2018 Postdoc Scientific Symposium

The Postdoc Symposium is our annual opportunity to recognize and showcase the important contributions of postdocs to the scientific enterprise at Washington University. The Symposium includes a panel discussion, a keynote speaker, a poster session, and presentation of the outstanding faculty mentor award. Sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and the WU Postdoc Society. 

Registration for the Symposium is now open!

2018 Keynote Speaker: Elizabeth L. Travis, Ph.D.

1.jpgDr. Travis is the Associate Vice President for Women & Minority Faculty Inclusion Programs and the Mattie Allen Fair Professor in Cancer Research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. As an advocate for women in science, she served as President of Women Executives in Science and Healthcare (Formerly Society of Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine, SELAM) from 2012-2013 and received the Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Development Award (for an individual) from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in 2009. In 2007 she was named a Fellow of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (FASTRO); fewer than 300 distinguished scientists nationwide have received this honor. She holds dual appointments as a Professor in the Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology and the Department of Pulmonary Medicine at MD Anderson. Dr. Travis received a Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology/Radiation Biology from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. She completed postdoctoral training at Mount Vernon Hospital Gray Laboratory, Northwood, Middlesex as well as the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois.

Abstract Submission Criteria

  • You must have an official university title of either Postdoctoral Research Associate or Postdoctoral  Research Scholar at both the time of submission and on March 22, 2018.
  • Poster judging is optional and postdocs may present “works in progress” posters. 
  • Postdocs must have 1 year of WU experience to submit an abstract for a talk and 6 months of experience to submit an abstract for a judged poster.
  • Judged posters may be set up the day before the symposium, and must be displayed and ready for judging by 8 am on March 22, 2018.

Abstract Details

  • Abstracts must be 1800 characters or less (about 250 words or less).
  • Abstracts may be submitted on any topic or in any STEM field.
  • Please do not use figures, tables, or graphs.
  • Please do not include references, citations, or funding sources.
  • The abstract submitted should be for your current postdoctoral research project. The abstract should focus on your personal scientific contributions to the lab and your specific postdoctoral research project, though it may also include general information about the lab and its activities. Please do not submit a standard lab abstract. 
  • Please use clear, simple language and a general vocabulary that can be understood by anyone.  Symposium attendees represent a variety of departments, fields, and backgrounds. Please write so that all can understand.
  • Abstracts will be posted online for 2-3 weeks around the time of the symposium. Please make sure you do not include confidential information or data that cannot be posted online.

Talk Selection Process

An Abstract Review Committee comprised of Washington University faculty will review and select the five postdoc talks. The talk abstracts will be chosen based on:

  • Significance
  • Originality
  • Clarity of abstract
  • Interest to a general scientific audience and
  • Illustrating the breadth and diversity of our scientific community

The goal of the talks is to showcase great science and illustrate the range of research areas of our postdocs at Washington University.

Poster Selection & Judging

All posters will be accepted unless we have space constraints. Poster judging is a two-part process and all judged posters must be set up by 8 am on March 22, 2018. Part 1 will occur prior to the Symposium. The poster judges will review and evaluate the posters without postdocs present, and narrow it down to the top posters, approximately 10. The judges will then visit the top posters during the poster session. A formal presentation is not required - you are expected to present and discuss your research with all those who visit your poster. (Poster judges may or may not identify themselves.) The suggested judging criteria for the posters are:

  • Clarity – poster and oral explanation are understandable to a non-expert
  • Significance of the research
  • Originality of research design, technique, focus or idea
  • Interest to a general scientific audience
  • Poster is well designed and well organized with fonts in an appropriate size, an appropriate number of graphics, etc.
  • Information can be understood and followed (in a basic sense) without a person present
  • Presenter can succinctly explain their research
  • Presenter can address questions appropriately
  • Presenter can relate their research to the “big picture” and provide relevance

The Best Poster Award will be announced via email after the symposium.

Instructions for Submission

Abstracts will be accepted from November 27, 2017-December 22, 2017. One submission per person please. The abstract submission form is now closed.

  • Electronic submissions only.
  • Abstracts may be submitted for either a talk or a poster (posters may be judged or unjudged). Reminder: Postdocs must have 1 year of WU experience to submit an abstract for a talk and 6 months of experience to submit an abstract for a judged poster.
  • The title and abstract will be posted online and printed in the symposium program. Please review and spell check before submitting.


2018 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

Do you consider your mentor to be outstanding?  Does he or she go out of their way to ensure your success?  Then nominate him or her for the 14th Annual Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award!  The Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award will be presented at the Postdoc Symposium on March 22nd.  You must be a current WU postdoc to nominate someone, and you may only nominate current WU faculty members.  Go to https://wustl.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0iBGMC7ekd2gyWh​ to submit your nomination.

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