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 2016 - 2017 

BPA logo


Events and Announcements for November 2016

The BPA board is always looking for volunteers to help organize fun and enriching events for our postdoctoral community. In particular, we currently need a new volunteer to coordinate the All Talks Considered series, designed to bridge communication across the many fields of research found on the Berkeley campus; if interested, send an email to vspa@berkeley.edu.  For other ways to get involved, please join us at our next board meeting and share your ideas!

Check out the great events for the month of March on our own UC Berkeley campus below




December 7

BPA Holiday Party, 6:00 pm at Anna Head Alumnae Hall, 2537 Haste



December 13

OPEN luncheon and discussion, 12:00 PM, 309 Sproul Hall



December 15

BPA Monthly Board Meeting, 12:00 PM Barrows Hall Rm. 650



December 15

Deadline for BPA Professional Development Award application (instructions here)





Late spring 2017

Organizers needed for UCSF-UC Berkeley Postdoctoral Research Symposium




NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences



Last Monday of each month

BPA Movie Monday needs volunteers to help pick up refreshments, set up the room, etc. Please contact Valentine Trotter (vvtrotter@lbl.gov).



1.      BPA Holiday Party

We are pleased to invite you and your spouses, partners, and children to our annual holiday party! Please join us to celebrate another successful year. The event begins at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, December 7 at the Anna Head Alumnae Hall located at 2537 Haste Street, between Telegraph and Bowditch. Note that this will take the place of the BPA happy hour usually held on the first Wednesday of each month.

This year’s celebration will have a buffet with delicious food and a range of alcoholic and soft drinks (all free of cost to you), accompanied by music and dancing. We will also be hosting the Alameda Food Bank Canned Food Drive, so we encourage you to bring items of canned or otherwise non-perishable food to donate to those in need.

IMPORTANT:  Registration is required for this event! If you have not registered beforehand, we will not be able to grant admittance. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/berkeley-postdoctoral-association-holiday-party-december-7-2016-tickets-29450804148


2.      OPEN luncheon and discussion

The Opportunities for Postdoc Equity Networking (OPEN) Program is hosting its monthly lunchtime discussion event.  Join us for lunch and an informal discussion where we can share our experiences, as well as offer and receive advice and support from fellow postdocs. This month's topic is: The Challenges Foreigners Face in Academia, with special guest Dr. Saray Ayala, Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy, California State University Sacramento. Dr. Ayala has written on this topic and runs the blog, “What is it like to be a foreigner in academia?” (beingaforeignerinacademia.wordpress.com ).

OPEN is a program initiated by the Berkeley Postdoctoral Association 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 focus on issues that women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQIA community and other groups face in academia. OPEN promotes intersectionality and dialogue between these groups and the broader postdoc and graduate student community in a series of events and activities.

Details: Tuesday, December 13, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM, 309 Sproul Hall. Light lunch will be provided.


3.      BPA Monthly Board Meeting:

Would you like to get involved in the Berkeley Postdoc Association?  Do you have ideas about issues that affect postdocs, social events to recommend, or programs you'd like to start?  Come join us!  The BPA is holding regular monthly meetings the third Thursday of every month, and the meeting is open to all UC Berkeley Postdocs.  The BPA is a great way to meet other postdocs, gain leadership experience, and make a difference in the postdoc community.  Come join us at 12:00 pm in Barrows Hall Room 650, Thursday December 15.  Pizza and refreshments are included.


4.      BPA Professional Development Award

The Berkeley Postdoctoral Association (BPA) is happy to announce the BPA Professional Development Award Program. Postdocs are eligible for a one-time award of up to $500 that can be used to attend a scientific or professional meeting where you will provide a presentation.

A description of the BPA Professional Development Award Program and the application form can be found at this link. Please refer to these documents for instructions, eligibility, and more information. If you have any questions, you can email the VSPA Program at vspa@berkeley.edu.

Application Deadline: Thursday, December 15, via email to vspa@berkeley.edu.


5.      Organizers Needed : UCSF-UC Berkeley Postdoctoral Research Symposium

Last year, UCSF hosted a successful postdoc research symposium showcasing the best research across the university along with two renowned keynote speakers.  This year, they have extended the invitation to UC Berkeley to co-host this symposium.  Right now we are soliciting volunteers to help organize this event, which is expected to take place in late spring 2017.  If you are interested, please email Corinne Sadlowski at csadlowski@berkeley.edu.  For more information about last year's event, see http://psasymp.ucsf.edu/  


6.      Movie Monday:

The monthly Movie Monday activities have been a big hit with postdocs and families alike. We are looking for a few people to volunteer to help with organizing and running this activity, including picking up supplies from VSPA, setting up the room, and cleaning up after the activity. Please consider helping out with this fun activity. Contact Valentine Trotter at vvtrotter@lbl.gov if you would like to volunteer. Thank you !


