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Upcoming PTOP/ BPA Events

DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion) discussion group

Join us for the November DEI discussion group on intersectionality and identity in academia. Intersectionality describes how race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics “intersect” to create certain privileges or disadvantages. In an open discussion, we will talk about why, when we consider racism in academia, we need to think through a lens of intersectionality. We will also reflect on how our own characteristics or identities influence our position in society, and our approach to research.

Discussion questions:

  • How do intersectional identities influence someone’s position in society in general, and in academia?

  • What are some of the factors that you think shape your own identity and social position? How do they impact the challenges you face in your career?

  • How does your identity and lived experience influence your approach to research? For example, does your identity influence what type of research you’re interested in, and how you conduct your research?

Past PTOP/ GSI Center Events

 DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion) discussion group

The ongoing Black Lives Matter and anti-racism movement across the US and the world have inspired PTOP to host a monthly DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion) discussion group together with the Berkeley Postdoctoral Association (BPA) diversity committee. The goal of this discussion group is to provide a consistent platform where the UCB postdocs and visiting scholars can build community, share resources and discuss action plans to fight against racism for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color) and discrimination based on gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation in higher education. 


This journal club will meet on a monthly basis covering different topics and various advocacy strategies and approaches. The topics include but are not limited to the following: 1) historical perspective leading up to current BLM events, 2) racism in academia, 3) intersectionality, 4) mentorship, 5) race and urbanization, 6) race and mass criminalization, 7) tokenism, 8) model minority myth 9) LGBTQIA+ in higher education and 10) disability. 



Discussion Questions for the discussion group on Oct 14:

1. Based on what you have read, could you share with the group something you found particularly compelling?

2. From your personal experience, what kinds of capitals or opportunities allow you to achieve the upward mobility during your educational journey?

3. What are some of the macro-level problems of educational inequality at UC Berkeley that you have witnessed? What are some actions that we can take individually or in the Berkeley community to address these problems?

4. What are some of the meso-level problems of educational inequality at UC Berkeley that you have witnessed? What are some actions that we can take individually or in the Berkeley community to address these problems?

5. What are some of the micro-level problems of educational inequality at UC Berkeley that you have witnessed? What are some actions that we can take individually or in the Berkeley community to address these problems?

"Pathways to scientific teaching" (A certificate-awarding course on learner-centered teaching)
PTOP (Postdoc Teaching Opportunities Program) invite you to participate in an exciting professional development/pedagogy course titled “Pathways to Scientific Teaching”. The course involves two parts: two half-day pedagogy seminars (9-1 PM on Wednesday February 26 and Thursday February 27; lunch provided), and an optional two-hour peer-feedback session. Participants who attend both seminars and peer-feedback session will earn a Certificate in Learner-centered teaching from the VSPA office (great for your CV!) The course will introduce scientific teaching, which integrates the research model into learner-centered teaching approaches. Participants will gain hands-experience in developing course materials. Diane Ebert-May, a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Biology at Michigan State University, will teach the course.
Registration Info: Registration is limited to 40 attendees. Please register via:
For more info: please see the flyer.

PTOP special workshop

  • October 2, 1:00– 5:00 pm, 2020
  • Title: Be a better teacher using english as a second language
  • Instructor: Nicolas Gattig (Communication Coach and Author) 
  • Location: Sproul Hall Room 209
  • Abstract: This interactive workshop is ideal for postdocs teaching at university, using English as a second language. Participants are encouraged to discuss personal challenges and bring their own teaching materials. Participants learn two communication strategies to make their teaching more effective: Making content clear and engaging, and teaching with authentic confidence. Through activities participants learn how to polish their language, having more impact with fewer words. They learn how to design and edit presentations to make them visually attractive and hold students’ interest. In addition, participants learn how to be more confident lecturing in English by means of effective delivery. Using feedback from the instructor and peers, they learn how to develop an authentic teaching personality and handle student challenges. The instructor has an MS in Education and has taught at universities in the U.S. and Japan. As a journalist and corporate communication coach, he brings unique insights from these fields to the workshop.
  • See more here

SPLiCE 2019

  • STEM PhD Leadership and Community Expo (SPLiCE) 

    Join us at STEM PhD Leadership and Community Expo (SPLiCE)!

    Event: On Tuesday, March 19th PTOP will be at SPLiCE, a new event with the aim of connecting Berkeley’s graduate and postdoc scientists in an environment which will foster engagement and new opportunities. Meet us there to discuss about teaching opportunities on campus!

