The Ins and Outs of Being a Postdoc at the NIH

Note: Registration Required (Register through Eventbrite)

FREE LUNCH PROVIDED (Chinese food buffet)

In this seminar, we will share an overview of the NIH and what it is like to be an NIH postdoctoral researcher.  NIH postdocs conduct basic and applied research, including in the social sciences, in a highly-resourced environment with up to five years of funding.  We will discuss professional development opportunities for NIH postdocs when still deciding on and preparing for independent careers.  NIH offers a large amount of career support for many career paths, including those outside of academia and away from the bench.  Participants will also learn how to find and apply for NIH postdoc opportunities. 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the session, participants should be able to:

  • Describe what is unique about being a postdoctoral researcher at the NIH

  • Identify factors to contemplate when considering a postdoc position at the NIH

  • Explain the process of applying to postdoc positions at the NIH

  • Understand how NIH postdoc positions are funded


Dr. Sydella Blatch              

                                                                             Sydella Blatch, Ph.D. 

                                                       Postdoc & Visiting Fellow Program Manager

                                                      Office of Research Training and Development 

                                                                        National Institutes of Health

Dr. Sydella Blatch has spent most of her post-PhD career as a professor at a small university, but now focuses on graduate and postdoctoral career development as a program manager at the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Prior to that she worked at the American Society for Cell Biology as the Director of Professional Development.  Sydella entered career development work full-time after nearly seven years at Stevenson University as an Assistant then Associate Professor of Biology.  As faculty, she taught eight different courses, mentored over 20 undergraduates in research, and as service, chaired the university’s Faculty Development Subcommittee, served on the Assessment Advisory Board, and coordinated research for the Department of Biology and the New Student Seminar for the School of the Sciences.  Her research in biology was in animal physiology, specifically the interactions between microbes and B-vitamins in fruit flies. During this time and prior, she was a member of the Minority Affairs Committee of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  Her PhD in insect nutritional physiology is from Arizona State University (ASU), under Dr. Jon F. Harrison, where she also was co-president of ASU’s Black Graduate Student Association and founded a multicultural mentoring program called Shades that is still operating.  Sydella’s postdoctoral fellowship was with Dr. Karl Pfeifer of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at NIH in molecular mechanisms of mouse epigenetics.  Now, as a career development professional, she remains passionate about professional development, mentoring and diversity having earned a total of ten awards or honors in leadership, diversity or teaching.

Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Mission Hall, MH 1407
550 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94158

Event Type



Students, Postdocs, Alumni


Mission Bay


Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD)


Contact Info