All posts by sanne janssen

Virtual Career Networking Night

Unsure about your career options? Got a Ph.D.?

Join us for the first virtual Postdoc Career Networking Night, jointly organized by the Postdoctoral Associations of UBC Vancouver, UBC Okanagan and SFU as well as the BC Cancer Agency Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow Society.

Connect and network with professionals in academia, industry and companies in an informal setting.

When:  March 1st, 2022, 4pm – 7pm
Where: Virtual (Zoom)

Register here*!
*Limited spots available

This event features panel discussions on academic and non-academic careers, and networking opportunities with representatives from companies.

Panelists include:
– Dr. Anna Blakney, Assistant Professor, Michael Smith Laboratories, UBC
– Dr. David Anekwe, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
– Dr. Carolina Tropini, Assistant Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering & Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, UBC

– Dr. Mike Kennefick, Business Development Specialist at Mitacs
– Dr. Rouh Shafaei, Project Manager- Electric Vehicle Infrastructure, Future Grid & Modernization, Integrated Planning at BC Hydro

Representatives will be joining from:
– Aspects Biosystems
– Bayer 
– EarthDaily Analytics
– D-Wave
– 1QBit 
– Good Chemistry
– Microsoft

16:00 – 16:15 Welcome
16:15 – 16:30 Introduction of participating companies (Main room) (Bayer, Ocean wise, 1QBit, Fortinet, Earthdaily Analytics)
16:30 – 17:30 Panel Discussion (Careers in Academia) (Main room)
16:30 – 17:30 Networking with company representatives (Breakout rooms) (Bayer, Ocean wise, 1QBit, Fortinet, Earthdaily Analytics)
17:30 – 17:45 Introduction of participating companies (Breakout rooms) (D-Wave Systems, STEMCELL, Microsoft)
17:45 – 18:45 Panel Discussion (Careers in Industry) (Main room)
17:45 – 18:45 Networking with company representatives (Breakout rooms)(D-Wave Systems, STEMCELL, Microsoft)
18:45 – 19:00 Closing remark

Please email if you have any questions or concerns!

Register here*!
*Limited spots available


February events!

Trivia & Bob Ross paint night!

Sign up now and join us for either event or both:
– Trivia on February 3rd at 6pm.
– Bob Ross paint along on February 17th at 6pm (no experience required!).

More information on the flyers.
Please email us at if you have any questions or concerns!



UBC PDA AGM & nominations for the 2022-2023 Executive Team!

UBC Postdoctoral Association Annual General Meeting on March 10th, 2022 – 5:30pm-8pm

Register here!

All UBC postdocs and research associates are encouraged to attend the virtual UBC PDA AGM on March 10th for the elections.
At the AGM we will review the year 2021-2022, talk about PDA operations and elect officers for the 2022-2023 term. Importantly, there will be the opportunity for attendees to learn more about the PDA and to network with other postdocs .

The PDA is run by Elected Volunteer Officers (the President and 6 Vice-Presidents). All 7 positions will be elected for the 2022-2023 year at the AGM. A list of open positions and a description of their roles as well as how to submit a nomination can be found below.

You want to join the PDA, but are not ready to become an elected officer? No problem! We are always looking for new members to help us organize our events and provide new ideas! Just get in touch with us via e-mail and get a feel for what we do by joining our next meeting.

Why you should join the UBC PDA:
– 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

How to submit a nomination
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. (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).

Officer positions
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).


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!


Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

Postdoc Research Day

Our annual all-day Postdoc Research Day returns on December 6th, 2021!

Please find the full program here: RD2021 – Program Book

Join us for Postdoc Research Day, an all-day event featuring:

  • Research talks by UBC Vancouver Postdocs and Research Associates across diverse disciplines
  • An amazing Keynote Speaker: Dr. Steven Barnes (UBC Associate Professor of Teaching and Director Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience) talking about mental health and wellbeing for Postdocs.
  • Postdoc Town Hall, where the PDA would love to hear about your experience as a postdoc.
  • Reception and Award ceremony with bites and drinks.

Registration has closed. Come back later for a link to the event recording!

More information below the flyer

The UBC Postdoctoral Association Research Day is back in person (and online) this year!

