SOPS January Newsletter

Dear Fellow Postdocs,

Welcome to another wonderful year (2016) and a brand new term. Hope that both bring new experiences and great things. As you return to campus, we ask you consider submitting a presentation or poster abstract to the 6th Annual Society for Postdoctoral Scholars (SOPS) Postdoctoral Symposium. The abstract submission deadline (January 15th) is only two weeks away! We particularly encourage a diversity of topical areas and participants. If you know of any Postdocs or graduate students who are not aware of the SOPS symposium, please make them aware of this exciting research-related opportunity.

The 6th Annual SOPS Symposium will be here on February 5th!

The SOPS Symposium is an excellent way to engage with the broader research community in either an oral or poster presentation format. We will also have a juried competition for best research presentation. This year’s symposium is sponsored by the Graduate College and the Provost’s Office, and will be hosted at the Beckman Institute. Our keynote speaker is Dr. Adam Kruse from the School of Music. He will be presenting a keynote lecture entitled “Bring the Noise: Challenging the Relationships Between Hip-Hop and School Music”. The submissions will feature Postdocs and graduate students from a variety of disciplines, so be sure to submit your work and/or register today!

The registration fee is $15 for all participants. This includes coffee, a light breakfast, catered lunch, and light evening refreshments at the reception. As the number of oral presentations are limited, those abstracts not selected for oral presentations will be offered poster presentations. Graduate students are particularly encouraged to submit abstracts for the poster session. Travel awards will be available. The abstract word limit is 200 words.

For more information, please visit our website:

To register, please follow this link:

We look forward to seeing you there!


Speaking of new experiences to welcome in 2016, SOPS is sponsoring its inaugural practice job talk. Our speaker will be Dr. Muhammad Rabnawaz from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Please put this on your calendars, and attend if possible:

SOPS Practice Job Talk #1

Dr. Muhammad Rabnawaz

Postdoctoral Associate

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

“A New Technology Welcomes you in Smudge-free World”

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

117 Roger Adams Lab



In this presentation, I will discuss an innovative paint that will reduce fingerprint deposition on electronic touchscreens, glass, prevent graffiti/acid rain from damaging historical statutes, and protect metals and ceramics from corrosions. Polymeric perfluoropolyether1 and/or siloxane oil2 was embedded into a cross-linked polyurethane film. The perfluoropolyether or siloxane oil forms a thin liquid film on the surface of polyurethane film.  When another liquid such as water or oil is dispensed onto the surface of these paints, the liquid slides off because the slippery (lubricating) thin liquid film repel the liquid droplets.  We successfully applied this coating onto a smart-phone screen, which did not affect the display quality or touchscreen sensitivity.  Consequently, t his paint can be potentially used to protect ~8 billion touchscreen electronic devices currently available in the market.  This new coating can be applied onto a variety of substrates such as glass, wood, fabric, metal, and ceramics via dip-coating, spray-coating or dispensing techniques.


[1] Rabnawaz, M.; Liu, G. Angew. Chem. 2015, 127, 6616 (Cover article).

[2] Rabnawaz, M.; Liu, G.; Hu, H. Angew. Chem. 2015, 127, 12913. See also:

We are interested in organizing additional sessions for Postdocs to practice their job talk or more generally gain exposure to public speaking. If you would like to present (or even simply attend as an audience member), contact Bradly Alicea (balicea<at>, Maryam Shakiba (mshakiba<at>, or Ilaria Berteletti (ilariab<at>


With the New Year also come a number of events and deadlines. A few to look out for include:

1) the Graduate College Career Development office will offer more than 20 workshops on a range of topics during Spring 2016. Their interactive workshops offer information and practice to help you get from where you are to where you want to be. Our Spring 2016 workshop series includes useful information on:

Resumes & Cover Letters

Preparing for Faculty Job Interviews

Negotiation Strategies

Career Exploration Group

Getting Started on the Non-Academic Job Market

2) iBiology Young Scientist Series. Deadline: January 11, 2016. URL:

iBiology is now accepting applications from PhD students and postdocs to participate in the 2016 YSS competition. It is a fantastic opportunity for trainees in the biological sciences to develop their communication skills and to showcase their work on a unique, international platform. Four winners will attend a multi-day workshop led by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, a leading organization in training scientists to give effective talks. After this training, the selected scientists will record a 30-minute talk in iBiology’s green screen studio. The talks will be posted on as part of the Young Scientist Seminars.

3) Future Faculty Workshop NextProfScience at the University of Michigan. Deadline: February 21, 2016. URL:

NextProf Science is aimed at future faculty—advanced doctoral students or postdoctoral fellows who are interested in an academic career in science at an exceptional academic research institution and who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity. The science and mathematics departments of the U-M College of Literature, Science, and Arts will host 48 future faculty participants on the U-M campus to show them the rewards of an academic career, help them understand the faculty search process, and connect them with faculty in their research area, as well as academic leaders, and other participants.

The NextProf Science 2016 workshop is free to participants, who must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Underrepresented minorities and women are especially encouraged to apply. Travel, lodging, and meals will be covered by the program. Applicants may nominate themselves or be nominated by a faculty mentor. Find additional information about the workshop and application materials on the NextProf Science website.


Welcome to 2016!

Society of Postdoctoral Scholars

Unsubscribe from listserv


Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

Comments are closed.