The Office of Postdoctoral Education is committed to providing quality, useful events for our postdocs. Below is a list of past events hosted by the OPE.


Spotlight on Science 2012-2016 (PDF)

Topic:Getting To The Interview: Successful Job Application Documents for Scientists” (PDF)
Speaker: Michael A. Tessel, PhD
Assistant Director, Graduate Career Development
Office of the Provost–Graduate Student Affairs
The University of Chicago

April 18, 2016
Topic:Gender Bias” (Video)
Speaker: Heather Metcalf

May 9, 2016
Topic: Startup Company – HIP” (Video)
Speaker: Dr. Mike James

May 23, 2016
Topic:Pursuit of a Teaching Career in Higher Education” (Video)
Speaker: Holly Snyder, PhD
The talk will begin with background on Lewis University and my personal time line on how I arrived at Lewis. I will discuss my current position and what is expected of me to secure tenure. I will also discuss issues I and other faculty members have seen with the current generation of students pursuing science.


June 13, 2016
Topic: “Making the Switch: A Perspective on Transitioning to Industry” (Video)
Speaker: Sheldon Garrison, PhD
Promentis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Making the Switch: A Perspective On Transitioning to Industry. This interactive talk will present perspectives, techniques and insight to prepare for the transition from academia to industry. We will focus on how to highlight your proven record of accomplishment and skill set, build a narrative, define your "brand"™, set realistic expectations, find your functional role, and identify value-adding activities that will help with the transition.


June 27, 2016
Topic:Research Scientists in Academia” (Video)
Speakers: Kathleen Boyle, PhD, Research Scientist II, Microbiology and Immunology
Hiromi Sato, PhD, Research Scientist I, Medicine/Infectious Diseases
Medical College of Wisconsin
This spotlight will focus on what it means to be a research scientist in the academia and how one may go about obtaining this position. The panelists will discuss their journey to becoming research scientists, how they chose the career path, the job requirements, work load and the ups and downs of the position.


September 26, 2016
Title:Jill of All Trades Consulting Company, Female CEOs” (Video)
Speakers: Corinne Neil and Megan Boswell
Jill of All Trades Consulting Company
Branding the Business of YOU! A workshop to help you build your personal brand
In this workshop, let THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™ lead you in a discovery process developed to help shape the brand of YOU! With an emphasis on celebrating your authentic self, this workshop will help you to carve out your unique message while you learn to best showcase your professional style, skills, and strengths so you can reach the career, collaborations, community, and connections you want.

October 24, 2016
Title: “RCR/SOS retrain session on Mentor/Mentee relationships” (Video)
Speaker: Garth Fowler
University of Washington

November 14, 2016
Title:Intellectual Property–Protecting Your Discovery” (Video)
Speaker: Laura Savatski
Intellectual Property - Protecting Your Discovery Intellectual property tools and concepts like copyrights, patents, trade secrets, trademarks and licensing will be covered. This intellectual property primer will help demystify the complex process of protecting your discoveries and knowledge assets.

December 12, 2016
Title:Learn How to Write an NIH K99 Grant” (Video)
Speakers: Drs. Hodges, Scaglione, Staruschenko and Ilatovskaya
Medical College of Wisconsin
What is it, who can apply, how do you apply?
  • Hear from a PI who has successfully helped trainees get K99 grants.
  • Learn from PIs who have successfully written K99 grants.
  • Learn grant writing tips you can apply to any grant.
  • Hear some real NIH grant reviews (good and bad).
  • You don’t want to miss this one!

January 9, 2017
Topic: The Commons Experience
Speakers: Drs. Zeeshan Afzal and Devin Mehta
Title:Bridging the Academic Skills Gap: Innovation and Entrepreneurship” (Video)
Learning objectives for the audience
  • Highlight personal experiences with The Commons
  • Importance of innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Team exercise – Ideation

February 13, 2017
Speaker: Zeeshan Afzal, Karthika Divakaran, Angeles Baker
Topic: Exploring career venture? wet your feet with PICO” (Video)
Learning objectives:
  • ​Learn how joining PICO can provide real world job experience in the biotech industry.
  • Hear how current PICO consultants learn how to consult and what it can do for them.
  • Do YOU have what it takes? We will give you the opportunity to try consulting during the session.
  • Learn how you can benefit from the PICO experience.

February 27, 2017
Speaker: Jeremy Bock, Executive Director, Center for Christian Leadership
Wisconsin Lutheran College
Topic: "212 Degree Leadership" (Video)
What defines a leader? A 212° leader? What is the difference between being effective and extraordinary? In this interactive session Jeremy will facilitate conversations and activities around 10 elements that embody 212° leaderships and how going that one extra degree can significantly impact you and those lead.

April 10, 2017 Spotlight on Science - RCR Refresher
Speakers: John Imig, Joe Barberi
Topic: "Values and Professional Norms Underlying the Responsible Conduct of Collaborative Research Between Academic Institutions and Industry" (Video)
Learning objectives:
  • List some "needs" of academic and industry scientists that result in collaborations.
  • Cite common and contrasting values and professional norms that guide the responsible conduct of research in these collaborations.
  • Describe two (2) actual situations where the principles underlying professional conduct of research are tested.
  • Identify tools to manage the conflicts that might arise.
  • Form his/her own opinion on whether to engage in collaborations with industry.
A one hour session, coordinated with a subsequent one-hour, faculty led-small group discussion with your trainees to address selected case studies on this topic.  Note, case studies will be provided prior to the April 10th session. These twice a year workshops provide 4-hours of refresher RCR training for our training grant (T32 and TL1) and individual fellowship (F) trainees. Note, to be NIH compliant, trainees must attend both the didactic session lead by a content expert and a faculty led-small group session.

April 24, 2017
Speaker: Robert Calder, MD, PhD, Executive Regional Director at Merck
Topic: "Bio statistical concepts in clinical science" (Video)
Learning objectives:   
  • When translating discoveries from the bench to the bedside, understand what physicians should demand to know.
  • Understand the difference between statistical and clinical significance.
  • Learn to calculate the number needed to treat and how that relates to clinical significance.
  • Appreciate the criteria used to determine whether an association is causal.

May 8, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Nai-Fen Su, Career Counselor
Topic: Marketing Yourself: Why Your Personal Brand Matters? (Video)
Session description:
In today’s competitive world, there are many qualified candidates out there. The secret to standing out is to impress recruiters with the unique and authentic you- in person, on paper, and online. In this session, you will:
  • Learn why personal branding is important to a job seeker
  • Explore what your personal brand images are
  • Learn how to build your personal brand
This is an interactive session. You will learn strategies of developing your personal brand from the presentation, TED Talk, and group discussion.


May 22, 2017
Speaker: Melody Bockenfeld, MPH, BSN; Dissemination & Implementation Program Manager, Community Academic Partnerships Program, UW Institute for Clinical & Translational Research​
Topic: So What? What's Next? Dissemination & Implementation Considerations Across the Translational Research Spectrum
Learning objectives:
  • This session will contribute to SOS participant's understanding of dissemination and implementation (D&I) basics:
    • The process of spreading knowledge and information to settings (i.e., dissemination).
    • The study of methods that influence the integration of evidence-based interventions into practice settings (i.e., implementation).
  • SOS participants will understand the importance of considering D&I early on in their study design
  • SOS participants will learn how designing for dissemination can increase the impact of research at all stages of the translational research spectrum.

July 10, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Jordan Greer
Topic: "What's" Diversity Got to do With it?: The Why, What, and How of Diversity Statements for Post-doc and Faculty Positions
Learning objectives:
  • Overview the two contrasting approaches to the case for diversity in Higher Education
  • Understand what diversity statements are and why some institutions have moved toward requiring them
  • Learn how to prepare for and how to write your diversity statement
  • Become familiar with the MCW Office of Diversity and Inclusion as a resource for building your diversity

July 14, 2017
Grant Writing Workshop
Topic: Demystifying the Grant Process: A Grant Writing Retreat for Postdocs and Graduate Students
Resources for downloading:

July 24, 2017
Speaker 1: Dipankar Manna, PhD, Director, Research and Development, Lucigen Corp.
Topic: Transitioning from Academia to Industry: What are Companies Looking For? (PDF)
Session description:
Most scientists in industry today, at some point in their career, were scientists in academia. Those who have made the transition successfully, likely have done so because of an unique set of skills. Bedside academic excellence, these are creative problem solving, leadership, effective communication, team management capability, and interpersonal skills. My talk will focus on qualities needed to successfully make the transition from academia to industry.


