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.

Meet the Board 

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Events and Announcements for April 2015 

Welcome to the April edition of the BPA newsletter!  Check out the great events this month below.











April 1

BPA Happy Hour with beer and pizza, 6:00 pm in front of Pat Brown’s Grill



April 2

OPEN (Opportunities for Postdoc Equity Networking) Luncheon, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm at the Women's Faculty Club



April 8

PIEP seminar, 3-4:30 pm in Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center



April 8

Thriving in Science Lecture, 6 - 7:30 pm in Stanley Hall, Room 105



April 9

BPA All Talks Considered, 6:15 pm in Barrows Hall, Room 652



April 16

BPA Monthly Board Meeting, 6 pm in Barrows Hall, Room 652



April 22

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



April 25

BPA Spring Cookout at Live Oak Park



April 27

BPA Movie Monday, 7 pm in Barrows HallRoom 652



Wednesday April 29 Thriving in Science Lecture, 6 - 7:30 pm in Stanley Hall, Room 105




1.       BPA Happy Hour:  Please come join us WednesdayApril 1 for free pizza, wine, beer, cider and soft drinks, on the Wayne and Gladys Valley Plaza, at 6 pm (outside Pat Brown’s Grill near Koshland Hall and Li Ka Shing).

IMPORTANT:  Please note that UC Berkeley's Police Department is now requiring us to check IDs.   Postdocs who wish to consume alcoholic beverages will need to show their CAL ID and their guests will need to show a form of ID that indicates they are over 21.  Those who do not bring proof of identification that they are over 21 years old unfortunately will not be permitted to drink alcoholic beverages at the BPA Happy Hour.


         Email the BPA at vspa@berkeley.edu if you have any further questions. 


2.      OPEN Luncheon: You are invited to attend a luncheon which will launch a new program sponsored by the BPA: 

OPEN (Opportunities for Postdoc Equity Networking)

When? Thursday, April 2, 2015

What time? 11:30am –1:30pm

Where? The Women’s Faculty Club (next door to The Faculty Club)

What is OPEN?

OPEN is a new program initiated by the BPA to promote equity, diversity and inclusion in the postdoc and graduate student community. Its mission is to build a network of core groups of postdocs and graduate students that will focus on issues that women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQIA community and other groups face in academia. OPEN will promote intersectionality and dialogue between these groups and the broader postdoc and graduate student community in a series of events and activities.

Please register for the OPEN luncheon here.


3.      PIEP SeminarCareers in the Life Sciences — Finding Your Way3 - 4:30 pm, Wednesday, April 8Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

Given the large number of careers in the life sciences (biotech, pharma, biofuels, medical devices, academia, non profits, government and research institutes), how do you decide which career best matches your interests, skills, and your personal and professional goals? Join us to hear Toby Freedman discuss the findings of her book, Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development, based on interviews with over 200 industry executives and professionals.


Toby will provide a high level overview of the over 100 different careers in the life sciences, ranging from careers in venture capital, to marketing and discovery research. She will speak about steps that you can do now to help you in your transition and will discuss entrepreneurship.


Please register for the PIEP seminar here.



4.       Thriving in Science Lecture: Courage to Explore: What Does Organizational Research – Tell Us about Learning from Failure?  Join us on Wednesday, April 8 at 6:00 pm in 105 Stanley Hall for a talk by Monica Worline, Affiliate Faculty, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; President, Vervago, Inc. (Note: this event was rescheduled from March 25). This event is open to all, but it is primarily targeted at grad students and postdocs in the scientific community on campus.


Even in organizations that believe in the need for experimentation and learning from failure, leaders and managers have a hard time embracing failure. Because we hold such ingrained assumptions about failure as bad, we often respond to failures as reasons to stop working—even when we know that isn’t true. Yet organizations have the ability to help us shift our assumptions about failure as bad by way of how they structure daily practices related to learning. This suggests that our lab practices matter a great deal for how we respond to failures and how much we learn from our experiments. Organizational research shows that leaders who value experimental learning still have a difficult time avoiding blame for failures that create obstacles or setbacks—lip service to learning is easier to create than courageous leadership. In order to truly thrive in science, we have to be willing to experiment and fail in the service of learning. How can we structure our labs and run our research teams in ways that help us find the courage to explore? This lecture will introduce findings from a number of organizational scholars who have investigated the personal, group, and unit practices and organizational factors that help people systematically learn and transform failure into the courage to explore. Monica Worline’s research is uniquely focused on how organizations enable courageous experimentation for employees, and her hope is that this lecture will show you new ways to tap into the inspiration and perseverance required to move your work into new frontiers.


Please register for the Thriving in Science lecture here.



5.   All Talks Considered: The Berkeley Postdoctoral Association (BPA) is pleased to invite you to their seminar series All TalksConsidered, 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, April 9 in Barrows Hall, Room 652 and begins at 6:15 – 7:30 pmThis month we will bring together speakers from the fields of geography and physics:



Department of Geography

"Monetary reform and urbanization: A case study of Taiwan"



Department of Physics

"Colliders physics: exploring the matter in the collision Proton Proton at the Large Hadron Collider"


Please register for All Talks Considered here.


6.      BPA Monthly Board Meeting: The BPA board is always open to new ideas; we encourage everyone to get involved and help out. So if you would like to voice issues that you feel affect postdocs, or programs you’d like to start, then join us at 6 pm on Thursday April 16 in Barrows Hall, Room 652. Pizza and refreshments are included.





7.       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 6:30 pm - closing on Wednesday, April 22. 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!


8.      Spring Cookout: The annual BPA spring cookout will be on Saturday, April 25 from 1 - 4 pm at Live Oak Park Area 1.  Please bring a small dish with you since it will be a potluck event.   This will be a non-alcoholic event since there is ‘no alcohol’ allowed in the park.  We are looking forward to seeing you there!


9.       BPA hosts: Movie Monday7 pm Monday, April 27, 652 Barrows Hall.  Join us for this month's Movie Monday! Light refreshments provided. An announcement will go out later this month with details about the movie for April.



Have ideas for future Movie Mondays? Please fill out our survey and let us know!


10.   Thriving in Science Lecture: Emiliana Simon-Thomas  Join us on Wednesday, April 29 at 6:00 pm in 105 Stanley Hall for a talk by Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director at the Greater Good Science Center. This event is open to all, but it is primarily targeted at grad students and postdocs in the scientific community on campus.


Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., is the science director of the Greater Good Science Center, where she oversees the GGSC’s Expanding Gratitude project. Emiliana earned her doctorate in Cognition Brain and Behavior at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation used behavioral and neuroscience methods to examined how negative states like fear and aversion influence thinking and decision-making. During her postdoc, Emiliana transitioned to studying pro-social states like love of humanity, compassion, and awe. From there, Emiliana served as Associate Director/Senior Scientist at CCARE (the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University), focusing on how compassion benefits health, well-being, and psychosocial functioning.

Today, Emiliana’s work spotlights the science that connects health and happiness to social affiliation, caregiving, and collaborative relationships, as she continues to examine the potential for – as well as the benefits of – living a more meaningful life.

Please register for the Thriving in Science lecture here (link will be updated after April 8 event).




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