SFU Postdoctoral Research Day 2017


From Curiosity to Community Engagement

Thursday, March 30 | 9am – 5pm
Big Data Hub Theatre, ASB 10900, SFU Burnaby

More details and registration.

SFU postdoctoral fellows are immersed in every step of the research process. Some of us scratch our heads and ask “Why… .” Some of us sit and whisper “What if… .” Some of us proclaim “How can I make this benefit… .” All of us push the boundary of what is known and has been done before, and Research Day 2017 will celebrate these achievements.

The day will include talks, posters, exhibits, inventions and more, all presented by members of the SFU postdoctoral community! We also feature a keynote address by Dr. Pascal Haegeli, from SFU’s School of Resource and Environmental Management (REM), on avalanche research and community engagement.

Watch the talks, explore the exhibits, be part of the community. Come and learn about how SFU Postdocs are changing the world!

All postdocs, research associates, graduate students, faculty and interested members of the community are welcome.

SFU Postdoc Research Day will be held on Thursday, March 30, 2017 at the Burnaby Campus, in the Big Data Hub theatre, ASB 10900 (formerly known as IRMACS Theatre). Additional details available in here [.pdf] and online.

Welcome to the new PDA Executive!

The new UBC Postdoctoral Association’s 2017-2018 Executive Team was elected at the annual general meeting held last Thursday, March 9th at the Life Sciences Institute, following a brief recap of the previous year from each of the outgoing Executive Officers.

Alex Smith, the outgoing president started things off with a brief overview of some of our past events:

He also mentioned some of our advocacy and outreach activities on behalf of the outgoing VP External who couldn’t attend, and some of our previous social activities that occurred under both Justin Hart (VP Social 2016), and Jessica Bosch (VP Social pro tem 2017).

Our outgoing VP Operations, Zoe Riches, gave a quick overview of the role of the VP Operations and described a few of the duties involved, then handed the floor to Jenny Chik, our outgoing VP Communications. Jenny discussed the role of the VP Communications, then described our increased reach with postdocs through increased newsletter subscriptions and a great social media presence. Houra Loghmani-Khouzani then gave a quick overview of the VP Finance position, and the current state of the PDA’s budget.

We then heard from each of the candidates running for officer positions (their statements of interest can be viewed here. All positions except for VP Finance were elected by acclamation.

Following the vote for VP Finance, the new 2017-2018 Executive Officers are:

  • President – Kieran Hudson
  • VP Operations – Mehrdad Bokharaei
  • VP External – Moe Elgendi
  • VP Communications – Ido Hatam
  • VP Finance – Jürgen Niesser
  • VP Social – Jessica Bosch

During this meeting, the PDA also voted unanimously to formalize previously proposed changes to the constitution.

The new team will officially take over from April 1, 2017, with the remainder of March used to facilitate a smooth transition from the outgoing to the new incoming team.

We strongly encourage people to get involved with the PDA! There are lots of great people and fun to be had in planning our events. Contact us to join the executive team!

2017 Election Candidates and Constitutional Amendments

Meet our 2017-2018 UBC PDA Executive Officer Candidates, and review our proposed constitutional amendments!

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PDA Social: Mouth watering poutine – 38 varieties to choose from!

Join us for poutine on Friday, 17 March at 6:30 pm in the La Belle Patate, a restuarant that serves authentic Québécois cuisine, including 38 varieties of poutine. Poutine is a Canadian dish, originating in the province of Québec.

RSVP to Jessica  by Wednesday, 15 March.

PDA Social: Live Ice Hockey (Canucks vs Kings)

Let’s watch a live ice hockey game on Friday, 31 March at 7:00 pm in the Rogers Arena. Vancouver Canucks vs. Los Angeles Kings are playing.

Cost per ticket: $61

Please note that payment is required to secure your place. Unfortunately, due to space limitations, refunds will not be possible.

RSVP to Jessica by Monday, 27 March.

Call for Nominations: 2017/2018 PDA Executive Officers

We are excited to announce the call for nominations for candidates to be part of the UBC Postdoctoral Association’s 2017/2018 Executive Team.

