Career Development Resources

Explore resources that will help you thrive as a postdoc at UC San Diego.

Explore, Prepare, Innovate, Connect (EPIC) Program

START HERE!

  • Foundational training includes workshops on grant-writing, interview skills, leadership, communication, publishing, and mentorship.
  • Essential training includes resources for early career postdocs: the EPIC bootcamp, ethics, and Individual Development Plans.
  • Specialized training includes suggested workshops, programs, and coursework for different career objectives.

Science Policy

Some of the most popular include:

Selected fellows are paired with an advisor from the School’s faculty with expertise in the relevant public policy sector. The advisors attend program seminars during the academic year with the fellow and are readily available for consultation. Each fellow receives $1,000 for policy-relevant research or travel expenses.

Exploring the various aspects of policy is the core objective of this discussion group. Bringing together our diverse community to discuss policy will certainly provide new ways of looking at our research and its impacts on society.

Business | Entrepreneurship

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The mission of EIP is to provide UC San Diego Postdoctoral Scholars opportunities to learn about the rich biotech, pharmaceutical, high-tech, and medical device companies in the San Diego area through sponsored company site visits. These are half-day visits on the Mesa or Sorrento Valley. We also organize on-campus visits from local companies to UC San Diego. Our aim is to expose UC San Diego Postdoctoral Scholars to various career options in industry, help them create a valuable professional network, and contribute to the growth of San Diego’s economy.

The Rady School of Business, in cooperation with the Advanced Professional Degree Consulting Club (APDCC), hosts the Rady MicroMBA program at UC San Diego. This program offers an introduction to business concepts for graduate students, post-docs, and faculty. If you have ever wondered if an MBA is a right fit for you, or want to freshen up on the basics of business management, take a look at this summer's course! Email the MicroMBA program (ucsd.micromba@gmail.com) if you have any questions.

In Lab to Market, the signature course series of the Rady MBA program, you will learn how to turn ideas into market opportunities. More than a single course or a simulated exercise, L2M is an experience, one not found in any other MBA program. The L2M sequence centers on the skills and knowledge needed to become an innovative, opportunity-driven, entrepreneurial manager. We are focused on teaching you how to identify scalable new ideas that fill a market need and that add social and economic value. The L2M sequence aims to educate entrepreneurial, growth-oriented managers for both emerging and established companies.

Get first hand consulting experience here. The APDCC runs consulting projects for clients generally based in San Diego, hosts regular case practices, and organizes informational sessions with large and boutique consulting firms.

Tech Coast Angels is one of the nation’s largest Angel Investing networks. It includes affiliates in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire and the Central Coast, which work together to evaluate and fund early stage companies.  Last year TCA invested over $16 million in 50 technology based startups, with the vast majority being local Southern California companies.  In an effort to increase deal flow and expedite both the front-end company screening and the later stage funding process, San Diego Tech Coast Angels has established a Volunteer Analyst Training Program to assist with the Due diligence and screening process. The unpaid training program will last for six (6) months and requires a time commitment of approximately 25 hours per month, including a full day screening meeting the third Thursday of each month.  Contact Jack Scatizzi at Jack@techcoastangels.com

Project Management

In today’s job market, an increasing number of companies seek candidates with strong “soft skills” to complement their technical skills and expertise. Regardless of the field, qualities such as solid communication skills, self-awareness, time management, and the ability to function on diverse and collaborative teams are highly sought-after. The UC San Diego Extension Specialized Certificate in Leadership and Teamwork is designed to equip participants with those skills to help them excel in any working environment. The certificate consists of three courses focusing on leadership, teamwork, and project management. Throughout the program, students will implement these skills by working collaboratively on teams to manage hands-on projects on campus. The culmination of the program will include a showcase of the students’ projects to campus leaders, industry guests, and the general public. Upon completion of the certificate program, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will be empowered to transition into their career pursuits. 

