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OPA Blogspot


November 1, 2018

Postdocs, Take Stock of Your Skills!

As the season turns to fall, it’s a good reminder to check in with how your career preparation is going. In past newsletters, we have shared tips and resources about career exploration, self-assessments, informational interviews, assessing readiness for academic careers and other elements that are so essential to the career preparation process. Regardless of your…


October 4, 2018

Postdocs, Start on the Right Foot at UW!

The OPA had the pleasure of welcoming a group of new postdocs to the UW at our orientation on September 20, 2018. It was great to spend time with everyone at both the orientation and professional development sessions, as well as the Taco Bar to celebrate National Postdoc Appreciation Week. We truly value your role…


August 30, 2018

Research Culture and Climate: It’s On Us (again)

  “ We create culture in our moment by moment interactions with one another.” —Teresa Posakony, Emerging Wisdom   As a number of recent National Academies of Sciences reports have shown, we have work ahead of us within academic and research environments across the country. As early career researchers, postdocs can struggle to fit in…


June 14, 2018

Debunking myths about tenure-track positions

This week, the School of Medicine hosted a two-day Future Faculty Fellows workshop under the leadership of Drs. Chet Moritz and Rosana Risques. The panels and workshops addressed all elements of a successful academic faculty application package, including how to negotiate your first position. For the 90+ postdocs present, one of the more confusing sessions…


May 17, 2018

Making a strong first impression when applying for jobs

There are multiple components to a successful job application, including a resume or curriculum vitae (CV), letters of reference and a cover letter. All are important, but you just get one chance to make a strong first impression and convince the reviewers to give the rest of your application materials a look. The cover letter…


May 3, 2018

The postdoc experience continues to receive national attention.

In our last newsletter, we shared some take-home messages from the annual National Postdoc Association (NPA) meeting. Here at UW, we hope you were able to join the UWPA for their 14th annual research symposium last week. In addition to the wonderful talks and posters from UW postdocs, the UWPA welcomed postdoc-advocate and national leader…


April 19, 2018

National support for the postdoc experience

Earlier this month, the OPA and UWPA traveled to Cleveland, OH for the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) annual meeting. This is always an exciting conference, where leaders from postdoctoral associations and institutional offices gather to share best practices, recent research, and to strategize for future efforts supporting the postdoc experience. Here are a few pearls:…


March 22, 2018

Are you ready for an academic career?

We know from reviewing national data that most entering postdocs believe they want a career in academia. And yet, a few years later, this career path becomes much less desirable. What happens? After seeing up close what your faculty go through — grant seeking, publication struggles, promotion demands, and other daily elements of the academic…


February 22, 2018

Postdocs, you are more skilled than you know!

Postdocs often reach out asking for advice regarding what to look for in a future career. You may have wondered yourself: Should I stay in academia or consider moving to an industry setting? I enjoy talking about science, should I get a job in policy, outreach, or K-12 education? It is important during these times of uncertainty…


February 8, 2018

Research Culture and Climate: It’s On Us

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris spent a week at UW in January 2018, and some of us (including postdoc leadership) were able to spend time with him. His recent book brings together much of the published literature and personal stories about the “reproducibility crisis ” in research, biosciences in particular. We pressed him to identify possible…



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