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 November 2014


Welcome to the November edition of the BPA newsletter! Midterm elections are around the corner. Make sure to go and vote! Speaking of elections, the BPA will be also holding (informal) elections this month. If you would like to join the new BPA board, please come to the BPA monthly meeting on November 20th. You do not need previous experience with the BPA to be on the board. We are always open to new ideas, and we encourage everyone to get involved. If you want to have a positive impact on the postdoc community, come out and join us! For more questions, please contact Dermot Donnelly at dfdonnelly@berkeley.edu.






November 5

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



November 13

Career Pathways, 6:15-7:30 pm in Career Center, 2440 Bancroft Ave



November 14

PIEP: Thermo Scientific Site Visit, 11:50am-5pm, South San Francisco



November 19

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



November 19

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



November 20

BPA Monthly Board Meeting, ELECTIONS, 6:00 pm in Barrows Hall, Room 652



November 24

Movie Monday 7:00 pm in Barrows Hall, Room 652.



November 27




1.       BPA Happy Hour:  Please come join us Wednesday, November 5 for free pizza, wine, beer, cider and soft drinks, on the Wayne and Gladys Valley Plaza, at 6 pm (outside of Pat Brown’s Grill near Koshland Hall and Li Ka Shing).


2.    Career Pathways: Are you interested in both engineering as well as finance? We have a talk with inspiring career perspectives for you. The Berkeley Postdoctoral Association is pleased to invite you to our Career Pathways seminar series designed to expose you to unique career paths and to connect you with people who are working in exciting fields outside of academia. 

Come join us for a lively discussion on careers options in

DATE: Thursday, November 13th, 2014

TIME: 6:15-7:30 pm.

LOCATION: Career Center, UC Berkeley

2440 Bancroft Ave (opposite Zellerbach Hall), in the Way-Blue Room

Light snacks will be served.



Linda Kreitzman, Executive Director of The Berkeley MFE, helped design and launch the top-tier Master of Financial Engineering Program at the University of California, Berkeley in 2000. Kreitzman has singlehandedly placed hundreds of students in investment banks and other financial institutions and is currently designing programs in data science for the Haas School of Business. Outside of her work at Berkeley, Kreitzman is Chief Strategist and Advisor to several startups in the Bay Area, New York, and France in the field of technology, education, and text analytics. Come join us to hear about unique career paths, for inspiration, and practical advice!


Details on the Berkeley Master of Financial Engineering PROGRAM: 

The Berkeley Master of Financial Engineering program was launched in 2000 to meet the finance industry's demand for individuals with advanced training in quantitative fields coupled with a deep understanding of the markets. Since then, we have placed hundreds of students and alumni in key positions in major finance firms worldwide.  

The one-year program provides students with the tools needed to combine modern portfolio theory with computational methods. It also provides many opportunities to learn firsthand how to apply these theories and methods to real-world situations. Students benefit from the quality of their classmates, breadth of activities, and network of impressive alumni contacts inherent to a top-ranked business school and a world-class university.


3.       The PIEP Committee is very happy to announce the following site-visit:

Thermo Fisher Scientific is an international biotechnology product development company, with revenues of $17 billion and 50,000 employees in 50 countries. They have four premier brands: Thermo Scientific, Life Technologies, Fisher Scientific and Unity Lab Services. To learn more, please visit the website: 

Thermo Fisher Scientific’s South San Francisco site is staffed by around 650 employees, working primarily on R&D. The areas of R&D focus include Human Identification, Capillary Electrophoresis, qPCR and Ion TorrentTM semiconductor sequencing. They are hiring scientists and engineers at various levels, and have current openings in the Bay Area. 

This site visit provides a great opportunity for postdocs and graduate students to learn more about the corporate culture and environment of Thermo Fisher Scientific, to meet with current employees, and to learn various career paths in the company.

Friday, November 14, 2014

South San Francisco, CA

11:50 am – 5:00 pm

SPACE IS LIMITED!  To request participation in the site visit, please go to:

The deadline to request participation through the above link is Monday, November 3 at 5:00 pm A BIOSKETCH IS MANDATORY (please see below).

Please note that registration via eventbrite does NOT guarantee your attendance to the company site visit. We will NOTIFY everyone by email whether or not they are selected or placed on a waiting list around one week before the event. For those selected, that email will also include all relevant details for the site visit.  Please also be reminded that if you do not have a BIOSKETCH submitted before the deadline, you cannot be considered for this site visit. 

11:50 am         Transportation from UC Berkeley to Thermo Fisher Scientific
12:30 pm         Arrival and check in
12:45 pm         Company introduction with boxed lunch
1:45 pm           Lab tours
2:35 pm           Panel discussion
3:25 pm           Networking
4:25 pm           Departure/Return to Berkeley

For those interested in this site visit, please note that in addition to registering via eventbrite, you should also do the following:
(1) Complete this 2 minute survey: http://goo.gl/AEmhWg
(2) At the end of the survey, you will receive the link to submit your 2014 biosketch in the PIEP database.

The biosketch is very important, as when the number of people who are interested exceeds the space limit, the biosketch is the sole basis for selection. Some tips on writing a biosketch and going to visits are available here: http://bit.ly/biosketch-tips. An overview of biotech careers can be found here:http://bit.ly/biocareers-book.


4.       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 November 19. 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!


5.    Postdoc 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 on Wednesday November 19, 11:45 am – 1:15pm in Stephens Hall, Room 440.


The Pedagogy Lunch Series will follow on from last month's insightful discussion of teaching statements to a more detailed look at specific teaching statements.  Participants should bring a sample teaching statement to review.  We will follow a 'Critical Friends' style approach where people will be paired and will offer each other constructive insights on their teaching statements.  If participants do not have a teaching statement, we will have sample teaching statements available.  Following a review of teaching statements in pairs, insights will be shared across the whole group.  

If you have ideas of a topic you would like discussed at the Pedagogy Lunch Series, please e-mail Dermot Donnelly at dfdonnelly@berkeley.edu.


6.    BPA Monthly Board Meeting: 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 November 20 at Barrows Hall, 6:00 pm in room 652. Pizza and refreshments are included. 


7.     BPA hosts: Movie Monday7 pm Monday, November 24, 652 Barrows Hall.

Our November Movie Monday will feature a contemporary non-English language film. Please let us know which foreign film(s) you would like to see in November or at a future Movie Monday by completing our new survey. Thanks!


8.     An announcement from BPEP:

BPEP has been cooking up a new idea for November we like to call Pitch Club. Pitch Club is a chance for you to practice your pitch or elevator talk in a casual and informal setting. You'll get 2-3 minutes to pitch/elevator talk to a small group of fellow enthusiasts. You can pitch anything you'd like: that crazy business idea that's been bouncing around your head for far too long; your latest research idea; your current research program. What ever your pitch or elevator talk, when you're done, you'll get a chance to field questions and garner feedback from your fellow pitchers. If you don't feel like pitching, 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 anymore incentive, we'll also provide pizza and beer!

Now we know how great your ideas are (we certainly know how good ours are!) but you needn't fear divulging them to strangers. We'll have ample supplies of non-disclosure agreements for everyone to sign.

Despite its titular reference to the overtly testosterone-wrought Fight Club, by novelist Chuck Palahniuk, Pitch Club is definitely NOT a boys club.  We welcome all lovers of harebrained, money-making/social-solving, schemery! 

If Pitch Club sounds like something you might be interested in, please express that interest using this one-question survey. [https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7NQYRX2]

Thanks for reading. Contact bpep.ucb@gmail.com for any other questions!


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