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Education / Graduate Education / Center for Professional Development / Opportunities to Explore / Opportunities to Explore - June 10-14, 2019

Opportunities to Explore - June 10-14, 2019

Vol 5, Issue 24 | 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.

SMD Ombudspersons for Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Appointees, and Preparatory Program Trainees

While graduate, postdoctoral, and pre-graduate study are exciting and intellectually stimulating times in a trainee’s career, occasionally problems arise. There are many people to whom trainees can turn for advice when facing problems: faculty advisor(s), committee members, graduate program director, department chair, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs. However, sometimes trainees may feel unable to approach any of these people for help, and this is when a trainee should turn to the Ombudsperson.

There are three ombudspersons available:

Each of these ombudspersons is a faculty member who can provide confidential, neutral, independent, and informal advice to help trainees address their concerns.

The Ombudspersons provide a resource for and information about institutional policies, act as facilitators to help trainees resolve their problems and connecting trainees with those who can help, accompany the trainee in discussions of problems or issues with faculty or administrators, and act as an informal mediator between the trainee and faculty or administrators. The Ombudspersons can also help to effect positive change by providing feedback on patterns of problems and complaints to appropriate administrators.

Trainees can contact any of the three Ombudspersons for general questions. Discussions with the Ombudspersons can be through phone or in-person. For additional information, please check out the Ombudspersons webpage.

The Melliora Collective

What's The Meliora Collective?

You're invited to join the newest group on The Meliora Collective–created especially for the students, postdoctoral researchers, and alumni of the Arts, Sciences & Engineering graduate programs.

Launched last year, The Meliora Collective is an exclusive University of Rochester community of alumni, students, parents, and friends who wish to pursue their professional passions through exploration and growth. This networking tool help you make meaningful connections with those in your field, your region, and individuals with similar interests and experiences.

It's easy to use! Simply click the button below and create a profile using your email address, Facebook, or LinkedIn account. Make the most of your University of Rochester network. Now at nearly 6,000 members strong, this innovative online platform was designed to help you accomplish your goals. Send messages, set meetings, and start group discussions to get the conversation going; no need to share your personal contact information. Join today!!

This Week

(*) The Academic Job Search

Monday, June 10 | 12:00 pm-1:00 pm | Natapow Conference Room (1-9545)
Presented by Eric Vaughn, M.Ed. Participants will learn and gain knowledge on….What things to consider when preparing for the academic job search. When to plan and time your search.. The materials needed for the job search (samples will be provided). Interviewing, getting the job offer, and negotiation. Preparing for your new career. For questions regarding this workshop, please contact Eric Vaughn at

We are also excited to announce that we will have three special guest presenters including Sarah Saputo, Ph.D. Michael Chen, Ph.D. and Jeffrey Tithof, Ph.D. who recently went through the academic job search and have been offered and accepted upcoming faculty positions. They will share their experiences and assist with answering questions during the Q& A portion of the workshop.

  • Sarah Saputo, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The College at Brockport
  • Michael Chen, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at Nazareth College
  • Jeffrey Tithof, Ph.D.; "Benjamin Mayhugh Assistant Professor" in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

(*) 7th Annual 2019 PREP Symposium

Tuesday, June 11 | 2:00 pm-4:00 pm | Auditorium K-207 (2-6408)
Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program in Microbiology and Immunology. All are welcome to attend and refreshments will be served immediately following the presentation in the CEL Room 2-7520.

(*) Tasty Tuesdays Food Trucks

Tuesday’s from May 22nd to August 7th | 11:30 am-1:30 pm | Wilson Quad, River Campus
June 12th: Effortlessly Health, Tuscan Wood Fired Pizza, The Daily Refresher

(*) Opioid Overdose Prevention Training

Wednesday, June 12 | 5:00 pm-6:00 pm | Office of Mental Health Promotion, Department of Psychiatry (G-9271), URMC
This training is designed for patients, families, medical personnel, and community members interested in helping save lives. ALL attendees will receive a free overdose prevention kit! **RSVP Today at or (585) 275-3571.

(*) Jupyter and Galaxy: Easing entry barriers into complex data analyses for biomedical researchers

Friday, June 14 | 12:30 pm-1:30 pm | Ryan Case Method Room (#1-9576)
Presented by: Anton Nekrutenko; Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Penn State University. What does it take to convert a heap of sequencing data into a publishable result? First, common tools are employed to reduce primary data (sequencing reads) to a form suitable for further analyses (i.e., the list of variable sites). The subsequent exploratory stage is much more ad hoc and requires the development of custom scripts and pipelines, making it problematic for biomedical researchers. Here, we describe a hybrid platform combining common analysis pathways with the ability to explore data interactively. It aims to fully encompass and simplify the "raw data-to-publication" pathway and make it reproducible. Question and Answer Session: 3:00 pm in KMRB 3-9624. Coffee and cookies will be provided. Hosted by Juilee Thakar.

Upcoming Events

(*) URBEST Career Story: Annabelle Kleist

Wednesday, June 19 | 10:00 am-11:00 am | CEL 2-7544, URMC
Dr. Kleist is currently the Director of Teen Health and Success Partnership at the Center for Community Health & Prevention at the University of Rochester. Her career path will be of interest to MANY and she can speak about being the Chief of Staff for CORE Districts, a collaboration of school districts in California, and provided program management and grant writing support for ARCHES, a hub for regional education collaborations; a Freelance Editor to the PLOS Biology Editorial Board; and a Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the California Counsel of Science and Technology. There will be bagels, scones, coffee and tea!

(*) New Date: LinkedIn Workshop: Utilizing LinkedIn to Market Yourself in Today’s Job Search Environment

Wednesday, June 19 | 2:30 pm-4:00 pm | Nesbit Computer Room (G-7545), URMC
Presented by: Eric Vaughn, M.Ed.; Director of Career Services, Center for Professional Development. Objectives to be covered: Understand the purpose, benefits and functions available to users; Identify the various LinkedIn profile sections and respective content; Discuss the levels of LinkedIn connections; and Explore the job search component and how it can assist you in preparing for your employment search and interviews. For more information on this workshop, please contact

Humans for Education: One Step Beyond @ the Carlson

Wednesday, June 19 | Doors open at 6:30 pm | Comedy at the Carlons (50 Carlson Rd, Rochester, NY 14610)
In 2017, we created a model, which was to build small businesses for schools so that they could become financially independent. In 2018, two pilot schools generated over $33,000 of income, which helped them buy new textbooks, send their teachers for training, and even add kale to their meal plan to combat malnutrition.  This year Comedy @ the Carlson is going One Step Beyond. Together, we are holding an exciting event filled with inspiring TED-like talks from comedians and talk show hosts about going One Step Beyond. This unforgettable night will bring our community together to collectively go One Step Beyond to help 2,000 families in Kenya. Each and every single one of these speakers is here to help change the lives of thousands of children in Kenya. We are excited to welcome you to an exciting night of TED-like, inspirational talks, along with great food, and fun activities. Please join us and consider purchasing your ticket today:

URBEST Dr. Aslihan Ameskovic: Introduction to Machine Learning in Health Data

Wednesday, July 10 | 10:00 am-11:30 am | Ryan Case Method Room (1-9576), URMC
Dr. Aslihan Ameskovic will introduce you to machine learning in health data and also provide some time for hands on machine learning. Before the session you must register so that you can receive step-by-step instructions for setting up your laptop for the hands-on machine learning. If you have any problem with the set up, Asli will meet with you to smooth out any problems. To make this learning session useful for all, we may create pairs of one person with no or some python experience plus one person with moderate or extensive python experience. You will tackle machine learning together. To register fill out the survey at

See more upcoming events here.

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

URBEST Microgrant Applications Available (Deadline Friday, July 5)

URBEST is excited to announce a request for URBEST Microgrant Applications to support initiatives led by graduate student and/or postdoctoral groups who are advocating for professional development and skill building opportunities in areas of science policy, industry, regulatory science, data science, higher education, communication, or outreach. These areas are suggestions and the list is by no means exhaustive.   Deadline for proposals are Friday, July 5, 2019.

Funding: Most awards will be around $1,500, with the potential for up to a maximum on $3,000 for highly innovative and high-impact proposals. The timeline is for one year, starting September 1, 2019. Paperwork: This email contains three attachments: the request for microgrants review process (doc), the application form (doc) and the scoring rubric (pdf).  Please submit your application to in PDF format. Eligibility: UR groups (medial center, river campus, or a combination) managed by graduate students and postdocs are eligible to apply. Your group is expected to consist of at least 50% full time graduate students, at least one URBEST trainee, and we strongly recommend that a proposal is submitted by a group and not an individual. Only one submission per group will be accepted. Any questions or would like to brainstorm idea? Contact  She will not be part of the review committee.

Cornell University Rising Star Program

Cornell University has a new opportunity that will be of interest to underrepresented minority research scientists interested in academic careers. Drs. Cynthia Leifer and Hector Aguilar-Carreno have been awarded an NIH NIAID grant entitled “The Cornell Program to Increase Faculty Diversity and Promote Research Excellence”. As part of this program, we are looking for “Rising Stars”, who are URM postdoctoral scientists doing high quality NIAID related research and preparing to apply for faculty positions. The goal of our program is to provide these Rising Stars with the opportunity to polish their skills in preparation for seeking faculty positions.

Individuals selected from this competitive pool of researchers will be invited to: Visit Cornell to give a seminar on their research and receive feedback. Network with faculty members in their field who can provide insight into upcoming faculty searches.

While taking part in the Rising Star program cannot guarantee a faculty position at Cornell, it will allow individuals to network with future search committee members, access to open positions, and guidance on the application and interview process to develop a competitive edge.To be considered for the Rising Star program, please send a copy of your updated cv, a one page research statement and the contact information for 3 professional references to us at For more information about our program please visit our website at

International Research Opportunity- Penn State - The American Ceramic Society - University of Kiel (PACK)- International Research Experience Fellowship

Deadline June 15, 2019! PACK is a National Science Foundation funded international research fellowship opportunity for graduate students (US citizens or permanent residents only) working in the areas of magnetoelectric composites, biomagnetic sensing, functional brain imaging, magnetic materials, medical signal processing, neuromorphic devices, and related fields to conduct research at University of Kiel, Germany. The fellowship provides support for travel, lab fees, and boarding. In addition to research, selected students have the opportunity to attend relevant courses at University of Kiel, receive exposure to entrepreneurship training, and participate in professional development activities.

A cohort of six students will be the first PACK fellows to do research at Kiel for the Winter term starting in October 2019. The application deadline for the first cohort is June 15, 2019. Click here for more information.

Center for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning

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.

MOOC: An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching

Eight weeks, starting June 24
An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching is an asynchronous, open, online course designed to provide graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and other aspiring faculty in STEM disciplines with an overview of effective college teaching strategies and the research that supports them. This course is also suitable for other interested university staff, faculty, and administrators. The goal of the eight-week course is to equip the next generation of faculty to be effective teachers, thus improving the learning experience for the thousands of students they will teach. For more information, please visit the CIRTL website.

2019 CIRTL Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching

June 17-21: 12-5PM ET; outside of those times, participants will be expected to do anywhere from 2 to 2.5 hours of individual work per day.
The CIRTL Online Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching is 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 more information, please visit the CIRTL website.

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 .

Graduate Student Groups

Participating in activities beyond the lab and classroom is extremely beneficial for graduate students. We will be highlighting student-run and university organizations in OTE.  Current student-run (blue) and University of Rochester (gold) organizations open to SMD graduate student membership. You can explore each group’s mission by clicking the links. Campus Community Connection (CCC) links are also provided (must inquire individually about membership rules).

PONS: Pre-doctoral Organization for the Neurosciences

We serve as a bridge for the neuroscience and neurology focused student groups at the University of Rochester sponsored by the Rochester Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. Our mission is to expose pre-doctoral students to interdisciplinary neuroscience topics and research opportunities, mainly via our Luncheon Roundtable Series (PONS LRS) with guest panelists. PONS Website: Pre-doctoral Organization for the Neurosciences

Postdoctoral Association News

The National Postdoctoral Association (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 is July 12, 2019, 11:59 p.m. ET.

They are seeking candidates representing a broad spectrum of research disciplines, institutional settings, geographic regions, demographic groups, and professional experiences. Expertise in fundraising, leadership and policy advocacy are particularly appealing. Service on the Board is an excellent opportunity to refine your skills and share your vision with a dynamic group. Service on the Board is not just for postdocs. The NPA also seeks individuals with backgrounds in administration, nonprofit governance, organizational development, and strategic partnerships.

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

Internet, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys

A complete, start-to-finish guide for every researcher to successfully plan and conduct Internet, mail, and telephone surveys, Internet, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method, Third Edition presents a succinct review of survey research methods, equipping you to increase the validity and reliability, as well as response rates, of your surveys. Now thoroughly updated and revised with information about all aspects of survey research?grounded in the most current research?the new edition provides practical ?how-to? guidelines on optimally using the Internet, mail, and phone channels to your advantage.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.

Let’s go to a conference!

By Adam Ruben. In this month’s Experimental Error, our columnist offers some tips to prepare for conferences. Read Let’s go to a conference!


“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 |