All posts by riley st clair

Postdoc Seminar by Dr. Surya Dhulipala on April 13th


Postdoc Seminar by Dr. Surya Dhulipala on April 13th at 12:00pm

Register here to attend and receive the Zoom link.

Join us on Tuesday, April 13th at 12:00pm for a presentation by Dr. Surya Dhulipala:

Advancing an Intelligent Transportation Data Platform and Environmental Sensing to Promote Sustainable Cities
Abstract: What if Google Maps could inform you about your air pollution exposure in real-time? Would you choose the least polluted route instead of shortest time to destination? In this presentation, a framework will be presented to realize this scenario using real-time measurements conducted on UBC Vancouver campus. Air quality and transportation data sets will be combined using 5G network and edge computing to provide personalized information about air pollution exposure.

Meet the Speaker: Surya is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His PhD thesis was focused on measuring Particulate Matter (PM) formation from volatile chemical products including combustion sources (vehicular exhaust) and non-combustion sources (ingredients of industrial solvents and coatings). Prior to joining UBC, Surya worked as an Air Quality Scientist at Omniscent, a startup based in San Jose, California. He was part of the team that developed a low-cost micro gas chromatograph, capable of detecting benzene, toluene and xylene (BTX) at sub ppb levels. His current project is focused on creating an integrated air pollution sensor network with 5G capabilities at traffic-intersections on UBC campus. In his spare time, Surya loves cooking, hiking, doing CrossFit workouts and playing guitar.
Join us for his seminar and learn more about Surya and his research!!

Tuesday, April 13th at 12:00pm online. Register to attend and receive the Zoom link.


NEW! Postdoctoral Seminar Series starts March 22nd


Our first postdoctoral speaker is Dr. Moritz Koch:

Postdoc Seminar by Dr. Moritz Kock on March 22nd at 12:00pm
The new Postdoc Seminar Series is starting soon! Join us on Monday, March 22nd at 12:00pm. Register here to attend and receive the Zoom link.
Dr. Moritz Koch will be presenting his work on:

How plastic-bacteria can fight climate change
Abstract: Climate change and the pollution of our oceans are two of today’s biggest environmental threats. To overcome both, we have developed microalgae for the production of sustainable bioplastics. Using metabolic engineering techniques, we were able to drastically increase the amount of bioplastic which is produced by the organisms. Our studies might help us to transform our industries completely – away from fossil fuels, towards renewable resources.

Meet the Speaker: Moritz is a postdoctoral fellow from Germany working in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. He did his PhD at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and KTH Stockholm, Sweden. In 2020 he received an award for the best PhD thesis in Microbiology. His topics of interest are sustainability (in general), bioeconomy, biotechnology and (bio)ethics.
Join us for his seminar and learn more about Moritz and his research!!

Monday, March 22nd at 12:00pm online. Register to attend and receive the Zoom link:

Call for nominations to be part of the PDA’s 2021-2022 Executive Team!

We are excited to announce the call for nominations for candidates to be part of the UBC Postdoctoral Association’s 2021-2022 Executive Team! Do you want to join the PDA either as an elected officer or executive member? Our Annual General Meeting is on March 10th at 5pm.

Please register here and we will send you the zoom link closer to the date!

At our Annual General Meeting, we will be looking at the year 2020-2021 in review and the PDA will talk about its operations in this truly challenging pandemic year. There will be the opportunity for attendees to learn more about the PDA and to network with other postdocs. Most importantly, the Elections for the PDA Officer Positions will be held at the AGM.

Indicate your intent to run by Sunday March 7th!

  • 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 2021-2022 year at our Annual General Meeting, held virtually on Wednesday, March 10th at 5 pm. A list of open positions and a description of their roles can be found below.

To indicate your interest in running for an officer position, please first fill out the registration form (to receive the zoom link). Then download a copy of the nomination form, which can be found here, and e-mail us ( your nomination form, as well as a recent headshot and a short (100-200 word) statement of why you are interested in running for the position and what your goals for that position are. Please finish your registration and send in all your documents by March 7th. (For technical reasons, please download a copy of the registration form and e-mail it to us rather than filling it out immediately after opening).

