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Frequently Asked Questions

The BRET office recruits and oversees several educational programs such as the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP), the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), Chemical and Physical Biology (CPB), the Summer Science Academy, and others.

The BRET Office communicates with the School of Medicine postdocs, the departments, divisions, and the faculty.  Short introductory meetings with each new postdoctoral research fellow inform him/her of the resources available in the postdoc office.

The following are some scenarios where the BRET Office may help you with postdoctoral appointees (please note this includes individuals with terminal degrees, not PhD students) issues:

Instructions and guidelines for appointment, reappointment, classification or postdoc issues including separation may be found on the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Faculty/Administrators webpage.

You may also email
Program Manager, BRET Office:

Faith Bishop,

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has an Oboarding Resource helpful to incoming postdocs, with some information (housing, getting to know Nashville, etc.) on their website.

Faith Bishop,, also has resources she can provide to the postdoc.

Postdoctoral Trainee Health Benefits

You can view the benefits chart on the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs benefits website.

** Please note:  Employee Postdocs [paid by funds awarded to their mentors] receive the same HR health insurance employees receive.

The postdoc should contact Faith Bishop in the BRET Office at Please allow up to five business days for signature.

If the individual has a terminal degree (PhD, MD, etc) he/she could be appointed as a Visiting Research Fellow [Job Code: 9136] through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA).  The person would receive 0 Vanderbilt benefits salary.  If the individual receives a small stipend to defray expenses this MUST be paid by stipend.  The OPA does not have the authority to approve patient contact or viewing of patient records.  Those permissions, if possible, will come from other VUMC offices.

The Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) and Medical Science Training Program (MSTP) recruit the best candidates for their programs and coordinate the ongoing programs.  If you have been scheduled for a recruiting interview and have questions regarding the interview, please contact either Carolyn Berry for IGP or Megan Williams for MSTP

Additionally, for the Chemical & Physical Biology (CPB) contact Patty Mueller

Responsible Conduct in Research

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) postdoctoral research fellows may attend the BRET Interdisciplinary (IGP) Responsible Conduct in Research(RCR) day-long session held annually in May. Preregistration is required.  See link above for further information and instructions.

The BRET Office of Career Development sponsors seminars, offers individual counseling, as well as an incredibly informative website including an electronic library with practical articles such as “How to Chose a Mentor”.

Career Development Website

Assistant Dean for Biomedical Career Development – Kim Petrie, PhD,

It would be an opportunity for high school, college, or graduate student to experience basic research. [Not for MDs or Postdocs]

Summer Opportunities


Poster Printing Information

Contact Karen H. Perry, at 615-322-3835

When Karen is not available send an email to: