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Education / Graduate Education / Center for Professional Development / Opportunities to Explore / Opportunities to Explore - September 9-13, 2019

Opportunities to Explore - September 9-13, 2019

Vol 5, Issue 37 | 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.

UR Writing Retreat

Register for UR Writing Retreat next week! Space still available!!

Struggling to find time, space or motivation to make writing progress? Attend our UR Writing Retreat next week!

The UR Writing Retreat is a 3-day, 5-hours-a-day intensive writing event. We provide an environment in which you can get some serious writing done: space, snacks, coffee, a productive work atmosphere, and access to a writing consultant! You write away! Goal setting and accountability to other writers are key components of the Retreats, and most participants are able to make significant progress on their writing project(s).

To register, fill out the form. Space is limited to 15 participants, but there are still spots left! Please contact Alina Denham if you have any questions:

Approximate Schedule

Wednesday, September 11

  • 9:00 am- 9:30 am – Goal-setting workshop
  • 9:30 am - 9:4 5am – Small group discussion: Introductions/Share today’s writing goal
  • 9:45 am - 1:45 pm – Writing session
  • 1:45 pm - 1:50 pm – Personal reflective writing: Rate your progress on the goals worksheet, add to your journal, etc.
  • 1:50pm - 2:00pm – Small group discussion: Share you progress with your group

Thursday, September 12 – Friday, September 13

  • 9:00 am - 9:05 am – Journal reflection
  • 9:05 am - 9:20 am – Small group discussion: Share today’s writing goal
  • 9:20 am- 1:40pm – Writing session
  • 1:40 pm - 1:45 pm – Personal reflective writing: Rate your progress on the goals worksheet, add to your journal, etc.
  • 1:45 pm- 2:00 pm – Small group discussion: Share you progress with your group

This Week

(*) URBEST Retreat & Career Workshop

Tuesday, September 10 | 9:00 am-3:30 pm | 3-6408 & 2-7536/2-7544, URMC
Register for URBEST Retreat & Career Workshop online. Eight scientists plus one workshop scientist leader: Merck, Miltenyi Biotec, Cytovance, Boston Innovation Center, Masonic Cancer Center, The Broad Institute, University of Rochester, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and SciPhD.

UR Writing Retreat

Wednesday, September 11 – Friday, September 13 | 9:00am-2:00pm | Registration required
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. Please register here for UR Writing Retreat.

(*) Maximizing Your Time

Thursday, September 12 | 12:30 pm-1:30 pm | Combined Northeastern Room (1-9525 & 1-9535), URMC
Are you always feeling stressed or continuously say, “I don’t have enough time.” This workshop will provide you tips and resources on maximizing your time and developing personal time management strategies to ensure you are utilizing your time the most effectively.

(*) UR Writing Grants Seminar Series: Biosketch with Dr. Thomas Mariani

Thursday, September 12 | 2:00 pm-3:00 pm | Upper Adolph (3-7619), URMC
UR Writing Grants seminar series helps graduate students and postdocs tackle trainee-level grants. After each seminar, the room will be available for an additional hour to get some writing done. Refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to be matched with trainees in a similar field, please respond with a brief (2-3 sentence) statement on your work and a few keywords. Please contact Monica Javidnia if you have any questions:

  • September 26th – Training Plan (Saunders Research Building 1404)
  • October 10th – Research Plan (1-9576 Ryan Case Method)
  • October 17th, 2-5pm – Working Session from 2-5pm (1-9525/1-9535 North Eastern Conference)

(*) 1st Meeting of GWIS: Diversity in Science: Does it Matter?

Thursday, September 12 | 3:00 pm-4:00 pm | Adolph Lower (1-7619), URMC
Invited Speaker: Tracy Johnson, PhD, Professor, Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, UCLA; Cecilia and Keith Terasaki Endowed Chair in the Life Sciences; Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor; Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Johnson will also be presenting a seminar in the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics Seminar Series on Wednesday, September 11th  titled “RNA Splicing, Chromatin Modification, and the Coordinated Control of Gene Expression” from 2:00 – 3:00 pm in K-307 (3-6408).(Note: Please sign in to allow to track attendance for travel awards.)

(*) TRNDS | Technology & Rare Neurological Diseases Symposium

Friday, September 13 | 7:30 am-4:00 pm | Center for Health & Technology (265 Crittenden Blvd., Rochester, NY)
The Technology & Rare Neurological Diseases Symposium (TRNDS) is a one-day event focused on groundbreaking technologies that are leading the way to novel therapies and impactful treatment options for patients with rare neurological disorders. Hosted by the University of Rochester, TRNDS brings together clinical researchers, policy experts, influential patient advocates and other health care professionals. For information please visit the TRNDS website and for tickets please visit the TRNDS Event Brite webpage. #TRNDS2019 @TRNDS_UR

(*) UR Science Policy Initiative presents Policy Chat with Alex Yudelson

Friday, September 13 | 3:00 pm-4:30 pm | Louise Slaughter Room (1-9555), URMC
Alex is the Chief of Staff to Mayor Lovely Warren and a former policy advisor to the Obama Administration. Please join the Policy Chat to hear about Alex’s career path and what he thinks is important for scientists to know so that they are better able to impact our local and national government. Contact us a or Tweet us at @ROCSciPol. For accommodations please contact This event is sponsored by the URBEST Program. Check out UR Science Policy Initiative website for details and information on upcoming events and resources.

Diversity Picnic

Saturday, September 14 | 1:00 pm-4:00 pm | Canalside Shelter Genesee Valley Park
We invite you and your families to join us for food, fun, and games, as we celebrate our community of diverse students and trainees at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Sponsored by URMC: Clinical and Translational Science Institute; Executive Committee for Diversity and Inclusion; Office for Inclusion and Culture; School of Medicine and Dentistry; School of Nursing. RSVP for this event online.

Upcoming Events

(*) Page Turners for Teaching

Wednesday, September 18 | 4:00 pm-5:00 pm | Miner Classroom (1-6200D), URMC
Curious about how best to teach and train others? Considering an academic career? Lacking opportunities or time to teach as a busy researcher? Looking for ways to keep your CV up-to-date on teaching even if you are not currently doing it? Join Page Turners For Teaching! A bi-weekly discussion group offered through a collaboration between the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), Center for Professional Development (CPD), and the AS&E and SMD GEPA offices for graduate students and postdocs interested in exploring their teaching practice with like-minded colleagues! Get a FREE copy of Small Teaching by James Lang to discuss!  Register to reserve your spot and a free book. For questions about this event, please contact Kyle Trenshaw, Sponsored by CETL, CPD, and the AS&E and SMD GEPA offices.

(*) Postdoctoral Association National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week (NPAW) 2019: Breakfast Career Panel

Thursday, September 19 | 8:00 am-10:30 am | Helen Wood Hall (IW-509)
Join our diverse group of panelists to discuss career transitions! Panelists include: Teaching- Jonathan Millen, Ste. John Fisher College; Patent Law- Lynn Gottfried, Pepper Hamilton LLP; Outreach- Calvin Uzelmeier, Rochester Museum and Science Center; Tenure Track- Kenneth Henry, University of Rochester; Business: Anthony Franchini, CBETHNK; and Industry- Mike Wilson, Simulated Inanimate Models LLC. RSVP will be required for this event. More information and RSVPing will be available soon. For questions about this event, please contact

(*) Graduate Student Negative Data Club

Friday, September 20 | 3:00 pm-4:00pm | Natapow Room (1-9545), URMC
This club is an environment where students have the opportunity to present negative data in a casual setting amongst their peers. This is 1) a chance to practice presenting, 2) a way to be socially engaging, 3) a chance to present to people outside your field, 4) a way to spotlight data that you worked hard on, but are having difficulty publishing, and 5) a way to encourage scientific integrity. Seeking at least 1-3 students willing to present their work as 6-8 PowerPoint slides in 10-15 min slots.  A sample presentation format would be 1 Title, 1-2 Intro, 1 Method, 2-3 Data, 1 Limitation/Discussion.  If you're interested in presenting, please email us at by Friday, September 13.  Questions concerning the group can also email

2nd Annual Suite-Up Event at JCPenney

Sunday, September 22 | 6:00 pm-9:00 pm | 600 Eastview Mall, Victor, NY
In collaboration with the Greene Center, JCPenney College Suit-Up offers students an exclusive, one-time only shopping experience for career wear at discounts that are not accessible to the general public. Bring your student ID and receive up to 60% off professional and career wear, including additional discounts on already-reduced, sale-priced apparel. Merchandise options include men's and women's career and dress apparel, shoes, belts, ties, scarves, and handbags from name brands such as Liz Claiborne and Worthington. While shopping, don't forget to stop by Sephora for a FREE mini makeover and samples, and head over to the hair salon for a consultation. Check out the portrait studio for professional headshots starting at just $29.99!

Register in Handshake to win a $100 gift card to be used at the Suit-Up Event on September 22! You must be pre-registered in Handshake and on-site at the event in order to be eligible for the gift card.  Drive on your own or hop on a shuttle! Shuttles will continuously loop from Rush Rhees on Library Road to JCPenney Eastview. Estimated shuttle pick-up times at Rush Rhees: 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. Register today to reserve your spot at this popular event! We're looking forward to seeing you at Suit-Up! Please contact Christina Pero with any questions. If you 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.

Informational Webinar: Preparing an Application to the NIH Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) Program

Tuesday, September 24 | 1:00 pm-3:00 pm | Online Webinar
The purpose of this Notice is to inform potential applicants to the NIH Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) Program to Enhance Diversity UE5 (PAR-19-342) and K99/R00 (PAR-19-343) funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) of an upcoming webinar on planning submissions to this program. Participation in the webinar, although encouraged, is optional and is not required for application submission. During this webinar, you will learn about the MOSAIC program and the process for writing a UE5 or K99/R00 application. For complete information on the webinar and how to join the WebEx Meeting, please check out the Notice of Information Webinar website

(*) The Graduate Giving Gala

Friday, September 27 | 8:00 pm-11:00 pm | Feldman Ballroom, River Campus
Hosted by the Graduate Student Society and the Graduate Student Association

DJ, Dancing, Raffles, hors d’oeuvres, and cash bar. Each ticket buys a Thanksgiving Dinner for a local family in need at Rochester School No. 28. Tickets are $15.00, add $5 for 15 raffle tickets (pre-sale only). RSVP in the GEPA office (G-9556) (cash only) or buy tickets at the door.

See more upcoming events here.

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

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

Call for Nominations: The K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award (Deadline: October 1, 2019)

The K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award recognizes graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education; who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and others; and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. (Information about past recipients of the Cross Award is available here.)

The award honors the work of K. Patricia Cross, Professor Emerita of Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Throughout her career, Pat Cross helped the higher education community better understand our students, their characteristics, and their needs, and recognize what our responsibilities should be. Her ground-breaking scholarship paved the way for a legacy of work on age, socioeconomic class, gender, race, sexual orientation, and numerous other aspects of intersectional social identity.

Please visit this site for complete information about the Cross Award.

Postdoctoral Association News

2019 National Postdoctoral Association Week Events: September 16-20, 2019

  • (*) Meet ‘n’ Greet Breakfast

Monday, September 16 | 9:00 am-10:00 am | SMD GEPA Office (G-9556)

  • (*) Breakfast Career Panel & Breakout Sessions

Thursday, September 19 | 8:00 am-10:30 am | Helen Wood Hall (IW-509, Craytor & McNearney)

  • (*) Postdoc Showcase and Luncheon

Thursday, September 19 | 12:00 pm-2:00 pm | Helen Wood Hall (IW-509, Craytor & McNearney)

  • (*) Coping with Work and Family Stress

Friday, September 20 | 9:00 am-10:00 am | Helen Wood Hall (IW-509, Craytor & McNearney)

  • (*) Learn: Yoga in the Office

Friday, September 20 | 11:30 am-12:00 pm | Helen Wood Hall (IW-509, Craytor & McNearney)

  • (*) Salad Bar

Friday, September 20 | 12:00 pm-12:30 pm | Helen Wood Hall (IW-509, Craytor & McNearney)

  • (*) Learn: Tennis Ball Self-Massage

Friday, September 20 | 12:30 pm-1:30 pm | Helen Wood Hall (IW-509, Craytor & McNearney)

  • (*) Steadman Competition

Friday, September 20 | 3:30 pm-4:30 pm | George Hall Room 101, Sloan Auditorium

  • (*) RocDocs and NPAW Poster Session

Friday, September 20 | 4:30 pm-5:30 pm | George Atrium

Contact Anusha Naganathan, (ASE) or Monica Javidnia, (SMD) if you have any questions. For fullevent descriptions and to RSVP for any of the events, please visit URNPAW 2019 page.

