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National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW)

We celebrated National Postdoc Appreciation Week September 19-23, 2022. View the My VU story and a recorded video of thanks from Vice Provost André Christie-Mizell here.

Since 2009, the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) has sponsored National Postdoc Appreciation Week to recognize the significant contributions that postdocs make to research and discovery. Each year, the OPA curates several events in appreciation of our postdoc community that we hope you will enjoy. This is just one of the many ways we say thanks to our postdocs for their service and vital contributions to Vanderbilt.

For a listing of virtual events through the National Postdoc Association, click here.

Communications surrounding Postdoc Appreciation Week: 

September 14 – Postdoc Appreciation Week Announcement

September 16 – GPAS Event Added to Postdoc Appreciation Week

September 23 – Postdoc Appreciation Final Event

Monday Coffee Stop

Monday, September 19 | 8:30AM – 10:00AM | Stevenson Center Courtyard

Come grab a coffee for your morning pick me up! As part of postdoctoral appreciation week, the OPA is sponsoring several morning ‘coffee stops’ for postdocs to enjoy throughout the week before they begin their research or return to the labs. The location for each coffee stop will be different, so stop on by if you’re near Stevenson on Monday!

Tuesday Coffee Stop with the BRET Office

Tuesday, September 20 | 8:30AM – 10:00AM | Light Hall – South Entrance

Come grab a coffee for your morning pick me up! As part of postdoctoral appreciation week, the OPA is sponsoring several morning ‘coffee stops’ for postdocs to enjoy throughout the week before they begin their research or return to the labs. Please join our colleagues in the BRET Office for some free coffee and meet with other postdocs in various areas. The location for each coffee stop will be different, so stop by Light Hall if you’re near the area on Tuesday morning.

Complimentary Postdoc Headshots

Tuesday, September 20 | 1:00PM – 5:00PM | Sarratt Center 112

Photographer Anne Rayner will be shooting complimentary headshots for the postdoc community. Make an appointment for a new or updated headshot. More information here and pick your preferred time slot here. Note: If there are no more time slots left, you can register for the waitlist here.

Treats at the Women’s Center

Tuesday, September 20 | 12:00PM – 2:00PM | Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center

Stop by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center between 12-2pm for a free treat from Dozen Bakery! The Women’s Center is located at 2304D Vanderbilt Place, Franklin House.

Annual Postdoc Appreciation Picnic

Tuesday, September 20 | 5:00PM – 7:00PM | Fannie Mae Dees Park

Postdocs and their families are invited to a picnic at Fannie Mae Dees Park (also known as the “the dragon park”). We look forward to a family-friendly event and seeing you in person! Please RSVP here so we have an accurate count for food; please note any food allergies/restrictions.

Complimentary Postdoc Headshots

Wednesday, September 21 | 8:00AM – 12:00PM | Sarratt Center 114

Photographer Anne Rayner will be shooting complimentary headshots for the postdoc community. Make an appointment for a new or updated headshot. More information here and pick your preferred time slot here. Note: If there are no more time slots left, you can register for the waitlist here.

Wednesday Coffee Stop with OPA and the Career Center

Wednesday, September 21 | 8:30AM – 10:00AM | Wyatt Center Lawn (Under Walkway)

Stop by Wyatt Center on Peabody’s campus between 8:30AM and 10:00Am on Wednesday to meet our OPA Team: OPA Associate Director, Faith Bishop, and OPA Program and Communications Manager, Annie Evans. We will be joined by our colleagues from the Career Center as well. We look forward to visiting with you!

Destress & Decompress with Graduate and Postdoc Academic Success (GPAS)

Wednesday, September 21 | 4:00PM – 5:00PM | Alumni Hall Lounge (100)

Join the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) and the Graduate and Postdoctoral Academic Success (GPAS) program for some relaxation of the body and mind to help you reset after a long day. There will be tools provided to create de-stressing toys and a meditation session to reset at the end. RSVPs are required.

Thursday Coffee Stop

Thursday, September 22 | 8:30AM – 10:00AM | Alumni Hall Terrace

Stop by the Alumni Hall Terrace for our last coffee stop of the week between 8:30AM and 10:00AM on Thursday.

