Registration now open!    What : SURPAS Postdoc Symposium 2019   When : May 9, 2019   Where : Tresidder Union  Please join the Stanford University Postdoctoral Association for our annual  Postdoc Symposium on May 9th, 2019 . We will be highlighting  communication  and  collaboration  in research with several workshops and lightning talks from postdoc throughout the day. Also featuring a new collaboration grant opportunity called CONNECT Grants (info below) with a chance to  win up to $5,000 of startup funds   for a new collaboration .  FREE  to all Stanford postdocs. Registration opening soon!

Registration now open!

What: SURPAS Postdoc Symposium 2019

When: May 9, 2019

Where: Tresidder Union

Please join the Stanford University Postdoctoral Association for our annual Postdoc Symposium on May 9th, 2019. We will be highlighting communication and collaboration in research with several workshops and lightning talks from postdoc throughout the day. Also featuring a new collaboration grant opportunity called CONNECT Grants (info below) with a chance to win up to $5,000 of startup funds for a new collaboration. FREE to all Stanford postdocs. Registration opening soon!

2019 Registration Now Open!

Register here:

(apply by April 22 to be considered for a short postdoc talk)

Interested in volunteering or have questions about the event? Contact Brittany Demmitt (demmitt at

2019 Schedule

  • 8-9 Coffee Social and Registration
  • 9-10 Invited SpeakerDr. Blake Riggs Talk
  • 10-11 Workshop Session I
  • 11-12 Workshop Session II
  • 12-1 Networking Lunch
  • 1-2 Postdoc Talks Session I
  • 2-3 Invited Speaker: Torin Perez
  • 3-4 Postdoc Talks Session II
  • 4-5 CONNECT Grant Kickoff/Resources Fair
  • 5-6 Snacks and Refreshments

CONNECT Grant Speed Dating Kickoff

What is the purposed of the CONNECT grant speed dating?

Just like in traditional speed dating this kickoff session will give you the chance to talk with postdocs all across campus. The goal is to help you identify an individual(s) that you may want to form a collaboration with to submit a CONNECT grant (details below).

How will the CONNECT grant speed dating work?

You will be randomly paired with a postdoc and given 2min to chat. Then when the buzzer sounds one of you will rotate and you will chat with a new postdoc for 2min. This process continues, giving you the opportunity to meet lots of different postdocs in one session.

Sounds great, do I need to do anything to prepare for the event?

You only need to register for the symposium to attend the CONNECT grant kickoff. You don’t need to prepare anything before the event, but it might be helpful to be thinking what type of collaborative efforts may benefit your project or you would be interested in participating in.

What about if I have already met someone to collaborate with or I don’t want to participate, then what?

We will have an area set aside for those who have already identified a collaborator to chat about their proposal. We will also have a resource fair going on that you can attend to learn about resources on campus and meet with our invited speakers one-on-one.

2019 Invited Speakers

Dr. Blake Riggs

  • Changing the culture and practice of science: a 387.2 mile journey

Dr. Blake will be talking about his unique research journey from growing up in LA to becoming the only professor in SFSU of African American descent. Specifically, he will be sharing experiences and his advice on teaching, mentoring and diversity.

  • Bio: Dr. Blake Riggs is an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University in the Department of Biology. The Riggs lab examines the role of intracellular membrane inheritance during mitosis and the role that organelles play in the generation of cell diversity in a Drosophila melanogaster model using in vivo cellular imaging and genetic analysis. Dr. Riggs got his Ph.D. in molecular, cell and developmental biology at UC Santa Cruz and was a postdoc at UC Berkeley, before joining SFSU. He has been nationally recognized for his persistent efforts in teaching and mentoring. Dr. Riggs was also awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award for excellence in teaching and research.
Dr. Blake Riggs

Dr. Blake Riggs

Torin Perez

  • A Conversation With Torin Perez

This session will feature an interactive fireside chat conversation with Torin Perez, author of Who Am I to Lead? The World Is Waiting for You. The conversation, moderated by Stanford postdoc Ioana Marin, will explore leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and society, with a lens on personal development and leadership in a time that demands individual actions for change. A book signing will follow the conversation.

