It’s National Postdoc Appreciation Week!

The third week of September is officially National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW). Since 2009, the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) has sponsored this week-long celebration of the critical role of postdocs in the global research enterprise. In 2010, NPAW culminated with the passage of house resolution 1545 by the U.S. House of Representatives, formally recognizing NPAW.

The NPA defines a postdoc as an “individual holding a doctoral degree who is engaged in temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue a career path of his or her choosing.”

This one-sentence definition includes the main elements of a postdoctoral appointment and the key activities they should be engaged in–research, mentoring, professional development and career planning. Taken together, this describes a mutually beneficial relationship between the postdoc and their research institution. But how do the benefits of this relationship manifest?

For the postdoc, the benefits should include opportunities to build a reputation as an independent researcher, acquiring new skills and the development needed to ensure smooth career transitions.

For the institution, the benefits include the obvious contributions to research objectives—the work gets done. Beyond that, though, postdocs bring tremendous value to organizations in many ways. At Argonne, postdocs directly contribute to each pillar of the Impact Argonne strategy.

Through research productivity, innovation and output, they help grow our reputation as a science and technology leader. They are both part of and help build the world class community of talent through the Postdoctoral Society of Argonne, mentoring students, contributing to major initiatives such as the Core Values forums and Vision 2050 sessions, and serving on lab-wide committees such as the Employee Resource Group Forum, Diversity and Inclusion councils and the WIST Steering Committee. By serving on safety committees and offering valuable input on processes and procedures, postdocs help us sustain operational excellence.

This year during NPAW, I encourage us to think collectively about the value of postdocs and all they bring to the Laboratory. Find ways to let them know they are a valuable part of the Argonne community. Give a postdoc a core value shout-out. Give them a mention at a divisional meeting. Introduce them to colleagues to expand their networks. Encourage them to take part in NPAW events such as the special PSA Coffee Break featuring a guest motivational speaker. Or, simply tell them they are valuable members of your team and you are glad they are here.







Designing Your Industry Career Path and Genuine Networking Workshop

Are you thinking about a career in industry but are not sure how to start? Does the thought of networking make you cringe? Don’t worry! David Giltner, PhD, author, speaker and career mentor will be here on September 25th to teach postdocs a step-by-step approach to designing a career path in the private sector and how to network in a genuine way.

In part 1, participants will learn five critical elements of designing a career in industry:

1. Determine your Strengths
2. Define your Target
3. Tell Great Stories
4. Build your Network
5. Thinking Big

In part 2, participants will learn a six-step process for building effective professional relationships.

Learn more and read David’s blog at

Visiting postdocs and graduate students are welcome to participate. Space is limited so sign up today at the Postdoc Events RSVP page.

Date: September 25, 2019
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location:  Building 446 Auditorium
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Designing Your Own Career Path in the Private Sector
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM Networking Break
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Genuine Networking

About the Speaker:

David Giltner is the author of the book Turning Science into Things People Need, and is an internationally recognized speaker and mentor for early career scientists and engineers seeking careers in industry. He has spent the last 20+ years commercializing photonics technologies in a variety of roles for companies, including JDS Uniphase and Ball Aerospace. David has a BS and PhD in physics and holds six patents in the fields of laser spectroscopy and optical communications.


How to Get a Job after the Postdoctoral Appointment: Lessons from Sports

The Postdoctoral Society of Argonne (PSA) is pleased to host Dr. Marius Stan (AMD) for a special PSA Coffee Break event for National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week. Stan, an award-winning Postdoc mentor was the Keynote speaker for the 2017 Postdoctoral Research and Career Symposium, where he gave a motivating and animated talk on finding the right career path for you.  All are welcome to attend this encore performance as it is sure to inspire!

Date: September 18, 2019

Time: 2:00 PM

Location: Building 402 Auditorium

Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP for planning purposes.


Life as a postdoc is beautiful: exciting research, rewarding collaborations and a friendly work environment. Like most beautiful things, it ends after two or three years.  After that, securing a permanent position at a national laboratory, in academia or in industry is a complex and stressful endeavor that requires careful preparation. In addition to continuously improving skills, teaming up and being productive, it involves understanding leadership and management, securing funding and wisely timing the application moment.  The author shares his experience as a former postdoc and current hiring manager and illustrates key concepts using video clips from sports.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Marius Stan is a Senior Scientist in the Applied Materials Science division at ANL. He is also a Senior Fellow at University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Marius and his group use artificial intelligence and multi-scale computer simulations to understand and predict physical and chemical properties of multi-component materials and to optimize complex synthesis and manufacturing processes. Marius has extensively published in the scientific literature and is currently writing a book on modeling and simulation. Marius was born in Romania and graduated with a B.S. in Physics from the University of Bucharest. In 1997 he received the Ph. D. in Chemistry from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Romanian Academy. The same year he joined Los Alamos National Laboratory as a postdoctoral research associate. Shortly after that, he was hired as permanent staff. In 2010, Marius joined Argonne. Marius has extensively published in the scientific literature and is writing a book on modeling and simulation. He is an avid soccer player and a published author of short-stories and poetry. You may also recognize him as Bogdan, the car wash owner, in the acclaimed TV series “Breaking Bad.”

Getting TO the Interview–Crafting Your CV, Resume and Cover Letters to Get Noticed!

The Postdoctoral Program Office is hosting 2 workshops to prepare job seekers for diverse careers. Workshop 1 will address structuring your CV for an academic career. The second workshop will present strategies and guidelines for crafting highly effective job application documents. Content will include best practices for diverse job markets with a focus on evaluating your adapting your CV into a resume, evaluating position descriptions, crafting a cover letter objectively from the perspective of an employer.

In the second workshop, participants will have an opportunity to play “hiring manager” through a small group activity. Based on a job description and sample resumes, participants will decide which candidate they’d like to interview.

Participants are encouraged to bring a draft of their resume or CV.

All postdocs and students are encouraged to attend. Mentors and supervisors who are interested in resources for advising postdocs are welcome to attend as well.

Please register for one or both workshops using the RSVP Link. BlueJeans access will be available for remote viewing.

Date: Thursday, August 8, 2019
Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM: Workshop 1–Academic CVs
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Workshop 2–Resumes for the Non-Academic Market, Cover Letters, Deconstructing Job Ads
Location: Building 203 Auditorium
Presenter: Dr. Briana Konnick, Assistant Director, Graduate Career Development The University of Chicago

IMSA High School Research Mentor Information Session

 Have you been wanting an opportunity to mentor students and explore your interest in teaching? There will be a special seminar on Thursday, July 18th from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Building 201, Room 102, to share information on a program to mentor high school students at Argonne. Light refreshments will be served. No registration is required.

Seminar Overview:

Azucena Rodriguez, Visiting Faculty Program Coordinator with Argonne Educational Programs and Outreach will give an overview of the program and provide examples of past research projects. In this meeting, Azucena will provide examples of past Research Projects and will answer questions regarding the program.

Program Overview:

Argonne’s Educational Programs is looking for post docs to mentor High School students. Argonne’s Educational Programs has had a long standing relationship with Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA). Students from IMSA, who are enrolled in their Student Inquiry and Research (SIR) program, are mentored by an Argonne staff scientist or engineer in order to further the students STEM education. IMSA students are some of the best and brightest students in the state. Students we see in this program are juniors and seniors in high school that are working at a freshman/sophomore level in college.   All interested divisions/postdocs will need to send a short project description for areas they wish to incorporate IMSA interns and estimated number of interns you will host. In turn, the students will apply specifically to the available projects at Argonne. Students will begin their appointment in early September and will terminate in late April. IMSA interns are not paid, they receive course credit through the school for their work at Argonne and will need to conduct a research project during their time at Argonne. Students will be available to Argonne staff most Wednesdays for the full day, and IMSA will provide transportation for the student. At the end of the appointment, participants are asked to present their research experience to fellow class members and IMSA staff at a colloquium.  

For more information about the program please follow this link