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OPA Blogspot


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…


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 24, 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…



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