  • Bio: Torin Perez is a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion consultant on a mission to inspire authenticity and inclusive leadership in the workplace. Since 2015, he has facilitated transformative learning and development experiences and spoken at more than fifty colleges, conferences, organizations, and Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of Who Am I to Lead? The World Is Waiting for You, and his writing has been featured in leading publications like Wiley’s award-winning Leader to Leader Journal, and IHRIM’s Workforce Solutions Review. Torin is a Posse Scholar, StartingBloc Fellow, One Young World Ambassador, and inaugural class member of the TED Residency, an incubator for breakthrough ideas.
  • There will be a book signing and free copies of Torin Perez's book Who am I to lead? during the afternoon networking session. (free books to the first 100 people)
Torin Perez

Torin Perez

2019 CONNECT Grant:

What: CONNECT grants (Collaboration Opportunities aNd Networking for Engaging in Community-based Training) are funds to support collaborative efforts between postdocs. The Connect grants will fund efforts in research, educational programs, outreach, and more. Grant awards are available up to $5000.

Who: Teams of postdocs of any discipline are encouraged to apply! Teams of postdocs from multiple Stanford schools will be prioritized.


  • at least one member of the application team must a) check in at the 2019 Postdoc Symposium on May and b) attend the CONNECT kick-off event from 4-5PM on May 9 at the symposium (the same member does not need to fulfill both requirements)
  • application is a focused 1-2pg application consisting of targeted questions (listed below)
  • brief bio for each team member


  • May 9: 2019 SURPAS Postdoc Symposium CONNECT grant kickoff (including speed-dating/brainstorming session)(at least one member must attend the kick-off event 4-5PM on May 9)
  • May 23: grant writing workshop (optional)(sign up here:
  • May 30: application due
  • Award period: September 9, 2019- August 31, 2020

Application Details: The application is designed to be streamlined with a short application and quick submission process and turn around. A more detailed introduction to the grant will be given at the 2019 SURPAS Postdoc Symposium. The application itself will include the following components.

  • Project Description (1pg limit, 12pt font, Times New Roman, 1 in margins, single spaced)
    • Describe the Proposed Project. What hypotheses or questions will you address?
    • In what ways is this project interdisciplinary?
    • Why are you the right team members to conduct this work?
  • Additional Information (12pt font, Times New Roman, 1 in margins, single spaced)
    • Provide a brief timeline for the proposed project (start and end dates)
    • Provide a budget outline using the table below (*note cannot be used for postdoc travel) :
    • Bio: Briefly describe experience and career goals (one for each team member, 200 words each)
    • References
    • Indicate which team member attended the 2019 SURPAS Symposium CONNECT Grant Kick-Off
  • The rubric that will be used to evaluate applications can be viewed at

Budget Outline

Budget Outline

2019 Networking Lunch

  • Dr. Usha Nagavarapu (VP Research and Preclinical Drug Development)
  • Dr. Vadim Degtyar (PLOS One: Editor)
  • Dr. Will Talbot (Stanford University: Senior Associate Dean, Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs, Professor of Developemental Biology)
  • Dr. John Boothroyd (Stanford University: Burt and Marion Avery Professor of Immunology)
  • Dr. Crystal Botham (Stanford University: Director, Strategic Research Development & Bioscience Grant Writing Academy, Medicine-Med/Cardiovascular Medecine)
  • Dr. Blake Riggs (Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University, Department of Biology)
  • Dr. Pavan Vaidyanathan (Staff Scientist at Clear Labs)
  • Dr. Vivek Sunkari (Senior Scientist at BriaCell Therapeutics Inc.)
  • Dr. Amanda Mah (Scientific Content Writer at Synthego)

2019 Symposium Workshops

Designing Your Postdoc for mid-career postdocs

Speakers: Dr. Sofie Kleppner and Robin Sugiura

Location: Black Community Services Center

Time: Session I (10-11PM)

  • Use the design thinking process to evaluate, develop, and refine your postdoc training plan based on OPA's popular workshop for new postdocs, Designing Your Postdoc. We will assess career plan confidence, think through training plans and opportunities for skills development, and explore resources to enhance your training.

