The UNL Postdoc Perspective: a newsletter about postdocs, by postdocs, for the postdoc community

Chairman Jin portrait
 








The Postdoc Perspective is a semi-annual publication produced by the UNL Postdoctoral Advisory Council, with oversight by the Office of Postdoctoral Studies, and funding by the Office of Research and Economic Development. Submissions to this publication are accepted at postdoc@unl.edu or
1100 Seaton Hall
ATTN: Postdoc Perspective
Lincoln, NE 68588-0619
Editor-In-Chief Jing Jin
Assistant Editors Jesse Thompson
Jill Silva
Sathish Natarajan
Rick Lombardo
Production, Art,  
& Design Editor Neal Bryan

Copyright © 2012

From the Bench

In this issue we’ve highlighted the 2011 Outstanding Postdoc Mentor awardee, Dr. Eileen Hebets (SBS), who shares with us her experience and thoughts about being an effective postdoc mentor. I encourage you to incorporate in your own mentoring the principles she shares, and to share the interview with others.

I thank Dr. Concetta DiRusso (Biochemistry) for her invaluable advice and support to the PAC as a faculty advisor and for her generous donation to the Postdoc Travel Grant Program. We’re still seeking donors to grow this program into a self-sustaining endowment for the postdoc community. The PAC is also grateful to Dr. Prem Paul, Vice Chancellor for Research & Economic Development, and Dr. Ellen Weissinger, Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, for their continuing support of the postdoctoral community here at UNL.

The Office of Postdoctoral Studies (OPS) and the Postdoctoral Advisory Council (PAC) host many events during the year, including professional

and career development seminars; a Spring picnic for postdocs, their families, and PIs; the annual Postdoc Appreciation Week reception in September; and a national speaker at an awards luncheon during the semiannual UNL Research Fair each November.

This spring, the OPS and the PAC offered a CV and Cover Letter workshop, and two Postdoc Writing workshops as part of the postdoc professional development series. The 4th Annual Postdoc/PI Picnic was held in the Auld Pavilion at Antelope Park on May 12. The picnic was a great success; nearly 150 postdocs, PIs, families, and friends attended.

In our next issue this Fall, we’ll again be including a list of UNL postdoc achievements such as external grants, awards, and publications, so watch for the upcoming call for submissions. Email comments or suggestions for future issues of The Postdoc Perspective to postdoc@unl.edu.

—Dr. Jing Jin
2012 Chair, Postdoctoral Advisory Council

 

PAC membership group photo

The 2012 Postdoc Advisory Council & Postdoc Office Staff

The UNL Postdoc Perspective
 
 
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Interview with an Award-Winning Mentor

Dr. Hebets portrait

Dr. Eileen Hebets joined the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln as an Assistant Professor in 2005 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010.

Her current research focuses on understanding the diversity associated with communication systems, with much of her current concentration on intra-specific communication relating to reproductive behavior.

In November 2011, Dr. Hebets was awarded UNL Outstanding Postdoc Mentor of the Year. We talked to Dr. Hebets shortly after the awards ceremony about the rewards of mentoring.


Postdoc Perspective: How important are postdocs to the UNL research initiative?

Eileen Hebets: In general, [postdocs] generate data, help mentor students, and are typically in charge when the PI is gone. They support the research at UNL for sure, and I don't think they're getting enough in return. If we didn't have postdocs, my guess is that research at UNL would drastically plummet.


PP: What is your typical mentorship experience?

EH: First of all, I'm very careful about who I bring into my lab. If I have a difficult time communicating with him or her, it doesn’t matter how many papers they've published in Science or how hard they work. I screen candidates based on their work attitude, their personalities, and their teamwork ability.

Then I'll have a discussion with them when they first arrive. I know I'm gonna get a lot from them, and I want them to tell me what they want to gain from working in my lab.

Knowing their expectations ahead of time helps me figure out what I can give them and how. Different postdocs need different things because they're at different stages and coming in with various experience.