Join the PDA Slack at

Postdoctoral Opportunity

MD Anderson Cancer Center's CPRIT TRIUMPH Postdoctoral Fellow

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is currently accepting applications for the CPRIT TRIUMPH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational Cancer Research. This three-year fellowship provides basic, translational, and clinical training and aims to further develop talented PhD or MD/PhDs into successful clinical/translational research scientists. Applications are reviewed quarterly with the next cycle due dates of September 30, 2019 and December 31, 2019. Additional information regarding eligibility, application process, and current trainees and program alumni profiles are found at Please contact Dr. Kari Brewer Savannah, Program Manager, with any questions at

Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning

Using Qualitative Methods to Enrich Teaching and Learning

Get an introduction to qualitative research methods for classroom-based research in this two-part workshop. In the first session, participants will explore fundamental differences between qualitative orientations and more common research designs in STEM. Foundational (theoretical) knowledge that underlies much of qualitative research will be summarized so that students understand how and why qualitative research looks and feels different. Following this discussion, the advantages of using observation as a qualitative method will be explored, with special emphasis on understanding the difference between approaching an inquiry product from an inductive versus deductive reasoning approach and how the method of observation can add rigor when examining learning behaviors. In the second session, participants will hone in on what makes for effective qualitative research interviews. Interviewing is a common technique both inside the world of research and without. Whereas interviews are generally viewed as purposeful conversations, qualitative researchers use interviews to gather descriptive data and to document and discover interpretations of the world. Further, interviews in qualitative research are rarely used as a stand-alone strategy as they are often paired with observation and document analysis. This session will explore the distinguishing features of qualitative interviews, describe their use as primary and secondary data collection methods and engage participants in constructing interview questions for classroom-based research.

Workshop Schedule

This workshop has two online sessions, which participants are required to attend, at 3-4:30PM ET on Monday, September 23 and September 30. For more information or to register for Using Qualitive Methods to Enrich Teaching and Learning visit the CIRTL website.

Peer-led Teaching-as-Research Learning Community

After the hard work of preparing a Teaching-as-Research proposal, the implementation stage of the TAR process may require additional support, advice, and guidance. This learning community (LC) is intended for graduate students and postdocs who have completed a TAR proposal, and would like additional support during implementation and analysis. In this LC, participants who have planned and are implementing a TAR project will meet regularly with experienced peers who have recently completed their own project.

In addition, we will invite guest speakers to share their expertise in relevant topics, including: Data collection; Qualitative and quantitative methods; and Sharing your findings


This learning community has weekly online meetings on Mondays at 4-5:30PM ET / 3-4:30PM CT / 2-3:30PM MT / 1-2:30PM PT from September 30 through December 9. For more information or to register for Peer-led Teaching-as-Research Learning Community visit the CIRTL website.

Fall 2019 Online CIRTL Courses

Courses have live, real-time online sessions and require regular homework outside of those class meetings. Short courses typically meet weekly for one to two months, while full courses typically meet for two to three months. Registration is required; STEM grad students and postdocs from CIRTL institutions receive enrollment priority.

Diversity in the College Classroom

Fridays 9/27-11/15: 11:30AM-1PM ET

Understand the theory behind how diversity affects learning and develop practical classroom strategies in this course designed for STEM/SBE grad students and postdocs. Cap: 30. Register by 9/16. For full description please visit the course webpage.

Equity in STEM for All Genders

Thursdays 10/3-12/12: 11:30AM-1:30PM ET

Analyze gender bias and collaboratively develop approaches to counter gender bias in STEM in this 9-week online course. Cap: 35. Register by 9/16. For full description please visit the course webpage.

Planning Your Teaching-as-Research Project

Mondays 9/23-12/9 12-1:30PM ET

Plan and refine your own Teaching-as-Research project alongside a learning community of peers in this 12-week online course. Cap: 20. Register by 9/16. For full description please visit the course webpage.

Additional information on CIRTL including online workshops and classes

For a complete list of workshops and online classes, please visit the CIRTL Network website.

Relevant Reads

The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search

This insider's guide covers every phase of the job search, leading you step by step through the process of creating a clear-cut plan-essential to every job search. Using the Pierson Method, you'll learn how to…

  • Develop a Target List (the key ingredient to every job search)
  • Measure your progress
  • Create a “core message” about yourself that decision makers won't forget
  • Present yourself in the best possible light to prospective employers

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.

How I conquered my fear of public speaking and learned to give effective presentations.

By Mathilde His. Read How I conquered my fear of public speaking and learned to give effective presentations.

Presenting Your Research to an Industry Audience

By Francine Mahak. Francine Mahak discusses the different context and expectations of such an audience and offers practical tips for graduate students. Read Presenting Your Research to an Industry Audience


“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 |