Author Archives: kieran hudson

New funding for the PDA

We are very pleased to announce that we have secured a major new funding agreement with UBC that will allow the PDA to greatly increase its activities going forward.

The Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies and the Vice President, Academic have both agreed to contribute to the PDA on an annual basis. Before this, we relied on funding from just one UBC institute, the LSI, which has backed us from the beginning. Their continuing support combined with the new funding means the PDA budget will be 3 times bigger from this year!

This will allow us to offer our members – all UBC postdocs – much more in terms of research and social events, while continuing to be an independent voice advocating for postdoctoral researchers at UBC and beyond.

The new funding will mean:

  • Continuing the expanded, full-day format for the annual Postdoc Research Day
  • Subsidised postdoc socials every two weeks – no more worrying about expensive activities or full-price hockey tickets
  • a PDA welcome lunch for new postdocs after PDFO orientations
  • enabling PDA officers to travel to represent UBC postdocs at national conferences, such as the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars annual meeting
  • further development of our new relationship with the UBC careers service
  • and much more!

Do you have ideas about how we can use our new funds? Our purpose is to work for you! Let us know by getting in touch, or shape the future of the PDA by joining the Executive Committee.

The PDA Annual General Meeting is coming up next month, so come along to hear our plans. If you really want to make a difference and gain some great skills along the way, you can stand for an Officer position.

Research Day 2017 Report

Postdoc Research Day was bigger and better than ever! For the first time, there was a whole day of research presentations, professional development, and networking opportunities. Over 100 postdocs, students, faculty, and industry representatives came together to celebrate the amazing research being carried out by postdoctoral researchers across UBC’s Faculties and Institutions.

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Also a first, this year’s event was held in larger facilities in the Pharmaceutical Sciences building, thanks to the generous support of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. There were twelve 15 minute talks and plenty of posters presented by postdocs and research associates, as well as a keynote lecture from Dr. Lori Brotto, and a careers panel featuring former postdocs now working in various positions in industry and academia.

Check out the program and abstract book for the day.

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Kieran, PDA President, opened the day with an introduction to the Postdoctoral Association before Susan Porter, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, spoke about the value of postdoctoral researchers at UBC. There were then two sessions of 15-minute research presentations from postdocs in areas ranging from anthropology to computer science. The morning finished with a  5-minute advocacy update about the PDA’s campaign to build awareness of #SupportTheReport – and what you can do to help out Canadian Science!

Poster session 2

During lunch, the first poster session took place in the atrium, before Dr. Lori Brotto gave her keynote lecture. She outlined her impressive research program, and her path from postdoc to Director of UBC’s Sexual Health Laboratory. This was followed by four more research presentations from postdocs and the second poster session over coffee.

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The careers panel concluded the day, featuring former postdocs who have taken various career paths in Vancouver. They shared their extremely valuable insights into translating the skills gained during postdoctoral work to jobs in and out of academia. The conversation continued late into the evening over pizza and sushi at the networking social held after the event.

The networking reception

All of the talks and poster presentations were judged by a team of faculty, postdocs, and industry representatives throughout the day. All of the presenters did a great job and both competitions were extremely close – you can see the list of winners below.

The UBC PDA Executive Team would like to congratulate all of the winners, thank all the participants for making this an excellent event, and thank all of the judges and the audience for supporting us. We hope everyone enjoyed themselves, and look forward to seeing you at future UBC PDA events!

Find more photos of the event here.

The winners:

Talks:

1st Place ($150) – Paul Pickell (Forestry)
2nd Place ($100) – Catherine Jutzeler (Kinesiology)
3rd Place ($50) – Sophie Stukas (Pathology & Laboratory Medicine)
People’s Choice ($50) – Jordan Burke (Forestry)

Posters:

1st Place ($75) – Rahul Sachdeva (ICORD)
2nd Place ($50) – Mohammad Fazel Bakhsheshi (Mechanical Engineering)
3rd Place ($25) – Ryan Melnyk (Microbiology & Immunology)

We are extremely grateful to our sponsors who made this event possible.
Association Sponsor:

Event Sponsors:



#SupportTheReport for Budget 2018

Give your feedback to the Government of Canada on #YourBudget2018 and support science!

Earlier this year, the Fundamental Science Review released its report on how to enhance non-governmental research in Canada (more information here). The key recommendations included:

  • improve coordination between federal granting agencies through the creation of a National Advisory Council on Research and Innovation
  • prioritize equity and diversity in recruitment and hiring
  • substantially increase federal research funding (by ~30%), with an increased proportion of total funds directed toward independent investigator-initiated research

Although the Government of Canada has made progress on implementing some of these recommendations (e.g., by appointing Dr. Mona Nemer as Chief Science Advisor), and despite big campaigns from universities, advocacy groups, and students, there has been no commitment to increase research funding by a meaningful amount.

