Postdoctoral Affairs E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

July 19, 2021

Dear Postdoctoral Fellow Community,

Please join me in welcoming two new Academic Life Coaches to our team, Nadine De La Rosa and RC Stabile. Together with Senior Academic Life Coach, Stacey Satchell, Nadine and RC are actively developing a robust program for our postdoc community. I urge you to take advantage of academic life coaching services if you need assistance working through an issue with a colleague (i.e. advisor, or supervisor) or need guidance clarifying university/program policies and accessing resources on campus.

There are numerous upcoming fellowship and seminars highlighted in this issue. We encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunities available to you.

Finally, please take a moment to vote for your next VPA Executive Committee – details below.


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


Academic Life Coaches

Academic Life Coaches assist postdoctoral fellows in their academic and professional development during their time at Vanderbilt. This position was created to support postdocs through individual coaching and group programming around effective time and stress management, resilience, conflict resolution, navigating academic relationships, and juggling work/life responsibilities. Learn more about our Academic Life Coaches and schedule an appointment by clicking here.

VPA Executive Committee Elections July 15-29

Please vote for next year’s VPA Executive Committee. You may vote for as many postdocs as you wish to be part of the Executive Committee for the 2021-2022 period. Specific positions will be decided by the elected committee at their first meeting. Please also vote Yes or No for the proposed changes to the bylaws. The election closes at 11:59PM on July 29, 2021Click here to vote! Email with any questions.

2022 Warren Alpert Distinguished Scholars Fellowship Award

Vanderbilt (VU+VUMC, collaboratively) may nominate one candidate for the 2022 Warren Alpert Distinguished Scholars Fellowship Award. This program supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity who have an MD or PhD degree and who have completed by July 1, 2022 a minimum of three years of a postdoctoral fellowship in the field of basic or clinical neurosciences at a medical school. Scholars will be chosen based on the success in their prior post-doctoral work and the importance and creativity of their continued work.

Awards are given as transitional postdoctoral awards for recipients as they advance to become full time faculty members at the Assistant Professor level or higher. The medical school nominating each scholar will be awarded $200,000 annually for two years to cover salary, lab costs, and related expenses. Under certain circumstances, the awardee may transfer funding in year 2 to support their faculty position. Indirect cost of up to 15% of direct costs, may be included in the $200,000. All applicants are required to provide 75% effort.

More information on eligibility and the application process can be found here. Any questions about these opportunities or the LSO process may be directed to The deadline to apply is 5 pm on July 29, 2021.

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—July 28-29, 2021—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 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. Deadline to register is July 19Click here for registration and conference information.

Lilly Virtual Postdoc Career Fair: August 25

Eli Lilly will host a virtual Postdoctoral Career Fair on August 25, 2021. Postdocs will get an opportunity to learn more about Eli Lilly & Company and hear about our Postdoc opportunities from business leaders from the following functions – Lilly Research Laboratories, Medicine Innovation Hub and Information Digital Solutions. Click here for more information.

Registration for the Edge Grant Pacing Workshop – Fellowship series for December submissions is now open

Early career researchers preparing an individual fellowship award (NRSA F Series or equivalent) submission are invited to join a series of in-person workshops and peer accountability groups designed to help you prepare the best possible grant. Between sessions, Dr. Ashley Hood and Melissa Krasnove will offer virtual Q&A sessions and share information on Edge for Scholars at Vanderbilt resources. Fellowship grant writers should register here by August 6. More information is available here.

Latest University COVID-19 protocols

As a friendly reminder, 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.

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. VUMC has announced that individuals in positions of leadership will be required to be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption by September 15, 2021. These individuals will be contacted directly.

The deadline requiring all VUMC employees to be vaccinated or have an approved exemption is under consideration and will be communicated at a later date.

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.


Stay in the Loop!

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA)

Events for Postdocs


Vanderbilt’s Health and Safety Protocols

Postdoc Spotlight: Aaron Stauffer

In new research published in Political Theology, Aaron Stauffer, a postdoctoral researcher at the Vanderbilt Divinity School and the Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice, explores the impact of shared sacred values on the efficacy of community-organizing initiatives. Read more.

Campus Parking Options 2021-2022

Postdocs are encouraged to apply for the expanded daily parking program now. Annual parking permits will be available in August. More info.

REPLAY | Internal Grant Opportunities for Biomedical Postdocs at Vanderbilt Workshop

Please view the June 22, 2021 workshop here.

VICC hosts Nature Masterclass Platform Training

Postdocs are invited to a seminar hosted by Nature Research staff who will introduce and explain how to access this exciting new on-demand training and career development opportunity for Vanderbilt researchers and trainees. The seminar occurs on July 22 at noon and you can find the Zoom link here.

AAUW Start Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop

The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center will host the AAUW Start Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop on July 28 from 12pm – 1:30 PM CT (virtual). Register here.

Inclusive Book Group to Discuss Alice Randall’s ‘Black Bottom Saints’ July 22

The Inclusive Book Group is hosting a virtual book talk with writer Alice Randall on July 22 at noon. Register here.

NPA IMPACT Fellowship Program

Applications are now being accepted for the IMPACT Fellowship Program (“IMPACT”), a six-month program that provides marginalized early-career research trainees with access to personal and career resources, along with opportunities to build skills, assess and better understand their strengths, and develop new networks. The deadline to apply is August 1, 2021. For questions, reach out to the NPA’s Diversity Officers.

VKC Science Day – Call for Abstracts

The 2021 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day will take place virtually on Friday, Nov. 5, beginning at 11:45 am over Zoom. The Call for Abstracts and attendee registration for 2021 Virtual VKC Science Day are now open – click here.

Intellectual Nourishment

Try the NIH “All About Grants” Podcast. There are episodes on preparing to apply, developing a successful grant application, post-award activities and requirements, and more.

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.