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COVID-19: A message from the UBC PDA

COVID-19: A message from the UBC PDA

Dear fellow postdocs,

Considering the circumstances, the UBC PDA has made the decision not to host any in-person gathering in the near future. We have cancelled our upcoming ski trip and will not be planning any socials and events until the COVID-19 situation has resolved in an effort to help to #flattenthecurve.

We are currently making plans on how to serve and strengthen the postdoc community during this time of isolation. Please stay tuned for updates. We are looking forward to welcoming you to online get-togethers!

We are aware that a lot of you will be dealing with different problems, such as ramping down research, finding a routine while working from home, travel bans – and being worried about your own health as well as about friends and family in Canada and abroad.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you are struggling – or if you just need someone to talk to. Supporting each other in this difficult time is the least we can do. Stay safe and healthy and take care of yourself and others!

 

Yours sincerely,

UBC Postdoctoral Association

 

We would like to share the following resources with you:

Regulations at UBC:

For the latest updates please visit https://covid19.ubc.ca

For those of you working in labs, all research activities have been curtailed until April 15th. Talk to your supervisor and department head about applying for an exemption to continue critical research and to maintain critical reagents/animal husbandry – but ONLY when absolutely necessary. For those of you who still have to come to campus, there’s free parking available. Stay safe!

 

COVID-19 update from the Postdoctoral Fellows Office:

https://www.postdocs.ubc.ca/covid-19

 

General information about COVID-19:

Latest information about COVID-19 in the World and in Canada

Stay informed, but please check the mental health resources below, as it is very easy to get overwhelmed by the news about the outbreak.

 

Getting involved as volunteer:

  • UBC Faculty of Medicine Educational Technology is urgently looking for volunteers to help translate informational videos about COVID-19 to as many languages as possible. More information on Twitter and Youtube.
  • Crowdfight Covid19 is looking for volunteers who assist in various (mostly administrative) tasks to fight against COVID-19. Scientists from all areas of research welcome. It takes one minute to sign up and you decide about your level of commitment. For questions contact crowdfightcovid19+contact@gmail.com.

 

Travel bans and advisories:

 

Funding insecurities:

 

Information regarding immigration:

  • Special regulations from the Canadian government for immigrants affected by COVID-19
  • If you have any questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 on your current application for a work permit/PR, reach out to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) via the contact form in your online application portal. They get back to you within a week.

 

Managing Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Outbreak:

Amidst the current outbreak of COVID-19, you may be developing feelings of fear, stress, worry and isolation – these feelings are natural when facing threats that are beyond our control. Everyone reacts differently to these feelings and they can be overwhelming for some. It is important to understand that if you need help in coping with these feelings, there are resources available. Below are articles and resources that will guide you in managing your mental health.

 

Fun activities from home:

Other resources available online or on the phone to support your mental health

 

UBC Counselling Services Counselling Services will be offering appointments by phone during the COVID-19 outbreak: 604 822 3811

  • MindhealthBC – Take a quick online assessment on your mental health and get resources for a variety of related concerns.
  • Here to Help – help you find quality information, learn new skills, and connect with key resources in BC
  • HealthlinkBC – If you still have questions call 811 to speak with a registered nurse, or access online resources for health-related questions.
  • CrisiscentreBC – If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or at risk of harm, call or chat online with a crisis responder any time
  • TAO – Manage your well-being with tools on stress, relationship problems, substance use, and more. Register with a UBC email.

Webinar: Professional Development and Career Planning – Getting You Back in the Driver’s Seat

This is a joint event by us and the SFU PDA.

When? Feb 25, 11:30 am – 1 pm

Where? This webinar will be broadcast at

MSL (Michael Smith Laboratories) Room 237
(https://tinyurl.com/MSLRoom237)

Register now to secure your spot!

Light snacks will be provided!

Topics of the webinar include

  • Developing self awareness (Skills and personality assessment)
  • Personal branding
  • Getting out there (Online presence, networking)

The webinar is facilitated by Justine Salam. Justine is a Professional Skills Program Specialist at the University of Waterloo where she guides graduate students to assess their skills, identify their talents and interests, and succeed in their post-graduate work transition, both in academic and non-academic careers. She also coaches students one-on-one to better their resumes, CVs, cover letters and enhance their interview skills.

