Postdoctoral Fellowship
Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

The Department of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine is committed to the mentorship and development of its postdoctoral fellows.

Jessica Kahn, MD, MPH, associate chair of Academic Affairs and Career Development, oversees postdoctoral recruitment and retention.

Led by Lisa Privette Vinnedge, PhD, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs addresses issues directly related to the recruitment and retention of postdoctoral research fellows and also supports their overall career development.

Umasundari (“Uma”) Sivaprasad, PhD, and Tamiika Hurst, PhD, lead the effort to recruit talented postdocs to Cincinnati Children’s.

Keys for Success

The primary mentoring relationship is with the postdoctoral fellow’s adviser. In addition, the leadership within the postdoctoral office is available for mentoring. Postdoctoral fellows are advised to form a mentoring committee that includes their adviser as well as at least two other faculty in their field of interest. This committee should meet at least two times a year to monitor the progress of the fellow and to give appropriate advice. Career guidance is also expected of this group. It is also encouraged that postdoctoral fellows identify a career interest early in their training and create a network of mentors with experience in attaining that career
All fellows are required to be evaluated annually by their adviser. Through this process, fellows usually receive merit increases to their stipend.
Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty , meant for all new postdoctoral fellows, is a publication available in PDF format and on the HHMI website.
We work closely with the University of Cincinnati’s Office of International Affairs on all aspects of hiring international postdoctoral fellows. This office is critical for providing information for obtaining visas, housing in Cincinnati and required documentation and understanding tax issues.

Resources for Postdoctoral Grants

A series of seminars are presented each year that address specifics on writing NIH proposals, development of specific aims, the importance of the abstract and supplementary material, the NIH review process and budgeting, and gaining support from private foundations. Special attention is paid to postdoctoral NRSA awards and the K series of mentored awards from the NIH. The University of Cincinnati also hosts a yearly Grant Writing Workshop.
Cincinnati Children’s provides examples of successful grants from multiple NIH mechanisms. These examples, as well as “boilerplate” statements on the facilities at Cincinnati Children's, can be downloaded through the internal company webpage, Centerlink - Grants.
The Strauss Fellowship Award at Cincinnati Children's was instituted in 2014 in honor of Dr. Arnold Strauss’ tireless efforts at advocacy and championship towards higher education at Cincinnati Children’s. The Strauss Fellowship is a $10,000 competitive pilot grant awarded to 3-5 fellows each year who are within their first two years of training. The goal of this award for Postdoctoral Fellows is to provide research funds for meritorious fellows to prepare for sustained research and extramural funding during and following the completion of their postdoctoral training.
It is expected that all eligible postdoctoral fellows and research associates at Cincinnati Children's will apply for their own postdoctoral fellowship grants or mentored career development grants. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has several resources to help determine eligibility for Fellowship and Mentored Grants. The NIH also offers a loan repayment program to help pay for student loans. Eligibility for NIH grants, including citizenship status, vary between grant mechanisms and NIH institute. In addition to NIH grants, several other organizations have postdoctoral fellowships and mentored career awards, many of which are available to international postdocs. Searchable databases for those include the Foundation Center and Trialect. Also, numerous professional societies and disease-specific organizations (like the American Heart Association, or Susan G. Komen) provide postdoctoral fellowships for early stage postdocs and mentored career development awards for late stage postdocs.
It is expected that all faculty and fellows will have their new grant proposals reviewed at least one month prior to submission. A list of internal reviewers is updated yearly and provided to all faculty and fellows by way of our intranet. The signature of an internal reviewer is required before any grant can be submitted.

Career Development and Networking Opportunities

Postdoctoral fellows can obtain training and experience in teaching through the Preparing Future Faculty Program at the UC College of Medicine. This program provides valuable training in teaching, the academic job search, portfolio design and many other topics applicable to postdocs who are interested in a teaching career.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is a sustaining member of the National Postdoctoral Association. All Cincinnati Children’s postdocs and mentors can join as affiliate members at no cost. The NPA website is a great resource for both American and international postdocs.

Each year the Women’s Faculty Association holds several faculty development workshops open to all faculty and fellows. Workshops have included guidance on time management, mentoring, how to be a division director, managing a lab, team building, foreign nationals in academia and negotiation skills.
Teaching faculty and fellows to become better teachers is part of the Faculty Development Series. Several forums are run each year that are open to faculty and fellows. The Office of Academic Affairs and Career Development welcome fellows to all events.

Postdoctoral Events

Each September, in celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, Cincinnati Children’s and the University of Cincinnati collaborate to produce either a career workshop or a career fair. These career development events highlight career opportunities in non-academic research settings and offer help with career readiness including resume and CV reviews, individual development plans, and more.
This forum occurs each spring at the College of Medicine with the purpose of promoting scientific communication among postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and faculty, as well as to inform the scientific community and potential employers about current postdoctoral research activities at the College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children’s. A keynote address by an internationally recognized scientist is part of this event. Postdoctoral fellows present their work as part of a poster presentation.

Monthly lunch meetings for postdocs and research associates are run by Lisa Privette Vinnedge, PhD. The meetings include either research seminars by fellows, special presentations on alternative career paths, career development topics, or discussions of Cincinnati Children’s policies and programs. These meetings are also an opportunity for fellows to voice concerns and to network. Meetings are the first Tuesday of each month at 1:00pm.

Contact Us

We look forward to answering your questions about the postdoctoral fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation.

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
Cincinnati Children’s
3333 Burnet Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039