Some need teaching experience—so I'll invite them to guest lecture my courses…

Others want more student mentoring experience—I hire undergraduates and let the postdocs mentor them…

Finally, a couple times a year I'll sit down with each individual and informally discuss where we've been and where we want to go.


PP: Have you changed your mentoring approach from when you were a new mentor?

EH: I've learned a lot—all by experience…my very first postdoc didn't get much from my lab because I hadn’t really thought about how to mentor a postdoc.

But I learned quickly from that experience…I'm much more informed as an advisor at this point; I know what I want to do to help my postdocs. Through the years, I've developed a battery of tools I can implement with different postdocs.

…Resources exist to help improve mentoring, but it must be self-motivated because there's no external pressure to be a better mentor.

PP: How important is mentoring new postdocs?

EH: …I've been a postdoc myself; after I defended my dissertation, I was still the same person with the same experience. Yet all of a sudden I'm in this new position, I'm not quite sure what’s expected of me and where I fit in the university or in the lab. My postdoc was a challenging time for me.

Because of my experience, I take postdocs extremely seriously. The postdoc is a career stage in which we can lose a lot of people from science, where if they don’t have a successful postdoc…

That seems to be a big attrition point, I don’t want to see that happen. Postdocs worked really hard to get their PhD. They've been successful, and they're the people you don’t want to lose.


PP: How do you deal with postdocs stressed out by work and/or their personal life?

EH: Constantly. All of my postdocs had a stressful time. And postdocs are entering a time of their life in which they're adding personal stresses. Some postdocs get pregnant (or have a pregnant wife). That was huge stress for them—how to balance work and their personal life?

…It's so easy to get discouraged because more often than not, we do get rejection. But we make a big deal about the positive things, having parties to celebrate the publications

…One of the biggest roles of the PI is to keep the postdoc encouraged with the perspective of life, so they can keep a positive face for other members in the lab.


PP: Do you have any suggestions for postdoc mentors who don’t have a natural conversation with their postdocs?

EH: For cases like that, using the forms that the Office of Postdoc Studies posted online is a perfect way. Having a form that needs to be filled out—where they have to write down their expectations—it's an easy fallback to get that communication without forcing an oral conversation about it.


PP: What do you find most rewarding about mentoring postdocs?

EH: Seeing them be successful—getting their own research going, starting to mentor their own students, developing their own courses. It's so much fun to see them taking off and building their own research programs at these different places. It's incredibly rewarding. I'm so proud of them.

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4th Annual Postdoc/PI Picnic


Warm company, great music & tasty barbecue made for a successful event!

The Darryl White Trio provided the ambiance with live jazz. Conversation, face-painting, and prize drawings complemented the music and food.

The Chair of the PAC welcomed the postdocs and their families and summarized the activities of the PAC over the last year. 

Thanks to our sponsors for their generous contributions:

• UNL Dairy Store
• Graduate Studies
• Runza
• Juice Stop
• Wells Fargo
• Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center
welcoming smiles at check-in
the science of face-painting
the art of face-painting
Darryl White Trio performing
the picnic at its height
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Professional Development Events

CV & Cover Letter Workshop

As part of the Professional Development Seminar Series, Dr. Rick Lombardo presented a workshop titled Writing a Persuasive CV and Cover Letter on February 22. The workshop was well-attended by postdocs and graduate students from a variety of academic disciplines. Dr. Lombardo discussed important components of academic and industry variants of CVs. Attendees

learned the importance of aesthetics, formatting, and proofreading of CVs by seeing excerpts from CVs, including both better and worse examples. Swapping CVs with a neighbor gave postdocs a good opportunity to see the format and content of others' documents and to get some frank advice on their own CVs.

Two attendees providing feedback to one another

Writing Workshops

Dr. Lombardo also presented a Fundamental Writing Skills for Postdocs workshop on March 22nd. On March 23 the Office of Postdoctoral Studies and the Postdoctoral Advisory Council sponsored a Writing for Publication workshop. Dr. Joseph Fontaine, Research Assistant Professor of the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at UNL was the presenter.

Dr. Fontaine enthusiastically spoke about the publication process: starting with a concept or idea and structuring the key components of a typical scientific manuscript around this idea (i.e., introduction, experimental, results, and discussion sections) in a clear and concise way. Participants brought copies of their own manuscripts to exchange with neighbors for additional discussion and constructive criticism.

Dr. Fontaine presenting
attendees listening with rapt attention
a postdoc applies what he has learned

Credit where credit is due

Congratulations to Dr. Zac Cheviron, a UNL postdoc, for being first author on a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences! Working with Dr. Jay Storz in the School of Biological Sciences, his paper provides "an example of how functional genomics can shed light on mechanisms of evolutionary change in natural populations" (see full story from UNL).

Cheviron, Z.A., G. Bachman, A Connaty, G McClelland, & J.F. Storz. Regulatory changes contribute to the adaptive enhancement of thermogenic capacity in deer mice. PNAS 109: 8635-8640.

Dr. Cheviron is now Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois.

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Postdoc Travel Grant

Very few research institutions in the U.S. have travel grants available for the exclusive use of postdocs. In 2011 the PAC and OPS, together with the University of Nebraska Foundation, initiated a travel grant program to help postdocs defray the costs of traveling to present their research. Since the program's inception, more than $5,000 has been awarded to postdocs, giving them a critical opportunity for career development and to strengthen professional networks. The grants are made possible by the financial backing of the UNL Office of Research and from generous donors like you. Thank you!

 

Donate to the Postdoc Travel Grant Fund

  1. Visit the University of Nebraska Foundation website.
  2. Search funds for "post-doctoral"
  3. Click the fund name and enter donation information.

Our goal is to establish the postdoc travel grant program as a permanent endowment. Please help us raise awareness for this giving opportunity.

Apply for Travel Grant Funding

Full details on eligibility and award amounts here. Applications are being accepted now!

fund search screenshot
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The UNL Postdoc Perspective: a newsletter about postdocs, by postdocs, for the postdoc community

Chair portrait
 
The Postdoc Perspective is a semi-annual publication produced by the UNL Postdoctoral Advisory Council, with oversight by the Office of Postdoctoral Studies, and funding by the Office of Research and Economic Development. Submissions to this publication are accepted at postdoc@unl.edu or
1100 Seaton Hall
ATTN: Postdoc Perspective
Lincoln, NE 68588-0619
Editor-In-Chief Felix Grewe
Assistant Editors Chris Chizinski
Jing Jin
Srinivas Kota
Joseph Msanne
Rick Lombardo
Production, Art,  
& Design Editor Neal Bryan

Copyright © 2013

From the Bench

The Postdoctoral Advisory Council (PAC) has had a productive year. I'd like to highlight events concerning the UNL postdoctoral community in this, the third issue of the UNL Postdoc Perspective.

  • Postdoc Appreciation Week kicked off the semester, acknowledging postdocs' hard work. We celebrated this national event with a reception at the Van Brunt Visitor’s Center.
  • The Office of Postdoctoral Studies (OPS) hosted the Outstanding Postdoc/Postdoc Mentor Award Luncheon during the 2012 Research Fair at which two outstanding postdocs (Dr. Chris Chizinski, SNR, and Dr. Alan Veliz-Cuba, Mathematics) and one outstanding postdoc mentor (Dr. Jeff Bradshaw) were honored. Read our interviews with the awardees in this issue.
  • Our successful Travel Grant Program has continued to support UNL postdocs as they present their research at academic conferences here and abroad.

We've included in this issue a list of UNL postdoc achievements for 2012, such as external grants, awards, and publications.

On behalf of the PAC, I thank Dr. Concetta DiRusso (Biochemistry) for her continued advice and support to us as a faculty advisor. The PAC is also grateful to Dr. Prem Paul, Vice Chancellor for Research & Economic Development, and Dr. Ellen Weissinger, Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, for their continuing support of the postdoctoral community here at UNL.

The OPS and the PAC host many events during the year including professional development seminars, writing workshops, and social events for UNL postdocs and their families. To find out more about how we work, browse this site. Send comments or suggestions for this newletter to postdoc@unl.edu.

— Dr. Jesse Thompson
Chair, Postdoctoral Advisory Council

PAC membership group photo

The 2012 Postdoc Advisory Council & Postdoc Office Staff


 
Spring 2013 Events
 — see our home page for registration
 
February

21 – Seminar: Giving a Dynamic Research Talk
Dr. Cynthia Fuhrmann, UMass Med Ctr

22 – Workshop: Teaching Portfolio & Teaching Statement
Dr. Cynthia Fuhrmann, UMass Med Ctr

March
29
Workshop: Hope is Not A Plan

and

Luncheon Keynote: Reshaping Postdoc Training in 21st Century
Dr. Keith Micoli, NYU Med Center
May
9–10
Writing Bootcamp
Dr. Janet Kayfetz,
UC Santa Barbara

11
Postdoc/PI Picnic
The UNL Postdoc Perspective
 
 
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Outstanding Postdoc/Postdoc Mentor Awards

Dr. Chizinski receives his award
Dr. Kevin Pope (left) beams as Dr. Chizinski (center) receives his award from Dr. Felix Grewe of the PAC.
Dr. Chris Chizinski

2012 Outstanding Postdoc

Chris is the coordinator for the Nebraska angler survey. He received a dual-major BS from UConn in ecology and evolutionary biology/environ-mental science, and became focused on fisheries science while earning an MS and PhD at Texas Tech. Chris was very surprised to learn his mentor, Dr. Kevin Pope, had nominated him.

Within the realm of academia, Chris is most passionate about cross-disciplinary collaborations, and being able to help in the development of younger scientists. In his spare time he enjoys running marathons, long-distance biking, and home brewing.

Dr. Veliz-Cuba receives his award
Dr. Carina Curto (left) stands by as Dr. Veliz-Cuba (center) receives his award from Dr. Felix Grewe of the PAC.
Dr. Alan Veliz-Cuba

2012 Outstanding Postdoc

Alan has 3 degrees in mathematics (the PhD from Virginia Tech) and has been at UNL for 2 years. He describes his work as, "Using mathematical tools to study biological systems." It's this work that led Alan to discover a bug in an algorithm commonly used to link genes and the proteins they encode.

In addition to his research, Alan has taught courses and advised two summer REU programs. Teaching and research is where Alan sees himself in the future.

His faculty co-mentors are Dr. Carina Curto and Dr. Vladimir Itskov.

audience discussion at the postdoc awards luncheon

Dr. Prem Paul leads a discussion during the Postdoc & Mentor Awards Luncheon. Photo by Craig Chandler, University Communications.

Dr. Bradshaw and his nominating postdoc, Dr. Sean Whipple
Dr. Sean Whipple (left) nominated his postdoc mentor, Dr. Bradshaw, for the award.
Dr. Jeff Bradshaw

2012 Outstanding Postdoc Mentor

Jeff earned his PhD at Iowa State with concentrations in entomology and plant pathology, and followed that with two postdoc positions—including one with the EBI at the University of Illinois.

He's currently an assistant professor at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, where he focuses on host plant resistance and natural controls. His group searches for genetic bases for plants' resistance to pests for the benefit of commercial agriculture.

Dr. Bradshaw has helped propel a number of postdocs to faculty positions and his dedication to research is apparent.

Awards Luncheon

Our invited keynote speaker, Dr. Keith Micoli from the New York University School of Medicine, regretfully cancelled his trip in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy (he has since rescheduled his visit to Lincoln for March 29th, 2013).

The luncheon attendees were compensated by an enthusiastic, heartfelt speech by Dr. Prem S. Paul, the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development. Recalling his own experience as a young postdoc, he urged the postdocs to do their best work and to take time to do the things that make their experience here worthwhile.

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Postdocs: To have your work featured in future issues of The Postdoc Perspective, send citations of your 2013 work to OPS.

 

Postdoc Grants & Awards in 2012

  • Postdocs are an immense driving force in research productivity at UNL and worldwide.
  • This is a small selection of what UNL postdocs produced in 2012.
  • Postdoc authors are in boldface type.

