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News and Updates from the Postdoctoral Affairs Office

The mentoring relationships you develop with your graduate students have the potential to shape their careers in academia and beyond. How can you best meet the needs of the diverse graduate students you'll encounter at the University of Illinois? We hope that you'll join us for our Spring 2017 mentoring workshop, "Graduate Mentoring for Diversity." You'll find more details below.


Alexis Thompson, Assistant Dean
Graduate Student Development and Postdoctoral Affairs

Career and Professional Development

Graduate Mentoring for Diversity

Friday, March 10, noon - 1 p.m., Urban Outfitters Building (507 E. Green St, Champaign),  room 411

Registration required

As campus efforts for diversifying Illinois' graduate student body increase, faculty in predominantly white institutions are provided little resources for advising and mentoring underrepresented minority (URM) graduate students in their programs. Join faculty colleagues for a round-table discussion on the institutional challenges and opportunities for effective intercultural strategies for graduate student success.

Dr. Mikhail Lyubansky will lead the roundtable with a discussion on institutional conflict and restorative justice, especially around race, providing perspectives on institutional challenges and strategies. Dr. Isabel Molina-Guzmán and Dr. Steven Zimmerman will share their thoughts on the experience of mentoring URM students at Illinois. Please join us for this roundtable discussion about approaches for supporting underrepresented minority graduate students.


  • Mikhail Lyubansky, Teaching Associate Professor in Psychology
  • Isabel Molina-Guzmán, Associate Professor in Media and Cinema Studies, Latina/o Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies and Associate Dean in the Graduate College
  • Steven Zimmerman, Professor in Chemistry

Talking About Your Research

Tuesday, February 28, 4 - 5:30 p.m., Illini Union, room 405

How can you effectively communicate your research in a way that engages all audiences? Whether you're on a job interview or at a conference, you could be asked to share your research with a variety of audiences, including non-academic audiences and non-experts in your field. In this interactive workshop, you'll learn strategies for talking about your research effectively and have an opportunity to practice those skills. This workshop is sponsored by the Graduate College Career Development Office.


Translating Your Skills for Non-Academic Audiences

Wednesday, March 1, 3:30 - 5 p.m., Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (Levis Faculty Center), 4th Floor

What transferrable skills have you developed in graduate school? And how can you explain them in ways that make sense to nonacademic employers? In this interactive workshop, learn how to identify your marketable skills and practice articulating their value in a variety of contexts, including resumes and interviews. You will work with real job ads from a variety of fields to give you hands-on experience making connections between your skills and what employers are looking for. This workshop is co-sponsored by the Graduate College Career Development Office and IPRH.


Nonacademic Interview Prep for Grad Students & Postdocs

Wednesday, March 8, 3:30 - 5 p.m., Illini Union, room 407

What are interviews like for jobs in industry and nonprofits? What are interviewers looking for? What kinds of questions will they ask? What’s the difference between a behavioral interview and a case interview? What do I wear? In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn the basics of the non-academic interview process and get answers to these questions. You’ll also have a chance to practice answering interview questions and get feedback to help you improve. This workshop is sponsored by the Graduate College Career Development Office.

Your Research and Teaching

Writer's Workshop Saturday Writing Retreat

Saturday, March 4, 9 a.m. - noon, Espresso Royale on Goodwin (2nd floor)

Make the most of your weekend writing time! Join the Writers Workshop for sustained writing in the company of your colleagues from across the disciplines. Each session will begin with a short conversation about writing goals and end with a wrap-up of accomplishments. This event will also be held: 4/1, 4/15, 5/6.


Sign up for Data Nudge for a Monthly Reminder to Manage your Research Data

Want to manage your research data more proactively? Sign up to receive monthly data management reminders that come with quick, easy tips and activities designed by your local Research Data Service. Questions? Contact Elise Dunham at


Free Webinars on Using Computational Tools in your Research

The Blue Waters supercomputing project at NCSA is launching a series of free webinars every Wednesday, beginning March 1. Each webinar will focus on one of these topics: applications, scientific workflows, or scientific visualizations. Learn from the experts how you can incorporate computational tools into your research. For more information on each free webinar and to register, visit the Blue Waters website.

Opportunities and Resources

Learning to See Systems: Graduate STS Workshop

Friday, March 10 - Saturday, March 11, Levis Faculty Center

Registration required

The Seeing Systems INTERSECT group is delighted to host “Interdisciplinary Encounters: Exploring Knowledge-Making Across Boundaries” Illinois Graduate Science and Technology Studies (STS) Workshop. The two-day workshop is designed to unite scholars from across disciplines and regional locales whose work connects with STS, digital studies, media studies, communication, information sciences, informatics and design to address diverse themes in the social making of facts, social histories of media and technology, user networks in practice, visual cultures and interactive technologies.


Professional English Courses for International Academic Communication

The Intensive English Institute is offering several online and on-campus hybrid courses for international scholars (visiting scholars, postdocs, grad students, etc.) starting in early March. Students can choose to develop academic presentation skills, vocabulary and language strategies as well as enhance their English pronunciation skills. For more information and to apply, visit the website or contact us directly at


Apply to Use Blue Waters Supercomputer

Apply by March 15

The Blue Waters supercomputer at Illinois is one of the world's most powerful computing systems. Each node has many powerful cores, providing campus faculty, staff, postdoctoral students and postdoctoral researchers significant computing power. More than 3 million node-hours yearly are allocated exclusively to projects from our campus, so apply by March 15 to use this extraordinary resource.

Upcoming Events

Out at Illinois Mini Movie Night

Monday, March 6, 6 - 9 p.m., Lincoln Hall, room 1002

Out at Illinois, the LGBTQ employee and graduate student affinity group, will be getting together for pizza and empanadas to watch and discuss some short queer films (from commercials to music videos to artistic films), in addition to just getting to know each other and celebrating community. Questions? Contact Zack Berent at


The 34th Annual International Dinner and Performance Night

Sunday, March 12, 6 - 8 p.m., University YMCA, Latzer Hall

The University YMCA and the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) present the 34th Annual International Dinner & Performance Night. Join them for a fun-filled night with family and friends, featuring food from all over the world and entertaining performances from community and campus members. Tickets are $16 online.


Postdoc Post is distributed on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month to current Postdocs at Illinois. Please see our website for submission information

If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate in any of the programs or events listed in Postdoc Post, please email the contact person for the event. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.