Category Archives: Events

Buntzen Lake Hike + Pub Dinner at Local = Fun Time!

Summer is going fast! Two car loads of keen PDFs met up at Buntzen Lake on Last Sunday (August 12th) for a short day hike.

… then quenched our thirst at Colony in Kits!

UBC-PDA social: Hike + Dinner

Join us for a hike and/or dinner Sunday Aug 12th.  Register for one or both components here.
Hike details:
When: meet at 9:00 a.m., Sunday, August 12
We will meet up at the Buntzen Lake parking lot
The hike will be the Diez Vistas trail, which is ~15km return and elevation gain of 450m.  If you would prefer a less challenging option, there is also a relatively flat trail around Buntzen Lake that departs from the same parking lot.
Details: please remember to bring plenty of water, a lunch, sunscreen, a hat, and the 10 essentials for hiking. You can also bring a swimsuit and towel if you’re interested in having a dip in Buntzen Lake after the hike. We will arrange a car pool for anyone interested – please indicate if you need a ride or can offer a ride on the registration form.
The hike will be weather permitting – we will email all registrants the day before the hike to confirm.

Dinner details:

When: 6:00 p.m., Sunday, August 12 
Where: Colony Kitsilano (3255 W Broadway)
First round of appetizers is on us.
Details: please RSVP even if you’re not planning to attend the hike, so that we know how big of a table to get.
We will meet for dinner rain or shine!

Contact if you have any questions about this event.


Brief comments from the winners of #3MPS2018!

I know it’s already 2 weeks but one last blog post about our Three Minutes Postdoc Slam 2018, because it was such a great event! Here are the voices of the winners of this year’s competition:

The First Prize Winner: Dr. Kymora Scotland

“The 3MT slam was a really worthwhile experience. Preparing for the competition helped me to really spend the time needed to figure out how to tailor my approach so that my project could be understood by a diverse audience. Getting it all down to three minutes was a challenge , but I’m now convinced that this is something we scientists should all become comfortable doing. Thank you to the PDA for providing postdocs from such a wide array of fields of study with this opportunity to share our work. It was certainly fascinating to learn about research in fields as disparate as food security and nanomaterial synthesis. I look forward to seeing the talks next year! “


The Second Prize Winner: Dr. Roy van der Meel

“Had a great time at this year’s #3MPS2018 organized by @UBCPostdoc! The 3 minute pitch format really forces you to distill the most important aspects of your research and relay them in an understandable way to a non-specialist audience. The variety of research @UBC was well represented with great pitches on various topics like cancer, asthma, kidney stones (ouch!), mindfulness, food diversity, linguistics and oceanography. I also really enjoyed the insightful and fun talk by @Ng_Dave on science communication and of course the possibility to have a chat and a beer with the other attendees afterwards. I was quite surprised but very happy that I won 2nd place with my pitch on #nanomedicine and #drugdelivery! For anyone who would like to know more about my research you can find me on Twitter: @rvdmnanomeds!”  


The Third Prize Winner: Dr. Laura Vang Rasmussen

“The postdoc slam was a wonderful event. It provided an opportunity to hear what other people are doing and at the same time learn from their presentations. It also pushed me to boil what I’m working on down to its essence and the presentations sparked further conversations around the various research topics. As I currently work with a multi-country dataset from Africa, it was, for example, very interesting to get feedback from other people who are doing research in some of the same countries, albeit on very different topics.  Overall, it is a really great platform for communication.

Link to the lab which I’m part of:

Twitter: @rasmussen_vang


Again, thanks for everyone and see you at next events!

Three Minutes Postdoc Slam #3MPS2018 – Big Success!

Our annual Three Minutes Postdoc Slam 2018 was a big success! This year, ten participants from various fields share their cutting-edge work at UBC, which sparked some interesting questions and discussions from the floor. 3MPS is such a powerful way to communicate for both the speakers and the curious audience – we learned a lot in such a short period of time!

The heated 3MPS session was followed by a short coffee break and the keynote talk by Prof. David Ng, who gave us some useful insights of how to communicate science from his own experiences as the director of Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory.

At the end of the scientific program, three winners of the 3MPS competition were announced.

First: Dr. Kymora Scotland with her talk on kidney stones and urinary duct peristalsis 
Second: Dr. Roy van der Meel with his talk on nanomedicines
Third: Dr. Laura Vang Rasmussen with her talk on food diversity and forest coverage in Africa 

After the scientific program, everyone mingled over appies and refereshment. Some interesting ideas on workshops and networking were exchanged… so, please stay tuned for the further development!!

We thank everyone for joining the event – it could not be the same without your participation! We also appreciate all the judges for taking time for this event.  This event was generously supported by Life Science Institute and Provost/the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office. And last but not the least – the wonderful team of UBC PDA execs!

Have a great summer, everyone!

3 Minutes Postdoc Slam 2018

It’s a month away until 3 Minutes Postdoc Slam 2018, back by popular demand! Those who have just learned about the event – welcome!  This is a speed conference to show off your cool research at UBC using only a single slide! In the previous years we had a lot of fun, while learning so much about what interesting stuff others are working on! And what’s more – the winners of the competition will bring home some shiny cash prizes.

