Postdoctoral Professional Development Events

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is organizing the following professional and career development events for postdocs and assistant research professors.


1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. October 14, 2021

Teaching Statement for Academic Jobs by Dr. Chas Brua and Dr.Deena levy, Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence

In this webinar, attendees will learn to reflect on their teaching philosophies and work towards creating a teaching statement to use for academic/faculty positions.

Noon to 1:00 p.m. October 6th, 2021

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is organizing a webinar on developing a successful book proposal for publication by Kathryn Yahner, Associate Editor, Acquisitions, Penn State University Press. Topics included in the webinar will range from transition from dissertation to book, the creation and submission of a persuasive book proposal, contacting and working with editors, and repurposing the book proposal for grant application(if applicable), features of some book proposals you have accepted in recent times, and also if Penn State postdocs could submit proposals, and if  PSU press work with any of the attending postdocs in giving advice or feedback on their proposal. 

Speaker Bio: Kathryn Yahner is an Acquisitions Editor at the Penn State University Press, where she has been acquiring books in the humanities for over a decade. She is also editor for the Press's regional trade list.

14th ANNUAL POSTDOC RESEARCH EXHIBITIONOffice of Postdoctoral Affairs and Penn State Postdoc Society is proud to present 2021 Annual Postdoc Research Exhibition on September 30 and October 1st 2021. *Winners of the Lightning and Short Talk Competitions have been announced!*

Panel discussions on careers outside industry; round table discussions  on diversity, mental health and wellness, immigration issues; Keynote by invited Speaker; Deep Dive into getting Teaching Experience as a postdoc; Lightning Talk and Short Talk Competitions( hybrid mode); Reception; PSPS Outstanding Faculty and Postdoc Mentor Awards  are being planned. 

 2021 Planning Committee: Teresa Aditya, Nuclear Engineering; Allison Gicking, Biomedical Engineering; Margarita Orlova, Entomology and Pallavi Eswara, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs



Date: August 24, 2021
noon to 1 p.m.
Presented by Dr. Joshua Garber
In anticipation of the Lightning Talk Competition as a part of the 14th Annual Postdoc Research Exhibition Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is hosting a webinar by Dr. Joshua Garber, Assistant Research professor, Geosciences and past winner of the Lightning Talk competition. The webinar will help you learn about putting together a lightning talk, and communicating your research to a broad audience.
As conferences and meetings are increasingly using various creative methods of presentations, getting a handle on lightning talks can be useful as an early career researcher.

August 19, 2021
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Dr. Michael Alley, faculty member in Mechanical Engineering, Penn State University will present on making your research presentation effective and memorable.
Attendees will learn a powerful new strategy for presenting your research: the assertion-evidence approach ( This approach leads to research talks that are more focused and better understood. Engineers and scientists around the world have begun using this approach in their presentations—and with much success. Dr. Alley is an invited speaker on this topic at various universities and meetings across the world. 


July 30 from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.


July 30 from 12:45 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Office of Postdoctoral Affairs will be presenting a seminar on Resources and Information for new and recently appointed postdoctoral scholars and fellows.

This will be followed by an online workshop by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs on Individual Development Plan to reflect on strengths, gaps, interests and values, setting SMART goals. Attending the workshop will help you create a plan to better inform your postdoc training and transition to the desired career.


July 27, 2021, 11:00 a.m. to noon.



Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) is organizing a town hall meeting for all postdoctoral scholars and fellows.

The goal of the town hall is to discuss the impact of the pandemic on postdoctoral training and career development. We understand that in addition to research and education challenges, there has been significant impact on the career advancement. This discussion will provide guidance to the OPA in designing future activities that best align with the needs of our postdoctoral community. We would like to listen about your challenges from past year and how this has impacted your career. We also want to listen to your suggestions on the activities that OPA should focus in future.  In addition to OPA, members from OSVPR will attend the discussion to gain a better understanding of the ongoing challenges. Postdoctoral scholars, fellows at Penn State University Park who were recently promoted to Assistant Research Professor in the last 1 year are also invited to share their experiences.

Pallavi Eswara, Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs will facilitate the session. Zoom information will be posted on the listserve.  If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact


Friday,  July 16, 2021
12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

A strong application, matching skills to the job ad get you an interview call. However, interviews be it for academic or non-academic positions involve questions that are not always about the technical expertise, yet play a significant role in getting selected for the job or the next stage of the interview process. What is the best way to answer the common ones and the tricky or illegal questions that get asked? An interactive webinar that will go over the commonly asked behavioral questions in interviews at various stages will be presented by Pallavi Eswara, Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.


July 9, 2021

Noon to 1:00 p.m. ET

Presented by Dr. Jamie Chen, Senior Chemist, DuPont

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is pleased to invite Penn State postdoc alum Dr. Jamie Chen to share her journey and advice with all of you. These alumni presentations allow postdocs to learn from those who have walked on a similar path as them, learn about the skills needed to be in that specific career.

Come for the presentation and stay for the discussion!

Talk Description: “The path to your first job in industry – and the considerations you have to make along the way – is different for everyone. I will share my no-so-straightforward journey that included doing a second post-doc and dealing with a two-body problem, as well as some lessons I learned during my job search. Once you do land your first job, everyone’s experience will be even more varied depending on the type of technology, the size of your business, your work culture, and more. My first 2.5 years at DuPont has taken my team close to the commercialization of a new product (fingers crossed) from inception, but the progress we made so far didn’t come without failures and disappointments. I will discuss what I have learned about effective project management, as well as what you can do early in your career to help set yourself up for success in the long run.

Speaker Bio: Jamie grew up in Taiwan and moved to the US when she was 12. She received her BA in chemistry from Carleton College, and her Ph.D in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison where she developed electrocatalysts for water oxidation. She then moved to PSU for a postdoc with Prof. Ray Schaak where she learned to synthesize & characterize nano- & bulk inorganic materials. Subsequently, Jamie completed a second postdoc at MIT and worked on the electrosynthesis of organic molecules. Currently, she’s a senior chemist at DuPont’s Electronics & Industrial business and works on developing electroplating formulations for electronic connectors. Outside of work, she enjoys classical music, being out in the woods (running & biking), and cooking with friends & family.


July 8, 1 to 2:00 p.m.

Presented by Dr. Lisa Nielsen, Purdue University

Postdocs interested in viewing the recording and slides can email

Participants of the Introduction to Grant Writing webinar will learn fundamental processes for organizing a grant proposal as well as how to search for postdoc funding opportunities. The main components of a grant will be featured along with advice for how to avoid common mistakes and build your grant writing skills for your future career. 

Dr. Lisa Nielsen is the Postdoc Office Director and a grant writer at Purdue University where she uses the combination of her two positions to share her strategies for writing effective grants with postdocs. Dr. Lisa Nielsen is the Postdoc Office Director and a grant writer at Purdue University where she uses the combination of her two positions to share her strategies for writing effective grants with postdocs. Before coming to Purdue, Lisa worked in sales and technical support for a laboratory equipment manufacturer, where she learned how to apply persuasion to research proposals. Although she was originally a materials scientist, Lisa now works with postdocs from all over the Purdue campus, including social science, agriculture, pharmacy, engineering, technology, and liberal arts.




Postdocs, faculty members and administrators  interested in  postdoctoral educational plans, mentoring plans for grants, support letters or further details of the workshops and seminars in the past years can contact the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, E-mail: