PDIG Call for Applications

The Postdoctoral Scholars Association (PSA) is committed to connect Postdocs. 

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 register your PDIG & get some funding. Funding is available for activities/events for:

  • $50 or less, fill in the enrollment form below, we will get back to you via email!
  • $51 or more, fill in the enrollment form below + your idea must be pitched directly to the PSA board during our monthly meeting.

Regardless of the amount of funds you are requesting, follow theses instructions:

Fill out & submit the PDIG Enrollment Form 

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.
  • PSA's annual budget availability for PDIGs.
  • PSA can only support activities/events that are in compliance with UCSF policy

Other important details for approved PDIGs:

  • Your meeting must be advertised to the Postdoc community (see email lists under 'Communication') least three days before your meeting. Failing to comply with this step will result in the reimbursement being denied
  • PDIGs meeting regularly (no one-time events) 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.
  • Only the budget previously approved in the enrollment application will be reimbursed.
  • Note that you cannot get reimbursement for alcoholic beverages.
  • Instructions to request a reimbursement will be sent by email to the PDIG organizer(s).
  • If any questions/problems, please contact [email protected]


Current PDIGs

Academia to Industry transition series

Embark on a journey from academia to industry with UCSF's enlightening series, organized by Verima (events officer) on behalf of PSA. Gain valuable insights and practical skills to navigate the transition from research to real-world impact. Join esteemed experts and industry leaders to unlock the secrets of success in today's competitive landscape. Whether you're a budding scientist or seasoned academic, this series offers the tools and guidance to thrive in the dynamic world of industry.

Regular monthly meetings     Organizer/contact: Verima Pereira


Underrepresented Postdocs Realizing an Inclusive Scientific Environment (UPRISE)

Underrepresented Postdocs Realizing an Inclusive Scientific Environment (UPRISE) is a peer group of BIPOC and other URM  postdocs, across all disciplines, at UCSF, which provides an informal and confidential forum to broach challenges encountered both personally and professionally as underrepresented  postdoctoral scholars, to encourage discussion about such issues, and to brainstorm solutions. UPRISE aims to create and hold a space of recognition for the URM members of the UCSF postdoc community, provide infrastructure for professional networking, and promote increased diversity and inclusion in all academic and industrial postdoctoral activities. More specifically, the mission goals of this PDIG include:

  1. informing members on available research and professional development opportunities (i.e., conferences, workshops/seminars, grants/fellowships, and outreach activities);
  2. increasing the visibility of the cutting-edge research performed by members of this PDIG;
  3. building and supporting communities for marginalized trainees;
  4. promoting the inclusion and engagement of diversity/under-represented minority/marginalized trainees across the Academy and Industry;
  5. acting as thought and initiative leaders (at local and national levels) on the topics of diversity, inclusion, equity, justice, and critical consciousness.

Organizers/contacts: Sarah Woldemariam (UCSF postdoc), Dania Zuniga (UCSF postdoc)

Improv At UCSF

Do you feel you need to increase your confidence while speaking in public? Do you want to work on your memory, concentration and listening? Do you want to come out of your comfort zone? Or you just want to have some fun! Improv at UCSF is the first Improv group in the Bay Area entirely devoted to train scientists to develop their communication skills, spontaneity and leadership through improvisational theater. Our free classes are every other week, and we're always excited to see both old and new faces! Follow us on our social media for more information! Twitter: ucsf_improv Facebook: Improv at UCSF Instagram: ucsf_improv 3, 2, 1, Improv!

Contact information: Sonia Nocera
Group email: [email protected]


Previous 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: Third Tuesday of every month, via Zoom Organizer/contact: Rigney Turnham and Stephanie Redmond (UCSF postdocs)


Management and Mentorship

A peer mentoring group that discusses management, mentorship, and other postdoc-related issues. Some sessions are postdoc-led and others are led by a facilitator (from OCPD or another school). This year, we will emphasize conversations about supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in mentoring relationships, and in keeping up effective mentoring and management relationships remotely.

Regular meetings: 1st Thursday of every month (2pm PT), via ZOOM

Organizer/contact: Rosalie Lawrence (UCSF postdoc)

Postdoc Blog - Scholar's digest

Scholar's digest is an initiative by postdoctoral scholars from various research fields at UCSF. The aim is to share our experiences on what life as a postdoc is actually like in this academic safari. Being a postdoctoral researcher is a very unique period during one's career, and it may be the "make it" or "break it" time for many on whether to stay or leave academia.

We aim to host an array of postdoc experiences to foster community and connection. This blog will serve as a safe space for fellow postdocs to share these stories, tips, insecurities, dreams, frustrations, and celebrations. Furthermore, many postdocs struggle with defining their roles, what is expected of them, how to find good mentorship, how to navigate work/life balance, and so forth. Therefore, we hope this space will shed some light on those who may feel that they are in the dark.

Regular meetings: Tuesdays (5.30 pm PT), via ZOOM

Organizer/contact: Christina Dintica (UCSF postdoc)

Global Festival Cafe - Embracing Diversity

Global Festival Cafe - Embracing Diversity, will serve as an educational and fun platform for International and American students and scholars to come together and openly celebrate festivals from different countries and cultures. During the pandemic, we are planning to organize a virtual event in a monthly manner (last friday of the month) to celebrate festivals that fall in that month. In this event, volunteers can give a brief presentation (5min) to talk about the significance and traditions (food, dresses, any specific stories, activities, etc.) related to the festival (eg. Lunar New Year, Diwali, Hanukkah, Eid, Juneteenth, etc.).This communal effort will help us to build a diverse international community and appreciate diversity at UCSF. These events will be held via Zoom for now, and then organized in person once we can get through this pandemic safely.

Regular meetings: Last Friday of every month, via ZOOM

Organizer/contact: Ruchika Bajaj (UCSF postdoc)

Graduate and Postdoc Queer Alliance

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

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

Mathematical Modeling for Biology Workshop

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

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

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.

Organizer/contact: David Brown (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.

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.

Organizer/contact: April Bell (UCSF postdoc)