Assistant Director for Postdoctoral Affairs @ Columbia University

February 28, 2020

Position Summary

Under the leadership of the Director, the Assistant Director manages several initiatives and provides support for the University-wide Office for Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA). OPA, which is within the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, is responsible for numerous activities that involve education, training and support for all University postdoctoral researchers and scholars (postdocs). OPA also facilitates the recruitment and retention of outstanding postdocs through development of excellent programming. The Assistant Director works closely with the Director to carry out the scholarly mission of the Office. Enter details here


Career Development Tasks

  • Coordinates and manages professional development programming and job opportunity lectures and events, such as career panels, skill development workshops, and career development series.
  • Provides career counseling services to the University’s postdocs through individual sessions as well as through leading small group workshops. 
  • Collaborates with an array of University entities in the design, organization, and implementation of career and professional development programs and events.
  • Fosters and maintains relationships with postdoc alumni and external employers in order to coordinate professional networking opportunities and events for postdocs.

Program Management Tasks

  • Organizes and manages wellness related programming for postdoctoral researchers.
  • Participates in the organization and execution of the annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium.
  • Develops and implements other programming as needed to address specific needs within the postdoctoral community. 

Administrative Tasks

  • Advises postdocs with respect to job opportunities, career development, professional development opportunities, funding opportunities, international issues (visas and requirements for US employment, etc.) and University policies and practices, including referrals to other University agencies as appropriate.
  • Assists the Office Manager and Director with various communication tasks, including but not limited to, weekly emails and advertisements.
  • In collaboration with the Director, researches and evaluates current postdoctoral research policies and procedures affecting postdoctoral training.  The incumbent advises the Director on policies and resources that would best support postdocs in their training and professional development.
  • Acts as a point of contact for counterparts at other institutions regarding the policies and procedures that govern Columbia’s postdoc community.
  • Acts as an institutional point of contact for external parties, as determined by the Director. 
  • Attends local, regional and national meetings on postdoctoral affairs. 
  • Investigates emerging trends pertaining to the needs of the postdoctoral community. 
  • Investigates potential postdoctoral opportunities, such as funding opportunities and job openings.
  • Organizes local and regional meetings focused on exchanging information and discussing postdoctoral program policies with other institutions.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree
  • A minimum of 3-5 years related experience
  • Several years in a research area

Preferred Qualifications

  • Prior academic administrative experience
  • Career counseling experience in an academic setting
  • Doctorate degree with postdoc experience
  • Teaching/presentation experience

Other Requirements

The successful candidate should have a demonstrated ability to design, organize, and implement career and professional development programs and events; a strong interest in career counseling of advanced degree holders; excellent interpersonal skills and ability to deal effectively with individuals at all levels (faculty, staff, deans, etc.); ability to successfully manage difficult situations; self-motivation and ability to work independently; strong verbal and written skills and proficiency in computer applications such as Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  

The candidate will be expected to oversee a few evening events per month and a few weekend events per year. Travel and participation in a few conferences and professional meetings per year is anticipated.  Please note that this position serves postdoctoral researchers across the multiple Columbia campuses. As such, the incumbent’s time will be spent at both the main campus and the medical campus

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.