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Education / Graduate Education / Center for Professional Development / Opportunities to Explore / Opportunities to Explore - April 8-12, 2019

Opportunities to Explore - April 8-12, 2019

Vol 5, Issue 15 | Trainee News

A newsletter for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees |@UR_SMD_CPD|@TraceyBaas

| CPD & GEPA Events Calendar | URBEST Program Calendar

(*) Designates Onsite Events at URMC or River Campus

OTE Online

Opportunities to Explore is also available online. To view the web version, please visit The web version is optimized for viewing on tablets and smart phones.

Meet The Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs Team

Judy Conkling

Judy Conkling, Secretary

Judy serves as Secretary for the Office for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA), acting as a secondary receptionist and helping to monitor department budgets. She also provides support to the UR Postdoctoral Association.

Trainees typically contact Judy with general inquiries, to discuss spending and reimbursement for events sponsored by GEPA and the Center for Professional Development, and to discuss Postdoctoral Association events.  To contact Judy, call her directly at 585-275-5022 or email Judy Conkling.

This Week

(*) University’s 10th Annual Diversity Conference: ‘Finding the Courage to Lead’

Monday, April 8 | 8:00 am-4:45 pm | Various Locations on River Campus
The University’s 10th annual diversity conference, “Finding the Courage to Lead,” on Monday, April 8, features award-winning author, activist, and cultural commentator Samina Ali. Ali’s keynote address weaves her own personal story with a passionate appeal for women’s equality and justice, followed by workshops throughout the day. Register here.

(*) Teaching as Research (TAR) Fellows Research Presentation Day

Monday, April 8 | 9:00 am-12:00 pm | Humanities Center in Rush Rhees Library, River Campus
The fifth cohort of TAR Fellows will be presenting their research posters to their peers and mentors, as well as from faculty from both UR and regional institutions such as MCC and Brockport. 

Event agenda

  • 9.00 - 9.30am - Welcome, introductions and coffee
  • 9.30 - 10.45am - Poster Round Robin 
  • 11.00 - noon - "Words of Wisdom: Opportunities and challenges facing STEM teaching faculty in HE today", at which faculty from UR and regional HEIs will share some of their insights about what scientific knowledge/understanding undergraduate students are currently bringing to the college classroom, as well as where the 'gaps' seem to be.   

For questions concerning this event, please contact

(*) Ain Center Lecture: 5 Keys to Startup & Venture Capital Success featuring Martin Babinec

Monday, April 8 | 4:30 pm-5:30 pm | Schlegel 102, River Campus
The Ain Center welcomes Martin Babinec – Founder of TriNet and Founder/Chairman of Upstate Venture Connect – to deliver the Spring 2019 Ain Center Lecture. Martin will speak about his entrepreneurial experiences, as well as his background as an investor in upstate New York. Martin Babinec founded TriNet a Silicon Valley-based company in 1988, serving as CEO for 20 years and continues as a board director. TriNet’s cloud-based HR services now cover 17,000+ clients, generates $4B+ annual revenue and the company went public on NYSE in 2014. Martin is a champion for entrepreneurship and economic development in upstate New York. He is Managing Director of UpVentures Capital, Founder/Chairman of non profit Upstate Venture Connect, Co-Founder/Chairman of StartFast Venture Accelerator and has other leadership roles helping organizations connect entrepreneurs to resources nationally and globally. He is a past recipient of SVBT Silicon Valley Entrepreneur of the Year Award. This event is free and open to the University community and the general public. Attendees should register online ( in advance or call (585) 276-3500. Those who register in advance will receive a complimentary River Campus parking pass.

(*) URBEST Career Story: Amy Hein, Ripple Effect

Tuesday, April 9 | 11:00 am-12:00 pm | Center for Experiential Learning 2-7536, URMC
Dr. Hein is the Director of Scientific Workforce at Washington DC area-based Ripple Effect, where she is responsible for directing staffing contracts, building relationships with clients, and managing Ripple staff who support federal biomedical research policy and programs. To be included in the lunch that follows (noon-1pm) please RSVP jennifer_brenna​n@urmc.rocheste​ .

(*) 2019 Human Values in Health Care Annual Lecture- Without Consent: The History of Human Radiation Experiments in Rochester, a Family Story

Tuesday, April 9 | 12:00 pm-1:30 pm | Adolph Auditorium (1-7619)
Concerned about the health effects of radiation on employees in the Manhattan Project, a number of research and medical institutions were asked to carry out secret radiation experiments on patients without their consent in the 1940s. One of those research sites was the University of Rochester. One of the patients was Janet Stadt.  This panel has three stories to tell: Jon Stadt, the grandson of Janet Stadt will share his family’s story of his grand-mother.  Eileen Welsome, BA, journalist and author of The Plutonium Files, based on her Pulitzer-prize winning article series, will share her story of the history of the Manhattan Project experiments and her investigations to discover the identities of patients involved, including Janet Stadt.  Gary Chadwick, PharmD, MPH, Professor Emeritus of Medical Humanities and Bioethics in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and formerly the Director of the University of Rochester’s Office for Human Subject Protection, will share his perspectives on the Rochester radiation experiments and the protection of human research subjects. Rebecca Garden, PhD, Associate Professor of Bioethics and Humanities at Upstate Medical University, who suggested this panel, will serve as moderator and will discuss how she learned about Janet Stadt’s story and has made it central to her healthcare ethics education. Sponsored by the CLUSTER FOR HEALTH AND HUMAN VALUES, University Committee for Interdisciplinary Studies and Co-sponsored by the DIVISION OF MEDICAL HUMANITIES & BIOETHICS.

(*) Negotiating Salary- Grad Pro Devo Series

Wednesday, April 10 | 11:45 am-12:15 pm | Greene Center Conference Room (4-200), Dewey Hall, River Campus
Negotiating salary is an important skill to have as you move forward in your career. This workshop will teach you how to leverage your skills and experiences to negotiate a fair salary. We will discuss where to find the information you need to negotiate well, along with some techniques and tips to use when you are negotiating. We promise negotiating is not as scary as you think. This workshop is geared towards graduate students, but all are welcome. For more information or to register for this workshop, please visit Handshake. Please note: If you or an event participant require disability-related accommodations, please contact David Cota-Buckhout ( as soon as possible, ideally at least 3-5 business days in advance of the event. Thank you.

University of Rochester Alumni Sponsored Webinar: Generate Ideas with Mark Wilson, Lecturer, Simon Business School

Wednesday, April 10 | 1:00 -2:00 pm | Webinar
Ideas are like opinions: everybody has at least one. But, how do you decide which concepts are worth pursuing? Join Mark Wilson who will introduce brainstorming techniques, explain idea filtering, and discuss methods for implementation. Discover how to take a handful of seemingly disparate ideas and turn them into a focused and powerful reality. Mark is currently a lecturer in the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School. He is the founder of Initiative, an outsourced new product development company that has been creating and implementing medical devices since 1994. He also founded Neworks, a series of technology commercialization workshops, which include the Pre-Seed Workshop (an intense company-building accelerator that has been the spark for more than 150 new technology-based companies since 2004). His passion lies in the concept-stage of innovation that can be mechanized to greatly improve its currently discouraging statistics. He has conducted market and competitive research, recommended pricing strategies and business models, directed sales training and business development endeavors, and been commissioned for conceptual sketches, cartoons, video storyboards, and marketing collateral. To register for this webinar or future webinars, check-out the Career Conversations: Innovation in the Workplace Webinar Series online.                                      

How to Develop a Career Exit Strategy

Wednesday, April 10 | 1:00 -2:00 pm | Webinar
Do you know what you would do if your research or teaching position ended in a few months? In order to avoid panicking and taking the first position that comes your way, an exit strategy can be deployed, while refocusing efforts on your ultimate career goals. In this webinar, we will discuss exit strategy options, how to use an exit strategy to enhance your skill sets and ways to keep moving forward during career transitions. For more information on the concept of a career exit strategy, read this Bio Careers blog post “What’s Your Career Exit Strategy?” by Donna Kridelbaugh in advance of the webinar. To register for this webinar, please visit

Inclusive Excellence in STEM (Registration Deadline: April 3, 2019)

