PSA Open Forum

Step Out and Discover: The Postdoctoral Society of Argonne!

2016 has just started, and now is the time to get connect with other postdocs by joining the Postdoc Society of Argonne’s general assembly! The meeting will introduce the new board, discuss upcoming opportunities for the year, and provide an open forum for you, the PSA general assembly. We will discuss upcoming events, but really we want to hear from you. What do you want to see done this year? What do you think the PSA should focus its attention on? What other concerns do you have? We want to hear all of it. As an added bonus, lunch will be provided.

Date: Wednesday February 3, 2016
Time: 12:00 – 1:00PM
Location: Building 213 Conference Room

So we can plan accordingly, please confirm your attendance through the RSVP form.

Postdoctoral Professional Development Lunch and Learn

c92fdc9617b416f01e78f20b0ea95781It’s your career, what’s your game plan?

Do you want to find a career that’s enjoyable and rewarding?  Of course . . . but how do you find the right path, especially when there are so many career directions scientists can follow?  Attend this interactive workshop to learn a logical, step-by-step process for exploring your career options and deciding which will provide the best fit for your own set of skills, interests, and values.  By the end of the session, you will have started your individual development plan (IDP) and set specific goals for taking charge of your career.

Invited speaker, Dr. Phil Clifford, will lead attendees through exercises to address:

  • Assessing career objectives
  • Setting goals to meet objectives
  • How individual development plans can be used in effective career planning

Date: Wednesday, January 20th

Time: Lunch served at 11:45 AM; Program from Noon to 1:30 PM

Where: Building 241, Room D172

Confirm your attendance by completing the RSVP form.

Bonus Homework: Read a collection of articles featuring Dr. Clifford’s thoughts on career planning at Science Careers.

About the speaker:


Philip Clifford is Associate Dean for Research in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  He is an outspoken advocate of career and professional development for PhD scientists.  In addition to founding the Office of Postdoctoral Education at the Medical College of Wisconsin, he helped initiate national reform by participating in the establishment of both the National Postdoctoral Association and the AAMC GREAT Group Postdoctorate Leaders Section.  He is a coauthor of the widely acclaimed career website, and an accompanying series of career planning articles in ScienceCareers.  He was honored with the NPA Distinguished Service Award in 2012 and was part of the team that received the AAMC’s Innovative Institutional Partnerships Award in 2013.  Dr. Clifford heads an active research program investigating the physiological mechanisms regulating skeletal muscle blood flow during exercise.  His research laboratory has been funded by the NIH, the American Heart Association, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  He is a fellow of the American Heart Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Physiological Society Cardiovascular Section.  He serves on the editorial boards of several physiological journals, and participates on grant review panels at the NIH, NASA, and the American Heart Association.  He is also a consultant in the medical device industry and a member of the Anesthesia and Respiratory Devices Panel at the FDA.

Managing Effective Mentoring Relationships and “Mentoring Up”

We all know mentoring relationships involve a dialogue between a mentor and mentee and that the mentee should “drive” the relationship and communicate needs.

Or do we?

Mentoring relationships have greater value and are more effective not only when the mentor is adept at giving advice, but also when the mentee is prepared to guide the mentor. This is a powerful skill called “mentoring up” that can help you get the most out of a mentoring relationship.

In this interactive session, guest speaker Dr. Richard McGee will introduce a conceptual model of effective mentoring through recognition and mastery of core attributes of effective mentoring relationships. In particular, it will introduce how to use these key attributes to also manage your own relationships with mentors – Mentoring Up.  Participants will have the opportunity to complete exercises and analyze cases that set the stage for additional self-paced or workshop-enabled skill building.

Date: December 8th

Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Location: Building 446 Auditorium (on the back end of the APS)

Lunch will be served. Please confirm your attendance through the RSVP link.

In preparation for this session, peruse the mentoring toolkits and Beyond Mentoring resources on the National Postdoctoral Association Website. To gain access to Beyond Mentoring, establish a FREE affiliate membership using your Argonne email address.

About the Speaker:

rickDr. McGee is Associate Dean for Faculty Recruitment and Professional Development Associate Professor of Medical Education, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. McGee has over 30 years of experience as a scientist, professor and leader in developing programs to enhance the professional development of early career scientists. He also leads the Collaborative Learning and Integrated Mentoring in the Biosciences (CLIMB) program at Northwestern, which was established to “create a diverse community of young scientists from Northwestern’s five PhD life sciences programs.” CLIMB aims to assist early career scientists and students in their professional development so that they may become more effective at communicating, collaborating and leading productive research careers. These groups utilize a variety of mentoring approaches, especially peer-to-peer mentoring and structured group mentoring.




Faculty Mentor-in-Residence Office Hours

Want some last minute advice before that faculty phone interview? Looking for someone to glance over your teaching and research statements? The Faculty Mentor-in-Residence is here for you!

henneWalter Henne, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Governors State University will hold office hours on Tuesday, November 24th. Walter received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Purdue University with a special focus in Bio-Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Biology. He performed research at Purdue as part of the Philip S. Low Research Laboratory. His current research centers on the design of medical diagnostic assays, devices and targeted chemotherapeutics. He is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed research papers and patents.

Walter will be available to meet walk-ins Tuesday, November 24th, from 10:00 AM to  1:00 PM Building 201, Room 157. After 1:00, come to Room 151.

Please direct questions to Postdoctoral Program Lead, Tina Henne at

Faculty Mentor-in-Residence Seminar

PhD comics

Image from PhD Comics

Best Practices for an Academic Job Search

The November Faculty Mentor-in-Residence is Dr. John Sowa, Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Division of Chemistry and Biological Sciences at Governors State University. Dr. Sowa will deliver a seminar on “Best Practices for an Academic Job Search”. Whether you are in the midst of the academic job search or are planning to jump into the race next year, this seminar is for you!

Date: November 17th

Time: Lunch (provided) will be served at 11:45 AM, Program begins at noon

Location: Building 213, Cafeteria Private Dining Rooms

Please reserve your seat through the RSVP Link.


Aimed for postdoctoral scientists who are interested in pursuing academic careers, Prof. Sowa will share his experiences of being on the “searching” and the “hiring” side of an academic search. The presentation/discussion will include best practices for building an academic profile, applying for positions, interviewing, and starting an academic career. Attendees are encouraged to bring samples of their applications.

About the speaker:


John Sowa is Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Division of Chemistry and Biological Sciences at Governors State University. His research interests are in the areas of organic and organometallic chemistry, homogeneous catalysis, stereochemistry, sustainability and environmental chemistry. He edited the 20th volume of Catalysis of Organic Reactions, has published 35 peer-reviewed articles, and is co-inventor on 3 U.S. Patents. He is a member of the ACS, AAAS and Sigma Xi.

Prof. Sowa obtained his B.S. in Chemistry from Manhattan College. His Ph.D. was obtained from Iowa State University with Prof. Robert J. Angelici and he was a postdoctoral associate with Profs. Paul G. Gassman and Kent R. Mann at the University of Minnesota. His previous appointments include: Professor of Chemistry at Seton Hall University, Associate Scientific Director at Gibraltar Laboratories, and Visiting Scientist at The Scripps Research Institute. Prof. Sowa was a participant in the original Academic Career Workshop developed by Prof. Pete Carr at the University of Minnesota. He has also served as panelist and a planning committee member for approximately a dozen Academic Career Workshops based on Carr’s original program.