This is a crucial time, as the Government nears the end of its public consultation for Budget 2018.

What can you do to support Canadian research?

  1. Complete the Government of Canada’s #YourBudget2018 surveySurvey #2 (Economy of Tomorrow) includes direct questions related to research funding. The survey takes only a few minutes to complete and closes on Dec 15.
  2. Join the conversation about #YourBudget2018 on social media – you can reach Finance Minister Bill Morneau on Twitter @Bill_Morneau. Find social media tips here.
  3. Write to your MP to encourage him/her to support full implementation of the Naylor Report. Find letter writing tips here.

Postdoc Research Day 2017 Program

UBC Postdoc Research Day 2017 is a few days away! The program has now been finalised – check out all our great sessions below. We look forward to seeing you on the day!

REGISTERATION IS NOW CLOSED – Free event!
View the program as a PDF.

DATE: Monday 4th December
VENUE: London Drugs Lecture Theatre (1201) & Atrium, Pharmaceutical Sciences Building, Vancouver Campus, UBC

Time Session
08:45 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 09:15 Welcome & Introduction
Kieran Hudson, President, UBC PDA
09:15 – 10:15 Research session 1
Jerome Robert, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Catherine Jutzeler, Kinesiology
Hyeju Jang, Computer Science
Jordan Burke, Forestry
10:15 – 10:45 SCWIST coffee break
10:45 – 11:45 Research session 2
Katharina Rothe, Medical Genetics
Stephanie Hobbis, Anthropology
Miling Li, Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science
Romain Tisserand, Kinesiology
11:45 – 13:00 Poster session 1 & lunch
13:00 – 14:00 Keynote lecture
Lori Brotto, Director, UBC Sexual Health Laboratory
14:00 – 15:00 Research session 3
Paul Pickell, Forestry
Eve Limbrick-Oldfield, Psychology
Murat Kilic, Mechanical Engineering
Sophie Stukas, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
15:00 – 16:00 Poster session 2 & coffee break
16:00 17:15 Postdoc Careers Panel Discussion
17:15 – 17:30 STEMCELL prizes & wrap-up
Kieran Hudson, President, UBC PDA
17:30 – 20:00 Zymeworks evening reception
Drinks & a light supper

This event is possible due to the generosity of our sponsors.
Association Sponsor:

Event Sponsors:



Postdoc Careers Panel at Research Day 2017

Postdoc Research Day 2017 is coming up on Monday, 4th December.

This year, the day will end with a Panel Discussion on Postdoc Careers. We have invited 5 panelists who have all recently transitioned from being postdocs into a diverse array of careers.

The discussion will be a chance for you to hear about how they made this transition, how their postdoc experience has influenced their subsequent jobs, and tips for postdocs planning careers going forward.

Our five panelists will be:
Dr. Nirupa Goel, Research and Project Manager, BC Centre for Substance Use (previously a postdoc at UBC)
Dr. Leslie Grad, Manager, Research Programs (Design & Development) at Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (previously a postdoc at UBC)
Dr. Chayne Piscitelli, Scientist, Protein Engineering at Zymeworks Inc. (previously a postdoc at the Paul Scherrer Institute & ETH Zürich)
Dr. Elizabeth Rideout, Assistant Professor at UBC (previously a postdoc at the University of Calgary)
Dr. Mark Romanish, Senior Business Development Officer at STEMCELL Technologies (previously a postdoc at the BC Cancer Research Centre)

We look forward to seeing you at Postdoc Research Day to join in the discussion and see the research presentations from postdocs across UBC! Check out the web page for all the details and online registration.

Postdoc Research Day keynote speaker announced!

The UBC PDA is excited to announce that the keynote speaker at Postdoc Research Day 2017 will be Dr. Lori Brotto!

Dr. Brotto is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at UBC, a Canada Research Chair in Women’s Sexual Health, and Executive Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute at BC Women’s Hospital. She makes frequent media appearances and contributions in relation to sexual health and is a champion of knowledge dissemination.

Her talk will be titled ‘From postdoc to promotion: Making a career out of sexual health’. Here is a summary of what she will cover:

In contemporary times of stress and quick fixes and societal misconceptions about sex, it is perhaps no wonder that a third of individuals experience distressing sexual concerns. This talk will focus on how the practice of acceptance can lead to change with regards to sexual response. It will share the story of how a light-bulb moment during my Postdoctoral Fellowship paved the way for a productive program of research leading to promotion and a book and a number of stumbling blocks along the way.