The event detail for this year is as follows:

When? : June 28th, 2018

  • 3-5PM (3MPS Competition)
  • 5PM- (Reception)

Where? : Michael Smith Laboratories (Next to UBC Bookstore)

  • Room #102 (3MPS Competition)
  • Room #101 (Reception)

How to register? : Online registration is open at:

The registration is for anyone intending to attend to the event (we’d like to gauge the catering size). Those who are willing to present, please indicate it on the registration form.

Although the competition is open to postdocs only, we openly invite undergrads and grad students to register and attend.

The keynote speaker this year is Dr. Dave Ng. Dr. Ng is Director of the Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory (AMBL). He is a geneticist, science educator, science literacy academic, part time writer, and faculty based at the University of British Columbia. His current research interests revolve around children’s identity around concepts of science and creativity, as well as game based learning of science concepts.

As usual, we’ll have a coffee break during the competition and a reception after the competition. This is an excellent networking opportunity to meet with the fellow postdocs over some appies and refreshments!

UBC-SFU joint social

Meeting fellow postdocs from SFU is always awesome! Join us  Thursday, May 24th, at Portside Pub , 7 Alexander Street Vancouver.

We start at 17:30 but feel free to drop in later.


PDA Social: Escape Room

Locked in a room – What would YOU do?

Join us for a real life escape game on Thursday, June 7th 18:40 pm-19:40 at i-Exit Vancouver. We will divide into two groups of 4 players, each group will be assigned to a them which will either be Party and the studio or Pirates on the rocks.  We will have ~1h to complete the escape room, after which, we could grab a drink.

Note that space is limited to 8 participants in this event 

Cost: $6.5 per person. Please note that payment is required to secure your place. Unfortunately, due to space limitations, refunds will not be possible.

RSVP by Monday, June 4th . Places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

Be on time, otherwise it will be deducted from our gaming time!

Please contact Ido, if you have any questions.

Three Minutes Postdoc Slam is coming back!

That’s right – by popular demand, 3 Minutes Postdoc Slam (3MPS) is coming back in late June. Come share your research in a swift 3 minutes, single slide format. Online registration will be available soon.

As usual, top elevator pitchers take home juicy cash prizes! Yes, it may be you!!

This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Dave Ng.
Dr. Ng is Director of the Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory (AMBL). He is a geneticist, science educator, science literacy academic, part time writer, and faculty based at the University of British Columbia. His current research interests revolve around children’s identity around concepts of science and creativity, as well as game based learning of science concepts.

Welcome to the 2018/19 PDA executive

The PDA’s new 2018\19 Executive Team was elected at the 2018 AGM held on Wed, March 14th at the Life Sciences Institute, following a brief recap of the previous year from each of the outgoing Executive Officers.

Kieran, the outgoing president started things off with a brief overview of some of our past events, and the recently agreed increase to the PDA funding. Highlights included:

Kieran also gave a quick overview of the role and activities of the outgoing VP Operations,  Mehrdad Bokharaei, VP External Moe Elgendi, and VP Finance Jürgen Niesser. The latter included more detail of the increase in budget as well as the current state of the PDA budget and PDA expenditure for 2017/18.  Ido Hatam, the outgoing VP Communications discussed his role, including our increased reach with postdocs through more newsletter subscriptions and a great social media presence. Finally, Jessica Bosch the outgoing VP Social shared some of the great events she organized.

Next, the Association voted unanimously to adopt the previously proposed amendments to the Constitution and new Bylaws, with modifications to two of the Bylaws, which now read:

  • Bylaw 5.6: A quorum at a General Meeting is ten Association Members, including at least half of Officers.
  • Bylaw 7.6: RA Association Members may only serve as Vice-President Communications, Vice-President Social, or Vice-President Research Associates.

The newly adopted Association Constitution and Bylaws can be viewed online.

We then opened the floor for nominations for each of the Officer positions. Following the election, the 2018-2019 PDA Officers are:

  • President – Alex Smith (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
  • VP Operations – Andrew Hagner (Michael Smith Laboratories)
  • VP External – Fiona Zhang (Department of Urologic Science)
  • VP Communications – Noriko Okamoto (Department of Botany)
  • VP Finance – Chris Rider (Faculty of Medicine)
  • VP Social – Ido Hatam (Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering)

The new team will officially take over from April 1, 2018, with the remainder of March used to facilitate a smooth transition.

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!

Amendments to the constitution

The UBC PDA is updating the association’s constitution, changing it to account for the growth of the association and it’s activities.
The amendments to the constitution better defines the roles of each of the officers and the committee members, as well as a set of bylaws that will help govern the association.

We encourage all postdocs and RAs to review the proposed changes, and send us an email with thoughts, concerns, or suggestions.  

The constitutional amendments will be voted on during the next AGM, which will take place at the LSI room 1330, March 14th- 5:00 PM.