7.      Volunteer Opportunity – Present at NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences

Each Thursday, the California Academy of Sciences hosts NightLife, an adults-only (age 21+) event. In addition to the regular museum exhibits, there are also drinks, food, music and special presentations revolving around a changing weekly theme. Following the different weekly themes, we bring in relevant local scientists and companies to present their work and research to NightLife museum visitors. We would like to invite local postdoctoral researchers to join us at upcoming events to present on their work and research.

Upcoming NightLife Schedule

Please do not PUBLICLY share NightLife dates more than one month in advance, but please DO pass on this information with anyone (collaborators, colleagues, friends, etc.) who may be interested in joining us as a presenter. The descriptions are our some of our initial ideas for each week but please feel free to suggest any additional topics that may tie in and match the night’s theme!

Dates marked with asterisks (**) are weeks that we currently have the greatest need for presenters.

December 8 – Winter Holiday Bazaar

o Featuring the SF Bazaar Holiday Market.

o We are looking for any science relating to winter and cold weather: cold temperature/snow/ice, winter holiday traditions, or animals in winter and/or cold climates.

**January 5 – How-To Night

o Demo your interesting, unique, fun skills!

o A few example ideas: How to do Yoga; How to make green juice; How to turn fish into sashimi.

o Science-specific topics can be fairly broad, such as: How to use a microscope; How to collect field samples; How to mount a bug; How to use lasers; etc.

o Note: there will be several “How-To” nights throughout 2017. If you can’t make it on this night, please inquire about future dates!

**January 12 – Mushroom Night

o Anything about mushrooms!

o Mushrooms in research, as a food, their toxins, interesting fungus biology.

**January 19 – Sketchfest

o Featuring SF Sketchfest

o A great night for behavioral and neuroscience! Science behind laughter and smiling; the process behind improv/thinking on your feet; laughter or smiling behaviors in animals, etc.

January 26 – NightLife Light

o CAS-focused presentations – no need for outside partners

February 2 – Lunar New Year

o Year of the Rooster!

o Looking for: science relating to roosters or the moon.

February 9 – Noise Pop

o Science of sound – sound, music, neuroscience, sensory perception.

o Looking for: recordings of animal calls, recordings from the field, studies relating to animal communication by sound (birdsongs, whales/dolphins, etc).

February 16 – SF Beer Week

o Beer science – ingredients, fermentation, flavors, history, etc.

February 23 – NightLife Light

o CAS-focused presentations – no need for outside partners

Presentation Details

Table presentations are laid out throughout the museum, with visitors walking through and stopping by tables throughout the night. Successful presentations include some interactive components (demos, specimens, games, etc.) along with informational material such as posters, fact sheets, and short verbal presentations. Photos from past events can be found on the NightLife Facebook page, to help you gain a better understanding of the presentation format. Presenters generally have a great deal of freedom and flexibility regarding the content of their presentation, as long as it loosely ties in with the night's theme. While we mostly look for tabling presentations, we are also open to workshops, games and lectures if they are suitable for the night’s events.

Attendance at these events ranges from 2000-3500 people, with a few hundred visitors typically stopping by tables throughout the night. Attendees generally have a high school/early college level of science education, so it helps to develop a presentation that focuses more on general concepts rather than all the specific details of your particular research area. This is a great opportunity to present your research to an interested but broad public audience.

Logistical Details

Set up time is from 5-6pm, and NightLife runs from 6-10pm, though tables typically wind down around 9pm. Presenters receive complimentary pizza and drink tickets, as well as a guest list for free entry for family and friends to come see you!

Our goal is to have presenters confirmed 4-6 weeks in advance of the event. Anyone potentially interested in presenting should email the NightLife Scientific Programming Volunteer Julie Choe (jchoe@calacademy.org) to start a conversation, or even just if you have any 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  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

Your Berkeley Postdoctoral Association (BPA) http://postdoc.berkeley.edu/ or find us on LinkedIn and Facebook  

 Interested in Outreach? 

Community Resources for Science:  www.crscience.org

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