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. The description of the different officer roles can be found below.

All UBC postdocs and research associates are encouraged to attend the AGM on March 10th for the elections.

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 organize our events and bring in new ideas! Just get in touch with us via e-mail.
All Officer positions are open for election. Interested PDA members are also welcome to join the PDA executive as non-elected Committee Members at this (or any other) time. See below for more info on the available positions:

  • President
  • VP Operations
  • VP External
  • VP Communications
  • VP Social
  • VP Finance
  • VP Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Committee Members (non-elected)

The UBC PDA President shall:

Act as the public face of the PDA to:

  1. Speak on behalf of the PDA at the Postdoctoral Fellows Office’s orientation for new postdocs and wherever appropriate
  2. Understand the needs of PDA members and ensure equal representation across departments

Be responsible for meetings of the PDA Executive members to:

  1. Set up regular PDA meetings (via doodle poll) and arrange virtual meetings/ a suitable venue on or off campus
  2. Chair and set the agenda for meetings
  3. Ensure proper operation of the meetings
  4. Take minutes at meetings, or designate a member to do so
  5. Manage copies of the minutes, agendas, and any other materials

Be responsible for the execution of decisions by the PDA Executives

Lead the Annual General Meeting and PDA Elections

Work together with the VP-Communications to:

  1. Direct content for communication to members of the UBC postdoc community
  2. Manage and update the website
  3. Respond to emails
  4. Direct the advertisement of PDA events.

Work together with the VP-External to:

  1. Collaborate and communicate with the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars
  2. Raise awareness of postdoctoral issues and find avenues of support
  3. Organize career-focused events for postdocs

Work together with the VP-Social to create a calendar of social events and ensure a broad outreach.

Work together with the VP-Operations to:

  1. Liaise effectively with the UBC Postdoctoral Fellows Office and Dean’s Office
  2. Represent the PDA during meetings with UBC faculty, staff and administrators
  3. Coordinate the Executive Members of the PDA
  4. Organize the annual Postdoc Research Day

Work together with the VP-Finance to:

  1. Ensure responsible stewardship over the annual budget when planning events
  2. Be aware of revenue outflow and inflow

Work together with the VP-External and all elected and non-elected PDA executive members to ensure that the PDA’s advocacy agenda is driven forward and communicated to the appropriate representatives of the UBC administration. The advocacy/ outreach includes (but is not limited to) an Equity, Diversity & Inclusion agenda, as well as a discussion about working conditions for postdocs and concerns that postdocs face

**President and/or VP-External may have the opportunity to attend the annual CAPA/CAPS Meeting or the CSPC meeting. Currently, the President is the postdoctoral representative on a UBC wide EDI committee that is running till 2022.

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The UBC PDA VP-Operations shall:

  1. Organize professional development activities for postdocs together with the VP-External, President and the whole executive team.
  2. The VP-Operations is in the lead of organizing non-social UBC PDA events for postdocs (such as the annual Postdoc Research Day), with the help of the executive team.
  3. Attend and participate in meetings of the PDA executive members
  4. Assist in all PDA executive members plan and ensure smooth running of the organization
  5. Assist the President and VP-Communications in answering e-mails and updating the PDA’s website
  6. Perform duties of the President, in the event of absence or illness of the President
  7. Work with the President, VP-External and VP-Communications to identify and collect job postings of interest for postdocs

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The UBC PDA VP-External shall:

  1. Raise the voice of UBC postdoctoral fellows at regional and national platforms through participation and dialogues with the Canadian Association for Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS-ACSP)
  2. Build and promote alliance with various BC industrial sectors to create opportunities for researchers outside academia. The VP-External is in the lead of organizing career-focused events for postdocs (such as Career Networking Events), with the help of the executive team.
  3. Work closely together with the SFU (Simon Fraser University) PDA and other trainee-led organizations in the Vancouver area, as well as the UBC Okanagan PDA, to organize joint events and facilitate networking
  4. Work with CAPS-ACSP to create and sustain dialogue with legislators to acknowledge the role of postdoctoral fellows and research associates to Canadian economy
  5. Address or raise awareness for issues relevant to postdoctoral fellows and research associates
  6. Work with the UBC PDA executive team and liaise with its partners
  7. Work with the President, VP-Operations and VP-Communications to identify and collect job postings of interest for postdocs

