Notes From PSA – Summer 2014

The Postdoctoral Society of Argonne (PSA) has been working on career development opportunities for the postdoctoral community this year. The postdoctoral appointment is a temporary stop on our long term career paths. There are many things we can do now to help ourselves make successful career transitions and grow as professionals and individuals.

In March, we invited postdoctoral alumni who have navigated the LDRD proposal process to join Elton Kaufmann, Associate Director for LDRD, for a panel discussion on writing successful LDRD proposals. In a panel moderated by PSA Board Member, Diego Fazi, alumni Yuki Hamada (ES), Karolina Michalska (BIO) and current Postdoctoral Appointee Wade DeGottardi (MSD) offered excellent insight of the entire process from formulating an idea, seeking support, writing the proposal and defending the proposal in front of the LDRD committee. We built on this theme with a presentation in May by HEP Physicist and former LDRD committee member, Tom LeCompte, who offered detailed hints on the LDRD from the committee’s perspective.

In April, we held an interactive event called Job Hunting: A Peer’s Advice is a Good Weapon. Fellow postdocs and alumni led group discussions on job searches for academia, industry, the National Labs and international careers. A mix of current and former PSA leaders were strategically placed throughout the themed groups to facilitate the discussion and report back their ideas on how to improve your job search and ensure success in landing a job. A major need for the Argonne community is guidance on navigating the faculty search process. We will follow up on this idea with a panel discussion at the end of August. Watch for the announcement! Special thanks to PSA Board Members Diego Fazi and Laura Zamboni for leading the event, Perry Motsegood, Martin Bettge, Jeremy Love and Carolyn Phillips for facilitating group discussions and taking notes. And finally, thanks to Anusree Mukherjee for sharing her experience interviewing for faculty positions, PSA alumnus Prasanna Balaprakash for advice on converting from postdoc to Argonne staff, and Postdoctoral alumnus Sergey Baryshev for telling us what it is like to work in industry.

By the way, it’s not all work and no play! Check out photos on the Postdoctoral Scientists of Argonne Facebook page from all of our social events over the past year, including a trip to Chicago to see the Blue Man Group and World Cup viewing parties.

We have a lot happening the upcoming months. August has been dubbed “Career Development Month”, as we have events on the calendar for CV/Resume Writing, Interviewing in the Real World and as mentioned above, preparing for the faculty search. In September, we are planning on celebrating National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week with several special events and in October, we have our big annual event, the Postdoctoral Research and Career Symposium.

The PSA still needs you to get involved. There are a number of ways in which you can help build community across the lab. It can be as simple as welcoming new postdocs on Mondays as part of the Welcome Committee! Other areas where you can make an impact include proposing professional development activities for postdocs, engaging local entrepreneurial and innovation groups, steering the postdoctoral Mentoring Program, planning the annual research and career symposium and bringing new ideas to the table to raise the profile of postdocs across the lab. We are looking for new leaders as several board members are moving on to the next phase of their careers. Interested in being a leader? Contact us!

Please contact your PSA leadership or Postdoctoral Program Coordinator to get involved:

Perry Motsegood (President): Motsegood@anl.gov
Jeremy Love (Vice President): jlove@anl.gov
Andrew Senesi (Secretary): ajsenesi@anl.gov
Dooshaye Moonshiram (Liaison Officer): dooshaye@aps.anl.gov
Laura Zamboni (Mentoring Committee Co-Chair): lzamboni@mcs.anl.gov
Diego Fazi (Mentoring Committee Co-Chair): dfazi@anl.gov
Marvin Cummings (Board Member): mcummings@aps.anl.gov

Note that we’d like to see representation from all divisions.

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