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 

BPA logo


Events and Announcements for May 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, please respond to this email.  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





May 4

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



May 7

BPA Spring cookout, 12-3pm, Live Oak park



May 19

BPA Monthly Board Meeting, 6:00 pm in Barrows Hall, Room 650




POSTPONED until further notice: Movie Monday: The Good Dinosaur 



May 27

PTOP meeting : 12-1pm, Barrows Hall, Room 650





NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences




1. BPA Happy Hour

Please come join us Wednesday, May 4th 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).

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.  

DATE: Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
TIME: 6:00pm
LOCATION: In front of Pat Brown's Grill, UC Berkeley

2. BPA Spring Cookout

Dear Berkeley postdocs,
You and your family are invited to join us for the BPA Spring Cookout which will be held at Live Oak Park.  The site of several community festivals, Live Oak Park offers a range of recreational opportunities, with basketball and tennis courts, a recreation center, and tot and school-age play areas. The tot play area features an accessible tot climber; (animal spring toys, and swings are not disabled-accessible). The school-age play area features an accessible large climber with 12' high slide and swings.

We will be grilling hamburgers, hotdogs, links and veggie burgers and there will be plenty of chips, soft drinks and conversations to share.  We look forward to seeing you and your family joining us at the cookout.

It will also be pot-luck, so please bring along your favorite salad, side dish or dessert to share.

If you want to help set up, cook, or clean that would be fantastic.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

DATE: Saturday, May 7th, 2016
TIME: 12:00 - 3:00 pm
LOCATION: Picinic Area 2 ar Live Oak Park (1301 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA)  
(at Berryman Street between Shattuck Avenue and Oxford Street in Northeast Berkeley)

TO REGISTER, please go to this Eventbrite link.

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 6:00 pm in Barrows HallRoom 650 , Thursday April 21st.  Pizza and refreshments are included.  

DATE: Thursday, May 19st, 2016
TIME: 6 pm
LOCATION: Barrows Hall, Room 650, UC Berkeley  

4. Movie Monday

The Good Dinosaur

Join us for this month's family friendly movie Night!  Light refreshments provided.  

DATE: POSTPONED until further notice

5. PTOP event

Come join the Berkeley Postdoctoral Association for the Evidence Based Teaching Strategies Series, part of the Postdoc Teaching Opportunity Program (PTOP) designed to provide a forum on pedagogy for postdocs. 

At this month's meeting on Evidence Based Teaching Strategies we will discuss the strategies to prepare  a successful application for a faculty positions at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) and Community Colleges in the United States . Discussion facilitator will share information  collected during a workshop at the National Postdoctoral Association annual meeting in Grand Rapids, WI earlier this year. 

Postdocs with experience in applying to teaching positions at university level are warmly welcome to attend discussion meetings.

Please contact the meeting organizer Marta Vuckovic (martavucko@berkeley.edu) if you have questions about this event. 

DATE: Friday, May 27th, 2016
TIME: 12:00 - 1:00 pm
LOCATION: Barrows Hall, Room 650, UC Berkeley 

6. NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences (Volunteer Opportunity)

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. 

May 5 – Cinco de Mayo 

  • Anything pertaining to Mexican culture, any modern tech coming out of Mexico. 
  • Science tales should consist of any science or research happening in Mexico, or science about traditionally Mexican things such as Salsa, Chilies/Spice, Agriculture, Mezcal (please no Tequila talk, too played out!), or Mayan cultural anthropology  

**May 12 – Origins 

  • Partnering with Wonderfest to discuss three broad topics of Origins: Origins of the Universe, Origins of Life and Origins of Civilization. 
  • We already have The Leakey Foundation confirmed to show stone tools so other topics would be best. 

May 19th NightLife LIVE 

  • Summer Concert series from May – October. We are looking for high visual presentations that can be present at multiple nights throughout the summer. Please inquire for more details. 

**May 26 – 90's Night 

  • Science behind/related to popular movies from the 90's. Can also include what a 90's film got wrong. Suggested films to focus on: 
  • Jurassic Park, Titanic, Ninja Turtles, Batman, Twister, Armageddon, Deep Impact, Dante's Peak, X-Files, Contact, Star Troopers, Anaconda, Arachnophobia, Flubber, Fern Gully, Disney Movies. 
  • Important science discoveries from the 90's 
  • Please note - We only have 4 screens to loan, so tables should bring their own screens to play clips on visual aides/photos for the specific scenes they're discussing.

**June 2 – Wine Night 

  • Science behind wine production and viticulture 
  • Science of taste combinations 
  • Fermentation 

June 9 – Ocean Theme/Twilight opening 

  • Anything ocean related! 
  • Research on environment, food, climate change, etc., as it pertains to the ocean

June 16 – NightLife LIVE 

  • Summer Concert series from May – October. We are looking for high visual presentations that can be present at multiple nights throughout the summer. Please inquire for more details. 

**June 23 – PRIDE NightLife 

  • Celebration of Gay Pride – Science of sexuality, individual diversity 
  • Colors in nature

June 30 – World Asteroid Day 

  • Asteroids, craters, space! 

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