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Image from HWNI member Teresa Puthussery’s lab showing an immunostained macaque retina, featured on the April 4, 2018 cover of The Journal of Neuroscience.

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 with any ideas for new postdoc resources.

HWNI Program Activities for Postdocs

Fluorescent microscopy of many neurons and their processes, labeled in red, green, and blue, across the body of a larval zebrafish.

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

Neuroscience Postdocs Mailing List

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 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.

Orientation for New Postdoctoral Scholars

We encourage you to attend this half-day orientation session for postdocs. Orientation is held monthly. Visit the Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs website to register for an upcoming orientation.

Neuroscience Events Calendar

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.

Neuroscience Research Conference

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.

Neuroscience Seminar

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.

Brain Lunch

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.

Speakers and topics are announced on the postdoc and PhD student email lists.

Other Seminar Series

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

Special Interest Groups and Journal Clubs

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.

Neuroscience Bear Hour Social

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.

Postdoctoral Communities

The Berkeley Postdoctoral Association (BPA) is a volunteer organization of postdocs working for all postdocs. On the website you can find information on social and career development events, tips for international postdocs, and a long list of useful resources.

Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) is the UC Berkeley administrative office for postdoctoral appointees and visiting scholars. VSPA provides information for prospective postdocs, and benefits, privileges and policy relevant to UC Berkeley postdoctoral and visiting scholars. The BPA and the VSPA are separate organizations which collaborate to enhance the experience of our postdoctoral scholars.

Thriving in Science is a campus-wide professional development initiative at UC Berkeley intended to provide graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with the resources and support to make the most of their academic training. Thriving in Science facilitates the creation of peer support groups and organizes a seminar series.

QB3-Berkeley is the Berkeley Home of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences. At QB3-Berkeley, efforts are under way to stimulate and support a vital community of postdoctoral researchers who work in QB3-affiliated labs. To receive more information about postdoc events, including monthly postdoc seminars, sign up for the QB3 postdoc listserv here.

Berkeley Spouses & Partners offers resources for your spouse or partner, including info on career development, visas and immigration, and day care options.

MCB Postdoc Lunch Club is an informal group of MCB postdocs who organize monthly lunch seminars discussing various postdoc related topics.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

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.

Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) Training at UC Berkeley

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:

UC Berkeley Career Center

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.

UC Berkeley Extension

If you need to expand your skill set, consider taking courses through UC Berkeley Extension.


D-Lab offers training and other resources for improving your programming and data analysis skills, with a focus on data-intensive social science.

Individual Development Plan

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.

Professional Development Guide

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.

Science Leadership and Management

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.

Berkeley Postdoctoral Entrepreneur Program

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.

Postdoc Industry Exploration Program

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

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: Careers for Life Science PhDs

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.

Berkeley Science Review

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.

Science Education and Outreach

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 BayExploratoriumCalifornia Academy of Sciences, or the Lawrence Hall of Science.