2020-2021 Postdoc Interest Group Grants – Call for Applications

UCSF is home to approximately 1,100 Postdocs and they are spread over many different locations throughout the city. The Postdoctoral Scholars Association (PSA) helps to connect Postdocs and create a sense of community.

As part of this mission, PSA promotes Postdoc Interest Groups (PDIGs) that bring together postdocs in the UCSF community by any shared interest, either science-related, fun, social, & virtually any topic. With the support from the Office for Postdoctoral Scholars, you can you can register your PDIG & get some funding for pandemic sanctioned activities*. Funding is available for activities/events for:

  1. $50 or less, send an email to [email protected] with your idea/plan for PSA board approval.
  2. $51 or more, your idea/plan must be pitched directly to the PSA board (see instructions below).

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PSA can only support activities/events that are in compliance with UCSF policy. For most PDIGs, this means virtual events/activities.


  1. Fill out & submit the PDIG Enrollment Form before the next PSA Monthly Meeting (fourth Monday of every month).
  2. Proposals will be evaluated under the following criteria by the PSA board:
  • The group must be run by at least one UCSF postdoc.
  • Proposal must be related to engagement of the postdoc community at UCSF.
  • PDIG annual budget availability.
  • If approved, an email confirming your PDIG enrollment will be send within 48 hours after the PSA Monthly Meeting.
  1. For PDIGs proposals requesting:
    • Less than $50, the applicant must send a request to [email protected] with the specifics (plan/budget) for PSA board approval.
    • More than $50 (per month), the applicant(s) must attend (via zoom) the PSA meeting to make a pitch for their PDIG event.
  2. Your meeting must be advertised to the Postdoc community using the PDIG Marketing Form at least three days before your meeting. Failing to comply with this step will result in the reimbursement being denied.
  3. PDIGs meeting regularly lose their enrollment status if the group fails to meet (or properly advertise the meeting) two consecutive times (as reported in the enrollment form). In this case, a new enrollment application must be filled & approved before scheduling a new meeting.
  4. By submitting the PDIG Marketing Form, an announcement advertising your meeting will be automatically sent to the UCSF Postdoc community. You will need to attach a copy of this automatic email in your reimbursement request.
  5. Instructions to request a reimbursement will also be sent by email to the PDIG organizer(s).
  6. Only the budget previously approved in the enrollment application will be reimburse.



Active PDIGs

Women's postdoc peer mentoring meeting

We have established a peer group of women postdocs, which provides an informal and confidential forum to broach challenges encountered both personally and professionally as postdoctoral women, to encourage discussion about such issues, and to brainstorm solutions.

Regular meetings: First Monday of every month, on Mission Bay
                              Third Tuesday of every month, on Parnassus

Organizer/contact: Rigney Turnham (UCSF postdoc; Mission Bay meetings)
                               Stephanie Redmond (UCSF postdoc; Parnassus meetings)


Graduate and Postdoc Queer Alliance

Monthly coffee hours at both the Mission Bay and Parnassus campuses to build community for LGBTQ+ scientists.

Regular meetings: Monthly, on Mission Bay Parnassus

Organizer/contact: Brian Bender (UCSF) & Fima Zaltsman (UCSF)


Mathematical Modeling for Biology Workshop

As part of this workshop, we will meet up about once a month to discuss mathematical modeling for biology. Each time, we will assign a paper in mathematical modeling for the participants to read, or share mathematical modeling techniques and discuss them and their application informally.

Regular meetings: Monthly, third Tuesday, on Mission Bay

Organizer/contact: Mariana Gomez Schiavon (UCSF postdoc) & Ania-Ariadna Baetica (UCSF postdoc)

Parnassus Programming Group

We meet monthly to develop coding skills needed to analyze big data sets. We bring in experts who have experience with different analyses,
and provide peer to peer support by sharing successful analysis pipelines and by troubleshooting together. We also present relevant research in

Regular meetings: Monthly, on Parnassus

Organizer/contact: Rachel Zwick (UCSF postdoc) & Ali May (UCSF postdoc)

Climate Emergency Response

Discoveries and cures are great. Research is inherently wasteful. UCSF provides valuable resources to help labs be greener
(https://sustainability.ucsf.edu/). But I can't be the only one sat at a tissue culture hood disposing of plastic tip after plastic tip who wishes I could
do more. Don't despair.

Regular meetings: Monthly, on Mission Bay/Out-of-campus

Organizer/contact: David Brown (UCSF postdoc)

Management and Mentorship

A peer mentoring group that discusses management, mentorship, and other postdoc-related issues. Some sessions being postdoc-led (maybe someone would share a story they think others might benefit from) and others might be led by a facilitator (from OCPD or another school).

Regular meetings: Monthly, TBA, on Mission Bay

Organizer/contact: Rosalie Lawrence (UCSF postdoc)

Immunology Club

Shelter-in-place has a big effect on wet lab work. In order to reduce the pandemic effect, we recruited 11 UCSF scholars and created an immunology club. We have held 5 zoom academic meetings associated with immunology and will countinue the events during this shelter-in-place and in the furture.

Regular meetings: Tuesday or Friday per week, on Mission Bay (ZOOM)

Organizer/contact: Yale Liu (UCSF postdoc), and Szu-Ying Chen (UCSF postdoc)

Designing Your Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness

A virtual bookclub, reading "Designing Your Work Life" by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, to designing an engaged and meaningful postdoc life (and, hopefully, subsequent faculty life). A time to do structured thinking with peer support about about work and an ideal work life.

Regular meetings: 4 meetings over two months (TBA), on ZOOM

Organizer/contact: April Bell (UCSF postdoc)