Postdoc Research Day is an annual event for UBC postdocs to share their research across campus, organised by the UBC PDA. This year’s event will be held on Monday, December 4th – you can find out more here, and submit an abstract to present your work.

UBC endorses the Fundamental Science Review

The Fundamental Science Review, often referred to as the Naylor Report, was released in April, making wide-ranging recommendations for improvements in Canada’s research climate. These include reorganised oversight, substantial increases in federal funding, and better working conditions and career prospects for early-career researchers. Read more about what it means for postdocs in our summary.

Some of these recommendations have been taken on board by the Federal Government, including the recent creation of a new Chief Science Adviser, and the formation of the Canadian Research Coordinating Committee. However, many of the issues raised by the Review are yet to be addressed – meaning Canadian researchers still need to engage with the public and their representatives to show that they support the Review.

You can speak up for science and make a difference – read our tips on how to write to your MP.

UBC has now fully endorsed the recommendations of the Fundamental Science Review – outlined on the website of the VP Research and Innovation. As part of the endorsement, they have launched a social media video campaign featuring UBC researchers explaining why their work is important and why they #SupportTheReport. Two postdocs, both on the PDA Executive Committee, have been featured in the campaign.

UBC PDA President Kieran’s video:

UBC PDA Executive Member Stefanie’s video:

If you would like to be involved in the campaign, you can get in touch with the VPRI team through the link on their page (beneath the video).

Research Day 2017 Abstract Submission

Abstract submission is now closed.

Please only follow this if you have registered to present a poster but have not yet sent us your abstract.

Find all the information about the event here.

We invite abstract submission from all postdoctoral fellows and research associates currently working at UBC departments and affiliated institutes. You can submit an abstract to be considered for a talk, a poster, or both. We will accept all eligible poster presenters.

Talks will be 15 minutes in length, including 5 minutes at the end for questions. Talks and posters will be judged, with prizes awarded to the best 3 of each type – $150/$100/$50 for talks and $75/$50/$25 for posters!

First, register online for the event.

The conference will be attended by postdocs, students, faculty, and others from all departments and institutes at UBC. Therefore, it is important to target abstracts, talks, and posters for a general, non-expert audience. The judges will also have a broad range of expertise, and suitability for the audience will be a factor in their scoring.

Abstracts should be no more than 250 words; no tables or graphics are permitted. Abstracts will be selected for oral presentations based on quality, interest and suitability for a general audience, and to prioritise a diverse programme.

Download the abstract template.

Please download and complete the abstract template, and email the completed document to us. To be eligible for participation, abstracts for posters must be received by 26th November.

UBC Postdoc Research Day 2017

DATE: Monday 4th December
VENUE: Pharmaceutical Sciences Building, Vancouver Campus, UBC
TIME: Research Day 09:00-17:30; Evening Reception 17:30 – 20:00

Event Program

Check out our event report here.

Registration is now closed – Free event!
ABSTRACT SUBMISSION CLOSED

The UBC Postdoctoral Association Research Day is back, and bigger than ever! For the first time, this will be a full-day event in a new venue with expanded capacity.

The event will bring together postdoctoral researchers from across UBC faculties and affiliated institutions to share their findings. There will be research talks, as well as poster sessions. Prizes will be awarded for the best 3 of each presentation type – $150/$100/$50 for talks and $75/$50/$25 for posters!

As well as postdocs sharing their research, there will be a keynote presentation from a prominent UBC faculty member, Dr. Lori Brotto, and a panel discussion on postdoc careers with professionals who have recently made the transition from being postdocs themselves.

The event will be fully catered with coffee breaks, a light lunch, and an evening networking reception.

All postdocs, research associates, students, and faculty are welcome to come and hear about the exciting research going on across UBC. Please register online to confirm your attendance.

Contact The UBC PDA if you have any questions.

We are extremely grateful to our sponsors who make this event possible.
Association Sponsor:

Event Sponsors:



Guide for writing letters supporting the Fundamental Science Review

Here are some tips for if you want to show support for the Fundamental Science Review by writing to your representative.

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Suggestions on writing a letter to your MP, from Evidence for Democracy:

  1. Introduce yourself (consider describing why you chose science and your particular field)
  2. Thank your MP for any federal funding that you or your lab have received – let them know that research funding is appreciated!
  3. Introduce the Naylor Report – info can be found here
  4. Discuss how your research or fundamental research in general benefits ALL Canadians
  5. Make sure to avoid jargon and keep your letter easy to understand!

Sample letters:

From Evidence for Democracy

Letter 1

Letter 2

Find your MP’s name and mailing address here:
(enter your postal code into the search box)

http://www.ourcommons.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members

Note: you don’t need a stamp to send mail to MPs.

Now get writing and show your support for science!

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