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 Hunting in Industry Workshop: How to locate and apply for jobs, get interviews, and negotiate more from your first job offer

We're excited to announce a workshop for STEM postdocs and graduate students who are interested in industry career:

Job Hunting in Industry:  How to locate and apply for jobs, get interviews, and negotiate more from your first job offer

Presented by Bill Lindstaedt, MS

Bill is the Assistant Vice Chancellor and manages Career Advancement, International and Postdoctoral Services at UCSF. He is a career counselor specializing in career development issues for doctoral level trainees in the sciences. He is also a co-author of Science Magazine's myIDP, a free career development tool launched designed to help research scientists take charge of their careers.


How to locate and apply for jobs, how to get interviews, and how to negotiate more from your first job offer

Postdocs, grad students and research scientists are all welcome!

Space is limited. Register now!

Jan 12th (Friday) 1-4:30PM


Did you know that only 10-15% of PhDs will get faculty jobs? Industry career has become the prevailing path for PhDs in life sciences. But it could be challenging to land a good job straight out of academia, and the training and resource to prepare PhDs for industry jobs is lacking.
This workshop is designed to provide PhD students and postdocs with the knowledge and skills to launch a successful job search for positions in industry research. 
The workshop is consisted of 3 segments: (feel free to choose the segment(s) of your interest to attend)
  1. Job Hunting for Industry Research Positions:  How to apply for jobs and get interviews - 1 hour
    You will learn how to prepare resumes and cover letters that will get you noticed during your search for research jobs in industry.   You will learn how to find information on companies and how to reach out to industry scientists who can connect you with job opportunities, and push your resume along through the selection process. After this workshop, you will understand how to execute three techniques that comprise a comprehensive job search.
  2. Succeeding in Interviews for Industry Research Positions - 1.5 hour
    After attending this 90-minute skill-building workshop, you will leave with a set of frameworks that will help you respond effectively to the most common questions asked of postdocs when they interview for that first industry researcher position.  You will improve your ability to respond to opening and closing interview scenarios, as well as tough and awkward interview questions.  Finally, we will discuss tips for tailoring your job talk to an industry setting.
  3. Compensation Negotiation for Industry Research Positions - 1 hour
    Know how to answer these common questions that everyone has as they are getting their first industry job offer.
  • What do I say when the employer asks me about my salary requirements before the job offer (during the interview)?
  • What do I say when the employer asks me about salary during the job offer discussion?
  • What kinds of benefits and compensation components will I see in my industry job offer letter?
  • Which job offer components are negotiable and which ones should I not try to negotiate?
  • Most importantly, how do I ask for more graciously, so that I get what I need while maintaining a positive relationship with my future employer?

Chalk-talk workshop recap

We hope everyone find the workshop helpful for your current or future job search. Thank you for participating!

Big thanks to the panelists: Dr. Karen Ottemann, Dr. Jordan Ward, Dr. Daniel Kim and Dr. Camilla Forsberg for taking time out of their busy schedules to join us! They shared their personal experience in giving chalk-talks or judging chalk-talks. They also discussed the academic hiring process, what is expected in a chalk-talk and how to prepare for the talk. For a good talk, be sure to first state your overall goal for your future lab concisely and clearly, then describe the projects starting from the most important one, while confidently present yourself as the expert in the field. And keep in mind that sometimes things don’t go as you expected, so don’t panic and improvise!

Then postdocs Katlin and Paul each gave a excellent mock chalk-talk, and received feedback from the instructors. They are actively looking for jobs, so we hope this experience is helpful to them and wish them good luck!

Are you looking for jobs? Let us know what kind of workshops you would like to see so we can help you get the job you want!

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!