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ASPIRE Cafe for Postdoctoral Fellows

Explore topics in career development and professionalism.

Orientation to BRET Resources for Postdocs (offered quarterly) provides an overview of the Office of Career Development ASPIRE programs and helps postdoctoral fellows find out how to become involved in our activities.  This session should only be attended once, as the content will be repeated each time.

All other sessions will feature specific career development or professionalism topics, such as converting your CV into a powerful résumé, networking strategies, writing a winning cover letter, informational interviewing, finding funding for your research, Leveraging LinkedIN, Preparing for a teaching demo, and grant resources at Vanderbilt.  This will be an informal session where conversation and questions are encouraged.  Since this topic will change each meeting, feel free to attend as often as you wish.

All past session handouts can be found via the special Vanderbilt Box ASPIRE Cafe folder

Session archives are located here

**indicates session is not in the 1st and 3rd Wednesday rotation

ASPIRE Cafe 2019

DateTitleDescriptionSpeakerTimeLocation
Wednesday, January 2, 2019 NO SESSION
Wednesday, January 16, 2019Negotiating Your Faculty Compensation and Start-Up PackageJoin Kathy Gould, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Biomedical Sciences and Louise B. McGavock Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology as she shares tips and strategies for how to negotiate your salary and start-up package for your faculty position.Kathy Gould, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Biomedical Sciences and Louise B. McGavock Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology9:00am415 CD Light Hall
Wednesday, February 6, 2019From CV to ResumeIn this session, led by Kim Petrie, Ph.D., Director of Career Development, BRET Office of Career Development, you will learn how to craft a compelling résumé that showcases your professional skills and accomplishments. We will discuss the differences between CVs and résumés, strategies for turning your CV into a résumé, and tips for clearly and concisely presenting your experience.Kim Petrie, PhD
Assistant Dean for Biomedical Career Development,
Assistant Professor of Medical Education and Administration
9:00am411 CD Light Hall
Wednesday, February 20, 2019A Fair Look: How to Review A PaperReviewing scientific manuscripts is an important skill to develop during your training, is a critical service to the scientific community that will be expected of you as you progress in your training, and it helps you to write better papers. Kathy Gould, Ph.D., Louise B. McGavock Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and Associate Dean for Biomedical Sciences will lead this session in which you will take a look at how to approach reviewing a paper and what goes in to writing a helpful review. Tips will be shared that detail the step-by-step process to ensure that you have evaluated a manuscript critically and fairly to provide the feedback necessary to help the editor make a sound decision about publishing the work.Kathy Gould, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Biomedical Sciences and Louise B. McGavock Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology9:00am415 CD Light Hall
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 NO SESSION 9:00am
Wednesday, March 20, 2019Orientation to BRET Career Development Resources for PostdocsExplore an overview of the Career Development ASPIRE programs and helps postdoctoral fellows find out how to become involved in our activities. This session should only be attended once, as the content will be repeated each time.Ashley Brady, PhD9:00am407 AB Light Hall
Wednesday, April 3, 2019Informational Interviewing: Your Most Powerful Networking ToolHave you ever heard of an informational interview? Come learn about one the most powerful, yet underutilized, networking tools available to you. Find out what an informational interview entails, how to set one up, what questions you should be asking, and how this type of activity can help you explore career options while also growing your professional network.Ashley Brady, PhD9:00am407 AB Light Hall
Wednesday, April 17, 2019Securing and Maintaining Collaborations, cosponsored by the Vanderbilt Postdoc AssociationA necessary skill for postdocs to have for career advancement is learning how to collaborate. In this session, a panel of faculty members will discuss ways to secure and maintain collaborations. Dr. Jonathan Gilligan (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences), Dr. Thomas Palmeri (Department of Psychology)and Dr. Chuck Sanders (Department of Biochemistry)9:00am411 CD Light Hall
**Wednesday, May 8, 2019Preparing for an Academic Career-Teaching Statements and Diversity Statements, cosponsored by the Vanderbilt Postdoc AssociationParticipants will learn the basics of preparing documents for the academic job market, with a particular focus on Teaching Statements and Diversity Statements. You will have a chance to brainstorm what elements you might like to include in your statements and engage in pair work to help stimulate new ideas and refine old ones. We will also go over some strategies for compiling a Teaching Portfolio (including the sometimes nebulous ‘Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness’ document)Gregory J. Smith, Graduate Teaching Fellow, Center for Teaching9:00am419 AB Light Hall
Wednesday, May 15, 2019Critical Conversations: Dealing with ConflictYou may encounter difficult times in your postdoc term – sometimes this leads to conflict with your faculty supervisor or colleagues in the lab. In this session, we will talk about how to deal with these situations skillfully so that you can continue to work together and resolve the conflict. Avoidance is not the answer – conversation is key. Stacey Satchell, Graduate Life Coach, will share tips for working through discord in this interactive session. Stacey Satchell, MSEd, M.A., M.A., Graduate Life Coach9:00am350 Light Hall
Wednesday, June 5, 2019Writing the Science of a GrantThe most important principle for writing a fundable grant is for you to think like a reviewer. You want to make it as easy as possible on the reviewer to explain to others why your grant should be funded. This session will highlight some of the primary questions reviewers are seeking to answer when reading your grant. We will also look at the key components that make up each of the sections of a grant and the common criticisms you should try to avoid.C. Michael Stein, M.B. Ch.B., Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology & Immunology
Dan May Chair of Medicine & Pharmacology
Associate Director, Division of Clinical Pharmacology
Director of Fellowship Program, Division of Clinical Pharmacology
9:00am306 Light Hall

Questions or suggestions for other topics?  Email Ashley Brady at ashley.brady@vanderbilt.edu