**President and/or VP-External may have the opportunity to attend the annual CAPA/CAPS Meeting or the CSPC meeting.

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The UBC PDA VP-Communications shall:

  1. Be responsible for the development of the communication strategy
  2. Manage communication activities that promote, enhance, and protect the PDA’s brand reputation, including running the PDA’s social media accounts, slack community and website
  3. Assist the President and VP-Operations in replying to e-mails
  4. Responsible for curating and disseminating news items relevant to UBC postdocs in the form of a monthly PDA newsletter, with the help of the President
  5. The VP-Communications is in the lead of organizing the annual 3 Minute Postdoc Slam, with the help of the executive team
  6. Exercise judgment to prioritize media opportunities, and prepare presentations and other supporting material as needed during events
  7. Promote events
  8. Support the communications needs of the PDA and the Postdoctoral Fellows Office
  9. Work with the President, VP-Operations and VP-External to identify and collect job postings of interest for postdocs

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The UBC PDA VP-Social shall:

  1. Attend and participate in the three PDFO orientations each year, during which the VP Social shall advertise the PDA to the new postdocs and deliver a short presentation about “Getting to know Vancouver”
  2. Lead the planning, advertising and execution of social and networking events for postdocs, including
    1. Regular social events (around 1/month) for the postdoc community (virtual or in-person)
    2. The annual Whistler trip (organize to/from Whistler and reserve accommodation at the UBC lodge or a hostel of choice)
    3. Organize the Holiday party (venue reservation and run games e.g. “white elephant”)
  3. Work with the VP Finance and President to set a budget for the monthly social events

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The UBC PDA VP-Finance shall:

  1. Draft an annual budget for submission to UBC
  2. Oversee correct use and spending of the UBC PDA budget and liaise with the Postdoctoral Fellows Office
  3. Maintain up-to-date records pertaining to PDA finances
  4. Be responsible for liasing with the PDA’s banking institution and preparing cheques for reimbursements
  5. Help organize events (3-Minute Postdoc Slam, Postdoctoral Research Day, seminars in general)
  6. Arrange for an annual audit of the PDA finances at the end of the fiscal year

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The UBC PDA VP-Equity, Diversity and Inclusion shall:

  1. Call EDI subcommittee meetings
  2. Set agenda for the EDI subcomittee meetings
  3. Be responsible for the distribution of resources (via Slack, Twitter, Newsletter) in collaboration with VP Communications
  4. Relay EDI information from CAPS (Canada Association of Postdoctoral Scholars) and work with CAPS on a national level
  5. Oversee and take the lead in planning of EDI-related events

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All elected officers are expected to attend the majority of monthly PDA executive meetings, as well as a monthly meeting with the Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO) to report about the PDA’s operations and discuss issues relevant to the PDA and postdoc community at UBC. Also, elected officers are expected to help organize the PDA’s events (3-Minute Postdoc Slam, Postdoctoral Research Day, seminars in general).

Be sure to submit your intend to run by Sunday, March 7th. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

Executive Committee Members:

These are volunteer, non-elected positions which are open to all postdocs and Research Associates affiliated with UBC. The Executive committee members assist in the planning, organization and execution of various PDA events and help the PDA advocate on behalf of postdocs at UBC, and may also aid in aspects of the PDFO orientation as needed. They serve as valued helpers and members of the team. We are always looking for new non-elected executive members and would be happy to welcome you to our team. Do you want to join the executive team? Just write us an e-mail!

Paint along with Bob Ross!

Join us for a fun virtual paint-along with Bob Ross! Show, or discover, your painting skills and connect with other postdocs! There will also be a bingo with awesome prizes!!

When – Thursday, February 4 at 6:30 pm
Where – At home, via zoom

Don’t have any paint supplies? Don’t worry, we will provide them! Please indicate below if you like to pick them up at the available locations or prefer delivery (for delivery, please provide an address). If you live outside the lower mainland and need paint supplies, please get in touch with us at before registering.

Partner, kids, roommates, pets… are all welcome! Please let us know how many people are participating, so we can deliver paint supplies for everyone. We will provide a smaller canvas for younger children.

Register Here!

We will e-mail a zoom link to all participants who have successfully signed up closer to the date. Register fast as spots are limited!

Holiday Socials

We know the holidays may look differently this year and many of us may not be travelling to visit loved ones. With this in mind, we have organized several socials throughout the holiday season to help keep the postdoctoral community together during this time. Join us for Winter Trivia Night on December 17th, a Virtual Holiday Happy Hour for cocktails and cookies on December 23rd and Virtual Holiday Board Games on December 25th.

Winter Trivia

Join us for our SFU/UBC PDA Winter Trivia Night on Zoom.

When: 6pm on Thursday, Dec 17
Where: Join from the comfort of your own home

“Bring” you own snacks/drinks and we will provide an entertaining Winter-themed Trivia night to get you into the holiday spirit! We will try to make teams with diverse backgrounds for a fun, social night.

There will be prizes for the winning team and runner-up!

This is an inclusive event, so friends/roommates/partners/pets/kids/… are welcome!

Register Here!

Cocktail and Cookie Holiday Happy Hour

Join us for our UBC/SFU PDA Cocktail and Cookie Holiday Happy Hour and get into the holiday spirit!

When: Wednesday Dec 23, 6-9 pm
Where: At home, via zoom

Let’s cozy up with some nice, warm drinks and sweets, and get together virtually this holiday season – in which we all could use some joy!

We will send a link with recipes for drinks (non alcoholic and alcoholic options) and cookies in advance of the event for whomever likes to get busy in the kitchen, either before or during the happy hour(s)!

This is an inclusive event, so feel free to bring your festive friends, partners and pets!

Register Here!

Holiday Board Games

Let’s get together virtually for online board games! Not able to go home for the holidays or celebrate with friends? Join us for fun virtual games and make some new friends!

When: Friday Dec 25, 1:30-3:30pm
Where: At home, via zoom

This is an inclusive event, everyone is welcome!

Register Here!

Announcing the Postdoctoral Fellows Research Day 2021

Virtual Postdoc Research Day on Monday, January 18th, 2021

We are excited to announce that our biggest event of the year is coming up! Please join us for Postdoc Research Day, an all-day event featuring:

  • Research talks by UBC Vancouver and Okanagan Postdocs across diverse disciplines
  • Two amazing Keynote Speakers: Dr. Connie Eaves (UBC Professor, Medical Genetics) and Dr. Allen Eaves (CEO, STEMCELL Technologies) talking about their experiences in academic and industry career paths.
  • Two Career Panels, with one focusing on the academic job search and the other centering on non-academic careers.
  • Brief message from Dr. Gail C. Murphy, Vice-President Research & Innovation, and Dr. Peter Simpson, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies (Okanagan)
  • Postdoc Town Hall, where the PDA would love to hear about your experience as a postdoc, especially how the pandemic has affected you. We will also be sharing the results of our COVID-19 Research Curtailment Survey and how we are working to advocate for you.

When: Monday, January 18th, 2021 at 9:30am – 6:00pm

Where: online via Zoom (those that register will receive the Zoom meeting link and information prior to the event)

This is a free event! Register Here!

Research Talks

Everyone is welcome! Join us for an exciting interdisciplinary event hearing about the amazing work by postdocs across the UBC Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

Registration is necessary to attend and present. Click here to register!


Keynote Lecture

We are excited to introduce Dr. Connie and Allen Eaves as our Keynote Speakers. They will be sharing their career paths and experiences in academia and industry, respectively.

Connie Eaves

Dr. Connie Eaves, PhD FRS(C) Corresp FRS(Edinburgh), is a Professor of Medical Genetics at UBC and Distinguished Scientist at the BC Cancer Research Institute. Her research over several decades, with more than 500 published papers, has advanced our understanding of stem cell biology and cancer development in blood and mammary cells, with important implications for improving cancer treatment. She has received numerous national and international awards and honours, not only for her scientific contributions but also for her role as a national leader, dedicated mentor and valued collaborator in the pursuit of new understanding of cell regulation that will stand the test of time and enable the more effective diagnosis and management of human disease.

Allen Eaves

Dr. Allen Eaves, OBC MD PhD FRCPC, was the founding Director of the Terry Fox Laboratory and Head of Clinical Hematology at UBC. Professor Emeritus of Hematology since 2006, he has devoted himself to building STEMCELL Technologies Inc, which he founded in 1993 to provide standardized reagents for stem cell, regenerative medicine and cancer research. Always profitable, and with 97% of its sales outside of Canada, STEMCELL is Canada’s largest biotech company with ~1500 employees and a global network of sales offices and distribution centres. Dr. Eaves is passionate about creating rewarding employment for those who love science.


Career Panels

This year, we will have two concurrent career panels. One will be focused on the academic job search while the other panel will be centered on non-academic careers. Come with any questions you have and hear from several panelists in these fields as they discuss their experience transitioning from a Postdoc, the application process, and more!

Academic Panel:

Non-Academic Panel:


Brief Message from Dr. Gail C. Murphy and Dr. Peter Simpson

Don’t miss Dr. Gail Murphy, Vice-President Research & Innovation, and Dr. Peter Simpson, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies (Okanagan) as they join us during Research Day to share a brief statement about the UBC postdoc community.

Postdoc Town Hall

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 experience as a postdoc. We especially would like to hear about how the pandemic has affected you. We will be sharing the results of our COVID-19 Research Curtailment Survey that was launched this summer and the ways we are working to address the concerns you voiced in that survey. We would also love to hear about other experiences you have as a postdoc: How are you liking our virtual or physically-distanced socials? 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!


A Note on the Virtual Format

Each year, the Postdoc Research Day is not only a professional development opportunity, it is also a great venue for networking, meeting and socializing with other postdocs. While it will be virtual this year, we are still striving to provide an enriching and comfortable environment for postdocs to make connections. We will be having virtual “coffee breaks” and an online social hour after the event.

We look forward to joining you at this year’s Postdoc Research Day!

Click here to register!


Health and Wellness Events throughout November

Join the UBC and SFU PDAs all November long for Postdoc Health and Wellness Month!

As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, it can be difficult to prioritize our health and wellness. That’s why we are teaming up with the SFU PDA to bring you a series of virtual workouts and wellness sessions.

Building Resilience as a Postdoctoral Fellow

What does it mean to have resilience? How do you cope with challenging times? Join us for a workshop on Mental Health & Wellbeing for Postdocs, focusing on:

– Encouraging dialogue on postdoctoral mental health
– Looking at the definition of resilience
– Sharing strategies and resources for building resilience

This workshop will be facilitated by Crystal Hutchinson (Workplace Wellbeing Strategist with UBC Human Resources) and Dr. Karen Ross (Graduate & Postdoctoral Wellbeing Support Coordinator, UBC Faculty of Medicine).

Tuesday November 24 from 11am-12pmOnline via Zoom: those that register will receive the Zoom link prior to the workshop.

Please register in advance: register here!

Virtual Mindfulness and Meditation Sessions

Join us for two upcoming Mindfulness & Meditation sessions. Guided by a mediation and mindfulness coach, these will focus on attention and breath work.

Thursday, November 12 at 6-7pm
Thursday, November 26 at 12:30-1:30pm

Please register in advance: register here!

 Register here!

Virtual workouts focusing on shoulder, neck and back health

These weekly sessions will focus on neck, shoulder and back health to help overcome the postural and mobility issues that we may be facing due to sitting at a desk for longer periods of time during the pandemic. So join us on Zoom for some workouts targeting postural health, lead by a Pilates and Yoga instructor. All fitness levels welcome!

