Category Archives: Professional Development

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!

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.


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 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!

The President’s report on the 2016 CAPS AGM and CAPA Conference


Thanks to the UBC PDFO, I recently had the opportunity to attend the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS) annual general meeting in Toronto on October 31st, and the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Administrators (CAPA) Conference from November 1st – 2nd, to represent the UBC PDA.

The CAPS AGM (October 31st)
CAPS MeetingCAPS is the national association for postdoctoral scholars in Canada, and works to clarify the role of postdocs in Canada, advocate for equitable treatment of postdocs, and represent the interests of postdocs at Federal and Provincial levels. It does this by acting as a liaison between postdocs, institutions, funding agencies, professional organizations, and provincial and national governments. It is also active in advocating for postdocs and providing resources for professional development.

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CAPS-ACSP Executive Positions Available


CAPS (the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars) is looking to fill some vacancies in their executive council, specifically the Vice-Chair Communications and the Vice-Chair Operations positions. Descriptions of these positions can be found in this document [PDF]. Any postdoc that is a) associated with a Canadian institution (regardless of citizenship), or b) a Canadian citizen (regardless of location) is eligible to apply.

If you wish to apply for either of these positions, or you would like additional information, please send an email to indicating:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • The institution where you work as a postdoc
  • The position you wish to run for
  • A short (< 250 words) candidate statement.

Thank you for your interest in the future of CAPS-ACSP!

PDA Research Day 2016


We are excited to announce that we are holding our annual Research Day on Thursday November 24, 2016! This half-day mini conference is our flagship event every year. This is a great opportunity to showcase your research and network with individuals from diverse departments at UBC and industry.

Presentations (2:15 – 4PM LSC3 Theatre)
Posters and reception after the oral presentations (LSC Atrium)

If you are a UBC affiliated postdoc or research associate and would like to make a 10 minute oral presentation or a poster presentation, please submit your abstract here (oral presentation deadline: 1st November, poster presentation deadline: 18th November).

Attendance is free and open to all interested parties. Please RSVP here, by 23 November. Space is limited (last year we had a wait list), so please sign up early to avoid disappointment! Cash prizes to be won and drinks and refreshments will be served.

The 3 Minute Postdoc Slam of 2016 – Event Review!

This year’s 3 Minute Postdoc Slam was a great success! Over 40 postdocs, faculty, staff, and students gathered in the LSC3 lecture theatre in the Life Sciences Institute to hear 7 postdocs, from 7 different departments, present their research in only 3 minutes with the aid of a single PowerPoint slide.

3MPs review 1

This year we started out the event with a special guest talk from Craig Jones, winner of the UBC 3 Minute Thesis competition and a finalist in the Canadian National 3MT competition. He gave a fantastic and engaging talk titled “The War Lawyers”, and set the stage for a great afternoon of presentations.

Our first contestant in the competition was Dr. Elisa Wong from Pharmaceutical Sciences, who presented her talk “The story of a powerful mutant population”. Next up was Dr. Kais Dridi from Electrical and Computer Engineering with a talk on “How Can Nanotechnology and Nanostructured Materials Revolutionize Solar Energy Conversion Systems?”. Dr. Noushin Nabavi from the department of Urologic Sciences then presented her work “Understanding Mesothelioma: inter- and intra-tumor heterogeneity”. The last talk of our first half was “Reward cues and decision-making” by Dr. Mariya Cherkasova from the Faculty of Medicine. Following a short coffee break, Dr. Amir Sharafian from Mechanical Engineering spoke on “Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): A Green Transportation Fuel”. Dr. Jennifer Rowland from Michael Smith Labs spoke on “Remote control: Bacteria modify epigenetics to take over your cells”, and our final contestant of the day was Dr. Carly Priebe from the department of Kinesiology who gave a presentation titled “Run to Quit”.