Saturday, April 13 |8:00 am-3:15 pm | Rochester Institute of Technology
Project Kaleidoscope Teach. Lead. Know. Differently. 2019 PKAL New York Regional Networking Meeting

Faculty, Administrators, and doctoral students from 2-year & 4-year, public and private institutions are welcome to join this meeting to discuss Faculty Development for Inclusive Excellence in STEM. This meeting will be led by several institutions in the Great Lakes region who received the Howard Hughes Inclusive Excellence Awards. Participating institutions will share their project goals and methodologies, and lead a workshop on developing Inclusive Excellence in STEM faculty and student achievement. Participants will have the opportunity to explore innovative inclusive classroom, research mentoring, and academic advising practice as well as developing concrete steps to implement new ideas at their own institution. Institutional change strategies will be explicitly discussed, along with common obstacles and strategies to overcome them. Keynote speaker will be Dr. Emily Walter from California State University, Fresno who will conduct the keynote entitled “I Need To Be Myself: Becoming an Agent of Inclusive Teaching Practice." Breakout sessions will be led by faculty and staff from HHMI-funded institutions and may focus on topics including…Inclusive classroom practices, Inclusive research mentoring, Developing an inclusive quantitative skill center, Classroom-based research experiences, and Transforming institutions. Registration deadline is April 3rd and you can register for the conference on the 2019 PKAL Upstate New York Regional Meeting registration page. The registration fee is $55 for professionals (faculty and administrators) and $25 for doctoral students, and includes lunch and conference materials. Questions related to the event, please contact Dr. Scott Franklin at

Upcoming Events

(*) Surviving and Thriving as a Graduate Student

Thursday, April 18 | 3:00 pm | Adolph Lower Auditorium (1-7619), URMC
Brigid Cahill, Ph.D. – Director, University Counseling Center, University of Rochester. Host: Dr. Lynne Maquat

(*) 2019 Undergraduate Research Exposition

Friday, April 19 | 12:30 pm-4:00 pm | River Campus
Events featuring work from all disciplines include

12:30 – 1:30pm: Oral symposia sessions across River Campus

  • Humanities: Welles-Brown Room, Rush Rhees Library
  • Social Science: Meliora Hall 203
  • Engineering and Mathematics: Gavett Hall 206
  • Natural Science: Hutchison Hall 140

2:00 – 3:00pm: Poster presentation fair in the Hawkins-Carlson Room of Rush Rhees Library

3:15 – 4:00pm: Awards ceremony, including the presentation of the College Award for Undergraduate Teaching and Research Mentorship, in the Welles-Brown Room of Rush Rhees Library

Check out the Undergraduate Research Exposition webpage for more information

(*) Graduate Student Society (GSS) Coffee Hour

Wednesday, April 24 | 10:00am-11:00 am | CEL 2-7536, URMC
Coffee hour for graduate students - free coffee, tea and treats. Enjoy conversation with fellow students or just grab and go! 

The Graduate Student Society is the coordinating student body charged with representing all students enrolled in the graduate programs at the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry. We monitor issues of importance to the graduate student community, represent the concerns of graduate students to University administration, and advocate for changes to enhance the quality of graduate education. We also serve as a liaison among the student populations of the graduate programs and sponsor academic and social events of interest to the graduate student community.

(*) Interviewing: What to Expect and How to Prepare for the Interview

Wednesday, April 24 | 10:00am-11:30 am | CEL 2-7534, URMC
Eric Vaughn, Director of Career Services, will provide participants tips and materials to assist in preparing for various types of job interviews.  In addition, participants will gain an understanding of the various types of interview questions that may be asked during an interview including general questions, behavioral, and situational style questions. Participants will also practice answering various types of interview questions. Registration is not required, but to be guaranteed a seat, please register. For more information, please contact  Register here for "Interviewing: What to Expect and How to Prepare for the Interview."

See more upcoming events here.