Featuring a full day of interdisciplinary talks, the annual Postdoc Research Day brings together postdoctoral researchers from across faculties and affiliated institutions at UBC Vancouver. This event will be held in parallel with the UBC Okanagan Postdoc Research Day with all recorded presentations available online afterwards. Full schedule to follow shortly.

When: December 6, 2021 (Monday) Research Day 9:15am-5:45pm; Evening Reception from 6pm onwards

Where: Life Sciences Institute (2350 Health Sciences Mall), UBC Vancouver campus, and on Zoom

Who can attend? (Registration for online attendance remains open until December 3rd. Unfortunately, in-person registration has closed)
Following the latest COVID-related safety guidelines*, in-person attendance is limited to UBC postdocs, research associates, and PhD students (limited spots) who will abide by these rules and to the latest occupancy limit. However, everyone is welcome to attend virtually! This full-day event will be broadcast online, and the recordings will be available for viewing later.

Why should you attend?
– Share your research with awards for the best presentations
– Connect with your postdoctoral peers over the free coffee, lunch, and light dinner
– Find new collaborators and learn about ongoing research at UBC

Want to present your research?
Our abstract deadline has passed.

Keynote Speaker
We are excited to introduce Dr. Steven Barnes as our Keynote Speaker!

Title and abstract:
An Incomplete Painting: Academia and Mental Wellness
The relationship between the academic environment and mental wellbeing is a popular topic of research—particularly in the context of undergraduate and professional programs.  However, such increased awareness has yet to be adequately translated to significant action; this is especially true for the lives of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff.  Having lived with a mental illness for the entirety of my academic career, I have witnessed both the progress and noticeable gaps.  This talk will reflect on mental health and mental illness in academia, by interleaving relevant research with a retrospective of my visual art and personal experiences.

About Dr. Steven Barnes: 
Steven J. Barnes (he/him/his, @sj_barnes) is a faculty member in the UBC Department of Psychology. He is well-regarded for his work related to student mental health and wellbeing, online learning technologies, and bipolar disorder (BD). Steven is one of the founding members of Kaleidoscope, a mental health peer support group at UBC’s Vancouver Campus. In addition, he is the recipient of multiple institutional awards for his teaching, including the Killam Teaching Prize. He is also the recipient of the 3M National Teaching Fellowship, the top national award given for teaching in any discipline in any postsecondary institution in Canada. Steven is an accomplished author, having published in the fields of epileptology, neurophysiology, student mental health, digital mental health, bipolar disorder, and behavioural neuroscience. Beyond being a prominent educator, researcher, and author, Steven is also an accomplished artist.

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.  For example, how are you liking our 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!

Registration has closed. Come back later for a link to the event recording!

Email us if you have any questions.

We are extremely grateful to our partners and sponsors who made this event possible:
adMare Bioinnovations
BC Research
New England BioLabs
STEMCELL Technologies
Variational AI
UBC Vancouver Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
UBC Okanagan Postdoctoral Association

*COVID-related safety guidelines will be dependent on the latest provincial public health orders. These will include a requirement for proof of vaccination, a legal occupancy limit, physical distancing when possible, and indoor mask-wearing.

Useful resources:
Event Safety Plan
Code of Conduct
RD2021 – Program Schedule
RD2021 – Program Book

National Postdoc Appreciation Week!

Sign up for our events here!

More information below the posters!

Yoga session

When: Thursday September 23rd, 2021 – noon-1pm PDT (in person)
Where: UBC Vancouver campus, 2207 Main Mall (In front of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science department ( There is a big tent located on the south part of Earth, Ocean department right next to the Main Mall in front of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.
If you can’t find us, Please email and Mina will guide you to the location.
*in case of rain, the yoga session will move indoors
Sign up here

Seminar by the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars

Title: The Role of CAPS in Invigorating the Canadian Postdoc Community
When: Thursday September 23rd, 2021 – 2pm-3pm PDT (Zoom)
Sign up here

Happy hour

When: Thursday September 23rd, 2021 – 4pm PDT (in person)
Where: Gallery Patio & Lounge, 6133 University Blvd, 4th floor
*Free appetizers!
Sign up here

Free breakfast & Coffee

When: Friday September 24th, 2021 – 8am – 10am PDT (in person)
Where: MacInnes Field (Astroturf behind Browns Craft House UBC)
Sign up here


Don’t forget to check out the events organized by:

– The Postdoctoral Fellows Office:

– Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars:

Ice Cream and Soda Social

Registration cap at 60 people, so register now here!

To celebrate summer, we’re organizing an ice cream and soda social!

When: August 13th, 1:30pm*
*in case of heavy rainfall, the event will be postponed

Where: The lawn on Main Mall, in front of the Biodiversity Museum (look out for the group of people with coolers full of ice cream)

Come and enjoy the warm summer days with ice cream and refreshing beverages, while safely meeting up with other postdocs!!

Register here!

3 Minute Postdoc Slam!

The PDA is excited to announce that our popular 3 Minute Postdoc Slam is returning on August 12th from 2-5pm PDT. Register here!

Want to practise your elevator pitch? You’re in the right place!
Registration deadline to present: August 3rd at 4pm PDT.

Want to learn how to effectively communicate your science? Come learn from the experts (keynote speakers).

No deadline to sign up, but registration is required to attend the event and receive the Zoom link.

More information in the flyer and below.

Please share with your colleagues and friends! Everyone is welcome to attend the event*.
*only UBC Postdocs and Research Associates are allowed to participate in the Slam competition.


Our annual 3 Minute Postdoc Slam is a science communication and professional development event. It is a great chance to learn more about the diverse research being done by UBC Postdocs and RAs. In addition, we have two amazing keynote speakers lined up (Drs. Parshati Patel and Jonathan Kellogg) who will share their expertise on public engagement. Whether you are interested in sharing your academic research or communicating science with the public, social media is an ideal tool with many benefits. In her talk, Dr. Patel will walk you through different platforms while discussing the best practices and engagement strategies for each of them.

For UBC Postdocs and RAs, this is a great opportunity to showcase your work and practise your elevator pitch. You will have 3 minutes and 1 static slide to describe your research to a general audience, and have a chance to win cash prizes!

When and Where?
Tune in on Zoom August 12th from 2:00pm – 5:00pm to compete in or attend our annual slam competition and to hear from two science communication experts. Those that register will receive an email with a Zoom meeting link.

Sounds great. How do I sign up?
Please register if you want to attend and submit your title and a 1-2 sentence description of your project if you want to present. We encourage postdocs from all scientific fields to sign up.

Everyone is Welcome to Attend! Although the competition is open to UBC Postdocs and Research Associates only, we also invite Graduate and Undergraduate students to join us, so tell everyone!
If you have any questions or comments, please send us an email!

Tentative schedule:
3MPS_Tentative Schedule

Postdoc Seminar by Dr. Md. Zabir Hasan on August 10th

By popular request, the PDA is starting a Postdoc Seminar Series! Do you want to practice your presentation skills? Are you looking for a chance to share your latest results? Are you interested in communicating your research to a non-expert audience of postdocs across all UBC disciplines?

Sign up as a speaker for the new Postdoc Seminar Series! If selected, we will contact you to set up a date and time for your seminar. All you need to do is prepare a 30-40 minute presentation about your research geared toward a general audience, and we will take care of the rest!


Postdoc Seminar by Dr. Md. Zabir Hasan on August 10th at 12:00 pm

Join us on Tuesday, August 10th at 12:00pm for a presentation by Dr. Md. Zabir Hasan: Assessing the productivity of health workforce using innovative methods

Abstract: A simple indicator of technical efficiency, such as productivity of health workers, measured using routine health facility data, can be a practical approach that can inform initiatives to improve efficiency in low and middle-income countries. We have developed a proof of concept of using routine information from primary healthcare (PHC) facilities to measure health workers’ productivity and its application in three regions of Ethiopia.

Meet the Speaker: Zabir is a trained physician and currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. In this position, he provides analytical support to several international research projects focusing on primary healthcare integration, performance, and system strengthening. He holds an Associate position in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH). Zabir completed his Ph.D. program from the JHSPH and his MPH from James P. Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University. Zabir also worked as the Country Measurement Analyst for the Primary Health Care Performance Initiative at the World Bank. Before starting his doctoral program, he worked as a Senior Research Associate at JPGSPH, where he designed and implemented several research projects on financial risk protection and Universal Health Coverage.

As an attendee, you will have a chance to win a $10 coffee shop gift card! (randomly drawn at the end of the seminar)

Register to attend and receive the Zoom link for upcoming seminars:
If you want to register as a future speaker, please sign up here: