Welcome to the UCSC STEM Postdocs webpage!

The USPA is a postdoctoral-led organization that aims to provide career training and resources to postdoctoral scholars here at UC Santa Cruz. Each year the USPA organizes a symposium, and a series of workshops to highlight postdoctoral research, provides postdocs with career planning support, and build a stronger postdoc community.  Our goal is to create a welcoming environment for new postdocs and a supportive group of peers to navigate this pivotal career stage together.

Activities of USPA include:
- monthly postdoc science and social hour
- career development workshops
- annual symposium

Coming soon: 3rd Annual Postdoc Symposium on March 1st 2018!

Contact us: uspa@ucsc.edu

Check out our upcoming events and join us:

Facebook group

UCSC Google Group

The USPA is sponsored by the following departments, divisions and institutes:

Division of Physical & Biological Sciences

Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology

Latest from USPA

Job Preparation Workshop: Chalk-talk

 Chalk-talk is an essential part of academic job interview. At this interactive workshop, you will learn how to prepare your talk and what to expect from the interviewers, and will have the chance to practice your talk and receive valuable feedback from experienced faculty.
We strongly encourage postdocs who are applying for jobs to use this unique occasion to practice his/her chalk talk. Postdocs who volunteer to give a demo in this workshop will have a chance to attend one of the real chalk talks at UCSC in a near future. If you are interested in giving a mock chalk-talk, let us know: uspa@ucsc.edu

We encourage postdocs and graduates students to attend. Register here. The registration deadline is Nov 15th.
Coffee and lunch will be provided.

Job preparation workshop: Chalk-Talk

DATE: November 30th

TIME: 9:30AM - 1:00PM






Nov Science & Social Hour: Know Your Health Benefits Plans

The open enrollment period for postdoc benefit plans has begun! Until Nov 21st 5pm, you are able to enroll or change your health, dental and vision insurance plans for 2018. To help you navigate among the choices, Steve Johnson from Garnett-Powers (UC's health plan administrator) will join us at the November social hour to answer your questions about insurance plans. Lunch will be provided!

Postdoctoral Scholar Benefits Plans

Nov 13th (Monday) 1-2PM

Biomed 300

Free food and beverage!

Postdoctoral Conference Travel Award: Winners Announced!

We would like to thank all the postdocs who submitted applications and their faculty advisors for sending support letter!

We reviewed all the applications carefully and were very impressed by everyone's accomplishment. However the amount of the award is limited. So after lengthy consideration, we have chosen two recipients: Dr. Justin Suraci and Dr. Katlin Bowman. Congratulations Justin and Katlin!

Dr. Justin Suraci:

I’m a postdoc in Chris Wilmers’ lab in Environmental Studies, where we investigate the impacts of human activity and development on wildlife, with a particular focus on human-puma interactions. My background is in designing and executing large scale field experiments to understand how behavioral interactions between predators (typically mammalian carnivores) and their prey cascade to effect ecological communities, demonstrating that top predators can shape entire communities by altering the behavior of their prey. My primary work with the Wilmers lab has been applying these techniques to wildlife communities in the Santa Cruz Mountains to understand how behavioral responses to human presence alter species interactions (e.g., puma interactions with smaller mesocarnivores, mesocarnivore interactions with their rodent prey).
This UCSC STEM Postdoc Association Travel Award will support my attendance at the 2018 Gordon Research Conference on Predator-Prey Interactions, where I have been invited to give a talk on what I’m calling “anthropogenic landscapes of fear”. This emerging body of work investigates how human presence creates and/or reshapes patterns of predation risk across landscapes, both by altering the abundance and composition of predator communities (e.g., by removing large carnivores like wolves and pumas), and through the fear induced by humans themselves, given that humans are a major source of mortality for many wildlife species. My recent and current research touches on both of these themes, and this conference will be a fantastic chance to connect with other predation risk researchers to move this field forward. Thanks very much to USPA for the support!

Dr. Katlin Bowman

Dr. Katlin Bowman is a postdoc at the Department of Ocean Sciences. She combines marine genomics and chemistry to study a gene cluster in microorganisms that convert mercury to the toxic methyl-mercury. She has gone on multiple oceanographic expeditions and obtained promising results, which she will present at the bi-annual Ocean Sciences Meeting.

Oct Science and Social Hour: Understanding Your Retirement Account

Did you know as an eligible UC postdoc you are automatically enrolled in retirement plans and making contributions?

Would you like to know where the "DCP Safe Harbor" deduction on your paycheck goes to?

Would you like to know how you can plan and save for retirement?

We have invited a financial expert from Fidelity to answer all your questions about your retirement accounts! Free lunch will be provided!

Science and Social Hour: Understanding and Saving for Retirement

Oct 19th (Thu) 1-2PM

Biomed 300

Free food and beverage!