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Education / Graduate Education / Center for Professional Development / Opportunities to Explore / Opportunities to Explore - July 29-August 2, 2019

Opportunities to Explore - July 29-August 2, 2019

Vol 5, Issue 31 | 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.

Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) News

The Office for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) at the School of Medicine and Dentistry has announced the appointment of Aleta Anthony to the role of Director of Equity, Inclusion and Research Education Support.

The directorship is a newly-created position aligning with the University of Rochester’s broader mission to support equity and inclusion through strategic efforts, organizational programming, and inclusion initiatives. As director, Anthony will provide leadership and direction at the School of Medicine and Dentistry to foster an environment where all members of the GEPA community are supported and acknowledged for diverse backgrounds and experiences.

In a commitment to promoting equity and inclusion for students and postdocs, Richard Libby, PhD, who is Senior Associate Dean for GEPA, worked with the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Office for Inclusion and Culture to create Anthony’s new role.

Anthony joined the School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2017 as the director of graduate enrollment for PhD, master’s, and certificate programs. In addition to her new role leading GEPA’s equity and inclusion efforts, she will continue her work building and enhancing recruitment strategy for the school’s biomedical sciences and health sciences graduate programs.

UR Postdoctoral Association Travel and Development Awards (Deadline, July 31)

Award Mission

As part of the mission of the UR PDA, this travel award has been created to support the professional development of postdocs.  Priority will be given to individuals who demonstrate that attending a conference, workshop, or networking event will provide opportunities for professional development not available at the University of Rochester.

Award Details

One AS&E postdoc and one SMD postdoc will each be awarded up to $1,200 to attend a conference, workshop, or networking event.


All University of Rochester postdocs are eligible to win a travel award, except for current/former PDA co-chairs.

Application Requirements & Deadlines

The applicant must complete the online application: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through July 31, 2019. Winners will be announced during National Postdoc Appreciation Week on September 20, 2019 at a networking reception.

Conditions for Disbursement of Award

* SMD Postdocs: Reimbursement request must be submitted to the SMD Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs office, PO Box 316, G-9551 Medical Center, Attn: Stephen Naum by May 31, 2020. Consequently, the conference must occur prior to this date. The awardee must provide a written conference report (minimum 1000 words) which will be made available for use by university organizations such as (but not limited to) the PDA and the Center for Professional Development. * AS&E Postdocs: The reimbursement request for the AS&E postdoc travel awardee must be submitted to the SMD AS&E Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs Office, Box 270401, Lattimore Hall, Attn: Gretchen Briscoe by May 31, 2020. Consequently, the conference must occur prior to this date. The awardee must provide a written conference report (minimum 1000 words) which will be made available for use by university organizations such as (but not limited to) the PDA and the Gwen M. Greene Career Center. Please note: the original receipts and signed expense reimbursement F3 form need to be submitted.  An electronic version copy of the reimbursement documents cannot be accepted. 

Review Process

Winners will be chosen based on a formal review process performed by current and former PDA co-chairs. Priority will be given to individuals whose applications demonstrate that the intended conference will offer unique opportunities for professional development (workshops, job interview skills, networking, etc.). Furthermore, priority is given to postdocs who do not already have travel funding (e.g., the applicant is paid off a PI’s grant and does not have an F32 fellowship).


Please direct any questions to the AS&E PDA co-chair Anusha Naganathan ( and/or the SMD PDA co-chair Monica Javidnia. Note, this award is separate from the CPD Travel Award.

Fall 2019 Courses

IND 426: Science Communication and Design for Diverse Audiences

Course Details: Fridays from 10:30am - 12:00pm (15, 1.5hr weekly sessions). Location: Helen Wood Hall, room 1W-502

CRN 77103   Credits: 2.  Prerequisites: None

Course Instructor: Derek Crowe.  Cell:  716-998-3183

Course Director:  Dina Markowitz Office: 585-275-3171 | Cell: 585-752-5300

Course Description: This course offers a hands-on based approach to improve science communication skills. Students will work in small groups to practice distilling, visualizing, and presenting their scientific message. We will focus on improving communication with both scientific and non-scientific audiences. We will build graphical abstracts, posters, and presentations. Principles visual design will be explored in a tool-agnostic manner. Communication ethics will be emphasized. This course integrates improvisation techniques, which allow presenters to better connect with their audience. Participants should come ready to step outside of their comfort zone and dive into a variety of different experiences from week to week.

The Big Picture: The goal of this course is to explore and develop communication skills. We will work with questions such as: Why do we communicate? What do we mean by audience? What is visual language? What tools are relevant? How do we learn, practice, and utilize those tools?

Schedule: You may view the 2018 schedule here to get a sense of how we spent our time last year. Updates will be made for 2019.

Upcoming Events

(*) URBEST Mentoring Up Case Study #5

Tuesday, August 6 | 12:00 pm-12:30 pm | Combined Northeastern Room (1-9525 & 1-9535), URMC

Case studies are discussions that are guided by a faculty member (this week Steve Dewhurst) to discuss possible solutions to challenging situations that may occur during graduate school or postdoctoral training. Trainees that complete the Workshop and at least six of the ten Refresher Case Studies (at their own pace, multiple years is fine) will earn a Mentoring Up electronic badge. Trainees that earn electronic badges will have the option of becoming co-guides with the faculty for the 2020 monthly Mentoring Up Refresher Case Studies. Register for Mentoring Up Program online to be included in the BlackBoard Mentoring Up group and receive case studies. For questions, please contact

(*) Postdoctoral Association Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, August 7 | 10:00 am-11:00 am | River Campus, Location TBD

All University of Rochester Postdocs are invited to attend and participate in the Postdoctoral Association.

(*) Opioid Overdose Prevention Training

Wednesday, August 14 | 5:00 pm-5:30 pm | Strong Memorial Hospital, Office of Mental Health Promotion, Department of Psychiatry (G-9271), URMC

This training is designed for anyone--from the URMC community to the general public--interested in helping save lives. ALL attendees will receive a free overdose prevention kit! RSVP at

See more upcoming events here.

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

Tobacco Regulatory Science Talent Student Competition “TRS Talent Competition”

Students at the University of Rochester and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center are invited to participate in this new annual competition! The competition aims to promote student awareness and interest in Tobacco Regulatory Science (TRS) and the aligned FDA Research Priorities to better understand toxicity, addiction, and appeal of current and emerging tobacco products, and to provide an evidence base for FDA regulatory considerations. For full details and entry form, please visit the WNY Center for Research on Flavored Tobacco website.

Applications for the Mirzayan Science & Technology Fellowship

The application is now open for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program. The 2020 session of the Fellowship will begin on January 21 and conclude on April 10. Graduate and professional school students and those who have completed graduate studies within the last five years are eligible to apply. Areas of study may include social/behavioral sciences, health and medicine, physical or biological sciences, engineering, law/business/public administration, or relevant interdisciplinary fields. The Program provides Fellows with the opportunity to spend 12 weeks at the National Academies in Washington, DC learning about science and technology policy and the role that the scientific, engineering, and medical communities play in advising the nation. Please help us spread the word about this opportunity. With your help, we hope to recruit a talented and diverse class of new fellows. If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact us or visit the program website at .

RocDocs- University of Rochester Post-Doctoral Career Advancement Opportunity

September 18-20, 2019 | RocDocs Information Website including Application

RocDocs: Post-Doctoral Career Advancement Program at the University of Rochester is a two-day program that serves as a career advancement opportunity for graduate students nearing the completion of their studies and early career postdoctoral scholars—particularly scholars from underrepresented groups in STEM. Sponsored by the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity RocDocs provides an opportunity for attendees to establish networking connections, as well as participate in career advancement and professional development workshops. Attendees will gain insight about research and teaching opportunities at the University of Rochester and connect with current faculty of interest and who may have a postdoctoral fellowship position available in the coming year or by fall of 2020, while participating in workshops on career and academic advancement as well as networking among themselves, our current postdoctoral scholars and PhD students.

Program Overview: The program will take place over two days from September 18-20, 2019. This fully funded program will allow you to participate in career advancement and professional development workshops, tour research facilities and interact with faculty, current postdocs and PhD students.  Travel and hotel stay for your visit are covered. You will be connected with a faculty host who will meet with you and discuss their research and environment in which they work. You will also share your own research at a poster session, specifically for RocDocs to present to Faculty, Alumni, current postdocs & current students at our Steadman Prize for post-doctoral research banquet.

Program Candidate Eligibility: All graduate students, and especially those from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences, medicine and engineering, are welcome to apply to RocDocs. Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to: African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Filipinos, those with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds, those underrepresented on the basis of gender identity or expression or sexual orientation, as well as others who would bring additional dimensions of diversity to the University’s research and educational missions.

We are seeking scholars who are historically underrepresented in postdoctoral research to explore opportunities at the University of Rochester. Accommodations are available upon request and acceptance to the program.

The University of Rochester is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. The University believes that a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace culture enhances the performance of our organization and our ability to fulfill our important missions.  The University is committed to fostering and supporting a workplace culture inclusive of people regardless of their race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, marital status, age, physical abilities, political affiliation, religious beliefs or any other non-merit fact, so that all employees are included, equal valued and supported.

Application Process: Fill out our online application. You will need your CV, a diversity statement, a recommendation from your mentor, and the names of up to 6 University of Rochester potential faculty hosts with whom you would be interested in meeting. See this page for guidance in finding potential faculty host, and a list of hosts especially interested in connecting with RocDoc candidates. Feel free to contact those faculty now if you like. We will ensure that there is mutual interest as part of the selection process. If your application is selected, we will arrange for you to travel to campus and stay for 2-3 nights. During your stay, you will meet with faculty you have identified as sharing your research interests as well as with current postdocs. Application deadline is Monday, August 5, 2019 by 5:00pm EST. Apply here. Applicants will be informed of your acceptance by August 12.

All questions should be sent to You may also send any supplementary materials to this address. Accommodations are available upon request and acceptance to the program. This program is supported by the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity at the University of Rochester. For additional information, contact: Eleanor H. Oi, Director of Diversity Programming. Email: Phone: 585-273-4297. Mail: University of Rochester, P.O. Box 270016, Rochester, NY 14627.

Fall 2019 Class Offering: MBI 406: Biomanufacturing (3 Credits)

Tuesdays & Thursdays Starting August 28th | 9:40 am-10:55 am | Instructor: Dr. Luisa Caetano-Davies

This course is team-taught by University of Rochester Upstate Stem Cell cGMP Facility staff and guest lectures from industry, and other cGMP facilities and Universities. The class is designed to introduce current aspects of manufacturing biopharmaceuticals using industrial techniques and commercially relevant bioprocesses. Specific lectures will discuss biomanufacturing background, quality assurance, regulations, procedures, proper techniques, and documentation. UR’s cGMP facility will be toured to show an example of a fully validated biomanufacturing facility for the production of cell-based therapy products to be tested in humans for the first time in Clinical Trials. Class is for undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs. Postdocs may register as a non-matriculated student and apply for an audit fee waiver. Invited Speakers for 2019 include: Edward Schwarz, Telephus Biosciences; Jason Condon, Vaccinex; Bryan Vought, Alkermes; Eden Fucci, Torque Therapeutics; James Clements, Athenex; Fabio Fachin, Takeda; Gerhard Bauer, UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures; Charles Ruttler, NC State Biomanufacturing Training & Education Center; Ben Cosgrove, Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University; Steve Dewhurst, Microbiology and Immunology at URMC; Luis Martinez, Microbiology and Immunology at URMC; and Sharyl Zaccagino, Quality Assurance at URMC. Questions and additional information, please contact

Falling Walls Lab Rochester 2019 Applications Now Open!!  (Deadline: September 11, 2019)

Pitch your innovative idea in just three minutes highlighting a breakthrough that creates a positive impact on science and society and win a trip to the International Falling Walls Finale in Berlin, Germany just like Ahmed Ghazi, MD, associate professor in the department of Urology did last year. Dr. Ghazi’s three-minute presentation titled “BREAKING THE WALL OF SURGICAL ERRORS” showcased the innovative technology being used in the URMC Department of Urology Simulation Innovation Laboratory. His presentation earned him the prestigious 2018 Falling Walls Young Innovator of the Year title, prize money, a yearlong mentorship on scientific publishing, and an invitation to serve as a judge for the 2019 International Finale.

Prizes: 1st place: $500 and travel expenses to International Falling Walls Finale in Berlin, Germany (open to University of Rochester students and faculty), 2nd place is $300 and 3rd place is $200.

For complete information including deadlines and application, please visit the Fall Walls Website. For questions, please contact

Postdoctoral Association News

National Postdoctoral Association-Call for Nominations: 2020 DSA & Mentor Award

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), in partnership with Garnett-Powers & Associates, Inc., would like to announce the call for nominations for the 2020 NPA Garnett-Powers & Associates, Inc. Mentor Award. The award recognizes a faculty member or advisor who has engaged in exceptional mentoring of postdoctoral scholars.

The recipient of the NPA Garnett-Powers & Associates, Inc. Mentor Award will receive a plaque, an honorarium of $500, complimentary registration to the 2020 Annual Meeting, and a $1,000 travel stipend. The award will be presented at the 18th NPA Annual Conference, March 27-29, 2020.

The deadline for submission is Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. ET. To submit a nomination, proceed to this link.

National Postdoctoral Association-2020 Distinguished Service Award

The 2020 Distinguished Service Award represents appreciation for an individual that has demonstrated either a profound, sustained, or leadership contribution to improving the postdoctoral experience.

  • The award recognizes an individual who has contributed to improving the postdoctoral experience through:
  • Pioneering efforts to improve postdoctoral policies, benefits, and programs.
  • Influencing sustained leadership in national systemic and/or local change for the improvement of the postdoctoral experience.
  • Advocating and raising awareness of significant and important issues that have significantly altered the postdoctoral scholar landscape.
  • Contributing to professional development, career development and resource development for postdoctoral scholars.
  • Creating agency and opportunity for postdoctoral research and advancement into academic and nonacademic careers.

To read the nomination process for 2020, visit this page. The deadline for submission is Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

National Postdoctoral Association- Deadline to Submit Board Election Materials Extended

The NPA is holding elections this fall to bring four committed and energetic individuals to the NPA Board of Directors for three-year terms. The deadline to submit application packets has been extended to Friday, July 19, 2019, by 11:59 p.m. ET.

If you are interested in learning more about the roles and responsibilities of service on the NPA Board, or applying for a Board position, please visit this link.

Join the PDA Slack at

Relevant Reads

The PhD Handbook for the Academic Hob Search: An owner’s manual for…

“The PhD Handbook for the Academic Job Search: an owner’s manual for finding jobs” is the latest from Will Coghill-Behrends and Rebecca Anthony about the academic job search process for folks seeking teaching, research and related positions in academe.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.

Finding Your Flow

Doing so can enhance your scholarly life and help you advance your career, says Victoria McGovern.


“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 |