VPA ‘SpeakEasy’ Talk Series

Thursday, September 22 | 5:00PM – 6:30PM | Alumni Hall Lounge (Alumni Hall 100)

All postdocs are invited to the Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association’s (VPA) scientific talk series, the ‘SpeakEasy’! Fellow postdocs will give a 10-minute peer presentation on their research in a fun and more casual setting to help hone those communication and presentation skills. Appetizers and cocktails will be provided. Please RSVP so that we can have an accurate head count for the event if you plan on attending, and if you are interested in sharing your own scientific story, please register here.

Sweets & Treats

Friday, September 23 | 3:00PM – 5:00PM | Library Lawn

Come and enjoy free desserts, games, and to socialize to finish off the week with the OPA team! The event will include various lawn games, free pops by King of Pops, and other sweet treats for our postdocs in appreciation of all you do within the Vanderbilt community!

Past Postdoc Appreciation Weeks

We celebrated the 12th annual National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) September 20-24. A list of events is below and you can read the MyVU story here.

Wellness Workshop: Dealing with Change

Monday, September 20, 12-1pm (Zoom)

The Work/Life Connections-EAP Postdoc Wellness Program is offering a Workshop on Dealing with Change. Organizational and personal change is an inevitable life stressor which can require an individual to adopt a more open attitude concerning the opportunities that change presents. Change as a stressor is reframed with the responsibility for adaptations being placed upon the individual.

Complimentary Postdoc Headshots

Tuesday, September 21, 8am-12pm & Wednesday, September 22, 1:10-6pm (2017B Eskind Biomedical Library)

Photographer Anne Rayner will be shooting complimentary headshots for the postdoc community. Make an appointment for a new or updated headshot. More information here and pick your preferred time slot here. Note: If there are no more time slots left, we will have a waiting list. Please email opa@vanderbilt.edu with your name, email and phone number to be added.

Coffee with OPA Leadership and Career Center Coaches

Thursday, September 23, 10-11am (100 Alumni Hall)

Stop by 100 Alumni Hall between 10-11am on Thursday to meet our OPA Team: OPA Director, Vice Provost Christie-Mizell, OPA Assistant Director, Faith Bishop, and OPA Program and Communications Manager, Caitlin Haskell. We will be joined by our colleagues from the Career Center: Elizabeth Lambert, Christina Keeton and Kayla Broom. We look forward to visiting with you!

Free Cupcakes at the Women’s Center

Friday, September 24, 12-2pm (Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center)

Stop by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center between 12-2pm for a free cupcake! The Women’s Center is located at 2304D Vanderbilt Place, Franklin House.

Postdoc Appreciation Picnic

Wednesday, September 29, 5-7pm (Fannie Mae Dees Park)

Postdocs and their families are invited to a picnic at Fannie Mae Dees Park (also known as the “the dragon park”)!.We look forward to a family-friendly event and seeing you in person again! Please RSVP here so we have an accurate count for food; please note any food allergies/restrictions. Please note: this event was originally scheduled on 9/21 and due to inclement weather has been rescheduled to take place on Wednesday 9/29.

NPA Events and Opportunities

NPA is celebrating  with an NPA member-driven, multi-institutional virtual collaboration again thanks to the success of this initiative in 2020.

“I am a Postdoc.” The NPAW Steering Committee, led by the NPA and dedicated volunteers from NPA member institutions, is planning three national events around the theme, “I am a Postdoc.” This effort is intended to give definition to the role of the postdoc “at the bench and beyond,” uniting postdocs and recognizing their successes.

“What’s a postdoc?” You probably hear that question on far too regular a basis. The NPA needs your help in its efforts to increase understanding of the often unrecognized and misunderstood role of postdocs. We can’t do this alone. Here’s how you can help. We need current and former postdocs to submit short (1 min or less) videos to be used as part of NPAW and beyond to emphasize the diversity of work and interests of postdocs in the United States and the many careers they pursue post-postdoc. Spread this message to your peers and friends who are current or former postdocs as well. This request continues on the theme of “I am a Postdoc” that the started in 2019. For examples of videos that can be submitted please refer to this and from Twitter. Use to begin the process of submitting a video.

View the National Postdoctoral Association schedule of events here.

Several members of Vanderbilt’s leadership team who work closely with postdoctoral fellows recorded a video message of thanks, highlighting postdocs’ service and vital contributions to the university. In collaboration with the Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association (VPA), OPA curated a roster of events in celebration of the Vanderbilt postdoc community. Events included complimentary headshot sessions, a virtual mindfulness session led by the Work/Life Connections – EAP Postdoc Wellness Program and a Postdoc Happy Hour. Read more here.

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