All our postdoc presenters were judged by our 3 judges: Dr. Cara Haney from Michael Smith Labs, Dr. Jonas Beaudry from the Allard School of Law, and Dr. Tara L Klassen from Pharmaceutical Sciences.  The judges evaluated each presentation on comprehension, communication and engagement, and made numerous comments about each presentation, which were given to the presenters following the competition. Prizes were awarded to the top three presentations as scored by our judges, as well as to the “People’s Choice” presenter, which was determined by the audience.

Following the presentations from our contestants, we had an excellent and informative talk from Dr. Tara L Klassen on the topic of communication – “Car Salesman or Professor: Communicating your Message”.  The event was finished off with a networking reception – good food, drink, and conversations!

3MPs review 2

3MPs review 3

Thanks to all that presented, and attended, in making the day such a success!

Congratulations to our award winners!

1st place ($100): Dr. Carly Priebe

2nd place ($75): Dr. Mariya Cherkasova

3rd place ($50): Dr. Jennifer Rowland

Peoples’ choice ($25): Dr. Elisa Wong

CAPS / ACSP Executive Election and Referendum


CAPS (the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars) is currently holding elections for the 2016-17 executive council.  The following candidates have been nominated:

Dr. Mohamad Nadim Adi
Dr. Joseph S. Sparling

Vice-Chair External:
Dr. Nafisa Jadavji

Vice-Chair Communications:
Dr. Mónica Sesma-Vázquez

Vice-Chair Finance:
Dr. Pengwei Wang

Candidate statements can be found here [PDF].

Any postdoc that is a) associated with a Canadian institution (regardless of citizenship), or b) a Canadian citizen (regardless of location) can vote.  There will be an electronic vote for the position of Chair, to be held in conjunction with a referendum on changes to the CAPS-ACSP constitution (information on the proposed constitutional changes can be found here [PDF]). As there are no other candidates Dr. Jadavji, Dr. Sesma-Vázquez and Dr. Wang will be acclaimed to their respective positions.

You can vote at the Google form here:

Voting will end at 5PM Pacific time, on May 31, 2016.

Additionally, the positions of Vice-Chair Operations and Vice-Chair International will be reopened for nominations. Nominations for these two positions are now due by June 7, 2016. Descriptions of these positions can be found in this document [PDF].

If you wish to run for either of these positions, please respond by email to indicating:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • The institution where you work as a postdoc
  • The position you wish to run for
  • A short (< 250 words) candidate statement that will be distributed to voters.

Thank you for your interest in the future of CAPS-ACSP!

Special speaker: Bobbi Lambright

Bobbi Lambright profile picPathways To Success

DATE: Monday, May 2                  

TALK + Q&A: 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

MEET-AND-GREET: 2:00 – 2:30 PM

LOCATION: Room LSC3 (lecture theatre)

Please contact us if you have any questions!

In over three decades as a top leader in a wide range of business roles and environments, Bobbi Lambright has started companies, merged organizations and consistently delivered excellent customer service and shareowner results.  A former journalist, Bobbi has followed an unconventional career path to success and learned some important lessons along the way.  She has been recognized for her communication and leadership skills through national and international awards to companies under her direction.

Bobbi will join us on May 2nd to share some insights from her journey,  giving an insider’s view of what’s behind business trials and triumphs and offering ideas and suggestions on how to make opportunities out of challenges.  She will share some of the lessons learned from mentors, customers and employees and looks forward to a lively discussion following the presentation.

Speaker Biography

Bobbi was appointed Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer for ATCO Australia in July 2015. She has held progressively senior positions since joining the ATCO Group of Companies in 1986, most recently as President, Distribution Division, ATCO Electric in Canada. She is also Chair of the ATCO Structures and Logistics Board in Australia and is involved across the full spectrum of ATCO’s Australia based businesses. With her extensive experience in regulated utility operations, Bobbi is responsible for leading and delivering strategic growth initiatives of ATCO’s utilities and energy businesses Australia-wide, through her sharp focus on customer service and her development of competitive, cost-effective products and services.

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!