Postdoctoral Affairs E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

September 2020

Dear Postdoctoral Fellow Community –

I hope you are well this week. I’m writing with several exciting updates from the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.  

Please join me in welcoming Caitlin Haskell to Vanderbilt. Caitlin is the new program manager for the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and she officially started full-time this Monday/14th. Caitlin has spent the past 11 years working in higher education at Belmont, Harvard and Cornell University in a variety of administrative roles in occupational therapy, primary care and cell and molecular biology. I’m very excited about the experience she brings to Vanderbilt, and I look forward to you all meeting her in the coming weeks. Faith and I will still be available to answer questions but feel free to reach out to Caitlin as well. 

In the past week, we’ve also launched a new website, that I’ve hope you’ve had a chance to check out. Please let us know if you have any feedback to share. We are still making some small changes and would welcome any ideas that make it more accessible to your needs.

Below you will also find information on the upcoming, 14th Annual VPA Symposium. Details are included regarding abstract submissions.

Lastly, next week is Postdoc Appreciation Week! Along with the Vanderbilt Postdoc Association, we’ve curated several events in appreciation of the community that we hope you’ll all enjoy. The full lineup is below including registration info. We are thankful for your service and vital contributions to Vanderbilt. Your hard work and dedication plays a vital role in advancing our globally renowned research university.


Sally Parker
Interim Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs


Postdoc Appreciation Week Schedule 

View the National Postdoctoral Association Schedule of Events here.

Complimentary Postdoc Headshots 

Wednesday, September 23, 12-4 p.m.

Make an appointment for a new or updated headshot. More information here and pick your preferred time slot here.

Virtual Mindfulness Session led by Postdoc Wellness Program 

Thursday, September 24, 2 p.m.

The Work/Life Connections-EAP Postdoc Wellness Program is offering a 30-minute mindfulness session led by Lauren Dattilo, Ph.D., HSP.

Register for the event here to receive the Zoom login.

Postdoc Happy Hour

Friday, September 25, 5-7 p.m.

Join the virtual postdoc happy hour to end Appreciation Week. Stop by anytime between 5 and 7 and bring your beverage of choice to socialize with postdocs around campus. Register here to receive the Zoom login.


14th Annual VPA Symposium 

The Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association (VPA) is excited to announce that the 14th Annual VPA Symposium will be held virtually on Thursday, October 29th!

This interdisciplinary one-day conference will highlight postdoctoral research as well as provide a virtual venue for networking and professional development. We are proud to announce our Keynote Speaker, Chad Topaz, Professor of Mathematics, Williams College! All attendees will also be eligible to receive raffle prizes throughout the day!

Postdocs will have the opportunity to present their research through either a lightning talk (brief oral presentation) or a poster presentation. Best presenters in both categories will receive prizes (e.g., gift cards, travel award, etc.) to be presented at the closing event.

Abstract submissions are now open and will close on Friday, October 2nd at noon CDT.

To submit an abstract, complete the following form:


Stay in the Loop!

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Events for Postdocs



Return to Campus Update for September 14 

This weekly Return to Campus Update is part of our ongoing effort to provide you with the latest information regarding the fall 2020 Return to Campus Plan. While some of this information may not directly affect you, we wanted to ensure everyone in our community has easy access to this information. Read more.


Reminder to get your free flu shot. Follow this link for more information.


White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier to speak Sept. 25

Droegemeier set to deliver regional webinar on “Enhancing the Security and Integrity of America’s Research Enterprise.” More here on how to attend.

Panel discussion to focus on women of color and civic engagement Sept. 18

As Vanderbilt continues to recognize the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, a discussion will be hosted on the historical fight for Black women’s suffrage by Ida B. Wells and Frankie Pierce. More here.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 with events in September, October

Click here for the full list of events and to directly access the Zoom links.