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 September 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




September 7

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



September 15

BPA Monthly Board Meeting, 12:00 pm in Barrows Hall, Room 650 (new time!)



September 19-23

National Postdoc Appreciation Week activities



September 20

OPEN (Opportunities for Postdoc Equity Networking) luncheon and

discussion, 12:00 PM, location to be determined



September 26

Movie Monday: Kung Fu Panda 3, 6:00 pm in Barrows Hall, Room 650 (volunteer helpers needed!)






NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences




1. BPA Happy Hour

Please come join us Wednesday, September 7th 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, September 7th, 2016
TIME: 6:00pm
LOCATION: In front of Pat Brown's Grill, UC Berkeley

2. 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 HallRoom 650 , Thursday September 15th.  Pizza and refreshments are included.  

DATE: Thursday, September 15th, 2016
TIME: 12 pm  - NEW TIME!!
LOCATION: Barrows Hall, Room 650, UC Berkeley  

3. National Postdoc Appreciation Week: 

It’s time for you to feel more appreciated! As part of the National Postdoc Appreciation Week from September 19-23, several events will be held at Cal and the surrounding area. This includes the Postdoc appreciation Cocktail Hour on Thursday, September 22 from 4-6 PM at the Bancroft Hotel, where the winners of the Postdoc Leadership Award and Postdoc Mentoring Award will be presented with their awards. All postdocs are invited to attend these events. More details will be available in subsequent emails.


4. 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: Balancing a postdoc and family life. 

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.

DATE: Thursday, September 20th, 2016
TIME: 12 pm  - 1:30pm


5. Movie Monday

Kung Fu Panda II

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

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 !

DATE: Monday, September 26th, 2016
TIME: 6 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. 

**September 1 – Fermentation 

      •  Anything relating to fermentation! Food, beverages, biotech/industrial fermentation, etc. 

**September 8 – 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. 
    • Headlining band is White Fence (psychedelic music, so fun/trippy visuals would be great) 

September 15 – Claude’s 21st Birthday 

    • A “White Party” in honor of Claude, the museum’s albino alligator. 
    • Suggested topics include white creatures or albinism in nature, biology of swamps, alligators or aging. 

**September 22 – Forests 

    • Any topics relating to trees and wood. This can include live trees, petrified trees, beetles/pests that are current threats to forests, conservation. 

September 29 – Sharktoberfest! 

    • Beer garden meets Shark week! 
    • We welcome any science relating to beer or sharks! 

October 6 – Gems and Minerals 

    • Gems, minerals, interesting geology, shiny things. 

**October 13 – 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. 

October 20 – Yoga 

    • Health sciences, anatomy, exercise. 

October 27 – Halloween 

    • Creepy anything: animals, nature, science, technology. Or science relating to any typical Halloween creatures (bats, spiders, science/history relating to supernatural creatures). 


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