Rationale and Goal

The Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE) believes that, in order to insure their future success, Postdoctoral Scholars must begin an independent track record of extramural funding early in their postdoctoral careers. Accordingly, the OPE has established The Office of Postdoctoral Education Postdoctoral Scholars Award, which provides a financial incentive designed to encourage scholars to apply for individual fellowships. The OPE anticipates that this award will increase the number of individual fellowships within various programs at UAB.

Award Description:

  1. To qualify for this award, the scholar must provide to the OPE a copy of the submitted grant application along with the official award notification from the granting agency.
  2. If a postdoctoral scholar’s application is funded, that postdoctoral scholar will receive a financial reward of $1000.00 and will be designated as a recipient of The Office of Postdoctoral Education Postdoctoral Scholars Award.
  3. Awarded monies may be utilized to enhance the postdoctoral scholar’s training respective to the funded grant. Allowable expenses include internships up to a one month period, attending educational workshops, visiting laboratories to perform collaborative studies, travel to national and international professional conferences to present current findings, and, in general, expand their professional horizons. Research supplies, equipment or salary support will not be allowable expenses. All award winners must submit a short written report detailing their experiences before expenses will be reimbursed. Expenses are reimbursed upon submission of appropriate receipts according to UAB expenditure guidelines.


This award is available to postdoctoral scholar in any graduate discipline in which extramural individual fellowship funding is available. Such funding must provide more than half the scholar’s current salary. Applications for and receipt of travel and other small grants will not be eligible for this incentive plan. Only one Office of Postdoctoral Education Postdoctoral Scholars Award will be granted per person. An individual must apply for the award within six months of receiving the official award notification. Reimbursement must be requested immediately following the event. 

Postdocs in UAB News

  • NIH awards nearly $34 million to UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science
    This renewing of UAB’s prestigious Center for Translational Science Award will bolster research and workforce development at UAB and throughout its regional partner network in the Southeast.

    Written by Christina Crowe

    The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Clinical and Translational Science $33.59 million over four years to continue the center’s programs advancing translational research.

    Since its initial funding in 2008 through Alabama’s only Center for Translational Science Award to work toward innovative discoveries for better health, the UAB CCTS has nurtured UAB research, accelerating the process of translating laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, training a new generation of clinical and translational researchers, and engaging communities in clinical research efforts.

    The CCTS will continue to advance its mission to accelerate the delivery of new drugs, methodologies and practices to patients at UAB and throughout a partner network of 11 institutions in the Southeast.

    “We are excited by the capacity to continue to enhance our institution’s and our region’s innovative research and medical care,” said Robert Kimberly, M.D., UAB CCTS director. “Through internal and external partnerships, as well as a robust clinical environment and cutting-edge informatics and clinical trial resources, we look forward to working with our patients over the course of their lifespan.”

    Congress launched the CTSA program in 2006, which is overseen by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

    The amount of this award, more than double its previous funding awarded in 2008 and one of the largest at UAB, reflects an unmatched enthusiasm for the CCTS and its affiliated programs. It includes funding for 10 annual pre-doctoral training awards, 10 summer training awards, and eight career development awards for senior postdoctoral fellows or faculty-level candidates.

    “Our training programs continue to foster a culture of responsible, ethical practice among students, faculty and clinicians conducting human subjects research,” Kimberly said. “The NIH’s support of our expansive partner network, encompassing 11 regional academic and medical institutions throughout Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, will allow us to further grow our scope of practices and research resources as we look to tackle health disparities in the Southeast.”

    Through One Great Community, the CCTS’ community engagement enterprise, and the Community Health Innovation Awards, the CCTS engages Greater Birmingham­­-area residents in innovative programs designed by community members to improve their neighborhoods.

    “UAB is fully committed to the goals of the CCTS and to its continued development as a hub for clinical and translational research in the Southeast,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “This significant renewal speaks to the tremendous work and vision of our CCTS leadership and team, as well as our clinical infrastructure, scientific strengths, informatics expertise, training programs, and biostatistical and research design assistance.

    “The CCTS touches researchers in all UAB schools and across the partner network, and we are thrilled that this important work will continue with the confidence and support of the NIH.”

    Click to enlargeState and regional impact

    “The growth of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at UAB will foster economic development in the state and throughout the region,” said Senator Richard Shelby. “With a history of providing optimal clinical care and innovation in human health, UAB’s receipt of this prestigious award enables the continued development of the workforce that is necessary to meet the needs of future research advancement.”

    Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, himself a physician, voiced his appreciation for the CCTS’ initiatives. “The center has been highly effective in providing assistance in the state’s efforts to eliminate the health disparities seen throughout our region,” Bentley said. “Whether across the life course or in underserved groups disproportionately affected by cancer, stroke, heart conditions and other diseases prevalent in our state, the center has been exemplary in reaching out to our citizens.”

