Postdoctoral Affairs E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

August 23, 2021

Dear Postdoctoral Fellow Community,

As we embark on our fall 2021 semester, I write to update you on some exciting events and opportunities available to postdocs.

In recognition of your service and vital contributions to Vanderbilt, we are excited to celebrate National Postdoc Appreciate Week from September 20-24, 2021. We have curated several events in appreciation of our postdoc community that we hope you will enjoy. The full lineup is below including registration information.

In collaboration with the Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association (VPA), we will host our 15th Annual VPA Symposium on November 1. More details to come in the near future. Additionally, our Academic Life Coaches are hosting their Peak Performance Series starting September 17 and we encourage you to join in on any or all of these sessions.

Lastly, please join me in extending a warm welcome to our 2021-2022 VPA Executive Committee Members. You can learn more about them in our Postdoc Spotlight column and online here.


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


National Postdoc Appreciation Week: September 20-24, 2021

Since 2009, the National Postdoc Association (NPA) has sponsored National Postdoc Appreciation Week to recognize the significant contributions that postdocs make to research and discovery.

We have curated several events in appreciation of our postdoc community that we hope you’ll all enjoy. The full lineup can be found here including registration info. Additionally, NPA plans to hold a virtual networking event, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, September 21, 2-3 PM Eastern.

Lastly, NPA is looking for postdocs to submit short, one minute or less, videos to be used as part of National Postdoc Appreciation Week and beyond to emphasize the diversity of postdocs in the US and the many careers they pursue post-postdoc. Use this form to express your interest in submitting a video.

15th Annual VPA Symposium to take place on November 1

Mark your calendars! The Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association (VPA), in collaboration with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, will host the 15th Annual VPA Symposium on November 1! This symposium provides an opportunity for postdoctoral scholars to highlight their research and network with fellow scholars from both VU and VUMC. More information regarding the symposium format, how to register for the event, and how to submit an abstract will be coming soon! If you are interested in helping plan this exciting event as a member of the planning committee, please email All meetings occur over zoom and no prior experience planning symposia is required. So, no matter the location of your “home base,” or your previous experience, we would love to have you on the planning committee!

Peak Performance Series begins September 17

Our Academic Life Coaches are providing a workshop series designed to promote expert performance by exploring common issues impacting graduate and professional students and postdocs. Topics include perfectionism and imposter syndrome; managing conflict and relationships in academia; motivation, mindset and effective goal setting; performing under pressure, fighting procrastination and increasing efficiency; and finding work/life balance. During each session, they will briefly cover theory and research on the topic and provide a space for attendees to discuss their related experiences and to gain support and consultation. All workshops in the Peak Performance Series are offered on Fridays from 12-1pm. More info here.

Lilly Virtual Postdoc Career Fair

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.

Voland Neuro-Oncology Research Award

The Voland Neuro-Oncology Research Award, open to residents, clinical fellows, predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers, and junior faculty (not currently holding an R level grant or equivalent). Applications are due August 31. More information is available here.

Journal of Life Sciences (JoLS) Postdoc Symposium accepting abstracts

The Journal of Life Sciences (JoLS) Postdoc Symposium has opened early bird registration. The NPA-sponsored event is scheduled for the October 28 & 29 and will highlight and showcase postdocs contributions to ongoing research and development across disciplines. The symposium is accepting abstracts for oral and poster presentations from current and former postdocs. The deadline to submit is September 30. More information is available here.

Latest Vanderbilt COVID-19 protocols and vaccine requirements

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. Read more here. Beginning Monday, Aug. 23, individuals who are unvaccinated with an approved accommodation will be required to complete weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at the university’s Testing Center. This decision comes as data shows that unvaccinated individuals are more likely to contract COVID-19 and that case counts are increasing in Nashville and surrounding communities. Read more here.

All VUMC employees will be required to be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption from this requirement by no later than Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, as a condition of employment. Read more here.


Stay in the Loop!

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA)

Events for Postdocs


Vanderbilt’s Health and Safety Protocols

Postdoc Spotlight: 2021-2022 VPA Executive Committee Members

Thank you to everyone who voted in the recent VPA elections! The elected VPA Executive Committee Members are as follows:

  • Senior Co-Chair: Brianna Yamasaki
  • Junior Co-Chair: Daniel Fehrenbach
  • Secretary: vacant
  • Treasurer: vacant
  • Scholarly Learning Chair: Anirban Sengupta
  • Social Activities and Community Building Chair: Kakali Ghoshal
  • Postdoc Advocacy Chair: Maxime Chevee
  • Communications Chair: Zhiyu Wan
  • Equity, Diversity, Justice, and Inclusion Chair: Shramana Ghosh
  • Community Outreach Chair: ReAnna Roby

If you are interested in joining a committee, please email

Campus Parking Options 2021-2022

Postdocs are encouraged to apply for the expanded daily parking program now. Current parking permits expire on Aug. 31 and vehicle registration for the new year is open now. More info.

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.

Academic Life Coach Corner

Stop by and meet our team of Academic Life Coaches during the following Meet & Greet sessions:

  • 9/14 – 100 Alumni Hall (4-6pm)
  • 9/23 – Eskind Biomedical Library Training Room (4-6pm)

All three Academic Life Coaches are offering coaching sessions in Alumni Hall, Eskind library, and via Zoom. Schedule an appointment here.

Intellectual Nourishment

Check out this TED Talk on How to make stress your friend presented by Kelly McGonigal.

Job and Funding Opportunities

Looking for funding or searching for your next position? Check out our current funding and job opportunities page.

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.

Fall programming begins in August, so make sure to check their upcoming events for more information.