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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Visitor Restrictions, Resources, and Updates

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Education / Graduate Education / Center for Professional Development / Opportunities to Explore / Opportunities to Explore - March 30- April 3, 2020

Opportunities to Explore - March 30-April 3, 2020

Vol 6, Issue 14 | Trainee News

U of R Coronavirus Updates

The University has published a Coronavirus Update site for graduate students and Postdocs where you can find the latest updates, questions and answers, a glossary of terms, and resources and support. Information Available on the Graduate Student and Postdoc Link includes: Latest Information, housing, paychecks, TA assignments, laboratory research, access to libraries, degree milestones, grades, and additional information for postdocs.

SMD GEPA Information & Assistance

The SMD Staff is currently working remotely, please email us at if you have questions. This email is checked Monday-Friday during normal business hours.

CPD/URBEST 1:1 Appointments With Elaine & Eric

Elaine Smolock, Ph.D. and Eric Vaughn, M.Ed. are still holding and offering one on one appointments via Zoom. To register for an appointment, please visit the RedCap Appointment Request Form.

Share Your CPD/URBEST Programming Ideas With Elaine & Eric

Please share your career, writing, or grant program/workshop ideas to either Elaine Smolock or Eric Vaughn.

This Week

COVID-19 Town Hall for SMD Students, Postdocs

Monday, March 30 | 4:30 pm | Zoom

SMD learners are invited to join Steve Dewhurst, Dirk Bohmann, Martin Zand, Sharon McCullough and Richard Libby for a COVID-19 Town Hall (via Zoom) on Monday, March 30 at 4:30 pm to discuss graduate education and the research ramp down, and get your questions answered. We will have ASL interpreters and closed captioning on the call. If you need any other accommodations, please contact ASAP.

Before the call, please review the information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for Researchers website and the University’s Information for Graduate Students and Postdocs website.

COVID-19 Town Hall for SMD Students, Postdocs

Monday, March 30, 2020 04:30 PM Eastern Time

Meeting ID: 334 609 459

+1 646 876 9923

US (New York)

Postdoctoral Association (PDA) Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, April 1 | 10:00 am-11:00 am | Zoom

All postdocs are welcome to attend and participate in the PDA Monthly Meetings. This meeting will be conducted through Zoom at For more information, please contact

Upcoming Events

CPD/URBEST Event: Program by the Numbers: Being a PI in your discipline

Wednesday, April 8 | 11:00 am-12:00 pm | Zoom
Presented by Molly Wilson, Ph.D. (SMD, Ph.D. Graduate ’16); Product Owner, Academic Analytics

Join us for an information session where we will share data from Academic Analytics, a database of research activity across the United States.  We will look at the numbers for tenure track faculty in your discipline nation-wide so you will be able to answer questions like: How long after degree do people usually get faculty positions in my field? How many papers do I need to be competitive on the job market? What does the research career look like for faculty in my field in terms of output? Join this Zoom event at Need accommodations? Contact at least three business days prior to the event.

(**Event Cancelled**) UR Writing Retreat

Monday, April 13 – Tuesday, April 14 | 9:00am-2:00pm

Struggling to find time, space, and/or motivation to make writing progress? Join our Writing Retreat! The purpose of the UR Writing Retreat is to provide an environment in which you can get some serious writing done. We will provide space, snacks, coffee, a productive work atmosphere, and access to a writing consultant. Goal setting and accountability to other writers are key components of the Retreat. Space is limited to 15 participants. To register or for more details, click here. If you have any questions, please email Alina Denham:​

Career Story w/ Jennifer Stripay - Uncharted Waters: Navigating tides of change in biomedical career planning

Tuesday, April 14 | 12:00 pm-1:00 pm | Zoom

Presented by Jennifer Stripay (SMD, Ph.D. Graduate ’16); Postdoctoral Fellow, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Join this Zoom event at  Need accommodations? Contact at least three business days prior to the event.

See more upcoming events here.

University Food Pantry Available For SMD Students and Postdocs

Due to the community’s heightened need, the Food Pantry operated by the College has expanded its eligibility and is now open to all University of Rochester graduate students and postdocs.

The Food Pantry is need-blind and does not require income or financial aid information to be served. To be able to make supplies last and meet the current high demand, we ask that you consider whether the Food Pantry is right for you. The Food Pantry should be used by any student or postdoc who: a) is food insecure; b) may be facing a change in employment status, and c) is currently in quarantine or isolation. While we understand that going to the grocery stores can be difficult for everyone at this time, if you have the financial means to do so, we ask that you consider the following options before using the Food Pantry: Grubhub, Amazon Pantry, Walmart Grocery Delivery, Instacart.

  • How can Grocery Bag orders be placed? Grocery Bag orders can be placed via the following form:
  • When and where can Grocery Bags be picked up? SMD students and postdocs can pick up their ordered bags at LeChase Assembly Hall, Room G-9576 on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Bags can be picked up any time between 3:30 and 6:30pm. Parking will be available in the SMD MRB lot outside the Flaum Atrium entrance, and visitors may tell the parking attendant they are there for the Food Pantry.
  • When should Grocery Bag orders be placed? Orders should be placed by the midnight prior to selected pick-up day.
  • What if I miss the order deadline? Depending on what time it is, we may be able to help you with a same-day order. Before using the form to place an order, please email directly.
  • What if I am in quarantine or isolation? If you are in quarantine or isolation in campus housing, we will work to do a non-contact delivery. Please complete the form as normal, and input this information when asked.
  • What if I am not in quarantine or isolation, but do not feel well? If you are feeling unwell, we ask that you do not come to pick-up your bag. Please stay within your residence and ask a friend to pick up your bag for you. If no one is available to pick up your bag for you, please contact me, Sharon McCullough. When completing the form, you can indicate that you are sending someone else to pick up your bag.
  • What is in a Grocery Bag? Groceries bags will be filled with 7 to 10 non-perishable food items. Please note that when completing the form, you are not placing a direct order. Your preferences checked within the form will help us create your bag, but no food items can be guaranteed. We will do our best to avoid items that you did not indicate as preferred.
  • How do I donate to the Food Pantry? The Food Pantry currently prefers donations via their Amazon Wish List. Monetary donations are also accepted.
  • Who should I contact if I have any questions or need more information? Please feel free to contact the Food Pantry Coordinator, Jordan Ratzlaff, at


University Counseling Center (UCC) Update

UCC Update – in light of the University’s recent decision to move to online instruction for the remainder of the semester, in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

  • UCC is planning to stay open at our regular semester hours.
  • If you will be staying in the Rochester area (on or off-campus) for the remainder of the semester (or even the next little while), you may still start or continue in-person sessions at UCC. 
  • All scheduled appointments will take place unless a student contacts us (275-3113) to cancel or no-shows.  New in-person appointments will be scheduled as usual.
  • Existing therapy groups will go forth at the scheduled time for the week of March 16th.  At that next meeting, we will talk about options for the rest of the semester.
  • Existing UCC clients who are not in the Rochester area will be contacted via UHS Connect by their therapist to discuss options and resources.
  • Telehealth options will be made available to students in quarantine or isolation at the University.

Any other questions, concerns, needs?  Please call us at 585-275-3113.  We are open 8:30am-6pm Monday through Thursday and 8:30-5pm on Fridays.  After hours and on weekends, you can reach one of our clinicians on call in case of a mental health emergency.

Office of Research and Project Administration

ORPA has set up a dedicated page for COVID-19 information for researchers and research administrators.  This includes notices from research sponsors and UR-internal guidance.

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

2020 Policy Memo Competition

Following a successful run in 2019, The National Science Policy Network, in collaboration with the Journal of Science Policy and Governance is excited to launch its second international policy memo writing competition. For full details, please visit the National Science Policy Network 2020 Memo Competition Website

The Data Incubator’s Fellowship Program

Apply now for early decision and start your journey to becoming a data master. Apply online!

A few things to remember about the TDI Fellowship application:

  • We assess candidates who submit their application by the Early Deadline first, and then we consider the candidates who applied for the Regular Deadline on a first-come, first served basis if there is remaining availability. So make sure you apply early!
  • Regardless if you want to do the Fellowship in New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. or online, they all use the same application.
  • Don’t think this session is the right one for you? We have got more sessions coming up later this year. Check your email regularly for when we announce our upcoming sessions.
  • Have a friend, colleague or coworker who would make a great Fellow? Tell them to apply too—and soon!

Open Group Leader positions in Neural Plasticity & Brain Disorders – Braincity-Nencki EMBL Partnership (Job Closes: April 9, 2020)

Braincity is seeking to hire up to three new group leaders during this recruitment round. They will join a center of excellence for neuroscience with a focus on carrying out fundamental research in neuroplasticity with relevance to human disease. More information about Braincity can be found here. New group leaders will be provided with dedicated laboratory space and core funding to cover start-up and running costs for a group of 4-5 members and subsidized access to animal and core facilities.

Braincity is located on the largest academic research campus in Eastern Europe in the heart of Warsaw, a dynamic and cosmopolitan capital in the youngest and fastest growing region of Europe. New groups will benefit from Poland's generous national grant funding system and ample opportunities for collaboration with clinicians an interactions with a highly successful biotech sector.

Interested persons should submit CV, letter of motivation, and research plan documents via the Braincity recruitment site and can contact me or the Braincity Directors, Drs. Leszek Kaczmarek ( and Ewelina Knapska (

Postdoctoral Association News

Join the PDA Slack at You can use this forum as a resource to ask questions, see announcements, and connect with other postdocs in general. It is a great way to get involved with postdocs from other fields as well as getting to know your peers. Join Today!

Miner Library Resources

Miner Library is available to support your online teaching, learning, and research needs.

  • IIE Zoom Quick Start Meetings: Every day this week (3/16 - 3/20) 10am, 1pm and 3pm (1hour each) Zoom link:
  • Miner Library Computing Center Tech Support call 275-6865 or email
  • Expert literature searching for clinical and research needs via zoom, chat, or email. Submit requests through Ask A Librarian on Miner’s homepage.
  • Appointments for online research consultations with librarians available through Ask A Librarian on Miner’s homepage.
  • Digitization of required Course materials currently available only in a print format, subject to limitations for copyright compliance. Requests to digitize print book chapters and articles may be submitted via
  • Accessing electronic resources. Access library digital collections remotely through a VPN connection or authentication with Active Directory or NetID credentials. For assistance, contact
  • Interlibrary Loan service available. Submit requests in ILLIAD interlibrary loan system.
  • When Course Materials are not available in an electronic format and digitization is not possible, Liaison Librarians can also assist instructors in identifying and accessing alternative resources to use in their courses.
  • History of Medicine Reference assistance via email or Zoom by appointment. Provision of digital or photocopied items at the discretion of the curator. Please contact the Curator, Meredith Gozo, at: or 585-275-8827.


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 |