Draw Your Science!

Speaker: Dr. Vinita Bharat (Stanford Postdoc)

Location: Tresidder Union Oak Lounge

Time: Session I (10-11PM)

  • In this workshop, Vinita Bharat, who runs the science communication platform Fuzzy Synapse, will be showing tools to draw your scientific concepts in a fun and easy way. The idea is to discuss the ways you can disseminate your study either through graphical abstracts, figures or fun illustrations to reach a broader audience. We will be focusing on Adobe Illustrator at a beginner’s level for this workshop.

Management Matters

Speaker: Dr. John Boothroyd

Location: Black Community Services Center

Time: Session II (11-12PM)

  • Management Matters is a comprehensive workshop that focuses on simple principles and guidelines that, once learned, can make the process of managing others enjoyable and effective, and help you succeed in whatever career path you choose.

Human Identification from the Skeleton: Forensic Anthropological Approaches, Challenges and Contributions

Speaker: Dr. Bridget F.B. Algee-Hewitt

Location: Old Union Room 218

Time: Session II (11-12PM)

  • Biological anthropologists who study the skeleton look to bone features that are telling of the personal history for a set of unknown human remains. These skeletal characteristics allow researchers in human variation, including bioarchaeologists and forensic anthropologists, to build a biological profile for the individual by estimating key demographic parameters, such as sex, ancestry, and age, relative to the population of interest, and by isolating the morphological signatures in the skeleton that are suggestive of specific ante-, peri and post-mortem events or activities, like trauma, disease and taphonomic processes. In the context of forensic anthropological casework, when it is necessary to respond to the evidentiary needs of medico-legal community, this process of “profiling” the skeleton is especially difficult, as the practitioner must extend the assessment procedure to the use of parametric models in order to provide an approximation of the “true” demographic parameter that is grounded in mathematical theory, supported by statistical metrics, and sufficiently reliable to contribute information useful to the identification process. This workshop will introduce participants to the theory and methods of casework analysis in forensic anthropology for medico-legal and human rights investigations, focusing especially on humanitarian work.

Grant Writing Workshop

Speaker: Dr. Crystal Botham

Location: Tresidder Union Oak Lounge

Time: Session II (11-12PM)

  • Director of the Grant Writing Academy ( Dr. Crystal Botham will provide actionable strategies for writing compelling proposals. She will highlight currently available resources and upcoming activities to assist postdocs writing grants.

 2017 Stanford Postdoc Symposium 

October 12th-13th, 2017 - Clark Center and surrounding buildings

Download the 2017 Abstract Book here!

This 1.5 day event will not only provide a venue for Stanford postdocs to present their original research, but will also feature a variety of workshops focused on professional development (grant writing, ethics, science communication, improv, careers in industry, etc.). Registration is free and open to all Stanford postdocs. We are excited to showcase the breadth of research happening in our community!

Thursday 10/12: Professional Development Workshops


Interviewing for Jobs (Lokey G3000 12:30-2:00 pm) 

Stephanie Eberle, Assistant Dean of the School of Medicine Career Center, will provide helpful tips to navigate and nail your job interview.

Improv (MSOB 140 1:00-2:00pm & 2:00-3:00 pm)

Annelies Ransome from the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, will present an interactive session that uses techniques from improvisational theatre to focus on communication skills for mentoring, collaboration, day-to-day conversations, presentations and job searches.

Creating your Digital Presence (Lokey G1002 1:30-3:00 pm)

Sheetal Patel and Helen Chen from the BEAM, Stanford Career Center and Hume Writing Center will present a variety of ways to develop your professional digital presence. You will learn the steps for telling your professional story online and why this matters in the digital age.

Science Communication (Lokey G1000 2:30-4:00 pm)

Kristin Sainani, freelance science writer and Stanford instructor, will provide and overview of careers in the field of science communication, which wiill help you to understand what these different roles look like and how you can prepare for them.

Transition to Industry: Transferrable Skills (Lokey G1002 3:30-4:30 pm)

Rhea Daughtery, Associate Direction of the School of Medicine Career Center, will showcase careers available outside of academia and highlight how the skills we acquire during our research as a postdoc are transferrable and valuable in many areas of industry.

Career Panel: Discovering a Career in Industry (Lokey G1002 4:30-6:00 pm)

Presented by the Association for Women in Science, this discussion panel will focus on career transitions from academia to industry and the role of mentoring for a successful transition.

Grant Writing (Lokey G1161 3:30-5:00 pm)

Kevin Beier, a former Stanford postdoc and current Stanford instructor, will discuss career development awards to support the transition to independence. Career development awards are typically very competitive and this workshop will provide an overview for formulating a strong application.

Screening of Rare and QA with the Director (Lokey G3000 4:30-6:00 pm)

Maren Monsen, Director of the Stanford Program in Bioethics in Film, will present a screening of her documentary film “Rare”, which focuses on a rare genetic disorder, and discussion of the importance of patient advocacy groups and clinical trials process in the United States. *drinks & popcorn will be provided

Friday 10/13: Research Symposium - download Abstracts

9:00 – 9:30 Registration and Breakfast (Clark Center Courtyard)

9:30 – 12:30 Keynote Address and Oral Presentations (Clark Center Auditorium) 

9:30 – 10:00 Keynote address

“Designing Your Life” presented by Bill Burnett

10:15 – 10:30

"A Gut Feeling" presented by Carolina Tropini

10:30 – 10:45

"Navigating Problem-Based Learning Across Content Areas: A Mixed-Methods Examination of English Learner Insights of Support and Participation" presented by Annie Camey Kuo

10:45 – 11:00

"Impacts of vector abundance and weather on risk of dengue and chikungunya incidence across Kenya" presented by Amy Krystosik

11:00 – 11:15

"Membrane morphology and topology for fouling control in Reverse Osmosis filtration systems" presented by Bowen Ling

11:15 – 11:30 Coffee Break (Clark Center Courtyard)

11:30 – 11:45

"Tracking rapid adaptation in Drosophila melanogaster populations" presented by Sharon Greenblum

11:45 – 12:00

"Lymph node metastasis of tumors represents a critical step in disease progression through its effects on the immune system" presented by Nathan Reticker-Flynn

12:00 – 12:15

"Row, row, row your bones: Can an FES rowing exercise program prevent osteoporosis after spinal cord injury?" presented by Rebecca Lambach

12:15 – 12:30

"Intrinsically Stretchable Skin Electronics for Future Wearable Technologies"presented by Sihong Wang

12:30 – 2:00 Networking Lunch (Clark Center Courtyard)

2:00 – 3:30 Poster Session #1 (Odd-numbered abstracts)

3:30 – 5:00 Poster Session #2 (Even-numbered abstracts)

5:00 – 7:00 SURPAS Happy Hour (MSOB Lawn)

Register here:

Submission deadline passed

Abstracts should be no more than 250 words and should be directed towards a broad audience. Keep in mind that this event is open to the entire Stanford postdoc community. Therefore, the organizing committee is looking for abstracts that convey the significance and key results of the work while still being inclusive to a broader research community.

To contact the organizers, email:

Organized by: 2017 Postdoc Symposium planning committee

Supported by: SURPAS, VPGE and SOM