Happening Now (Grant, Travel Award, and Conference Information)

URBEST Enrollment (April 1-15)

URBEST Enrollment is official open The URBEST Program is one of seventeen programs funded by the NIH to experiment with methods to enhance training opportunities for early career scientists and prepare them for a variety of career options in the dynamic biomedical workforce landscape. Our mission is to Broaden Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) for today’s PhD graduate students and postdoctoral scientists. We believe that all biomedical research and science careers are equally valued as successful careers. The URBEST Program aims to increase the confidence and motivation of trainees to identify and pursue their career goals, and to reduce training time by enabling trainees to more efficiently direct their efforts. Join us today by applying through our online survey. We will be scheduling orientation for May. Until that time, please attend some of our April events.

The Lasker Foundation Announces its 2019 Student Essay Contest (Deadline: April 11)

The Lasker Foundation is soliciting submissions for its 2019 Student Essay Contest. Trainees in the medical and biomedical workforce are asked to outline in 800 words or less an educational strategy that will increase interest in biomedical sciences among young men and women. The first-place award is $10,000 and a trip to New York City to meet the 2019 Lasker Award winners on September 20. Second- and third-place prizes are $5000 and $2500, respectively. Submissions are due April 11.

GWIS Travel Award Spring 2019- (Deadline is April 16th)

The deadline for the Travel Award application is Tuesday, April 16th, 2018 at noon.  You must be a graduate student in years 1 through 5 and an active participant in GWIS.  Travel will be sponsored on the basis of scientific merit, need, and regular participation at GWIS meetings as evidenced from the sign-up sheet.  To date, fifty seven GWIS members have received Travel Awards. There are two steps for completing an application: Step 1.  Submit a completed Application Form (attached document) along with a copy of your C.V. and copies of your peer-reviewed publications to by noon on April 16th . Step 2.  Request that your Ph.D. mentor and one of your Ph.D. advisory committee members each forward a letter of reference by noon on April 16th. For application materials, please visit the GWIS website.

Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is accepting applications

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science is now accepting applications for the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program (2019 Solicitation 1). Applications are due 5:00pm Eastern Time on May 9, 2019. The SCGSR program provides doctoral dissertation/thesis research opportunities for graduate students at DOE national laboratories. We release two regular solicitations annually, one is around early Spring and the other close to Fall. Details about the program and online application can be found on the DOE Office of Science Website.

Medical Faculty Council University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Student/Trainee Travel Awards 2019 Request for Applications (RFA) (Deadline: May 3, 2019 @ 6:00 pm)

The purpose of this award is to assist students and trainees in the URSMD to attend important national or international meetings at which they will present their research and make professional connections. We hope this will assist mentors with limited funds to promote their trainees’ professional success. We also intend for this award to serve as a means of recognizing outstanding research on the awardee’s CV. Funds may be used for registration and travel costs to national or international meetings. This award may be given in the form of reimbursement for a meeting where an applicant has already presented their research, or for anticipated meeting travel for presentation (reimbursement provided after travel). For full description and application materials, please visit the Medical Faculty Council webpage and select MFC Travel Awards.

Center for Professional Development (CPD) Travel Award (Deadline: May 31, 2019 by 5:00 pm)

The Center of Professional Development (CPD) is sponsoring a CPD Travel Award for PhD students and postdoctoral appointees in the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Each travel award is worth up to $1500 and can be utilized for travel to a conference or for a professional development opportunity relevant to preparation for current or future career endeavors. For more information including eligibility or to apply, please visit If awarded the CPD Travel Award, the travel award must be utilized between June 7, 2019 and June 4, 2020. All receipts for reimbursement will be due June 5, 2020.

CHCI-United Health Foundation Scholar Intern Program (Deadline: May 5, 2019)

Sponsored by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Inc. The CHCI-United Health Foundation (UHF) Scholar Intern Program helps students pursuing health-related careers receive scholarship funds as well as hands-on experience through a paid internship at a community-based health organization. For more information, please visit the Sponsor website or Program page. Deadline is May 5, 2019.