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This is a great opportunity to:

  1. Gain leadership experience
  2. Represent the postdoc community
  3. Organize professional development, research and networking events

The PDA Executive Team consists of 6 Volunteer Officers (i.e. President and 5 VPs) whose position will be voted on at our Annual General Meeting on Thursday, March 9th in the Life Sciences Institute (LSI) room 1510 (5 pm). For a detailed list of our open Officer Positions and a description of their role below.

We encourage all postdocs to attend the AGM on March 9th.
Light snacks and refreshments will be served!

Eligibility: All candidates must be UBC Postdoctoral Fellows.

Service on the Executive Committee: Candidates should be able to attend the majority of the Executive Committee meetings held bimonthly either on or off-campus, as well as the PDA events. Executive Committee member terms are 1-year, beginning 1 April 2016 and concluding 31 March 2017.

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 your interest in serving on the PDA Executive and any relevant experience.

Nomination deadline: Thursday March 2nd, 2017.

Commitment: On average, the President attends 2 meetings a month (5-10 hours a month), while the VP attends 1-2 meetings a month (2-7 hours a month)

All Executive Officer positions are open for election, interested PDA members may also join the PDA executive as non-elected Committee Members at this (or any other) time. Click the position to read a brief description of the role:

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UBC PDA Annual General Meeting 2017 (March 9th)

Your vote counts! Join us as we elect the new PDA Executive Committee for the upcoming year, and vote on any amendments to the PDA Constitution on Thursday 9 March at 5:00 pm at the Life Sciences Institute (LSI), Room 1510. No RSVP required.

The event will commence with reports from the past PDA Executive Committee members followed by short introductions of the new nominees, after which you can place your vote. We will then vote on any proposed amendments to the PDA constitution, and will conclude the event with a light reception furnished with complimentary snacks and refreshments to welcome the new committee members.

Please contact us if you have any questions. You can add this event to your Google Calendar by clicking on the button below. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the entire calendar, with all our events, here!

PDA January Social: Joint UBC/SFU Social

Let’s meet with SFU postdocs and have a beer together on Monday, 23 January at 6:30 pm in the CRAFT Beer Market!

Please contact Jessica, if you have any questions.

PDA February Social: Ice Skating

Join us for ice skating on Friday, 10 February at 10:00 pm in the Thunderbird Arena at UBC! Come out and try the public session – even if you’re new to skating.

Cost for UBC Faculty/Staff: $3.75 per person for admission, $3.50 per person for skate rental

RSVP by Wednesday, 8 Feb 2017.

Please contact Jessica, if you have any questions.

CAPS releases results of 2016 Canadian National Postdoc Survey

CAPS-ACSP

The Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS) has released the results of the 2016 Canadian National Postdoc Survey. 
Of the over 2,100 participants, 136 were affiliated with UBC, which was the highest number of any institution (way to go, UBC postdocs!).  Some key findings of the survey:

  • The proportion of international postdocs in Canada has decreased since 2013, and over half of international postdocs report difficulties with obtaining visas or work permits.  This suggests that Canada is becoming less competitive in its ability to attract international scholars.
  • Many postdocs lack access to benefits, with around 50% of postdocs in Canada having no access to Employment Insurance or the Canada Pension Plan.
  • The mean age of Canadian postdocs is 34, and the number of postdocs in the 35+ age group has increased substantially since the first Canadian Postdoc Survey in 2009.
  • Around 75% of postdocs reported negative thoughts, feelings, or issues related to mental health for a period of longer than one month.

In spite of the fact that many postdocs are now in their mid-30s or beyond, there is a widespread lack of access to government benefits that afford most other Canadian workers paid parental leave, employment insurance, and access to the Canada Pension Plan.  (Please note: at UBC all postdocs are eligible for paid maternity leave, but this is not the case at most Canadian universities.)  In addition, many postdocs are living far away from their support networks and dealing with stressful job situations, which may negatively impact their mental health.

To read more about the survey results, please visit the CAPS website:
http://www.caps-acsp.ca/en/2016-canadian-national-postdoctoral-survey-results/

Are you concerned about the status of postdocs in Canada and wondering how to take action?  Here are some ideas: