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OPA Blogspot


September 13, 2017

Postdocs Rock! Here are 5 Reasons Why

Postdocs are vital members of the University of Washington ecosystem.  During National Postdoc Appreciation Week (September 18-22), we here at the UW Office of Postdoc Affairs (OPA) in the Graduate School wanted to point out just a few of the many reasons why: Postdocs are often the first point of contact for graduate students and…


May 18, 2017

Translating Your Postdoc Experience into Practice

An academic journey is an interesting thing. After focusing on developing specialized knowledge in a field during your PhD and then digging deeper during your postdoc, it is understandable to wonder how you might use your specific expertise in different settings – whether inside or outside of academia. A recent panel of Ph.D.s working in…


May 4, 2017

Should You Pursue An Academic Career?

“So what do you want to do when you graduate?” There is no better way that a well-meaning family aunt or uncle strikes fear into the heart of an unsuspecting grad student or postdoc over slices of turkey at the holidays. Although this question is well meant, it often makes you squirm and feel uncomfortable….


April 20, 2017

Finding a Cultural Fit with Your Employer

It can be so exciting to get a job offer or to find a postdoc position that it can be tempting to look no further.  However, finding the right “fit” involves many dimensions beyond just the research focus. Universities, companies, governmental agencies, and non-profits each have their own cultures. Furthermore, individual departments or even specific…


March 23, 2017

Tips for Postdocs from National Postdoc Association Meeting

On March 18-19, 2017, leadership from OPA and UWPA participated in the 15th Annual National Postdoc Association meeting in San Francisco. Three members from the Fred Hutch Student and Postdoc Advisory Committee also attended, and a postdoc from  Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR) so Seattle was well-represented! There were many good working sessions and…


March 9, 2017

Postdoc Resolution Passes Faculty Senate!

On March 2, 2017, the UW Faculty Senate voted unanimously in support of this Class C Resolution which will be sent to all faculty as a notification this week.  The Resolution was drafted by the Faculty Council on Research in consultation with the UW Postdoc Association and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.  We are happy…


February 23, 2017

When Is It Time to Move On?

A postdoc experience is often a leap of faith.  You might make decisions about what’s next for you after your doctoral program based on need, opportunity, ambition, passion, interest, or a combination of these factors.  Once you land a postdoc position, you will learn different things about yourself, and certainly you will also learn things…


February 9, 2017

It’s a Long Road: Take Care of Yourself

Winter quarter is often a time when energy can get low and isolation can get more intense. This year especially there are more events and unknowns that can add to the already high anxiety of being a postdoc. At the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, along with Core Programs in the Graduate School, we’ve been pulling…


January 12, 2017

The Postdoc Experience Revisited

The University of Washington, along with many peer institutions, is working to integrate the recommendations for revisiting the postdoctoral experience made by the National Academies of Sciences in 2014. We will keep you posted on progress as we move forward, and we invite you — postdocs, leaders within your units, faculty champions — to advocate for and adopt these…


December 15, 2016

Strategies for Getting to Independence

As part of our Monthly Postdoc Conversation this week, we discussed challenges postdocs face when working on the pathway to establish research independence.  The group discussed common situations such as: What happens if I am doing work that just utilizes skills I already have? How do I carve out my research direction? What happens if…



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