Based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the curriculum includes an in-depth study of the elements essential to initiate, execute and complete a successful project, including the development of interpersonal skills critical to conducting work in a team environment. Examine how the principles of project management apply to specific industries, broaden your people skills to prevent or handle all types of conflicts or situations, and learn the nuances of management from a global perspective. Apply the tools and skills learned through a comprehensive hands-on simulation experience.

The joint online Biotech Project Management Specialized Certificate Program through UC San Diego Extension and University of Washington Extension is intended for product managers, manufacturing managers, quality managers and scientific, clinical research or regulatory specialists engaged in biotech product design, development and control. The program is ideal for individuals who are trying to move into the biotech industry by learning project management processes for completing and delivering a biotech product within budget and on schedule.

Teaching Development

The San Diego IRACDA program is a NIH/NIGMS-supported Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at the University of California, San Diego that provides 3 years of support for mentored postdoctoral training in biomedical research combined with training in teaching and other critical academic skills. A 4th year of support may be provided for those fellows that need more training.  Applicants can be either near graduation, new PhDs, MDs, MD/PhDs or postdoctoral fellows with no more than ~2 years of training.  Must be a U.S Citizen or permanent resident. The program supports fellows engaged in research related to cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, bioinformatics and computational biology. Candidates from underrepresented groups or with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

This series of weekly, 90-minute seminars throughout the quarter is part of the Center for Teaching Development's Preparing Future Practitioners program. The course is aimed at graduate students and postdocs who already have experience as teaching assistants and are interested in making the leap from grading, running discussion sessions, or leading labs to being the instructor-of-record at UCSD and beyond. In keeping with the relative numbers of graduate students and postdocs at UCSD, we reserve 20% of the spaces in The College Classroom for postdocs.  

Graduate students, postdocs, and faculty who meet regularly to discuss best practices in pedagogy based on literature reviews.

In addition to workshops, the CET offers: Confidential Consulation; Classroom Observations (faculty flow diagrams and student group perceptions); Learning Communities (teaching, writing, technology circles, etc); Course Redesign Studios; Formative Assessment of faculty teaching effectiveness; Individual consultations and classroom observations; Creating and implementing methods for assessing student learning; and Learning Research Laboratory 

The Center for Engaged Teaching is a member of the nationwide CIRTL Network. The CIRTL mission is to enhance excellence in undergraduate education through the development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse learners as part of successful and varied professional careers.  CIRTL offers many online resources, such as workshops, courses, learning communities and more.

CAMSEE is a research, teaching and learning community that unites individuals across science, mathematics and engineering departments and divisions to advance undergraduate instruction and learning in these disciplines and to produce scholarly education research. A network that welcomes participation from all members of UC San Diego who wish to contribute their experience and expertise to advance pedagogy and discipline-based educational research, while improving STEM education.

Communication

Monthly events that bring scientists face-to-face with the general public in a neighborhood bar. The evening begins with a short fun-yet-informative presentation, which kicks off an extended discussion between the scientist and the audience—all while the audience drinks along. You can learn about everything from the science of beer to superhero physics to the genius of genomes. All of that for the price of a beverage!

50 scientists. 25 bars. One night. All over San Diego County.

Folks give 18-21-minute fun, yet informative presentations across all disciplines while the audience drinks along. There are often bands, acrobats, trivia, and other shenanigans as well.  Imagine learning about everything from math feuds or the science of the Simpsons, to the genealogy of Godzilla or zombie insects, while having a few or a few too many.

To connect bio-hackers and the public to professional scientists in San Diego, the Wet Lab hosts a science lecture series every 1st Tuesday at 6:30pm at the La Jolla Library and every 3rd Thursday at 6:30pm at the San Diego Central Library.

Ignite San Diego is the ultimate melting pot of ideas and stories, brought to you by San Diego locals. Each presenter has just five minutes to share their passion, story or idea with the audience, with 20 slides that advance every 15 seconds – whether they like it or not! Bwahahahaha.

NeuWrite San Diego is a collaborative group of scientists from the UCSD Neurosciences, Psychology, and Cognitive Science departments. We meet every other week to critique writing samples, discuss science communication, and plan events to bring science to the community (such as Pint of Science US). Our work has been published in Scientific American Mind, The Toast, HIPPO Reads, and more.

This monthly event at Bella Vista Social Club & Caffe on the campus of The Sanford Consortium aims to foster collaborations and interaction between postdocs from the scientific institutions in San Diego and also local biotech and pharma companies. This event gives postdocs an opportunity to present their work in front of a general audience composed of people from business, industry and the general public (non-scientists). The talks should act as conversation starters, and so should ideally consist of the background and motivation for the work being done, a general description of the techniques being used, how these will lead to the desired results, and an overview of either results or anticipated results. For more details, email postdocopenmicnight@gmail.com

  • Postdoc Research Symposium

This annual event in September encourages postdocs from all departments and disciplines to share their research to a broad, diverse audience. Prizes are awarded for the best oral and poster presentations. 

This intensive four-day workshop will enhance participants’ abilities to vividly articulate their research and inspire audiences. Participants will incorporate storytelling, metaphor and gestures while practicing innovative communication of their research.  During the final day of the workshop, participants will be filmed by an expert interviewer and camera crew in a setting that resembles a professional media capture environment. Participants must commit to all four workshop days in order to fully benefit in the development of inspiring research skills. It is essential they check their schedule and receive permission from their PI or other academic supervisor. Priority will be given to applicants who certify in advance that they will commit to the full four days without conflicts.

The One Button Studio offers students, staff, and faculty a resource for rehearsing presentations and for developing high-quality video projects without knowing anything about lights and cameras. All that’s needed is a reservation, a prepared presentation, and a flash drive, and you’re ready to push the button. The Studio is an opportunity to support the development of students’ oral presentation skills by enabling them to video-record rehearsed presentations and then view them on their own computer to determine areas for growth and improvement. It can also be used to create classroom multimedia assignments, including special video effects with the green-screen function.

Mentorship

Grants

Postdoctoral Fellowships, Early Investigator Grant Opportunities and Other Awards

 Grantsmanship

  • Attend Funding Fest, offered every Spring or Summer. 

     

    Funding Fest is an annual series of informational workshops provided by the Torrey Pines Training Consortium.  The Torrey Pines Training Consortium members include Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and UC San Diego. They sponsor training courses and programs designed to provide career development and leadership competencies for scientific professionals at early stages of their career.

    Funding Fest workshops are presented by various faculty members, postdoctoral training grant and fellowship recipients and institutional offices.

For Families

Postdoc Benefits (including Maternity and Paternity leave)

If you become pregnant and have a baby while working at UC San Diego, you are entitled to maternity leave. Postdocs needing to take maternity leave must contact their advisor and discuss these options with their departmental personnel or human resources officer.

Dependent Care Professional Travel Grant

UC San Diego is the first university in the nation to offer this support to postdocs. Covers the cost of dependent care while postdocs (male or female) pursue professional development activities.

Rental Vouchers/Assistance

Government-sponsored programs that help offset the cost of housing for families. May be especially helpful for postdocs supporting non-working spouses and children.

Childcare

The Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) at UC San Diego is open to children of all full-time students, faculty, and staff. The ECEC operates a childcare center for children of 3 months to 6.5 years of age, accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Although there is a substantial monthly fee associated, subsidized childcare is available for lower income parents. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible in order to be placed on a waiting list for the appropriate age group. Unfortunately, as there are only a limited number of positions, the wait can be for a year or longer.

The YMCA of San Diego offers a Childcare Resource Service, which also provides referrals and may help you to find a good quality childcare program.

Another home-care resource available to postdocs is Bright Horizons Care Advantage (formerly SelectPlus), an online database of pre-screened in-home caregivers. This includes qualified care for children, pets, and adults, as well as other services.

Beyond these UC San Diego services, a nation-wide resource for nannies may be found at http://www.care.com, in which parents may browse child caregiver profiles. For a fee, this service will provide contact information of selected individuals.

Lactation Accomodations at UC San Diego

Other Resources

Other Resources

UC San Diego Links

Professional Organizations and Networking Groups

Postdoc Job Opportunities

Other Postdoctoral Networks

Diversity