Wellness Resources

Doing a postdoc can be a time of great excitement, as you strengthen your research skills, build your independent research question, and forge new scientific and professional connections. But it can also be isolating and vulnerable, without clear resources for support, and a support system that can feel limited especially after relocating to a new place without a cohort. Fortunately, there are a myriad of resources offered through the Postdoctoral Scholars Association and UCSF that can help you navigate any difficulties that may arise during your postdoc, be they personal or professional.

Personal Wellbeing

Starting a postdoc can often mean relocating to a new city, far from family and friends. Couple this with the potential difficulties in starting a new cutting-edge discovery project, and learning a new field or new techniques, and it is unsurprising that some surveys show almost half of postdoc respondents need assistance with anxiety or depression. In addition to leaning on your existing support system, these resources can help in building a community of support here at UCSF as you embark on your postdoc:

  • UCSF PSA’s Postdoc Interest Groups: The Postdoctoral Scholars Association aims to build community throughout UCSF’s postdoc population. One of the ways we do this is through funding small Interest Groups where folks can gather around specific interests. Don’t see a group that fits your interests? There’s funding available to start one!
  • Faculty and Staff Assistance Program: FSAP provides confidential psychological and consultation services that are free to UCSF postdocs.
  • OPS Wellness List: The Office for Postdoctoral Scholars maintains a list of wellness resources ranging from mental to physical health that are available through UCSF.

Professional Wellbeing

The key professional relationship most postdocs have is with their supervising PI. These relationships are complex, as both parties rely on the other for non-overlapping goals. These resources can help you learning how to manage that relationship from the start, as well as help you should things go wrong.

  • Manage Your Relationship With Your Mentor: Part of UCSF Office for Professional and Career Development’s excellent Manage Up series, this workshop (with slides and worksheets available online) talks about how to manage your own goals and build a productive and collaborative relationship with your mentor
  • Office for Postdoctoral Scholars: Postdocs have official institutional support through OPS, and they are available to help with a variety of issues, both with mentors and with navigating UCSF.
  • Office of the Ombuds: UCSF maintains an Ombuds office that enables for confidential reporting, and can help facilitate mediation and conflict resolution.
  • Postdoc Union Contract: As postdocs at UCSF, we are protected by our union UAW 5810 and guaranteed a set of rights. Familiarizing yourself with these can be helpful if difficult situations arise.
  • OPS Resource List: The Office for Postdoctoral Scholars maintains a list of resources for those having difficulties with their PIs ranging from management conflicts to ethics considerations.