The University of Texas at San Antonio recently established an Office of Postdoctoral Affairs to provide professional development services and networking opportunities for the university’s postdoctoral fellows. The office will be jointly administered by the divisions of Academic Affairs and Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise; it will be housed in the Graduate School under the leadership of Vice Provost and Dean Ambika Mathur.
Postdoctoral fellows, commonly referred to as “postdocs,” are engaged in mentored research or scholarly training at a host institution within five years of completing their doctorate degree. UTSA has more than 100 postdoctoral fellows in various disciplines across the university.
“Postdoctoral research is integral to a university’s research mission, and this office will foster experiences to promote a robust research training environment and community for UTSA’s postdocs,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
“Postdoctoral fellows play a vital role in advancing UTSA’s goal to reach status as a Research Intensive University and become a nationally-recognized multicultural discovery enterprise,” added Bernard Arulanandam, interim vice president for research, economic development, and knowledge enterprise. “The Office of Research Support is pleased to partner with the Graduate School to provide more comprehensive support and an enhanced campus experience for UTSA’s postdocs.”
The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs will provide professional development activities such as workshops and seminars on grant/fellowship preparation, manuscript writing, CV and resume preparation, job interviewing skills, and more. Mathur says having a centralized hub for postdoctoral activities will provide a structure for developing future programming and ideally will lead to an increase in publications and grants for UTSA postdocs.
“Through this office, we will provide programming to augment their research training with professional skill development to help our trainees pursue their chosen careers, whether in academia or in industry,” Mathur said. “Additionally, our programming will be available to postdocs at our partner research institutions, such as UT Health San Antonio and Southwest Research Institute, thereby engaging the broader postdoctoral community in San Antonio and fostering more opportunities for collaborations.”