We highly value the contributions of our Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute postdocs. Listed below are resources to help support our postdocs professionally and personally. In an effort to bring our postdocs together, we are also providing support for postdoc-led community building and career development initiatives. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas for new postdoc resources.
HWNI Program Activities for Postdocs
Noradrenergic neurons at 4-day post fertilization in live Tg(dbh-mCherry) zebrafish. The image was generated by maximum intensity projection with color coding for depth. Image by Tong Xiao, Chang lab
Join our mailing list to receive relevant job listings and information about neuroscience happenings on campus, including upcoming postdoc events, a weekly Neuroscience Seminars Bulletin, and a quarterly Berkeley Neuroscience newsletter. Email us at email@example.com to be added to the list.
Please note that this list is for internal announcements to Berkeley postdocs only. If you are a postdoc at another institution, we invite you to sign up for our newsletter to receive research highlights and info about upcoming public events.
For a detailed schedule of all seminar series and special events below, see our Events Calendar. To add an event to your bCal, click “Add to my Google calendar (bCal)” on the right side of the screen. Click “Save” on the top of the screen.
The annual UC Berkeley Neuroscience Research Conference brings the entire campus neuroscience community together for a 2-day gathering of research talks, poster presentations, informal discussions, and social activities. The conference is currently held at the Granlibakken Conference Center on the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe. Click to download the schedules from recent years: (2019) (2018) (2017) (2016) (2015) (2014) (2013)
Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and the Neurobiology division of the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology jointly host a biweekly Neuroscience seminar series, with notable speakers from across the world. In addition, the Neuroscience PhD Program runs a separate Neuroscience Graduate Student Seminar Series, in which graduate students select, invite, and host speakers (2-4 speakers per year). Hosted speakers join PhD students in group discussions, presentations, and social events, in addition to the seminar. Seminars are held on Thursdays at 3:30 PM in 101 LSA.
Brain Lunch is a weekly, one-hour seminar organized by and for the HWNI community. Typically, the program includes talks from fourth-year students on their thesis work; journal clubs on neuro-related speakers invited to Berkeley; and presentations from postdocs on their past or current research.
For Spring 2020, Brain Lunch will be held at 12 pm on Mondays in 545 LKS. Speakers and topics are announced on the postdoc and PhD student email lists.
Neuroscience seminars are also hosted by a variety of other groups, including the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, Department of Psychology, Vision Science Graduate Program, and Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience.
Oxyopia (Vision Science)
Monday, 12:00 PM
489 Minor Hall
Redwood Center Seminar Series (Neuroscience)
Wednesday, 12:00 PM
560 Evans Hall
Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Wednesday, 11:00 AM (every other week)
Berkeley Way West 1102
A variety of specialized, multi-laboratory interest groups and journal clubs meet regularly, including Synaptic Physiology Journal Club, Cal Cortex Club, Fly Club, MCB Development Club, Oxyopia (vision), Ear Club, Redwood Neural Computation Journal Club, Townsend Center Working Group in Neuroscience and Philosophy, and more. These groups provide opportunities to hear about the latest research from within and outside Berkeley, to gain experience giving research talks, and to critically evaluate cutting-edge science.
A social hour is held every one to two months on Barker Lawn. Specific dates and times are announced on the faculty, postdoc, and PhD students email lists.
Seeking research funding? HWNI has created a list of many Neuroscience Postdoc Funding Opportunities for postdoctoral researchers. The Sponsored Projects Office at UC Berkeley has created a page listing many of the available fellowships for postdoctoral researchers in the biological sciences.
We also encourage first year postdocs and recent doctoral recipients to apply for the UC Berkeley Miller Research Fellowship and the HHMI Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program (open to those from underrepresented backgrounds). Still looking for more? Science Careers has a useful list of places to search for funding, as well as some useful grant writing tips.
Many research sponsors including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) have requirements for RCR training for postdoctoral fellowships. Before choosing a training format, you should be sure the format is acceptable to the awarding sponsor. UC Berkeley offers the RCR training options below:
The Career Center has resources specifically for PhD students and postdocs. Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in academia or exploring the broad range of other professional options, the Career Center has workshops, events, and online resources that can help you find job announcements, prepare your credentials, and bring you face-to-face with potential employers.
An individual development plan (IDP) helps you explore career possibilities and set goals to follow the career path that fits you best. myIDP, created by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is a free online tool for PhD scientists that assesses your skills, interests, and values, and identifies compatible scientific career paths. You can then set strategic goals for the coming year, with optional reminders to keep you on track, and check in again however often you want to track your progress and adjust your strategy.
The Professional Development Guide assists Berkeley graduate students (and postdocs!) in developing core competencies that are at the heart of graduate education and can be applied to multiple career paths. Each competency is broken down into a list of skills and steps you can take to develop your abilities.
VSPA and QB3 sponsor SLAM, a seminar series focused on understanding the many interpersonal interactions critical for success in a scientific lab, as well as some practical aspects of lab management. The target audience for this course is upper-level science graduate students and postdocs. The skills discussed will be applicable to a variety of career paths.
The Berkeley Postdoctoral Entrepreneur Program (BPEP) aims to foster entrepreneurship in the UC Berkeley postdoctoral and graduate community. They provide tools, mentoring, and a platform for science-business communication to enable research innovations to move into the marketplace.
The Postdoc Industry Exploration Program (PIEP) arranges visits to companies and professional development workshops. Postdocs and graduate students are given a valuable opportunity to learn about career options directly from professionals who hold these positions and gain useful connections in the process.
Beyond Academia is a PhD student-run organization with the goal of empowering graduate students and postdocs to expand their careers beyond the traditional academic track. It accomplishes this career education through an annual conference, as well as a series of workshops, tutorials, and lectures that connect current academics with those who have made a transition to industry.
MCB295 is a career and professional development seminar series for life science PhDs organized by students in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Each weekly session features a panel of speakers from a variety of careers who share their post-PhD paths. In addition, they host workshops on topics in career development, including networking, resume building, interview techniques, and negotiation skills. You can view their schedule and sign up for their mailing list here.
If you are interested in developing your science writing, editing, or design skills, consider volunteering for Berkeley Science Review (BSR). BSR is a graduate-student run magazine and blog featuring the latest UC Berkeley research discoveries. You will learn by doing, with the guidance of graduate students and postdocs who have a few semesters of experience creating articles for BSR.
If you are interested in science education and outreach, consider joining the UC Berkeley Coalition for Education and Outreach or volunteering with a science outreach organization such as: Frontiers for Young Minds, Community Resources for Science Bay Area Scientists in Schools program, Bay Area Science Festival, Nerd Nite East Bay, Exploratorium, California Academy of Sciences, or the Lawrence Hall of Science.