Justine Salam

 

PDA Bowling Night

Join us for a night out of bowling on Commercial Drive!

When?

Either the evenings of Wed Feb 19th, or Thurs Feb 20th. You decide! 

Where?

Grandview Lanes on Commercial Dr.

https://www.grandviewbowling.com/home.html

Make sure your register by Friday, February 14th to reserve your spot on the lanes!

We will subsidize this event ($100 total)!

Contact ubc.postdoc@gmail.com or Ryan (rsweeney@chem.ubc.ca) if you have any questions about this event.

Make sure to register quickly to reserve your spot: bit.ly/2Uz06T8

PDA Whistler Ski Weekend

The annual UBC PDA Whistler Weekend is an opportunity to meet some fellow UBC postdocs and enjoy a weekend in Whistler. This trip usually sees postdocs taking part in outdoor winter activities (skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing) and relaxing in Whistler village (day spas, restaurants, bars). Sign up quickly as we only have a few beds booked at the accommodation. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Dates: Friday April 3rd – Sunday April 5th, 2020

Cost: The total cost of Friday and Saturday night’s accommodation will be $120 per person, to be paid upon arrival. Additional costs will include transport, activities, and food/drinks.

Sign up and more information: https://bit.ly/37Znc9i

Career Networking Night – March 10th

Join us for our Career Networking Night

This is a joint event by us and the SFU PDA.

Date: 10th March 2020, 5pm-7:30pm 
SFU Segal Building, 500 Granville Street, Vancouver

This is an excellent opportunity to connect with a variety of companies and employers in an informal setting. Discover the opportunities available outside academia, and what employers are looking for!

Register now!

The event will be held in the Segal Building (SFU downtown) from 5:30-7:30 pm (brief highlight presentations from our sponsors start at 5:30 pm), with light refreshments and a cash bar.

Of Note: As this is a networking & informal interview setting, we STRONGLY recommend business casual dress.

Representatives will be joining us from:
– Zymeworks
– New England Biosciences
– Amgen
– Mitacs
– 1QBit
– Fortinet
– The Government of Canada
– ABM
– Oceanwise
– 1QBit
– Aspect Biosystems
– Fortinet
– Genome BC
– SCWIST
– Special Projects and Strategic Initiative UBC
– Willow Biosciences
– more to be announced!

This event is free for all postdocs!

We will release more event details and will update this blog post closer to the date.

Hurry and register now! There are only a limited amount of spots available!

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions!

 

 

We are thankful for the support by our sponsors and exhibitors:

 

Zymeworks

 

New England Biolabs


 

 

Amgen

Call for nominations: PDA 2020-2021 Executive Team

We are excited to announce the call for nominations for candidates to be part of the UBC Postdoctoral Association’s 2020-2021 Executive Team!

Indicate your intent to run by Sunday March 8th!

  • Represent the postdoc community
  • Gain leadership and management experience
  • Organize professional development, research and networking events
  • Interact with big-name academics, advocates, and UBC leadership

The PDA is run by Elected Volunteer Officers (the President and 6 Vice-Presidents). All 7 positions will be elected for the 2020-2021 year at our Annual General Meeting, held on Wednesday, March 11th in the Biomedical Research Centre, room 351 at 5 pm. A list of open positions and a description of their roles can be found below.

All UBC postdocs and research associates are encouraged to attend the AGM on March 11th for the elections. The event will be followed by a celebration with food and drinks!

Self-Nomination: Download the UBC PDA nomination form here. Please fill out this form and return it to ubc.postdoc@gmail.com along with a recent photo and a short Letter of Interest (100-200 words) detailing why you would like to serve and any relevant experience.

Do you want to join the PDA, but you are not committed to becoming an elected officer? No problem! We are always looking for new members for our executive team to help us organise our events and bring in their ideas! Just get in touch with us via e-mail.

Further details about the elected positions

Continue reading

Canadian National Postdoc Survey

Have your say in the fourth edition of the Canadian National Postdoctoral Scholars Survey!
The Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS) invites all current and former Canadian postdocs, including international postdocs working in Canada and Canadian postdocs working abroad, to complete the fourth edition of the Canadian National Postdoctoral Scholars Survey. It is the largest and most comprehensive assessment of Canadian postdocs in all fields of study, and its findings are used by funders, universities, and others.

