Postdoctoral Training
Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Enhancing Postdoc Training and Career Development

At Cincinnati Children’s, we know that proper training and mentorship matters. With the right guidance and support, today’s research fellows can become tomorrow’s top scientists.

We created our Office of Postdoctoral Affairs—one of the first programs of its kind in the nation—more than 20 years ago. Our goal is to help our postdoctoral researchers build the professional and interpersonal skills needed to achieve your career goals.

For example, we offer programming that can help you:

  • Gain teaching experience with neighboring colleges and universities such as the University of Cincinnati, Miami University and Xavier University
  • Write effective grant proposals and eventually serve as a reviewer with our Strauss Research Fellow pilot grant program
  • Learn how to prepare for your job search and jumpstart your professional networking opportunities
  • Improve soft skills such as communication, teamwork and coaching
  • Become a mentor to younger trainees with our SURF and RaMP programs

No matter where your career journey takes you, we can set you up for success. Some of our postdocs choose to remain at Cincinnati Children’s, transitioning to staff scientist roles after completion of their postdoc tenure. Many others go on to have prolific careers in academia or industry.

Examples of where our postdoctoral researchers have begun their independent careers include:

  • Bayer Pharmaceuticals
  • Chiba University (Japan)
  • Eli Lilly
  • Janssen Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • Miami University
  • Procter & Gamble
  • University of Florida
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Michigan

Tools and Resources We Offer

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs serves as a central resource for postdocs interested in career development. This includes international trainees; we’re here to help you have a successful postdoctoral research experience.

Mentoring and Evaluations

At Cincinnati Children’s, your primary mentoring relationship will be with your faculty adviser. You and your adviser will meet regularly to discuss your goals and progress.

We also encourage our postdocs to form a mentoring committee that includes at least two other faculty from their field of interest. These committee members also help monitor your progress, offer career advice and prepare you to eventually mentor others.

You also can request mentoring on specific areas of interest from the leadership team in the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

Grant Writing

Although we expect all postdoctoral fellows at Cincinnati Children’s to apply for their own grants, we can help you navigate this process. For example, we offer:

  • Grant Fundamentals workshops. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs coordinates an annual seminar series designed to help postdocs write proposals for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other grants. These seminars cover topics such as developing specific aims, the importance of the abstract and supplemental materials, the NIH review process and budgeting. We also discuss postdoctoral National Research Service Awards (NRSA) and the K-series of mentored awards (research career development awards).
  • Recommendations for external funding sources. Because funding eligibility (including citizenship status) varies from one grant source to another, we can help you identify which public and private organizations to apply through.

Cincinnati Children’s also offers one-year, $10,000 competitive pilot grants called the Strauss Fellowship Award. These awards are given annually to three, first- or second-year postdoctoral fellows. Postdocs with more than three years of experience can serve as early career reviewers for this program, gaining first-hand experience with grant study section meetings.

Networking and Career Development

Staff from the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs coordinate or sponsor various networking and career development activities throughout the year:

  • Career symposium. At least once each year, Cincinnati Children’s and the University of Cincinnati hold a career event for postdoctoral fellows. These events highlight career opportunities in nonacademic research settings. They also offer support such as resume and curriculum vitae (CV) reviews, as well as guidance on individual development plans.
  • Lunch meetings. The director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs hosts a monthly lunch meeting for postdocs. Each luncheon includes a presentation related to research or career development, plus time for participants to ask questions, voice concerns and network with fellow postdocs.
  • Cincinnati Children's Postdoctoral Association. The Postdoctoral Association is an informal group led by postdocs, for postdocs. It brings postdoctoral fellows together, helping to create a diverse network of trainees who can turn to each other for professional and personal support.
  • Postdoctoral Fellows Research Forum. This annual event promotes scientific communication among postdocs, graduate students and faculty—and potential employers. It includes a keynote address by an acclaimed scientist and opportunities for our postdoctoral fellows to give poster presentations about their work.
  • Preparing Future Faculty Program. This program, which is run by faculty and staff from the University of Cincinnati, is available to postdocs interested in teaching careers. It covers topics such as teacher training, the academic job search and portfolio design.
  • Women’s Faculty Association (WFA). The Women’s Faculty Association holds periodic career development workshops for faculty and fellows. Previous workshops have addressed mentoring skills, team-building, lab management, negotiation skills and more. There are leadership opportunities available to postdocs within the WFA.
  • Employee Resource Groups. Cincinnati Children's has many Employee Resource Groups that focus on personal and professional growth, and community engagement.

Professional Organizations

Cincinnati Children’s is an institutional member or sponsor of several professional organizations that support postdoctoral researchers. These include:

  • The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA). With a membership that includes more than 70,000 scholars and 300 research institutions, the NPA works to improve the postdoctoral experience at the individual, organizational and national levels.
  • The Intersections Science Fellows Symposium. This postdoc-driven, faculty-advised initiative showcases the outstanding research contributions of postdocs in the biological sciences, including those from backgrounds historically underrepresented in academia. It also supports the scientific and professional development of the next generation of academic faculty.

You’ll find valuable career development information in Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty, published by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Burroughs Wellcome Fund. 

Contact us at:

Postdoctoral researchers working together and smiling.

Join Our Team

If you’re interested in joining the Cincinnati Children’s team, view our current openings: