Postdoctoral Affairs E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

June 9, 2021

Dear Postdoctoral Fellow Community,

At the conclusion of a successful spring semester, Vanderbilt University recently updated its COVID-19 protocols, including masking, gathering size, off-campus activities and campus visits. Of particular note, postdoctoral fellows will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021–2022 academic year; below please find information on where to get vaccinated and instructions for submitting your vaccination record by the July 31 deadline. Thank you for your continued attention to updates surrounding campus and VUMC Health and Safety Protocols.

Please take note of two fantastic upcoming workshops: Internal Grant Opportunities for Biomedical Postdocs at Vanderbilt (June 22) and Building Resilience for Postdocs (July 12). We also hope you will join your fellow postdocs at the VPA Town Hall on Friday, June 11.

Finally, we congratulate our 2021 Postdoc Award Winners: Lindsey Seldin, Inga Saknite, ReAnna Roby and Borden Lacy. Thank you to all who participated. It was great to see so many of you at the Ceremony in May.

As always, please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.


C. André Christie-Mizell, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
Dean of the Graduate School
Centennial Professor of Sociology


University updates COVID-19 protocols

Following revised CDC recommendations indicating that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or physically distance, Vanderbilt University announced it is modifying many COVID-19 protocols surrounding masking, gathering size, off-campus activities and campus visits.

Additionally, all Vanderbilt University-employed faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021–22 academic school year. The deadline for faculty, staff and postdocs to submit their full vaccination record is July 31.

Occupational Health will host no-cost walk-up COVID-19 vaccine clinics starting in early June for university-employed faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows.

VUMC has also updated its COVID-19 protocols. Medical Center Postdocs no longer need to wear masks or physically distance in non-clinical areas once they are fully vaccinated. Masking remains required for anyone that is not fully vaccinated in all indoor areas.

Once fully vaccinated, VU and VUMC postdocs working in Medical Center facilities can receive an ID badge sticker, representing that they no longer need to wear masks in non-clinical areas. To find times and locations to pick up your sticker, and guidance on what to bring, please visit the VUMC COVID-19 Information website.

June 2021 VPA Town Hall

The Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association Town Hall is scheduled for June 11th at 4PM. The Town Hall will begin with a brief presentation on the VPA, the OPA, upcoming elections, and proposed bylaws changes before discussion and Q&A. Register here.

Internal Grant Opportunities for Biomedical Postdocs at Vanderbilt

Rebecca Helton, Senior Program Manager for Edge for Scholars, and Lesa Black, Research Services Consultant for Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR), will discuss internal funding opportunities available to Biomedical postdocs during their position at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Submit questions before the presentation using this Google Form. This event is sponsored by the Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association and is open to the Vanderbilt community. The seminar will take place on June 22, 2021 at 11AM. Register here.

Building Resilience Workshop for Postdocs

To meet life’s challenges, developing resilience coping skills provides strategies to respond to the pressures we face in our personal and professional lives. Equipped with a positive attitude, enhanced skillset, and a healthy lifestyle, resilience allows us to turn challenges into success, increasing personal happiness and overall productivity. Join Jim Kendall, LCSW, Manager of Work/Life Connections-EAP, on July 12, 2021 from noon-1pm. Register here.

The Leadership Alliance Virtual Career Development Workshop

The Leadership Alliance Executive Office, in partnership with AbbVie and Vanderbilt University, invites you to participate in a two-day virtual career development workshop focused on increasing readiness and competitiveness of underrepresented scholars as they train for and enter careers in academia and the broader biomedical research workforce. The Virtual Career Development Workshop is an opportunity for graduate students and postdocs to learn more about potential career paths, build their professional network, and apply practical advice to the next phase of their careers. The workshop takes place July 28-29, 2021. Click here for registration and conference information.

VPA Executive Committee Elections

The Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association is accepting nominations for next year’s VPA Executive Committee. You may self-nominate or be nominated by submitting a short statement (up to 300 words) to The deadline for nominations is June 30, 2021 and elections will occur July.


Stay in the Loop!

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA)

Events for Postdocs


Vanderbilt’s Health and Safety Protocols

Postdoc Spotlight: James Muchira

Congratulations to School of Nursing postdoctoral fellow, James Muchira, who has been named an American Academy of Nursing Jonas Policy Scholar. This program, funded by Jonas Philanthropies, supports early-career scholars seeking to build their knowledge and aptitude in health policy, the policy process and the interconnection of politics. The program enables scholars to connect and collaborate with expert nurse leaders on the academy’s health policy priorities Read more.

Resolution by the Board of Trust of Vanderbilt University in appreciation of Vanderbilt staff members and postdoctoral fellows

During the first Spring Staff Assembly, Board of Trust Chairman Bruce Evans shared a resolution established by the Board of Trust in April, in appreciation of Vanderbilt staff and postdoctoral fellows. Read more.

Recording of VISA Support for International Postdocs Workshop

Please view the June 8, 2021 workshop here.

Vanderbilt postdoctoral fellows recognized at 2021 Spring Postdoc Awards Ceremony

The Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association and Office of Postdoctoral Affairs announced its 2021 award winners at the Spring Postdoc Awards ceremony on May 24. Read more.

Intellectual Nourishment

Interviewing for jobs? Presenting at an upcoming conference? This article is for you! Kasia Wezowski discusses body language in her Harvard Business Review article, 6 Ways to Look More Confident During a Presentation.

BASF North American Virtual Research Forum

BASF is inviting Ph.D. and postdoctoral researchers to apply for their North American Research Forum. Deadline to apply is June 20. Apply here.

NPA Affiliate Memberships available to all postdocs

Are you interested in becoming a member of the National Postdoctoral Association? Use this link to become a Vanderbilt Affiliate Member.

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.