Speaker 2: Michael Harrison, MD, PhD, Business Development Manager, BioForward
Topic: Careers in the Biohealth Industry: Skills and Experience You Need (and May Already Have) (PDF)
Session description:
There are a lot of career options for PhDs and Postdocs in the biohealth industry.  This talk will help guide you through those options and discuss the skills and experience employers want.  In addition, this talk will help the audience recognize and communicate the skills they have already gained through their training.


August 14, 2017
Speaker: Gregg TeHennepe, Program Manager, Computational Sciences, The Jackson Laboratory 
Topic: Research Project Management
Session description: Since the 1950’s the field of project management has developed to become a core element for ensuring success of the initiatives in modern organizations, however it has not seen adoption in the world of basic research. I will present an overview of a newly developing agile approach to research project management that aligns with the scientific method and provides many of the benefits of project management found in other fields while retaining and enhancing those elements critical to the mission and process of scientific research.
Learning Objectives:
  1. Get an overview of an approach to research project management
  2. Understand the benefits of research project management
  3. Understand how to use research project management while staying true to the process of scientific research

September 25, 2017
Speaker: Beverly Hutcherson, Outreach and Communications Manager for Diversity and Inclusion, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Title: Self-Awareness: Seeing Yourself Beyond your Degree
Subtitle: The intersection of empathy for diverse experiences within the scientific community
Session description: Empathy is an interpersonal skill that is often not explored in natural science spaces. Our identity and training as scientists shape how we interact with our peers, students and how we determine value in interdisciplinary collaborations. We will work in small groups to dive deeper into our understanding of our individual identities and how we can improve upon valuing and coexisting with others who navigate life through a different lens.
Learning Objectives:
  1. Gain a deeper understanding of empathy
  2. Increase awareness of one's self
  3. Learn tips, tools and strategies that will Increase skills in effective communication

October 23, 2017
Spotlight on Science will host a refresher RCR on: Peer Review Speakers:
  • Dara Frank, PhD -  Study section and grant reviewer
  • Ravi Misra, PhD - Experienced PI
  • Neil Hogg, PhD -  Journal editor
Session description: A one hour session, coordinated with a subsequent one-hour, faculty led-small group discussion with your trainees to address selected case studies on this topic. 
These twice a year workshops provide 4-hours of refresher RCR training for our training grant (T32 and TL1) and individual fellowship (F) trainees. 
Note, to be NIH compliant, trainees must attend both the didactic session lead by a content expert and a faculty led-small group session.     
“Peer Review, Overview and Challenge Questions”
Writing research papers and reviewing manuscripts and grants are essential activities in the scientific process. But authors and peer reviewers constantly face ethical issues for which they need to be prepared.

February 12, 2018
Speaker: Elizabeth (Liz) Suelzer, MLIS, User Education/Reference Librarian
Topic: Information overload: harnessing library resources in the Information Age (Video) | Presentation handout (PPTX)
Session Description: Discuss strategies for organizing information sources.
Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify challenges to finding good information.
  2. Learn how to more effectively use information resources.
  3. Refresh your PubMed search skills

February 16, 2018
Topic: Early-Stage Retirement Planning (live stream/recording)
Figuring out how to make "cents" of retirement planning at the beginning of your career can be a daunting challenge. We attempt to ease students' concerns by focusing on the small actions they can take right now to make a big difference in the long-run.
  1. Describing the type of retirement savings options available to the post-doc and grad student population 
  2. Exploring ways to begin the retirement budgeting process even in the smallest of ways 
  3. Once the savings cycle has begun, having a high-level conversation of the investment choices available to individuals in their retirement accounts

February 26, 2018

Syed M. Ahmed, MD, MPH, DrPH, FAAFP, Associate Provost & Senior Associate Dean for Community Engagement, Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Professor, Institute for Health and Equity, Director, MCW Community Engagement Core, Director, CTSI Collaboration/Engagement Domain
David A. Nelson, PhD, MS, Associate Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Center for Healthy Communities & Research, Medical College of Wisconsin
Topic: Advancing the Art & Science of Community Engagement (live stream/recording) | Presentation handout (PPTX)
Description: Community engagement (CE) in higher education has evolved and become more prevalent among academic medical centers, with significant diversity in practices and language. This presentation will discuss the current definitions of CE, provide a brief overview of its evolution and rationale, and discussion around CE at the Medical College of Wisconsin and how to support it.
Learning Objectives:
  1. Review current definitions and principles of community engagement
  2. Discuss evolution of and rationale for community engagement
  3. Learn about the state of community engagement at the Medical College of Wisconsin
  4. Discuss a practical model for comprehensive community engagement