CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) and UBC’s response: please review the general information and FAQs and Postdoc-specific information.

NPAW 2021: Hints from HR: Transitioning from Academia to Industry

Date & Time

Wednesday, 22 September 2021 - 1:00pm to Wednesday, 22 September 2021 - 2:30pm
Add to Calendar


Online via Zoom


Postdoctoral Fellows Office


Transitioning from academia to industry can bring many challenges, and postdocs may not know where their past research experience may fit in an industry environment. Hear from a variety of employers about the many career paths available to advanced-degree holders. Moderated by Dr. Susan Porter, Dean and Vice-Provost of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, this panel includes HR professionals from:

Also joining us for this event will be the UBC Arts Amplifier and Arts Co-Op Program.


This event is part of 2021 National Postdoc Appreciation Week. Click here for a list of all NPAW events!


Dr. Susan Porter, Dean and Vice-Provost, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Dr. Susan Porter

Dr. Susan Porter has been the Dean and Vice-Provost of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at UBC since 2013. She is also a Clinical Professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine, and has served in sequential roles in graduate and postdoctoral administration at UBC since 2000.


Amazon Web Services

Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) began exposing key infrastructure services to businesses in the form of web services -- now widely known as cloud computing. The ultimate benefit of cloud computing, and AWS, is the ability to leverage a new business model and turn capital infrastructure expenses into variable costs. Businesses no longer need to plan and procure servers and other IT resources weeks or months in advance. Using AWS, businesses can take advantage of Amazon's expertise and economies of scale to access resources when their business needs them, delivering results faster and at a lower cost. Today, Amazon Web Services provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of businesses in 190 countries around the world. With data center locations in the U.S., Europe, Singapore, and Japan, customers across all industries are taking advantage of our low cost, elastic, open and flexible, secure platform.

Joining us from Amazon Web Services is Sam Chhay, Senior HR Business Partner.

Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre

Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC) at BC Cancer is an international leader in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics for precision medicine. By developing and deploying cutting-edge genome sequencing, computational and analytical technology, we are creating novel strategies to prevent and diagnose cancers and other diseases, uncovering new therapeutic targets and helping the world realize the social and economic benefits of genome science. 

Joining us from the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre is Robyn Roscoe. Robyn is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with 18 years of experience in the management of large health research projects, and more than 25 years' experience in project management in scientific and technical fields. She is currently Director of Management and Administration for the BC Cancer Genome Sciences Centre (GSC). In this role, Robyn directs all non-scientific operations at the GSC, including project management, finance, operations, logistics, knowledge translation and human resources. Robyn has previously worked in the environment sector and oil & gas industry as a project manager, operations specialist, and environmental manager. She holds a BSc from the University of Manitoba. In 2011, Robyn started Lyric Management, her own company for delivery of training and coaching in project management and leadership.

National Research Council Canada

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is the Government of Canada's largest research and technology organization. Working with our partners, we're delivering a national platform for innovation. We conduct research, support small and medium-sized companies to help them scale up and compete and we connect Canadian innovators to leading R&D capabilities. We also enable cross-sector partnership and collaboration here at home.

Joining us from the National Research Council Canada is Briana Wafer, Manager of HR Client Services.

Public Health Agency of Canada / Health Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada empowers Canadians to improve their health. In partnership with others, its activities focus on preventing disease and injuries, promoting good physical and mental health, and providing information to support informed decision making. It values scientific excellence and provides national leadership in response to public health threats.

Health Canada is the Federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health, while respecting individual choices and circumstances. Health Canada recruits doctors, nurses, and scientists, as well non-scientific professionals in many fields including IT, public administration, human resources, and communications. In addition, Health Canada employs students in a variety of program areas across the department.

Joining us from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada are:

  • Louise Laflèche, Senior Human Resources Advisor, A/Manager, Student Office & Specialized Recruitment, Corporate Services Branch for Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Dr. Sabina Halappanavar, A/Manager for the Mechanistic Studies Division, Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau for Health Canada
  • Dr. Paul Sandstrom, Director, National HIV & Retrovirology Laboratory JC Wilt Infectious Diseases Research Centre for the Public Health Agency of Canada
UBC Arts Amplifier and Arts Co-Op Program

The UBC Arts Amplifier and Arts Co-op Program offers undergraduate and graduate students in the Faculty of Arts enriched educational experiences for personal and professional growth. The Program works closely with employers and community partners from around the world to provide unique workplace learning opportunities in industries related to participant areas of study.

Joining us from the UBC Arts Amplifier and Arts Co-Op Program is Dr. Letitia Henville, Project Lead, Arts Amplifier, and Coordinator, Graduate Programs, Arts Co-operative Education Program.


Registration in this session is required, and is now open. Those successfully registered will receive a registration confirmation within one week of the session date.

NO-SHOW PENALTY: If you register and do not attend or cancel after 3pm on the day before the event, it may affect your eligibility to join future events. To avoid this no-show penalty, please cancel by at least 3pm the day before the event by e-mailing


If you have a disability or medical condition that may affect your full participation in the event, please email in advance of the event.


The PDFO has created a community agreement for our events in order to foster an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful environment in which all event attendees feel safe and supported.

By participating in a PDFO event, we commit ourselves to:

  • Treating one another with kindness, courtesy and respect in all interactions;
  • Engaging in gracious, active listening and valuing others’ opinions;
  • Not dominating discussions so that others can share during the session;
  • Ensuring that any potentially confidential or sensitive information shared as part of the session is not shared outside of the session;
  • Actively participating in the session; and
  • In online sessions, when possible and if comfortable sharing audio and/or video to create a greater sense of community and participation.


This panel will be delivered online via Zoom. The following suggestions may help to improve the online experience:

  • Use headphones to reduce noise and avoid feedback between your mic and speaker.
  • Ensure that you are in a quiet location so that the audio does not get polluted with unwanted noise.
  • Keep your microphone on mute unless you are speaking during the session.
  • In case of technical problems, time for plugin downloads, etc., please attempt to log into the Zoom meeting 10-15 minutes before the start. You will be placed in the waiting room until the official start time.