Welcome to the Berkeley Postdoctoral Association! 

The Berkeley Postdoctoral Association (BPA) is a volunteer organization of postdocs working for all postdocs.  On our website you can find information on social events, schedule of orientation for new postdoctoral scholars, policy issues of interest to Berkeley postdoctoral scholars, announcements for seminars for professional development, and lists of useful resources.

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Events and Announcements for December 2014


 Welcome to the December edition of the BPA newsletter! We hope you had a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving holiday. For those who want to continue the festivities, come join us at our BPA holiday party! The always-entertaining event will have great food, plenty of drinks and of course what is a BPA holiday party without karaoke. Take the time to toast to this year’s successes and look forward to the start of the new year.  Check below for more information.






December 3

Annual BPA Happy Hour, 6-10 pm at Clark Kerr Campus



December 9

BPEP Pitch Club, 6-8 pm at 105 Stanley Hall



December 11

HSSA Monthly Social, 11:30 am–1 pm in Stephens Hall, Room 440



December 11

All Talks Considered, 6:15-7:30 pm in Barrows Hall, Room 652



December 17

BPA Pedagogy Lunch Series, 11:45 am–1:15 pm, in Stephens Hall, Room 440



December 17

BPA Pub social, 6:30 pm at the Beta Lounge



December 18

BPA board meeting, 6 pm in Barrows Hall, Room 652




  1. Annual BPA Holiday Party:  The BPA is pleased to invite you and your spouses, partners and children to our annual Holiday Party on Wednesday December 3 from 6 – 10 pm.  Please join us to celebrate another successful year.  BPA Happy Hour is cancelled this month.  Also, there will be no raffle at this year’s holiday party.

The party will be held at the Clark Kerr Campus in the Joseph Wood Krutch Theatre, located at 2601 Warring Street (at the corner of Warring and Derby Streets) in Berkeley. The Clark Kerr Campus is just four blocks from campus, an easy walk.   

PLEASE NOTE:  Parking may be hard to find in the area.  We suggest you take public transportation (AC Transit bus #49) if you can (the bus stop is between Warring and Derby Streets).  Alternatively, you can take the 51B, get off at College and Parker Streets and walk to the Clark Kerr Campus, which is about 2 blocks away.

To register, please go to the following link: https://bpaholidayparty3dec2014.eventbrite.com

VERY IMPORTANT:  Registration is required for each individual participant.

There will be a buffet with lots of yummy food, and a carefully selected range of alcohol and soft drinks (we promise to not run out this year).  There will be some amazing music, some less amazing music in a Karaoke, and the famous BPA quiz (we promise also to have no fake questions and nothing about Formula One.  Ok…maybe one question about Formula One).

We will again be hosting the Alameda Food Bank Canned Food Drive.  They collect food and give it to people that don’t have any food.  It’s a simple equation.  You can help by giving them food so that they can give it to the people without any food.  The food needs to be NON-PERISHABLE.  This is why it is called a CANNED food drive.  I would call it tinned, but you get the idea.

We look forward to seeing you there, 
Your BPA


  1. BPEP Pitch Club:  The Berkeley Postdoctoral Entrepreneur Program (BPEP)'s Pitch Club is a pilot program designed to give you a chance to practice your pitch or elevator talk in a casual and informal setting. You will be given 2-3 minutes to make a pitch or give an elevator talk to a small group of fellow enthusiasts.  You can pitch anything you like:

·         That crazy business idea that’s been bouncing around your head for far too long

·         Your latest research idea

·         Your current research program.


Whatever your  pitch or elevator talk, when you're done, you will get a chance to field questions and garner feedback from your fellow pitchers.  If you don't feel like making a pitch, no problem!  Come and be a part of the feedback and who knows, maybe you'll be inspired to come up with a pitch of your own some day.   As if you needed any more incentive, we will also provide pizza and beer!  BPEP's Pitch Club is on Tuesday, December 9 in 105 Stanley Hall from 6-8 pm.  To register, go to: https://bpeppitchclub.eventbrite.com 


  1. HSSA Monthly Social: Whether you are a postdoc, visiting scholar, graduate student, or visiting student researcher in the humanities and social sciences, if you want to get to know your colleageues in an informal and relaxed setting, feel free to join us.  Our networking event will start off with two 5-minute presentations by scholars describing their latest work.  Complimentary snacks and beverages will then be served and everyone will be free to engage in conversation.  This month, we have the following speakers: 

 Elizabeth Terry (History, UCB): “The Granada Venegas Family, 1431-1643: Nobility, Renaissance and Morisco Identity.”  Elizabeth's dissertation follows an elite Muslim family's conversion and assimilation into Christian society, through military service and self-promotion. The project involves cultural, political, social and religious themes.


Marie Mourad (Sociology, Sciences Po, Paris): “Addressing 'food waste', changing food value(s) - A comparative approach from France and the United States.”  Marie's research analyses the recent politization of 'food waste' as a public and social problem. Her key argument is that the way organizations deal with excess food depends on how they value food in the overall food system.


The HSSA monthly social is on December 11 in Stephens Hall Room 440 from 11:30am-1pm.  To register, go to:  https://hssamonthlysocialdecember2014.eventbrite.com


  1. All Talks Considered: The Berkeley Postdoctoral Association (BPA) is pleased to invite you to their seminar series, All Talks Considered, designed to bridge communication across the many fields of research found on the Berkeley campus -- featuring lively discussion and two 15-minute talks from Berkeley postdocs.  In this informal setting, it is the BPA's hope to establish new ideas and links. All Talks Considered is Thursday, December 11 inBarrows Hall Room 652 and begins at 6:15 – 7:30 pm. 


This month we will bring together speakers from the fields of education and fluid mechanics. The purpose of this series is to enrich our academic lives and create opportunities for unique perspectives and potential collaboration by featuring speakers from disparate fields who may not have otherwise crossed paths.  This month we'll hear the following talks:

Speaker: Dermot Donnelly
Affiliation: UC Berkeley, School of Education
Title: "They didn't teach science like that when I was in school": The role of computer-based inquiry learning environments in enhancing precollege science


Speaker: Jonathan Tu
Affiliation: UC Berkeley, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Title: Learning from bacteria: How to swim in molasses

This seminar is open to all UC Berkeley Graduate Students, Postdocs, Visiting Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers, as well as their spouses and partners.  Registration is required for each individual participant.
To register, please go to the following link

If you are interested in giving such a talk, please email the All Talks Considered coordinator Michaela TerAvest at materavest@lbl.gov.


  1. BPA Pedagogy Lunch Series:  Are you interested in discussing teaching experience and opportunities for postdocs? Come join the Berkeley Postdoctoral Association for the Pedagogy Series Lunch (PSL) designed to provide a forum on pedagogy for postdocs. The talks are informal and will take a ‘soapbox’ style, that is, you get 5-10 minutes to share your idea(s) with time for questions.  The Postdoc Pedagogy Lunch Series will be onWednesday December 17, 11:45 am-1:15 pm in Stephens Hall, Room 440.  To register, go to: https://bpapedagogydecember17.eventbrite.com
  1. BPA Pub Social @ Beta Lounge: Affordable drinks, priceless conversation. Come and chat with your fellow postdocs over drinks at the Beta Lounge(@Durant and Fulton) from 6:30pm-closing, Wednesday December 17. We have ‘reserved’ signs courtesy of Beta Lounge so look out for them at one of the tables or sofas in the back. Beers are $3.50 and wine is $5/glass. Come by and say hi!
  1. BPA Monthly Board Meeting: Congrats on the newly elected BPA board members for 2015! The BPA board is always open to new ideas; we encourage everyone to get involved and help out. We will be having informal elections this month so if you would like to voice issues that you feel affect postdocs or programs you’d like to start, then join us on Thursday December 18 at Barrows Hall, 6:00 pm in room 652. Pizza and refreshments are included.


For more information, look us up at http://postdoc.berkeley.edu/ or to sign up for postdocnet; an informal list to exchange info and look for furniture, housing, etc. - go to



If you know someone that doesn’t receive our emails, but would like to, they need to REGISTER their email address.  To register or to change the address your emails are sent to, write to vspa@berkeley.edu

Hope to see you this month!



For more information, look us up at http://postdoc.berkeley.edu/ or to sign up for postdocnet; an informal list to exchange info and look for furniture, housing, etc. - go to https://calmail.berkeley.edu/manage/list/listinfo/postdocnet@lists.berkeley.edu


If you know someone that doesn’t receive our emails, but would like to, they need to REGISTER their email address.  To register, or to change the address your emails are sent to, write to vspa@berkeley.edu



Interested in Outreach? 

Community Resources for Science


Community Resources for Science (CRS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting and engaging educators, students, and scientists in a vibrant community working together to excite all children about learning through the scientific exploration. CRS is funded by foundation and corporate grants, including UC Chancellor's Community Partnership Fund and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and private donations. Through the Bay Area Scientists in Schools (BASIS) program, CRS recruits, prepares, and places Cal scientists and science students into local classrooms to deliver hands-on science lessons aligned with state standards, and to serve as enthusiastic and diverse role models.  CRS also facilitates classroom placements for various Cal education outreach groups, provides information and support services to teachers in Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville and other local schools, and partners with Cal campus programs for pre-service teachers including CalTeach and Environmental Leadership Pathway