Office of Postdoctoral Education History
The Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE) was established in 1999 by Dr. Joan Lorden, the Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Provost for Research, to provide administrative support and educational opportunities thereby enhancing the quality of Postdoctoral training at UAB. The OPE was one of the first Postdoctoral offices in the country and is headed by the Associate Dean of the Office of Postdoctoral Education who in conjunction with the Council of Postdoctoral Education (COPE) is responsible for the formulation and application of all of the policies regarding Postdoctoral training.
Dr. Lorden appointed Dr. Tika Benveniste as the first Associate Dean of the Office of Postdoctoral Education. During her time as Associate Dean, Dr Benveniste worked to compile a database of all Postdoctoral scholars, so that the Office of Postdoctoral Education could identify and communicate with this formerly invisible population.
The second Associate Dean for the Office of Postdoctoral Education, Dr. Sadis Matalon was appointed in March of 2001. An experienced mentor who has worked with over 25 Postdoctoral scholars, Dr. Matalon worked toward developing the best possible Postdoctoral environment at UAB. In order to realize this goal, Dr. Matalon implemented a comprehensive benefits package for Postdoctoral scholars that allows for paid vacations, sick leave, and maternity leave, and established several award opportunities for Postdoctoral scholars.
On October 1, 2003, Dr. Victor Darley-Usmar was appointed Associate Dean when Dr. Matalon became Acting Vice President for Research. Dr. Darley-Usmar, Professor of Pathology and then Co-Director of the Center for Free Radical Biology has been recognized for his contribution to training graduate students and has built a multi-disciplinary research group and trained multiple Postdoctoral Scholars many of whom have developed independent careers in academic research. He pursued four objectives during his term in office: 1) to enhance the national standing of UAB in Postdoctoral education to aid in recruiting the highest quality Postdoctoral scholars to UAB 2) to enhance the Postdoctoral experience at UAB by instituting and maintaining nationally competitive terms, conditions and training programs 3) facilitate the transition to independence for the Postdoctoral Scholars and 4) establish a UAB Postdoctoral Association.
In March 2007, Dr. Lisa M. Schwiebert was appointed Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Education. Dr. Schwiebert has reviewed current activities and has expanded and enhanced the training curriculum and opportunities for postdoctoral education. One of her first acts was the development of surveys to ask postdocs, their mentors, and department administrative staff about their experience with the OPE office. Expansion includes the implementation of a ‘Grant Writing Course for Postdoctoral Scholars', the establishment of an award for postdocs who submit and receive grant funding for at least ½ of their salary, introduced numerous new seminars of interest to postdocs, the development of a mechanism for recruitment of minority postdoctoral scholars, which is in the process of approval, as well as submitted a grant to obtain funding to provide opportunities for postdocs to teach at primary minority colleges. In addition, she has worked to maintain and improve the operations of the Office of Postdoctoral Education including offering a certificate to postdocs upon completion of their training and a newly enhanced website.
For grant submission boiler plate information about the Office of Postdoctoral Education, see Information for Administrators and Mentors.