ORISE celebrates National Postdoc Appreciation Week How to continue your STEM career in the federal workforce

ORISE celebrates National Postdoc Appreciation Week

Dates: September 19-23, 2022

In celebration of our postdoctoral fellows, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is hosting a series of professional development talks and interactive events to celebrate National Postdoc Appreciation Week 2022! As a valued member of the ORISE community, we invite you to join your peers and connect with the global STEM network. The webinars and panel are open to all interested members of the ORISE community (including all academic and career statuses) and National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) members (free for ORISE participants). 

Be sure to register for the events to save your spot and receive reminders before the sessions begin!

Schedule of Events

ORISE Webinars and STEM Career Panel

Registration required for your choice of any or all of these ORISE hosted webinars and panel events, which are open to interested members of the ORISE community (including all academic and career statuses) and members of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA).


Professional Development Webinar: Strategic and Effective Interviewing

Monday, September 19, 11 a.m. to Noon ET

Learn about the two main types of interviews, the three purposes, and the various types of questions you may be asked during an interview. This session will include how to prepare for and approach your interview strategically, including the importance of: self-assessment, job and employer research, developing and articulating "fit points," mindset, and body language. The webinar will conclude with concrete techniques for how to strategically and effectively answer interview questions and an opportunity for questions from attendees.

Lydia SoleilSpeaker: Dr. Lydia Soleil is the director of career development in the Office of Postdoctoral Education at the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Soleil provides 1:1 career consulting and directs professional and career development programming for Postdoctoral Fellows and Scholars in her role as the director of career development in the Office of Postdoctoral Education in the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Soleil has worked in a variety of positions in higher education, with 15 years focused on the professional and career development of advanced degree seekers and holders. She earned a Ph.D. in physiology from the University of California, Davis and a B.S. in biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Professional Development Panel Discussion: Navigating the Path from ORISE to a Federal/STEM Career Opportunity

Wednesday, September 21, 2 to 3 p.m. ET

Learn from experienced ORISE Community members about their personal journeys to a Department of Energy or other federal STEM career and hear advice on how to showcase your ORISE experience as you consider your career options. This session includes panelist comments and Q&A with participants during the event.

Ashley GoldenModerator: Dr. Ashley Golden is the director of Health Studies at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. In this role, Dr. Golden oversees organizational strategy and implementation, and serves as a subject matter expert for epidemiologic investigations, biostatistical analyses and interdisciplinary projects in the areas of occupational health, radiation exposure and dosimetry, medical surveillance, public health and survey analyses. Dr. Golden holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in comparative and experimental medicine with a major in biostatistics and epidemiology from the University of Tennessee.

Panelists: Experienced ORISE community members will offer advice to ORISE participants on how to transition to a federal or STEM career.

Rukmani VijayaraghavanRukmani Vijayaraghavan, Ph.D. serves in DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office as the Innovation and Market Transformation advisor. In her role, she enables sustainable and equitable innovation and commercialization activities in marine energy and hydropower. She has helped run several prize competitions to accelerate water power technologies, has run the marine energy “Seedlings” program to fund new R&D pathways, and works on developing and implementing innovative financing mechanisms to advance clean energy solutions. She also helps the lead the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s efforts on Inclusive Energy Innovation.

Jason RodriguezJason Rodriguez, Ph.D. is the director for the FDA Division of Complex Drug Analysis in St. Louis, Missouri. He has a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and B.S. in chemistry from the University of Texas-Pan American. Prior to serving in management roles, Dr. Rodriguez established a program in spectroscopic screening techniques using portable Raman and near infrared technologies with an emphasis on using these tools to enhance raw material screening and developing new methods to test finished drugs. Dr. Rodriguez leads a team of scientists that spans a broad cross-section of pharmaceutical research and testing projects including dissolution, chromatography, inhalation, transdermal and mass spectrometry. He is also currently serving as the regulatory chair of the ICH expert working group (Q3E) on development of a technical guideline on extractables and leachables.

Alison FritzAlison Fritz is a research general engineer on the Energy Process Analysis Team at the NETL Albany site. She is currently completing a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University in the water and energy efficiency for the environment research group, where she focuses on critical mineral solutions for the energy transition and evaluation of water consumption and quality constraints of power generation. Fritz has worked with NETL as an ORISE research associate for the past three years applying techno-economic analysis, data analysis and statistical modeling to assess economic viability of alternative rare earth element feedstocks. Prior to her work as a research associate, she was an environmental engineer at Jacobs in Chicago, Illinois for three years. Fritz supported implementation of environmental data management and emission quantification software for industrial clients and developed tools for a programmatic approach to sustainable infrastructure evaluation using the Envision framework. She received her undergraduate degree in environmental engineering from Yale University.

Professional Development Webinar: Writing Your Resume for Federal Jobs (including USAJobs Search)

Thursday, September 22, Noon to 1 p.m. ET

Learn about the importance of the résumé in applying for federal jobs and why submitting a thorough résumé is the single best step you can take towards obtaining federal government employment; gain critical tips and guidelines for improving your résumé and review the USAJobs Resume Builder and search features. There will be an opportunity for questions at the end of the session if time permits.

Karlos DelToroSpeaker: Karlos M. DelToro, senior federal recruitment advisor, U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) 

Karlos DelToro has over three decades of human resources, administrative, and management experience. He is a senior federal recruitment advisor with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in Washington, D.C., providing employment guidance to agencies and the public. Karlos earned a B.S. in economics from the City College of New York.

ORISE Mock Interviews

Limited to first 75 registrants. Registration required (ORISE postdoctoral fellows only) with additional details provided to registrants.

Tuesday, September 20, 1 to 3 p.m. ET


Postdoc participants will be led through three questions in 15 minutes that may be asked during a non-technical part of a STEM interview. Feedback will be provided to help you better prepare for your next interview.

Interviewers: Experienced ORISE managers and leadership

National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) Appreciation Week Events

ORISE celebrates National Postdoc Appreciation Week

Centered around the theme of “Finding Your Balance,” the NPA Week Steering Committee will host two national events—a keynote address and a networking event—to recognize and support a healthy and fulfilling postdoctoral experience. These events are open to NPA members (membership free for eligible ORISE participants). 

Keynote Event: Finding Your Balance

Monday, September 19, 1 to 2 p.m. ET


This is the national kickoff event to start National Postdoc Appreciation Week. The theme of this year is postdoc mental health and wellness. Speakers will discuss the challenges early career researchers face, share tips they have learned from their struggles, and provide a framework for postdocs to build better balance in their professional lives especially as they navigate their next career step.

Networking Event

Friday, September 23, 1 to 2 p.m. ET


The life of a postdoctoral scholar is always multi-dimensional: we constantly juggle between work and life, research and career, aspirations and transitions. During this event, you will find five wellness topics: (1) physical, (2) financial, (3) career, (4) mental/emotional, and (5) community/interpersonal, hosted on Zoom and facilitated by ambassadors passionate about each realm. We encourage you to join the conversation, listen, and share your stories while the ambassadors talk about their experiences.