Postdoctoral Affairs E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

September 10, 2021

Dear Postdoctoral Fellow Community,

We are excited to share our 2020-2021 Annual Report with you all. As this year was unlike any other, we included a summary of our office changes, highlights of our events and accomplishments, including a successful VPA symposium and award ceremony, and our vision for looking toward the future.

Once again, we are thrilled to collaborate with the Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association (VPA) to host the 15th Annual VPA Symposium on November 1. Abstract submissions are now open and will close on Sunday, September 19 at noon CDT.

Lastly and as a friendly reminder, we are celebrating National Postdoc Appreciation Week from September 20-24, 2021. View the full line-up of events here. We are so appreciative of the service and contributions our postdocs make to the Vanderbilt community and look forward to celebrating with you all.


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 is 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. Below is a snapshot of our events. The full line-up can be found here including registration info.

*If there are no more time slots left, we will have a waiting list. Please email with your name, email and phone number to be added.

J-1 Insurance Information Session on September 22

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), in collaboration with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA), is hosting a workshop for J-1 exchange visitors to discuss health insurance. On January 1, 2021, J-1 exchange visitors at Vanderbilt were moved to a new insurance plan to meet Department of State requirements. We will provide information on J-1 insurance requirements, along with a brief overview of the U.S. healthcare system. This session will include a representative from Aetna, who can answer specific questions about the University J-1 insurance plan. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, but feel free to send questions in advance with registration. The workshop will take place on September 22 from 12-1pm CST. Register here. All J-1 exchange visitors are welcome to attend!

All of Us Research Program Info Session on September 28

Researchers/Trainees interested in learning more about the All of Us Researcher Workbench are invited to tune into a virtual gathering on September 28 from 3:30-5pm to learn more about the All of Us Research Program and Research Hub. The Researcher Onramp event will be of most use to current and prospective workbench users, trainees, and early-career investigators who have experience with coding with R/Python and an interest/background in data science. Registration is necessary for this event. Register here.

Assertiveness & Boundary Setting Workshop for Postdocs on October 6

Assertiveness training may help a person set and maintain boundaries, resist unwanted advances, and actively intervene to prevent or disrupt sexual misconduct occurring around them. The Director of Project Safe, Cara Tuttle Bell, will be facilitating. Please RSVP to the event to receive the Zoom link.

15th Annual VPA Symposium to take place on November 1

The VPA, in collaboration with OPA, will be hosting the 15th Annual VPA Symposium on Monday, November 1! This interdisciplinary one-day symposium, scheduled to be held in-person at the Student Life Center, will highlight postdoctoral research across different fields from Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and neighboring universities. The abstract submission deadline is Sunday, September 19 at noon CDT. Click here to submit an abstract. Postdoctoral scholars will have the opportunity to present their research through either an oral or poster presentation. Best presenters in both categories will receive prizes to be presented at the closing event!

NIH Loan Repayment Programs

The NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRP) application cycle will open on Wednesday, September 1 and close on Thursday, November 18. Awardees can receive up to $100,000 of qualified educational debt repayment with a two-year contract. The LRP has created videos to guide awardees through the application process.

NIH MOSAIC Postdoctoral Career Transition Award

The MOSAIC program is designed to facilitate the transition of promising postdoctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds into independent, research-intensive faculty careers. The MOSAIC K99/R00 program supports early career scientists with demonstrated and compelling commitments and contributions to enhancing diversity in the biomedical sciences. MOSAIC scholars come from diverse scientific backgrounds, and 75% are from racial/ethnic groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. Please note, the MOSAIC K99/R00 award is limited to US Citizens and Permanent Residents. The Application Deadline is Wednesday, October 27, 2021. You can read more about the MOSAIC program and find log in information in a recent post on the NIGMS Feedback Loop Blog, as well as answers see answers to Frequently Asked Questions. More information can be found here.

Vanderbilt-Emory-Cornell-Duke (VECD) Fogarty Global Health Fellowship

A year of research training in a low- or middle-income country (LMIC) can be foundational for a career in global health research. The application portal is now open for the Vanderbilt-Emory-Cornell-Duke (VECD) Fogarty Global Health Fellowship (Twitter: @VECDFellows) 2022-2023 cohort. This outstanding program offers a year abroad opportunity for US and LMIC postdocs and US doctoral students to develop research skills in a global health setting. The entire spectrum of science is possible and relevant in LMIC settings, including basic, clinical, translational, population, and implementation science. The application deadline is November 1, 2021. To help with the application process, attend the application information webinar Wednesday, September 15, 8am US Central Time. This will be an opportunity to learn about the application requirements and to ask individual questions. You can find more information and register for the webinar 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. Individuals who are unvaccinated with an approved accommodation are required to complete weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at the university’s Testing Center. 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. Additionally, VUMC has updated their masking requirements for all VUMC employees. Read more here.


Stay in the Loop!

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA)

Events for Postdocs


Vanderbilt’s Health and Safety Protocols

Postdoc Spotlight

This month we are acknowledging all of our postdocs at Vanderbilt and celebrating their accomplishments during our annual Postdoc Appreciation Week!

JoLS Postdoc Symposium accepting abstracts

The Journal of Life Sciences (JoLS) Postdoc Symposium will take place October 28-29 and will highlight and showcase postdocs contributions to ongoing research and development across disciplines. The deadline to submit is September 30. More information.

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)

The Fall Peak Performance Series begins on September 17. All sessions are offered on Fridays from 12-1pm. More info here.

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

Additionally, join our Academic Life Coaches for their BCC Hot Topics and KCPC Cafe as they lead discussions on navigating graduate school and the postdoc experience and host coffee breaks through the fall semester. More information here.

Intellectual Nourishment

Read this article on Navigating Academic Relationships, written by one of our Academic Life Coaches, Stacey Satchell.

Graduate Leadership Institute Fall Workshops

The Russell G. Hamilton Graduate Leadership Institute (GLI) fall workshops are open to postdocs. Topics include Self-Regulation: Managing Potential Derailers, Leadership vs. Followership, Inclusive Leadership, The Art of Negotiation, Team Dynamics, and the Four Frames of Leadership. View the full schedule of events here.

Women’s Center Fall Workshops

The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center has announced their workshops for the fall semester. Two Women in the Academy Workshops that may be of interest to postdocs are below:

  • 10/19 – Negotiating Your First Academic Job
  • 11/17 – A Conversation About Mentoring

Data Science Institute Fall Workshops

Workshops are open to the entire Vanderbilt community. View workshops here.

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 has begun, so make sure to check their upcoming events for more information.