Postdoc Seminar Series

Beginning in June 2005, Postdoctoral Enhancement Programs initiated a seminar series for postdoctoral fellows and associates at the University. The series aims to provide the postdoctoral community with information and resources above and beyond that provided through individual departments and principal investigators (PIs). Below is information on past and future seminars. Where available, links have been provided to materials presented by speakers (*.pdf). If you are a postdoctoral fellow or associate and would like to suggest a seminar topic, please e-mail

Minority Postdocs

Below are a number of resources that may be useful for postdocs from underrepresented minorities.  If you are aware of an organization or funding opportunity focused on underrepresented minority, women, or LGBT scientists that would be useful for our postdoc community, please send an email to postdoc-at-virginia-dot-edu.

Research Issues

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) maintains an extensive website addressing research issues at the University. We encourage you to review this information to become aware of the resources and services offered. This website also provides information on intellectual property, links to NIH and NSF grant directories, and more. Other resources on this site include information about intra-and extra-mural funding opportunities and additional information relevant to research professionals.

Compliance and Training 

Please be aware that there are several compliance and training modules that must be completed prior to beginning research projects at U.Va., such as HIPAA/computer security, radiation safety, chemical and waste safety, and human subject safety.  

Career and Professional Development

Postdoctoral Enhancement Programs assists postdocs with preparation, training, planning, and decision-making for professional pursuits within and beyond academe by offering seminars, one-on-one advising services, web resources, and other resource referrals that advance their professional development.

Individual Development Plan

Every postdoc is strongly encouraged to create and maintain an Individual Development Plan (IDP) with his or her PI/mentor.  An IDP functions as a road map that identifies both professional development needs and career objectives.  It also serves as a tool to facilitate communication between mentee and mentor, and can be a useful component of a broader mentoring program.  Writing an IDP involves:

  • Reflecting on one’s progress during the past year
  • Assessing strengths and weaknesses
  • Setting goals for the upcoming year
  • Carefully considering long-term career interests 

Outline of the IDP Process:

The development, implementation, and revision of the IDP require a series of steps to be conducted by the mentee, followed by discussion with his/her mentor.  These steps call for an interactive effort, and ideally both mentee and mentor will fully participate in the process.

Step 1

Development: Conduct an assessment of your strengths, weaknesses, and skills.  State your career goals and write your annual IDP.

Step 2

Implementation: Schedule an appointment with your mentor to discuss your skills assessment and IDP.  Implement the steps in your annual IDP to the best of your ability.

Step 3

Revision: Periodically review progress with your mentor.  Rewrite your IDP annually.  Modify your career objectives as necessary.

Creating an IDP has been directly linked to greater productivity and professional success. According to the 2005 Sigma Xi Postdoc Survey:

…a single-standard deviation difference in our measure of structured oversight or of formal training (roughly the equivalent to adding a written plan that covers both postdoc and advisor responsibilities and instituting regular, formal reviews) corresponds to the same difference in satisfaction seen in people with salary differentials of $20,000.

Career and Professional Development Seminars & Other Resources

Postdocs are notified of the postdoc career and professional development lunchtime seminar series via the postdoc listserv.

They are also invited to attend all of the career and professional development seminars and events for graduate students at U.Va.  The Graduate Arts & Sciences Career Services website offers a wealth of valuable guidance and resources on career pursuits both within academe and beyond.

Postdocs may register for access to the University's alumni career network and resources. Step-by-step instructions to register.