The survey covers a wide range of topics, including demographics, salary and benefits, training needs, and career goals of current or former Canadian postdocs. In addition to collecting valuable longitudinal data, this edition of the survey tackles issues such as discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and working remotely.

Please complete the survey by 14 February, 2020.
The results of the survey will be published later this year.

Abstract Book and Schedule for Postdoc Research Day

Postdoc Research Day is coming up on December 2nd. This link will direct you to the abstract book:

https://bit.ly/35JGb6e

RD2019-abstract_book_final-3

For the event schedule (quick to download), please check the following link:

https://bit.ly/2qXJesK

UBC_PDRD2019_Programfinal

 

Postdoc Holiday Party at East is East

Sign up by Monday, December 2nd to ensure your spot at our table. We have booked a semi-private room with live music, but only with a limited number of seats. Places will be based on a first come first serve basis.

Where: East is East in Kitsilano, 3035 W Broadway
(https://www.eastiseast.ca)
When: Wednesday, December 11, at 6 pm
Cost: $50 per person (+$2 fee for music and gratuity) for all you can eat “feast” with many meat and vegetarian/vegan and gluten free options.

The UBC PDA will subsidize the event by AT LEAST $10 per person (We will try to subsidize more, pending on our budget).

 

Register here: http://bit.ly/2Kp9dzT

Note that the UBC PDA will only partly sponsor the cost of the food! You have to pay extra for drinks.

Postdoc Research Day 2019

Postdoc Research Day on Monday, December 2nd

sponsored by STEMCELL Technologies

Our biggest event of the year is coming up! Postdoc Research Day is a full day of interdisciplinary talks by postdocs at UBC in a fantastic venue at a large capacity.

Register here: https://bit.ly/2MXleOJ

Everyone is welcome to attend, but only UBC affiliated postdocs can present.

Abstract submission has closed now, but we are still accepting registrations until Nov 30 at noon!

Find the abstract book here: https://bit.ly/35JGb6e

Where? Pharmaceutical Sciences Building, UBC Campus

When? Monday, December 2nd

Research Day: 9 am – 5.30 pm

Evening reception from 5:30 pm onwards (networking + dinner)

This year’s speaker line-up is showcasing the diversity of research by postdocs at UBC!

08:30 – 09:00 Registration (Atrium)

09:00-09:15 Welcome & Introduction, Dr. Daniel Anstett, President UBC PDA  (Lecture Theatre)

09:15 – 10:30 Research Session 1 (Lecture Theatre)

Full talks: 

09:15-09:30 Dr. Victoria Hemming, Forestry
Who to trust? How to derive improved quantitative judgements from experts for models and decisions

09:30-09:45 Dr. Rohan Abraham, BC Cancer Research Centre
Machine Learning CADx process for classification of sub-cm Lung nodules in the PanCan study

09:45-10:00 Dr. Jesse Chao, Cell & Physiological Sciences
A premalignant cell-based model for functionalization and classification of PTEN variants

Lightning Talks:

10:00-10:05 Dr. Marita Rodriguez, Engineering
3D Bioprinted human cardiac tissues for toxicity screening applications

10:05-10:10 Dr. Doris Chow, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Eyes as a window to global motion perception: A validation of an oculomotor tracking task to assess motion sensitivity in depth

10:10-10:15 Dr. Angelica Araujo de Melo Maia, Education
What does it take to be (come) an inclusive teacher?

10:15-10:20 Dr. Kiran Pawar, Department of Medicine, ICORD
Non-invasive chronic spinal stimulation as multi-session therapy to improve cardiovascular function after spinal cord injury

10:20-10:25 Dr. Dustin Heeney, Food Science
The green wave of medicine: Exploring the anti-inflammatory potential of Canadian hemp to treat irritable bowel disease

10:30-11:00 Coffee Break (Atrium)

11:00-12:15 Research Session 2 (Lecture Theatre)

Full talks:

11:00-11:15 Dr. Antonin Machac, Biodiversity
Diversity dynamics across scales

11:15-11:30 Dr. Omid Haji-Ghassemi, Biochemistry
Modification of heart channel proteins via stress signalling

11:30-11:45 Dr. Peifan Wu, Vancouver School of Economics
Firm demographics and the Great Recession

Lightning talks:

11:45-11:50 Dr. Chelsea Little, Zoology
Animals link ecosystems through resource movement

11:50-11:55 Dr. Christina Gray, Architecture
Architectural clients in the era of consumer empowerment

11:55-12:00 Dr. Sarah Grasedieck, Michael Smith Laboratories
Vitamin C-induced epigenomic remodelling as a preventive therapy for leukemic transformation

12:00-12:05 Dr. Lisanne de Vries, Wood Science
Plants are alternative for fossil fuels

12:05-12:10 Dr. Jon Breen, Occupational Science & Therapy
Measuring workplace attitude towards disabled employees

12:15-13:30 Lunch (Atrium)

12:45-13:30 Townhall (Lecture Theatre)

13:30-14:15 Research Session 3 (Lecture Theatre)

13:30-13:45 Dr. Elvin Ong, Public policy & Global affairs
Is it worth it? Building opposition alliances in electoral autocracies

13:45-14:00 Dr. Rohan Khadilkar, Cell & Physiological Sciences
Stem cell-niche interactions regulate signalling micro environment and innate immune response in Drosophila

14:00-14:15 Dr. Emanuel Serban, Engineering
New solar power conservation architecture for renewable energy systems

14:15-14:30 Short break

14:30-15:30 Keynote Lecture by Dr. Josef Penninger, From haploid stem cells to blood vessel engineering (Lecture Theatre)

15:30-16:00 Coffee Break (Atrium)

16:00-17:15 Postdoc Careers Panel Discussion (Lecture Theatre)

17:15-17:30 Prizes & Wrap-up (Lecture Theatre), Dr. Daniel Anstett, President UBC PDA

17:30 onwards Evening Reception Drinks & light supper

 

In addition to the interdisciplinary talks by postdocs, there will be a keynote lecture by Dr. Josef Penninger about his research “From Haploid stem cells to blood vessel engineering” and about experience in academia and industry and his path to becoming the director of the Life Sciences Institute at UBC.

Josef Martin Penninger, born in Gurten, Austria, is an Austrian geneticist and the Canada 150 Research Chair in Functional Genetics. Dr. Penninger is currently the Director of the Life Sciences Institute (LSI) at the University of British Columbia. He studied medicine at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. From 1990 to 1994 he worked as post-doctoral fellow at the Ontario Cancer Institute, thereafter until 2002 at the Department of Immunology and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. As Principal Investigator of Amgen, his independent lab contributed to the development of the antibody Denosumab for bone loss and also found the first connection for RANKL to mammary gland development in pregnancy and breast cancer. In 2002, he moved to Vienna, Austria to start and develop the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, which is now the largest and most successful institute of the Academy based on high impact publications and the number of European Research Council grants received. 

Dr. Penninger envisions to recreate this environment at the LSI to nurture and train the best and brightest young minds of UBC scholars. His major accomplishments include pioneering insights into the molecular basis of osteoporosis, breast cancer and metastasis, and he has published extensively in several multidisciplinary scientific journals, with over 60 publications in Cell, Nature, and Science. He has received numerous awards including the Wittgenstein Prize of the Austrian Federal Government. the Descartes Prize for Research, the Ernst Jung Prize for Medical Excellence, the Innovator Award of the US Department of Defense, and most recently the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art First Class. 

During lunch, we will hold our first ever Postdoc Townhall Meeting

The UBC PDA wants to hear from you! As the independent organization working to represent all UBC postdoctoral fellows and advocate on their behalf, the PDA would love to hear about your life postdoc-ing! Should we have more coffee parties or pub crawls? Are you satisfied with your professional development opportunities? How about that extended benefits package? Come chat with the PDA exec team and help us prepare an advocacy agenda that represents you!

An industry focused career panel in the afternoon will feature representatives from local companies that are employing PhDs (to be announced). This year’s line-up for the career panel includes:

Dr. Theresa Grieco, STEMCELL technologies 

Dr. Ellen Schelew, Lumerical Inc.

Dr. Conny Lin, College of Pharmacists BC

Dr. Friderike Moon, Science World

Dr. Stefanie Vogt, AbCellera

Dr. Sherry Wang, Genome Sciences Centre

 

We are looking forward to seeing you at Postdoc Research Day 2019!

Registration: https://bit.ly/2MXleOJ