MBI 406: Biomanufacturing for Fall 2019

Interested in a Pharmaceutical Career in Biomanufacturing? Fall 2019 Biomanufacturing course is team taught by UR Upstate Stem Cell cGMP Facility staff & guest lecturers from industry, other cGMP facilities & Universities. Full course description and Syllabus for Fall 2019 can be found online. For more information about the course contact

Center for Integration of Research, Teaching & Learning

Understanding Diversity and Inclusive Teaching in the Community College Setting

Thursday, April 11 | 1:00 pm EDT | Online in Blackboard Collaborate(Register online to attend)
Community colleges are truly diverse settings, attracting individuals from all different walks of life with the common interest in advancing their education. If you are interested in exploring a career at a community college, then understanding the diversity of this student population is crucial to being a competitive job applicant and a requirement in order to be able to teach effectively. This panel consisting of faculty and administrators from community colleges in Iowa, Texas, and Southern California will share insight on the differences between community college and 4-year settings with regards to student diversity. We will also explore the types of inclusive teaching strategies that best support community college students, and issues of equity that community colleges work to address. Visit the Exploring Careers in Teaching at Community College Series online.

All-Network Teaching-as-Research Presentations

Wednesday, April 17 | 5:00 pm EDT | Blackboard Collaborate
Hear graduate students and postdocs from across the CIRTL Network share the results of their Teaching-as-Research (TAR) projects in this online presentation session. TAR projects investigate questions about teaching and learning, including assessing the effectiveness of specific learning activities and tools, examining the learning process about a specific topic, or characterizing the student experience in the classroom. This drop-in, online event is open to the public. Anyone is welcome to attend, but you must register in order to attend. Once you register, you will have access to the Blackboard Collaborate room where this online event will take place. Register through CIRTL online for this workshop.

Faculty Advising in a Community College Setting: What You Need to Know and How to do it Well

Monday, April 22 | 2:00 pm EDT | Blackboard Collaborate
Given that learning is a social process, relationships—especially those with faculty—are powerful tools that aid in students’ personal and professional development (Baker & Griffin, 2010). Advising students is a key role that many faculty play in addition to engaging students in classroom or research settings. This workshop is designed to help all future and current faculty learn how to advise effectively. Through a mix of mini-lecture, small and large group discussion and practice, participants will/be able to: • develop an appreciation for why developing good advising skills matters; • describe key aspects of how advising works within an institution and the different advising roles faculty play, depending on institution type; • explain key elements of effective advising for students; and • practice skills around building relationships and engaging future advisees. Registration runs from Monday, April 8, through 12PM CT on Friday, April 19. STEM/SBE grad students and postdocs from CIRTL institutions receive priority; we refer to the institution, role, and discipline in your website profile when assessing priority. Open to 200 participants. Register through CIRTL online for this workshop.

2019 CIRTL Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching

Monday, June 17 | 12:00 pm EDT | CROSS Network Online
The CIRTL Online Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching designed specifically for grad students and postdocs new to teaching. In this five-day institute, participants will experience a thorough introduction to the core ideas that ground CIRTL's approach to STEM education: learning-through-diversity, learning communities, evidence-based teaching, and teaching-as-research. By examining relevant literature, working online in small peer groups facilitated by topical experts, and performing structured work independently; participants will develop a deep understanding of scientific teaching.

For a full list of upcoming Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning Workshops, please visit The majority of events are online and requires advance registration. For information on any of the courses or programs, please contact .

Relevant Reads

How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper

Now thoroughly updated and expanded, this new edition of a classic guide offers practical advice on preparing and publishing journal articles as well as succeeding in other communication-related aspects of a scientific career. Visit the CPD’s Lending Library catalog to see this and other titles of interest. To borrow a book, stop by our office in G-9627 or email us with your request.

Why Do We Talk Badly About Ourselves?

Students and postdocs generally lack confidence in their own abilities, writes Joseph Barber, or at least lack practice in communicating those abilities to others. Read Why Do We Talk Badly About Ourselves?

Interviewing for Your First Staff Job in Academe

William Weaver offers some tips for pleading your case to two key audiences. Read Interviewing for Your First Staff Job in Academe

To find the right career fit, I needed to do more than move from job to job.

By Charlotte Harrison. Read To find the right career fit, I needed to do more than move from job to job.


“Need accommodations for any CPD or GEPA event?  Contact at least three business days prior to the event.”

Visit for a calendar of all our events.  Review the Opportunities to Explore archive.

Center for Professional Development | | (585) 275-4522 |

Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training | | (585) 276-7348 |