VSPA Programs

VSPA-sponsored Programs

The VSPA offers a variety of classes and workshops for free, or at a subsidized cost, to scholars and their partners during the year. We encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities that we have curated for you. Please check the VSPA calendar for event dates and registration details.

VSPA New Affiliate Orientation

The VSPA hosts a New Affiliate Orientation for Postdocs, Visiting Scholars, and Visiting Student Researchers with approved appointments on the first Thursday of each month (with holiday exceptions) from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. In this meeting, you will learn about campus resources, health and retirement benefits, connect with your peers, and have an opportunity to ask questions. Postdocs will also join their union representatives at the end of the VSPA orientation portion for a confidential 30-minute meeting.


VSPA and the Chief Innovation & Entrepreneurship Officer have partnered to offer PostX, a program for UCB postdocs that provides a step-by-step approach to thinking more entrepreneurially about their research, and the opportunity to explore how to commercialize ideas. Postdocs can begin their entrepreneurial journey by signing up for PostX by sending an email to sign up.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB)

VSPA offers a variety of career-related DEIB workshops each semester open to all VSPA affiliates. Topics covered include Leadership, Diversity, and Intersectionality and the Postdoc Diversity and Inclusion Symposium.

Leadership and Management

Various opportunities to develop skills and experiences in leadership and management are held throughout the year and may be open to all VSPA affiliates. Topics explored includes scientific leadership and management and inclusive leadership. 

Design Thinking

UC Berkeley's School of Information (I School) is partnering with VSPA to offer our postdocs, visiting scholars, and visiting student researchers career exploration workshops and courses that are based upon the principles of Design Thinking. Sessions will be available during both the fall and spring semesters.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

VSPA offers and subsidizes ESL classes several times each year. Courses include “Advanced ESL: Academic Writing and Presentation Skills” and “Intermediate ESL: Academic and Social English." These courses are available for postdocs, visiting scholars, and visiting student researchers, as well as their spouses, partners, and dependents over 16.

How to Publish in International Journals

VSPA offers a three-part class covering how to prepare manuscripts for publication in international journals. This series is typically offered every year during the fall semester and are open to all VSPA affiliates

Immigration Workshops

VSPA hosts an immigration attorney once every semester to provide general visa information and advice to international postdocs, visiting scholars, and visiting student researchers who are interested in transferring to different employment visas for future job opportunities in the United States.

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Pathways to Scientific Teaching

The VSPA offers a two-part seminar to introduce scientific teaching and how to integrate the research model into learner-centered teaching approaches. This seminar is offered every fall and are open to all VSPA affiliates.