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OPA Blogspot


February 13, 2020

Pursuing passion projects: One way to make the most out of postdoc training

In the December 2019 newsletter, we shared why and how we can pursue our passions. Here, we introduce one way of pursing your passion without burning you out – through passion projects. Passion projects refer to projects that you pursue, typically in your spare time, to enrich your life. There are many reasons to start…


December 19, 2019

How do you find your passion?

As we transition into the holiday season in 2019 and spending more time with beloved ones, you’re likely to be asked some variation of the following question: “what are you going to do after you finish your postdoc?” As we reflect upon what comes next, we are often encouraged to “follow our passion.” This mantra…


November 14, 2019

Is the job right for me?

Postdocs are often so busy trying to complete the next experiment or write the next draft of a manuscript (and hopefully get it published!), that we don’t have sufficient time to plan for the next stage of our careers. Usually, we start with reading job announcements, preparing our application materials, and then hoping to get…


October 19, 2019

Elevator Speech: An Effective Way to Communicate Your Work

Have you heard about the concept of an “elevator speech”? It’s a brief summary of who you are, what you do, and your career or project goals—with an emphasis on brief. Imagine running into the CEO of the dream company you’d like to work for, while waiting in line for coffee or taking an elevator:…


July 11, 2019

Recharge in summer

Summer is the perfect time to make room for activities and experiences that will help you be – and feel – prepared for the coming year! The pace can feel slower during this time of the year, and there’s a little more wiggle room to be intentional about visualizing and achieving your intellectual, professional and…


June 6, 2019

Crafting an Effective Diversity Statement and Cover Letter

In Spring 2019, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA), Core Programs in the Graduate School, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), and the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMA&D) co-sponsored an interactive workshop led by the UW Postdoc Diversity Alliance, Crafting an Effective Diversity Statement and Cover Letter. A panel of four speakers —…


April 11, 2019

Enrich your portfolio through conferences

Since spring 2016, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has supported the professional and career development needs of postdocs towards independence through quarterly travel grants. To date, we have funded 66 postdocs to travel to regional, national and international conferences. Travel grant recipients kindly shared their conference experiences, and we are highlighting several of them here. We…


March 14, 2019

Lead from where you are

Traditional views of leadership suggest that you need a title or status to be a leader. However, true leadership can be seen at every level of a team or organization regardless of title or status. Consider this: are you stepping into your full potential as a leader during your time as a postdoc? Leadership skills are…


February 15, 2019

Expand your skill set – or just have fun!

As UW postdocs, you are eligible to take classes at the UW. This can be a great way to expand your skills or knowledge base, explore a new discipline or research method, or just take a course of personal interest to you. We often talk about “making the most of your postdoc experience” while here…


January 17, 2019

Postdoc Well-being

As postdocs, you are much more than just researchers, scholars and scientists. You are whole people, with families, personal commitments and a full spectrum of interests. The academy sometimes focuses on your intellectual contributions alone. Evidence now shows we do our best work if we have plenty of sleep, connect with others and have breaks…



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