UW Graduate School

OPA Blogspot


November 30, 2017

Managing stress – a lifelong pursuit!

No question about it, being a postdoc is stressful. Academic life is stressful. Your future is uncertain, you are under pressure to produce, you may have family and life circumstances that add to the joy – and the stress – of your experience. Given the data on mental health among graduate students and postdocs, we at…


November 16, 2017

Working with mentors to support your career goals!

We all have different mentors in our life. These people have our best interest in mind and are able to guide and support our professional and personal development. In your personal life, look for advisors who are compassionate, enthusiastic, generous, honest, insightful, selfless and wise. In your professional life, it is imperative to find mentors who…


November 2, 2017

Exploration and Action: Keys to identifying your next steps

We often talk with postdocs about steps you can take to plan for your future. Before jumping into goal setting, investing time in assessment, reflection, and exploration can help assure your goals are aiming you in the right direction. We have promoted a few self-assessment tools in the past (myIDP and Doug’s Guides). A new tool from the…


October 19, 2017

Career Advice for Beyond the End of The Road

If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s. – Joseph Campbell   Dr. Keith Micoli visited UW from NYU where he directs the postdoc office and has worked for a decade to support postdoc professional development. Dr. Micoli shared advice with UW postdocs at a workshop on October 16, and we…


October 5, 2017

Setting Yourself Up For Career Success

As we head into a new season, it is a good time to take a moment to assess where things stand regarding your career goals. What are your achievements of the past couple of months; of the past year? What skills do you want to hone in the coming months? What kinds of careers are exciting…


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…


August 15, 2017

Postdocs, Know Your Rights!

Along with key partners such as the UWPA, Academic HR, the Career & Internship Center, and UW Schools & Colleges, the Office of Postdoc Affairs (OPA) works to support over 1,100 postdocs at UW. The benefits and rights of being a postdoc vary based on your funding source and position. We want every postdoc to know your rights, as the…


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…



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