Postdoctoral Affairs E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

January 2021

Dear Postdoctoral Fellow Community –

I write today with an update regarding the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

As the Interim Director of OPA, I was asked to work with many across campus to assess the office’s needs and to make a recommendation about how it should be positioned moving forward.

Based on recommendations from a working group that included your Vanderbilt Postdoc Association co-chairs, Provost Wente determined that the OPA should become part of the portfolio of Vice Provost for Graduate Education André Christie-Mizell. The office will transition to his leadership on February 15, 2021.

OPA will continue to be an office with a stand-alone presence. We believe this is important as it recognizes that you are all at a critical stage in your career with very unique needs. Vice Provost Christie-Mizell will work closely with the entire Provost Team and with the Schools and Colleges to provide the administrative support and resource connectivity that are paramount for postdocs. He will also serve as an advocate for all of you across campus and beyond. Caitlin Haskell will continue serving as the OPA Program and Communications Manager.

It’s been a pleasure getting to know this community and working with you all. I look forward to continual engagement with the OPA as I work with Vice Provost Christie-Mizell and others in the Office of the Provost to serve and elevate the postdoctoral fellow community at Vanderbilt.

In the meantime, please continue to connect with OPA through our website, newsletter and email.


Sally Parker
Interim Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
Senior Assistant Provost


Return-to-Campus Postdoc Update

Going forward, the university will send Return-to-Campus (RTC) updates on Wednesdays and will be targeted to specific audiences. You likely received an update targeted to postdocs earlier today. All update emails will be posted on the Return-to-Campus site which includes a specific sub-page for postdocs. Please be sure to read up on some key updates/changes as we head further into the spring semester.

  • All VU-employed postdocs (scholars and trainees) must compete a new Spring Return-to-Campus Acknowledgement in Oracle Learn by Jan 25.
  • The Spring testing program and quarantine protocols for postdocs who regularly report to campus or interact in person have been updated. Please read more here.

Again, all RTC details relevant to postdocs can be found here.

Spring 2021 Postdoc Awards

We will soon be soliciting nominations for our annual postdoc awards, including the Postdoc of the Year Award, Mentor of the Year Award and Service Award. The Postdoc of the Year Award honors a postdoc who demonstrates excellence in research, scholarship, and creative expression; faculty mentors nominate current postdocs and the Postdoctoral Fellow Advisory Committee selects the winner. The VPA solicits nominations from all postdocs for the Mentor of the Year Award and the VPA Executive Board votes on all nominations. Our VPA Executive Board also selects a postdoc as the recipient of the Service Award. Please be on the lookout for an email with instructions for nominating awardees. More information can be found online here.

BRET Career Development ASPIRE Program for Postdocs

The BRET Career Development ASPIRE Program provides career and professional development services and enrichment activities for postdoctoral fellows in the biomedical sciences at VU and VUMC.


Stay in the Loop!

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA)

Events for Postdocs



Return to Campus/COVID-19 Updates

Spring 2021 Women’s Center Workshops Announced

The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center announced their Spring 2021 Work-Life and Women in the Academy Workshop Series. Topics include difficult conversations, leadership skills, eliminated bias in letters of recommendation, the Enneagram and more. Learn more.

Submit Abstracts for 2021 Global Health Symposium

Vanderbilt’s annual Global Health Symposium is scheduled for Wednesday, April 7 and will be held virtually for 2021. The symposium brings together students, faculty, postdocs and staff engaged in global health work to network and share their research. Abstracts of all types of global health work—including posters, projects, essays, internships and service trips—are being sought for possible inclusion in the 2021 symposium. The deadline to submit is Sunday, Jan. 31. Read more.

2021 NPA Annual Conference

The virtual event, set for April 15-16, 2021, will be easy to join from across the nation or around the world. Attendees are provided with the opportunity to enhance their professional development and leadership skills. Register here.