There is no need to register in advance. Below is the meeting information:

Tuesday, November 3th at 6-7pm
Tuesday, November 10th at 12:30-1:30pm
Tuesday, November 17th at 6-7pm
Tuesday, November 24th at 12:30-1:30pm

Zoom meeting link (will be the same for each week):

Meeting ID: 878 8630 0705
Password: wellness

We hope to see you at these great health and wellness events!

CAPS Annual General Meeting

Dear fellows,

Do you feel that postdocs are still an underappreciated part of academia and were hit especially hard by this ongoing pandemic? The Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars(CAPS) has conducted a recent survey to gauge the impact of COVID-19 related shutdowns and other restrictions on postdocs in Canada and based on these findings has developed and send out these “Top 5 Asks” (listed below) to national decision makers. If you are interested in how official representatives from the Tricouncil (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) are responding to these demands and/or want to take part in this discussion yourself – you are invited to attend the

CAPS annual general meeting on Nov 5 from 10:00 to 15:30 Vancouver time.

More information, a preliminary agenda and the link to register (for free) at

Taking part in this event is also a good opportunity to network with other postdocs, learn more about CAPS, the results of the CAPS COVID19 survey, and about PDA’s and postdoc unions in Canada.

CAPS Top 5 Asks from the Tricouncil to relieve pressure from postdocs:

  1. “Stop-the-clock” for postdoc fellowship applications (recognizing that postdocs are evolving Early Career Researchers).
  2. Automatic 1 year extensions of fellowships (to buffer financial impacts, administrative interruptions to work permits and benefits plans), with opt-out option if not beneficial for the postdoc.
  3. Provide clear criteria for reviewers to account for COVID-19 interruptions, and enable better feedback in fellowship review.
  4. Create new funding opportunities for senior postdocs to support those who are close to being competitive for (or in the process of transitioning to) faculty positions, which may be impacted by a national shift to COVID-19 research prioritization.
  5. Ensure external postdocs are eligible for institutional benefits, including basic protections like Employment Insurance and Canadian Pension Plan/Québec Pension Plan contributions (without a stipend reduction).

Virtual Postdoc Halloween Social

This year we are gathering virtually for a spooktacular evening full of scary (and fun!) surprises. Meet new postdocs in a spooky setting and show off your best Halloween Zoom background. Share your spookiest story and join in on some Halloween online group games. There will also be a costume contest with prizes for the winners!

This is an inclusive event, so friends/roommates/partners/pets/Halloween-loving kids/… are welcome!

Costumes are encouraged but not required to attend.

Register Here!

Fall Coffee & Chat Socials with SFU/UBC

Bored of your home office? Need a break? Do you want to connect with other postdocs from SFU and UBC and discuss topics that are relevant to you while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea? Then come and join us for our upcoming virtual SFU-UBC PDA coffee socials this fall. Kids/pets/partners/friends are welcome!!

Join us every Tuesday from 2-3pm starting next week, October 13: Register Here!

Our discussion topics will include:
International Postdocs (Oct 13, 2-3 pm): Are you an international postdoc? Do you have questions about immigration or funding or are you struggling with being far away from friends and family during these difficult times? Do you just want to connect with other newcomers to Canada? – We got you covered! This session will be joined by a certified immigration consultant.

Postdocs with kids (Oct 20, 2-3 pm): We can all agree that postdocs with kids are facing some special challenges, especially during the pandemic. Postdoc parents, this is your place to chat about child care, work/life balance, working from home… and to meet other postdocs with kids to make new connections!

New to Vancouver (Oct 27, 2-3 pm): Are you new to Vancouver? Maybe moved here during the pandemic?? Meet other postdocs to make new connections and to exchange ideas about what to explore in Vancouver!

Coping with COVID-19 – What keeps you happy? (Nov 3, 2-3 pm): COVID-19 isn’t going away soon – what are your tips and strategies for coping with the new stresses brought on by a global pandemic? Exchange stories, worries and ideas and establish some new connections. We can all use some good socialising these days, especially during the gloomy months of fall.

Register Here! We will send out registration confirmation e-mails with zoom links closer to the date.