    UAB Vice President, Research and Economic Development Richard Marchase, Ph.D., says he is particularly pleased that the CCTS is building on UAB’s history of serving populations burdened by health disparities through its partnerships with other state and regional institutions committed to advancing health through translational research. “It is through this culture of commitment and collaboration,” he said, “that we have become a national leader in biomedical research.”

  • UAB names McMahon dean of Graduate School
    Lori McMahon, Ph.D., will enrich excellence and innovation in graduate education through professional and career-development initiatives and lead collaborative efforts for recruitment and outreach with various academic units to attract highly qualified students.

    Lori McMahon, Ph.D., has been named dean of the Graduate School at the University of Alabama at Birmingham following a national search guided by a 13-member committee made up of students, faculty and staff, and chaired by UAB Vice President for Research and Economic Development Richard Marchase, Ph.D.

    Marchase says the search committee was very pleased with both the size and the strength of the applicant pool, especially those candidates from within UAB, and that the committee is exceptionally pleased McMahon will serve as UAB’s Graduate School dean.

    “There were several candidates who really stood out, and among those Lori was a clear choice of the committee,” he said. “Her extensive experience in graduate education, her innovative approaches to how graduate education can be improved, and her enthusiastic ability to interface with both prospective and current students were distinguishing factors.”

    McMahon will strive to enrich excellence and innovation in graduate education through professional and career-development initiatives and lead collaborative efforts for recruitment and outreach with various academic units to attract highly qualified students. She also will monitor the academic status of students and provide support and oversight for administrative functions within the Graduate School. McMahon will report directly to the provost and will work closely with deans in all academic areas.

    “Her extensive experience in graduate education, her innovative approaches to how graduate education can be improved, and her enthusiastic ability to interface with both prospective and current students were distinguishing factors.”

    “Dr. McMahon has a reputation for working well with faculty across our very broad and diverse enterprise, and she has a real passion for mentoring doctoral students,” said UAB Provost Linda Lucas. “She always has doctoral students in her lab. She will bring an energy and dedication to this position that will have far-reaching benefits for students, faculty and staff.”

    A current UAB professor of cell, developmental and integrative biology, McMahon is also the Jarman F. Lowder Professor of Neuroscience and director of the UAB Comprehensive Neuroscience Center. She is associate director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Institute, is associate director for the Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging, and also holds appointments in the Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Civitan International Research Center and the Center for Exercise Medicine.

    “I have been fortunate since joining UAB in 1998 to work in a tremendously collaborative environment among outstanding faculty committed to developing highly educated trainees with the knowledge and integrity to go out and change the world,” McMahon said. “I am honored and humbled to be the dean of the Graduate School and look forward to working with faculty and students from disciplines across campus to build upon our growing prominence as a world-renowned research university.”

    McMahon — who earned her Ph.D. in neuropharmacology from Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center — joined the faculty at UAB in 1998 as an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics after completing her postdoctoral training at Duke University Medical Center. She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, American Physiological Society, and International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment.

    “I would like to thank the search committee for their commitment to identifying an exceptional candidate for this job,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “Thanks to the time and thoughtful consideration of many students, faculty, staff and supporters over many months, UAB has welcomed terrific new leadership in many areas across campus, and I am pleased Dr. McMahon will take on this important role as we strive to maximize the reach and effectiveness of UAB’s world-class graduate education opportunities.”

    Associate Dean Jeffrey Engler, Ph.D., has been interim dean of the Graduate School at UAB during the search for a permanent candidate to fill the vacancy created by the Dec. 31, 2014, retirement of Bryan Noe, Ph.D., who was UAB’s first full-time Graduate School deanfrom 2005 to 2014.

    UAB’s graduate enrollment, up 43 percent in the past decade, is the highest among Alabama universities, at 5,937 in fall 2014. The diverse group, which is two-thirds female and nearly 30 percent minority, is pursuing degrees in 50 master’s programs, 37 doctoral programs and eight education specialist programs.

    McMahon’s first day as dean will be Oct. 1.

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UAB Research News

  • Birmingham's top women in tech: Kathy Nugent
    As the head of the commercialization wing of research coming out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Nugent is forming a new strategy to turn research into more economic development opportunities and attract more venture capital into Birmingham.
  • Game on
    Mark Ingram forges a future for the Blazers.

    Written by Charles Buchanan

    What happens next?

    Mark Ingram, UAB’s new athletic director, has lost count of the number of times he’s been asked that question. His arrival on campus has coincided with a pivotal moment in Blazers history—when UAB is lighting up networks and national headlines with a bracket-busting NCAA Tournament basketball victory; a British Open success story; and the planned return of football, bowling, and rifle. That leaves Ingram with plenty of decisions to make about the direction of UAB sports, not to mention a packed schedule and infinite to-do list.

    But that’s how he likes it. “I’m not interested in easy,” Ingram says. “Easy is boring.” A former student-athlete himself—he was a two-year starter for the University of Tennessee’s football team—Ingram has led athletic development offices at Tennessee, the University of Georgia, and the University of Missouri. The North Carolina native came to UAB from Temple University, where he served as associate vice president/executive senior associate athletics director.

    Now he’s looking after 450 talented student-athletes on 17 intercollegiate teams—and serving as an ambassador to a fired-up fanbase, the community, the media, and more. Recently, Ingram discussed the Blazers’ current challenges and future opportunities:

    Let’s start with the reinstatement of the three sports. Rifle returns this fall and bowling next year, but why must football wait until 2017?

    President Watts’s announcement on June 1 marked the beginning of a process, not an end. Football reinstatement is different because there are many rules for a Football Bowl Subdivision program, and the requirements are more detailed than for other sports. We also have to consider Conference USA, where the status of football affects all of our other teams, and we must be mindful of the safety and well-being of our student-athletes.

    Conference USA and the NCAA have been tremendously helpful. Rebuilding a program is not completely foreign. But other schools did it so long ago that a lot of the rules did not exist or were different. Our circumstance is unique.

    We’ve also got to continue to raise funds to do this properly. We are so grateful to the community leaders, donors, fans, students, and alumni who got us to the minimum amount to begin the reinstatement process. We will need support for operating costs as well as facilities to help our athletes be competitive.

    What are the facility needs?

    In my meetings and tours with master planners, we have identified approximately $55 million to $60 million worth of renovations that will give us adequate facilities for all of our athletes. That figure covers a wide range of things, including a football practice building that would include a weight room, training room, locker rooms, meeting rooms, and coaching offices. Most, if not all, of our competitors nationally have such a facility. We also need to improve practice facilities for other sports. We have a track team but no track. We need a new tennis facility. Men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and volleyball share one court at Bartow Arena, which makes scheduling practices and games difficult. We also need to renovate almost all of our locker rooms. The new soccer project [BBVA Compass Field] has started.

    I enjoy finding creative ways to enhance spaces for our student-athletes because it makes such an impact on their experience. It builds their confidence and pride, and it elevates their play. Here’s a great example: After softball moved to its new facility on campus, the team went to the NCAA Tournament five years straight. Improved facilities also help recruiting. Right now, a lot of coaches aren’t showing locker rooms or other areas that might give a negative impression. We want to give our student-athletes the facilities that position them to compete for championships. There is an arms race, and we have no choice but to play if we want to win.

    There’s a lot of interest in an on-campus football stadium, but we’ve got to have a strong financial plan first. The same goes for every facility—and for all of our activities, down to renting a bus to take a team to the airport. We’re not doing anything unless we have money to pay for it, just like any other office at UAB or any other athletic department.

    How will you capitalize on the Blazers’ newfound national fame?

    Our whole department is working on that because so many people have reached out, wanting to partner with us. We will capitalize on the attention through vendor relationships, multimedia rights, and partnerships with local businesses that want to get involved.

    We’re also going to find creative ways to promote football even when we’re not playing. We’re going to have a recruiting celebration after signing day, and we are enthusiastic about Homecoming this fall. We want our coach and team out front to keep UAB football in the conversation.

    We also are building new relationships on campus. There are many opportunities to do that at UAB, which is so strong academically. For instance, the health of our student-athletes is a critical emphasis for us, and we have a world-class medical research center down the street. A partnership could help build both programs.

    How do you keep the momentum going for donations to support football and UAB’s other teams?

    Many of the people giving to this effort have made five-year pledges. It’s critical that they fulfill those pledges by September 1. We need the pledge payments now to ensure our future success and eliminate any doubt of our communities’ support and interest in UAB athletics.

    We’ve got to continue to raise more money, sell more tickets, improve our partnerships, make better deals for multimedia rights—no matter how we generate money, we need to get better at it. At the same time, we must reduce our expenses. We will find efficiencies throughout our teams and department and identify where we can save money without impacting our work.

    What role can UAB students play in the future of athletics?

    The students give us momentum and create the atmosphere at our games. The fun and energy start with them. We want them in the stands and will continue to engage them.

    It seems that Birmingham is embracing the Blazers more than ever. How important is that community connection?

    Being Birmingham’s hometown team is the most important thing. We’re grateful that the community is rallying behind us and seeing an opportunity for positive change. So many people have said they are supporting us because it’s good for Birmingham. We need more of that. If you make a donation, buy a ticket to a game, or purchase a Blazers T-shirt, you’re making a difference.

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