Curto C (PI), Veliz-Cuba A. UNL Visiting Scholars Grant, 2012.

Pope, KL (PI), Chizinski, CJ (Co-PI). Population assessments of temperate basses in Nebraska reservoirs. 2012; $212,683

Veliz-Cuba A. Postdoc/Early Career Travel Award, SACNAS, 2012.

Veliz-Cuba A. Early Career Travel Award, SIAM, 2012.

Veliz-Cuba A. New Attendees Travel Grant, Cosyne, 2012.

Postdoc Publications in 2012

Bajer PG, Chizinski CJ, Silbernagel JJ, Sorensen PW. Variation in native micro-predator abundance explains recruitment of a mobile invasive fish, the common carp, in a naturally unstable environment. Biol. Invasions. 2012; 14:1919-1929.

Byamukama E, Tatineni S, Hein GL, Graybosch, RA, Baenziger PS, French R, Wegulo SN. Effects of single and double  infections of winter wheat by Triticum mosaic virus and Wheat streak mosaic virus on yield determinants. Plant Dis. 2012; 96:859-864.

Byamukama E, Seifers DL, Hein GL, De Wolf E, Tisserat NA, Langham MAC, Osborne LE, Timmerman A, Wegulo SN. Occurrence and distribution of Triticum mosaic virus in the central Great Plains. Plant Dis. 2013; 97:21-29.

de Laveaga AE, McCrory, B, LaGrange CA, Hallbeck MS. Evaluation of instrument dexterity and static resistance of laparoendoscopic single-site (LESS) surgical ports. J. Med. Devices, 2012; 6(2):021002.

DeChenne SE, Enochs L, Needham M.  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Graduate Teaching Assistants Teaching Self-Efficacy.  Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. 2012; (in press).

DeChenne SE, Anderson SM, Lesseig KR, Li SL, Staus NL, Barthel C. Towards a Measure of Graduate Student Teaching Professional Development.  Journal of Effective Teaching. 2012; 12(1):4-19.

Enders L, Nunney L. Seasonal Stress Drives Predictable Changes in Inbreeding Depression in Field-tested Captive Populations of Drosophila melanogaster.  Proc. Roy. Soc. B. 2012; 279(1743). 3756-3764.

Gaupp R, Ledala N, Somerville GA. Staphylococcal response to oxidative stress. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. 2012; 2: 33.

Hofmann T, Schmidt D, Boosalis A, Kühne P, Herzinger CM, Woollam JA, Schubert E, Schubert M. Metal slanted columnar thin film THz optical sensors. Mat. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 2012, 1409:CC13-31.

Hudac CM, Kota S, Nedrow J, Molfese DL. Neural Mechanisms Underlying Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Following Traumatic Brain Injury. Eye and Brain, 2012.

Kang NK, DeChenne SE,  Smith G. Inquiry learning of high school students through a problem-based environmental health science curriculum.  School Science and Mathematics. 2012; 112(3):171-178.

Kota S, Gupta L, Molfese DL, Vaidynathan R. Diversity-Based Selection of Polychotomous Components for Multi-Sensor Fusion Classifiers.  Handbook of Pattern Recognition: Methods and Applications, iConcept Press Ltd. 2012.

Kung Y, Ando N, Doukov TI, Blasiak LC, Bender G, Seravalli J, Ragsdale SW, Drennan CL. Visualizing molecular juggling within a B12-dependent methyltransferase complex. Nature. 2012 Mar 14; 484(7393): 265-9.


continued on page 4
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Postdoc Publications in 2012, continued

Malinouski M, Kehr S, Finney L, Vogt S, Carlson BA, Seravalli J, Jin R, Handy DE, Park TJ, Loscalzo J, Hatfield DL, Gladyshev VN. High-resolution imaging of selenium in kidneys: a localized selenium pool associated with glutathione peroxidase 3. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2012 Feb 1; 16(3): 185-92.

McCrory B, Lowndes BR, LaGrange CA, Miller EE, Hallbeck MS. Comparative usability testing of conventional and single incision laparoscopic surgery devices. Hum. Factors, Epub 2012; Nov 15. doi: 10.1177/0018720812465082

McCrory B, Lowndes BR, Thompson DL, Miller EE, Riggle JD, Wadman MC, Hallbeck MS.  Workload comparison of intraoral mask to standard mask ventilation using a cadaver model. Hum. Fac. Erg. Soc P. 2012; 56(1):1728-1732.

McCrory B, Lowndes BR, LaGrange CA, Hallbeck MS.  Ergonomics of Laparoendoscopic Single-site Surgery Techniques and Technologies. Hum. Fac. Erg. Soc P. 2012; 56(1):901-905.

McCrory B, Lowndes BR, Wirth LM, de Laveaga AE, LaGrange CA, Hallbeck MS. Ergonomic evaluation of laparoendoscopic single-site surgery ports in a validated laparoscopic training model. Work. 2012; 41, 1884-1890

Murrugarra D, Veliz-Cuba A, Aguilar B, Arat S, Laubenbacher R. Modeling stochasticity and variability in gene regulatory networks. EURASIP J Bioinform Syst Biol. June 2012; 2012:5.

Reed, D.H., Fox, C.W., Enders, L.S., and Torsten N. Kristensen.. Inbreeding-Stress Interactions: Evolutionary and Conservation Consequences. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 2012; 1256:33-48.

Riggle, JD, McCrory B, Wadman M, Miller EE, Balogh B, Cao V, Hallbeck MS. . Comparison of muscle exertion and fatigue between standard bag valve mask and NuMask. Hum. Fac. Erg. Soc P. 2012; 892-896.

Rousek JB, Brown-Clerk B, Lowndes BR, Balogh BJ, Hallbeck MS.  Optimizing Integration of electrosurgical hand controls within a laparoscopic surgical tool. Minim. Invasiv. Ther. 2012; 21(3), 222-33.

Schmidt D, Briley C, Schubert E, Schubert M. Vector Magneto-Optical Generalized Ellipsometry on Passivated Permalloy Slanted Columnar Thin Films. Mat. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 2012; 1408:BB15-19.

Schmidt D, Schubert E, Schubert M. Optical properties of cobalt slanted columnar thin films. Appl. Phys. Lett. 2012; 100:011912. selected for publication in Vir. J. Nan. Sci. & Tech. 2012:25(4).

Schmidt D, Schubert E, Schubert M. Aging Effects of As-deposited and Passivated Cobalt Slanted Columnar Thin Films. Mat. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 2012; 1409:CC13-17.

Seravalli, J. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry as a tool for high-throughput analysis of plants. Methods Mol Biol. 2012; 918: 269-88.

Skomski R, Li Z, Zhang R, Kirby RD, Enders A, Schmidt D, Hofmann T, Schubert E, Sellmyer DJ. Nanomagnetic skyrmions. J. Appl. Phys. 2012; 111:07E116. selected for publication in Vir. J. Nan. Sci. & Tech. 2012:25(10).

Tso FY, Tully DC, Gonzalez S, Quince C, Ho O, et al.   Dynamics of Envelope Evolution in Clade C SHIV-Infected Pig-Tailed Macaques during Disease.   PLoS ONE.  2012; 7(3): e32827.

Veliz-Cuba A. An Algebraic approach to reverse engineering finite dynamical systems arising from biology. SIAM J. Appl. Dyn. Syst. 2012; 11(1):31-48.

Veliz-Cuba A, Laubenbacher R. On the computation of fixed points in Boolean networks. J. Appl. Math. Comput. 2012; 39(1-2):145-153.

Veliz-Cuba A, Arthur J, Hochstetler L, Klomps V, Korpi E. On the relationship of steady states of continuous and discrete models arising from biology. Bull. Math. Biol.  2012; (in press).




 
Postdocs: To have your work featured in future issues of The Postdoc Perspective, send citations of your 2013 work to OPS.
 
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Postdoc Travel Grant

In 2011 the PAC and OPS, together with the University of Nebraska Foundation, initiated a travel grant program to help postdocs defray the costs of traveling to present their research. Since the program's inception, more than $6,000 has been awarded to postdocs, giving them a critical opportunity for career development and to strengthen professional networks. The grants are made possible by the financial backing of the UNL Office of Research and from generous donors like you. Thank you!

This semester the PAC and Office of Postdoctoral Studies were proud to assist three postdocs in travel to national and international meetings. Two of the recipients shared their experiences with the PAC:

 
Dr. Amita Davery
, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Dr. Daverey presents her research

This award provided significant financial support for me to attend the 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting held Oct. 28–Nov. 2, 2012, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The meeting was tremendously valuable to my training. I presented my work and connected to the people in my professional network. I attended many valuable lectures, workshops and other interesting events. The conference was incredibly useful and offered me lots of insights about my research. My deep appreciation to the selection committee members for giving me the support for this conference!

 

Dr. Nathan Muchhala
, School of Biological Sciences
Dr. Muchhala with a research subject

With the help of a Postdoc Travel Grant, I attended the North American Symposium on Bat Research. Here I presented research on the characteristics of flowers that adapt them to pollination by bats and hummingbirds. Attending this symposium was a great opportunity for me to meet others conducting research on the ecology and evolution of bats. I'll be collaborating with an echolocation specialist from the UK on how flowers 'sound' to echolocating bats, and I was able to identify future members of my own lab in my new faculty position at a research university. Support for postdocs to attend meetings is quite rare, and I'm very grateful to the PAC for this funding.”

 

Donate to the Postdoc Travel Grant Fund

  1. Visit the University of Nebraska Foundation website.
  2. Search funds for "post-doctoral"
  3. Click the fund name and enter donation information.

Our goal is to establish the postdoc travel grant program as a permanent endowment. Please help us raise awareness for this giving opportunity.

fund search screenshot

 

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New Arrivals

Andan Zhu, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Andan joined Jeffrey P. Mower's lab in September. His research aims to understand cyto-nuclear coevolution and to determine rate variation across the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes.

Before coming to UNL, Andan completed his PhD at the Huazhong Agricultural University in China.

John LaurieSenior Research Associate
John joined the Center for Plant Innovation in October. His current research will be focused on studying the relationship between MSH1 and the epigenome in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Before coming to UNL, John did postdoctoral work on plant reproduction at the University of Arizona, after completing his PhD at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.


There are many more new postdocs than this! If you're a new postdoc and would like to be featured let us know you're here!

Likewise, let us know your plans when you leave.

Where They Are Now

J. Armando Casas-Mollano
Armando is now a junior faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of São Paulo. He won a Young Investigator grant which provides four years of research funding and a fellowship.

At UNL from 2004 to 2011, Armando was working with Dr. Heriberto Cerutti elucidating the mechanisms of epigenetic gene regulation in Arabidopsis thaliana and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. He identified and characterized several genes involved in gene silencing. His research led to publication of 5 research articles and 2 review papers.

Pavan Jutur
Pavan joined the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in New Delhi, India as a research scientist. ICGEB conducts life science research for the benefit of developing countries.

Pavan's current research mainly focuses on developing high-throughput screening of lipid-producing microalgae through an omics approach.

Pavan was a postdoc for Drs. Heriberto Cerutti and Edgar Cahoon from 2009-2012.


Take Charge

You know being a postdoc is a chance to hone your professional skills and advance your career, but if you don't actively create a plan to develop your skills and expand your experiences, achieving your long-term career goals will be more difficult.

Creating and maintaining an Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a great way to seek out meaningful experiences and capitalize on opportunities you have while a postdoc. Find more general information on our IDP page. We strongly recommend using myIDP, a free, online management tool geared towards postdocs in the sciences. 

Serve With Us

This newsletter is produced by members of the Postdoctoral Advisory Council (PAC), a volunteer organization of UNL postdocs committed to promoting academic, professional, social, and cultural interaction among postdocs.

If you're a postdoc interested in this service opportunity and increasing the visibility and impact of postdocs on campus, we invite you to serve with us.

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