    When: March 19 2019 6-7:30 pm

    Where: Stanley Hall, First Floor Atrium

O.F.I.T Past Series

  • June 24th 3:45-5:00 pm

    Title: Collective Intelligence in Smart Cities: a Bottom-Up Approach

    Presenters: Alexander Graeml, and Francesco Goisis

    Location: Sproul Hall, room 309, Barrow Lane, Berkeley

    Abstract: The information and communication technologies (ICTs) of the 21st century allow people to connect and collaborate in unprecedented ways. This is changing the relationship between the citizens and the cities. In the past, caring for the city was delegated to local administrations and the solution of city's problems was considered as a service to be provided by the municipality. However, that model has long proven not to be able to deal with the complexity of city issues. People started perceiving that, if they wish to live in nice human environments, they have to take more responsibility. ICTs allow citizens that want to have an active role in shaping their cities, according to their needs and wishes, to coordinate with others that have similar intents. In this seminar, we will examine how smarter and technologically empowered citizens can contribute to designing smart cities, giving some examples of how technology and law can contribute to the new approach.

  • May 23th 4:00-5:30 pm

Presenters: Miriam Allena, Visiting Scholar at Berkeley Law School
Florian Hofer, Visiting Scholar at D.O.P. Center of EECS department

Location: Sproul Hall, room 309, Barrow Lane, Berkeley

Abstract: Housing availability has become a major issue in modern societies. An increasing number of low and middle-income people cannot afford a house or live in houses that are not adequate. In this seminar we discuss how affordable housing can be 'smart', not only from a technological point of view, but also in terms of sustainability, inclusiveness and creation. In particular, new approaches towards affordable housing will be explored from a legal, architectural and technological point of view.

  • April 4th 4:00-5:30 pm

    Title: Cutting Edge Laser Applications

    Presenters: Zheng, Qiye; Hwang, Kilean; and Park, Jaehong

    Location: Sproul Hall, room 309, Barrow Lane, Berkeley

    Abstract: As Laser technology is developing faster than Moore's Law, it has been greatly changing the world of science and our daily life over the past 60 years. Here, we present examples of cutting edge Laser technology developments and applications in a public language. First, in modern scientific research, an ultrashort pulse of a laser can be generated by a special design of the source. Such laser can be used to characterize the physical processes in a short time scale which is of significance for many research fields as well as industrial materials processing. Second, a high power laser can accelerate sub-atomic particles, electrons, protons, and ions. Particle acceleration is of great importance in many fields: fundamental physics, semiconductor, clean air and water, cancer therapy, etc. Laser-based particle acceleration has attracted more attention because it is portable and cheap, compared to the conventional particle accelerators. In this talk, we understand how lasers can accelerate particles with the help of computer simulations. Third, we will present the basic characteristics and principles of free electron laser. The free electron laser opened both ultra-fast and ultra-small world to the unprecedented limit.

  • March 7th 4:00-5:30 pm

    Title: How to become an excellent teacher: Tips for classroom and online teaching!

    Presenters: Karin Graeml & Md Azizul Moqsud

    Location: Sproul Hall, room 309, Barrow Lane, Berkeley

    Abstract: Teaching is one of the most noble professions, because it helps conveying our society’s knowledge and values to new generations of citizens. However, being a good teacher is not an easy task, particularly in times of disruptive ideas and technologies. In this seminar we will discuss practices, qualities and teaching styles that can lead to more interesting classes and improved learning. Additionally, as distance learning becomes more prevalent, blended courses or completely online programs become an alternative to students and educators, that brings an additional set of good practices to be effective. Regardless of the environment in which the teaching/learning process takes place, good teachers are those that make the path to knowledge and wisdom a path that students are enthusiastic to take. We hope that this seminar brings you some insights about how to achieve that.

    Registration: Click here!

  • December 6th 4:00-6:00 pm

    Title: Rice and mice: Groundbreaking solutions to human health challenges

    Presenters: Evangelia Vamvaka and George Prounis

    Location: Career Center - Gold Room - 2440 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94720

    More information and registration here!


  • October 4th 4.00 pm - 5.30 pm

    Title: Future Trends in Energy Systems

    Presenters: M. Azizul Moqsud & Elpiniki Apostolaki-Iosifidou

    Location: Blue Room - Career Center

  • GSI Workshops on Teaching (309 Sproul Hall)

    Syllabus and Course Design - Oct. 9th 


Call for board members - Recruiting Now!


Previous Events

Active Learning Workshop - August 31st 2018

Teaching Assessment Workshop - February 1, 2018

Syllabus Planning Workshop - March 2018

OFIT sessions:

Spring 2018

  • History and significance of the free speech movement
  • Culture, Identity, and Social Change
  • Population, Health, and Migration
  • Environmental health and climate change


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