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 

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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




November 2

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



November 17

BPA Monthly Board Meeting, 12:00 pm in Barrows Hall, Room 650



November 22

OFIT lecture, 10:30 AM, 309 Sproul Hall



November 28

OPEN (Opportunities for Postdoc Equity Networking) luncheon and

discussion, 12:00 PM, location to be determined



December 15

Deadline for BPA Professional Development Award application (instructions here)






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 Happy Hour

Please come join us Wednesday, November 2nd 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, November 2nd, 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 November 17.  Pizza and refreshments are included.  

DATE: Thursday, November 17th, 2016
TIME: 12 pm
LOCATION: Barrows Hall, Room 650, UC Berkeley  

3. OFIT (Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Teaching) Seminar: 

This month's OFIT event is entitled "Fertility Trends During Economic Downturn. Recent Evidence in Historical Perspective and Call for Renewed Research", featuring Laura Finan, Dori Hanappi, and Kilian Rieder.

The OFIT lecture series is organized by the Humanities & Social Sciences Association (HSSA) and aims to increase knowledge exchange across disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and creates a learning community for developing teaching skills among graduate students, visiting scholars, and visiting student researchers. Whether you are a postdoc, visiting scholar, graduate student, or visiting student researcher in the Humanities and Social Sciences, if you want to broaden your knowledge across disciplinary boundaries, are interested in the topic, or want to experience a team-taught course, feel free to join us.

DATE: Tuesday, November 22

TIME: 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

LOCATION: 309 Sproul Hall, UC Berkeley


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: 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 thsi 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.

DATE: Monday, November 28th, 2016
TIME: 12 pm  - 1:30pm


5. 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.


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. 

**November 3 – Weird Science/Magic of Science (with Wonderfest)

o Magic of science: neuroscience, perception, etc. involved with magic tricks.

o OR science that seems weird and/or magical! Biology: bioluminescence, fluorescence, camouflage, dramatic transformations, illusions. Other ideas: chemistry or physics demos, electricity, engineering, etc.

o Please note: Fire, smoke or fog are NOT permitted inside the museum.

November 10 – Vibrant Cities (CCA Design School takeover)

o Highlighting the Vibrant Cities Initiative at the California College of the Arts.

o Animal/insect communities, architecture, etc.

November 17 – BiteLife

o Science of eating – jaws/mouths, digestion, nutrition, etc.

o Odd eating habits in the animal world.

November 24 – No NightLife (Thanksgiving Holiday)

December 1 – Star Wars

o Any science and tech relating to the Star Wars universe

o Ideas include visual effects, planets/stars/astronomy, space travel, robot technology, animals related to Star Wars creatures.

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. 


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