Registration

August 6, 2020

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. 

12:00 pm


Coming soon...
October 1, 2020

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 account may help you to achieve your goals.  In this workshop, we will discuss what makes Roth accounts so special, budgeting, the power of compounding, and tax benefits.

9:00 am


Coming soon...

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

FF logo 2019 v2

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 June, 2019.

Register on: Eventbrite!

See descriptions below of the 2019 workshops

 Grant Writing 101

In this workshop, faculty and staff from Scripps Research will discuss tips for targeting your search for opportunities, writing grant sections, common mistakes, and the NIH review process.

DateThursday, April 18 | Time: 1-2:30 pm | Location: The Scripps Research Institute, Committee Lecture Hall - Skaggs Institute/Molecular Biology Building, 2nd Floor

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, recipients Florence Varodayan from Scripps and Tsung-Ting Kuo from UC San Diego will discuss tips & advice on applying.

Date: Thursday, April 18 | Time: 2- 4 pm | Location: UC San Diego campus, Leichtag Building, Room 107

National Multiple Sclerosis Society Funding Opportunities

NMSS Director of Biomedical Research, Dr. Elisabeth Mari, will give a brief overview of funding opportunities that support basic and applied research related to multiple sclerosis.

Date: Friday, May 10 | Time: 2-3 pm | Location: Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP)Building 5, Room 5332

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.

DateFriday, May 17 | Time: 12-2 pm | Location: UC San Diego campus, Medical Education and Telemedicine Building (MET), Room 141

American Heart Association / American Stroke Association Funding Opportunities 2019

Get an overview of the American Heart Association’s funding opportunities and learn more about research funding and direction, funding opportunities, how to apply for funding, and more resources.

Date: Tuesday, June 4 | Time: 2-3 pm | Location: Online Webinar (Register here to get access)

Tobacco Related Disease Research Program

Program Officer Ginny Delaney will give a brief overview of TRDRP’s research priorities, their award mechanisms and how to apply for a predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowship.

Date: Thursday, June 6 | Time: 10-11 am | Location: Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP)Building 10, Room 1501 

Register on Eventbrite to secure your spot!

How to Apply for a Postdoc Fellowship*

Rachel Cook from the Health Sciences Sponsored Projects Office at UC San Diego, will provide an overview of how to apply and general submission information for fellowships/grants. *Although all postdocs are welcome, this seminar is targeted to UC San Diego postdocs.

Date: Thursday, June 6 | Time: 11 am - 1 pm | Location: UC San Diego campus, Medical Education and Telemedicine Building (MET), Room 145

Register on Eventbrite to secure your spot!

American Brain Tumor Association Funding Opportunities

Heather Calderone, Director of Research & Grants at the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) will discuss ABTA funding opportunities.

Date: Thursday, June 13 | Time: 2-3 pm | Location: Online Webinar (Register here to get access)

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

Heather Dillon, UC San Diego, or (858) 822-5915

Jean Branan, TSRI,

Nisha Cavanaugh, SBP,

Adrienne Rodriguez, 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 Research Scholar Affairs (OPRSA) 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 OPRSA.

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 discussion about how these skills might be utilized 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 workshop 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 Research 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.

Permanent Residency Pathways for Postdocs

This workshop offered by the International Faculty & Scholar Office and Office of Postdoctoral and Research 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.


Visit International Faculty & Scholar Office for current schedule.

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.

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 Fellowship Forum


Do you have questions about applying for postdoctoral fellowships?  Are you looking for resources for finding relevant opportunities to which you can apply?  Would you like feedback or guidance on writing your fellowship applications?  Then join us at the monthly Fellowship Forum!

At these monthly workshops Professor Mark Lawson will be on hand to answer your questions and review your fellowship applications!  Come once or as often as you need.  We hope to see you there!

Workshops will be held on the 4th Tuesday of the month (with the exception of October and November) from 12 – 1:30 pm in Leichtag 2A05.

View the full list of forum dates and register to attend at

Funding Your Future

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 Research Scholar Affairs has designed this series to help you learn about and successfully apply for fellowship awards.  

All postdoctoral fellows and graduate students are welcome to attend.

Date Topic Time & Location Registration

October 11, 2019

Fellowship Workshop for Ford, PPFP, and Other Award Opportunities

Are you interested in applying for a postdoc fellowship? In this workshop, Professor Mark Lawson, Faculty Director of Postdoctoral Training and Education, will provide an overview of the Ford Foundation Fellowship and the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Programs.  These fellowships are open to researchers in social science, humanities, and STEM fields. 

2:30-4:30 pm

SSB 107

FYF: Ford

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


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


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


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

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

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


Dates and locations are subject to change.

Career Preparation Series

Career Preparation Series

It is not enough to know what you want to do, you need the skills and knowledge for how you will find and land the job that you want.  From developing and utilizing your professional network, to conducting an productive job search, to putting together effective application materials, to interviewing and negotiating, this series will help you learn tips and techniques to successfully advance to the next stage in your career.

Date Topic Time & Location Registration
January 24, 2020

Diversity Statement Workshop

In this workshop, we will focus on creating and refining your Diversity Statement. Prior to and during the workshop, you will receive guidance on what to include in a diversity statement, and during the workshop there will be time devoted to dedicated work time - either on your own writing or receiving peer feedback on a draft.

10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Writing Hub (Teaching + Learning Commons)

January 17, 2020

Teaching Statement Workshop

In this workshop, we will focus on creating and refining your Teaching Statement. Prior to and during the workshop, you will receive guidance on what to include in a teaching statement, and during the workshop there will be significant time devoted to dedicated work time either on your own writing or receiving peer feedback on a draft.

10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Writing Hub (Teaching + Learning Commons)

December 11, 2019

Perfecting Your Pitch: A CV and Cover Letter Workshop

In this workshop, we will focus on creating and refining your Teaching Statement. Prior to and during the workshop, you will receive guidance on what to include in a teaching statement, and during the workshop there will be significant time devoted to dedicated work time either on your own writing or receiving peer feedback on a draft.


 3:00 - 4:30 pm

MET 145 - Medical Education and Telemedicine Building

November 13, 2019

Acing the Interview and Negotiating the Job Offer for Nonacademic Positions

Do you want to nail your first nonacademic job interview? Are you nervous about making mistakes because you have spent the last 7+ years as a graduate student and postdoc and never had to conduct a real interview? And what about when you receive that job offer?  Do you know how to evaluate it and what you should negotiate? Join us to get tips to help you succeed.

2 - 4 pm

Online Webinar

November 13, 2019

The Efficient Nonacademic Job Search

Are you searching for jobs in the most effective way?  Do you know how to make your employment search more efficient? Join us if you want to learn tips to help find your next position.

10:30 - 11:30 am

Online Webinar

November 5, 2019

6th SABPA-UCSD Career Development Forum

While many postdocs are interested in career opportunities in industry, it remains very challenging to navigate the application process and understand what it takes to obtain an industry position. In the 4th Annual Joint Career Development Forum, co-organized by SABPA and UCSD Postdoc Association, we have invited scientists and senior managers from a variety of local industries including life sciences, data science, and engineering.

5:30 - 8:30 pm

Sanford Consortium, Roth Auditorium


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: