Frequently Asked Questions

Biomedical Research Education and Training (BRET)

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 of Postdoctoral Affairs appoints, reappoints, oversees salary and policy issues, communicates with the postdocs, the departments, divisions, and centers, and the faculty.  Short introductory meetings with each new postdoctoral research fellow inform him/her of the resources available in the postdoc office.

In 2013 the BRET Office of Postdoctoral Affairs was ranked  number 13 on the Best Places to Work for Postdocs in the United States by The Scientist.  Only two universities ranked higher than Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Following are some scenarios where the BRET Office of Postdoctoral Affairs 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 Postdoc Website, in particular in the section 

For Administrators

You may also email
Program Manager, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs:

Faith Bishop,

Document may be scanned to

The postdoc manager will sign and will scan back to you or drop the document in the courier pick up in the BRET reception area or scan the signed document back to you, whichever you designate.

Additional Payroll Information is under the For Administrators Dropdown

Postdoctoral Trainee Health Benefits

BRET offers health insurance for Postdoctoral Research Fellow TRAINEES.  TRAINEES are postdoctoral research fellows paid from institutional training grants or individual fellowships.

Until further notice, the Fellow will self enroll on the Garnett-Powers and Associates website located on the Postdoc Office Webpage.

Training Grant Managers (T32) and department Grant Managers (F32) will need to send a Benefits Action Form (BAF) with center numbers to be charged to

For the Vanderbilt University trainees:  Mary Michael-Woolman

For the Vanderbilt University Medical Center trainees: Amy Grubb

Contact the BRET Grants Manager, amanda.renick@Vanderbilt.Edu  or the Postdoctoral Fellow Manager (TBA) in the BRET office if more information about trainee benefits is needed.

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

There are now several places to post postdoctoral positions:

Options for Posting a Postdoctoral Position


If the individual has a terminal degreee (PhD, MD, MBBS, 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 Melissa Krasnove for MSTP

Additionally, for the Chemical & Physical Biology (CPB) contact Patty Mueller, or for the Masters of Laboratory Investigation (MLI) programs you may contact Faith Bishop,, Program Manager

All aspects of training grant support 

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

Director - Kim Petrie, PhD,

BRET Health Coaching Services Free, Convenient and Confidential Counseling

Contact - Mistie Germek, PhD, Director, or phone/text at 303-880-7686.

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, #322-3835

When Karen is not available send an email to: