Please join us for UBC's Orientation Day for PDFs. This semi-annual event is sponsored by the Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO) in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. All new PDFs and existing PDFs who have not yet attended a PDF Orientation are invited.

The next Orientation for Postdoctoral Fellows will take place on June 8, 2021, with the date to be confirmed closer to the time. Due to the ongoing situation related to COVID-19 and physical distancing protocols, this session will be delivered online via Zoom.


Registration in our Orientation for Postdoctoral Fellows is required, and now open. Those successfully-registered postdocs will receive a confirmation email within one week of the workshop date. If you are no longer able to attend, please contact postdoctoral.fellows@ubc.ca at least 24 hours before the session date.


Orientation Day will cover a range of important campus and academic information and advice geared to help you and your families obtain the most from your Postdoc experience at UBC. Also, this will be an opportunity to get connected on campus and to meet other Postdocs from many different faculties.


Please note that the presenters and programme may change based on presenter availability.

Dr. Helen Burt - Vice President, Research and Innovation

Dr. Helen Burt

Helen M. Burt, Ph.D

Associate Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Dr. Burt is the Associate Vice-President Research & Innovation and has served in the Office of Vice President Research & Innovation (formerly Research & International) since 2011. She was born in Manchester, England and obtained her B. Pharm. (Hons) from the University of Bath and her Ph.D in Pharmaceutics from UBC. In her role as Angiotech Professor of Drug Delivery in UBC’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Burt’s major research efforts are supported by grants from CIHR and NSERC and involve the development of polymer-based drug delivery systems, in particular micro- and nanoparticulates, for controlled and localized drug delivery. She has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers and 8 patents and has been the recipient of several teaching prizes and research awards, including the UBC Killam Teaching Prize and Killam Faculty Research Prize, NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation, CSPS Award of Leadership in Canadian Pharmaceutical Sciences and YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Science, Research and Technology. She is a founding scientist in the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), a member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and has served on the Board of Directors of the Provincial Health Services Authority.

Dr. Burt delivers an Introduction to the Office of the Vice-President Research and Innovation presentation as part of our Orientation for Postdoctoral Fellows.


Dr. Laura Sly - Associate Dean, Academic and Associate Professor

Dr. Laura Sly

Dr. Laura Sly,

Associate Dean, Academic (Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies)

Associate Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Pediatrics (Faculty of Medicine)

Dr. Laura Sly is Associate Dean, Academic in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics within the Faculty of Medicine. Her research focusses on the contribution of macrophages to inflammation with a special interest in reducing inflammation in immune-mediated diseases, like inflammatory bowel disease. Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Dr. Sly did her undergraduate degree before pursuing graduate and postdoctoral work in Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia. She teaches in the Experimental Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology graduate programs and joined Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in 2019 to focus on University-wide policies pertinent to postdocs and graduate students.

Dr. Sly delivers a Keys to Success as a Postdoctoral Fellow presentation as part of our Orientation for Postdoctoral Fellows.


Dr. Tony Farrell - Professor

Dr. Tony Farrell

Dr. Tony Farrell,

Professor, Department of Zoology & Faculty of Land and Food Systems

Dr. Tony Farrell is a professor of Zoology at the University of British Columbia and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Tony’s research aims to understand fish cardiorespiratory systems and apply this knowledge to salmon migratory passage, handling stress and recovery, sustainable aquaculture and aquatic toxicology. He has over 450 research publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and an H-index of 86.  Also, he co-edited of over 25 volumes of Fish Physiology and an award-winning Encyclopedia of Fish Physiology. He has studied the sub-lethal effects of sea lice and piscine orthoreovirus on the physiology of juvenile salmon. He has received multiple awards, including the Fry Medal, which is the highest honour to a scientist from the Canadian Society of Zoologists, the Beverton Medal, which is the highest honour to a scientist from the Fisheries Society of the British Isles, the Medal of Excellence, which is the highest honour of the American Fisheries Society and the Murray A. Newman Awards both for Research and for Conservation from the Vancouver Marine Sciences Centre. He is a former President of the Society of Experimental Biologists and former Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Fish Biology. He served as a member of the Minister’s Aquaculture Advisory Committee on Finfish Aquaculture for British Columbia and was a member of the Federal Independent Expert Panel on Aquaculture Science.

Dr. Farrell delivers a Keys to Success as a Postdoctoral Fellow presentation as part of our Orientation for Postdoctoral Fellows.


Janet McHugh - Benefits Associate

Janet McHugh

Janet McHugh, CPHR, CEBS

Benefits Associate

Janet is a Benefits Administrator and has held various roles as part of UBC HR's Health, Wellbeing, and Benefits team since 2014. She assists faculty and staff by providing information to help understand their benefit plans and navigate the benefits plan's claiming processes. Janet has a Bachelor of Commerce degree specializing in Human Resource Management from UBC, is a Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) and a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS). Outside of work, Janet enjoys taking her dog for walks and going to Vancouver Whitecaps FC soccer games.

Janet delivers an Introduction to Benefits presentation as part of our Orientation for Postdoctoral Fellows.


UBC Postdoctoral Association (PDA)

The UBC Postdoctoral Association (PDA) an interdisciplinary group of postdoctoral fellows and research associates at UBC. Since 2006, their executive team has worked closely with the Postdoctoral Fellows Office to represent all postdoctoral fellows equally, and advocate on their behalf. The PDA accomplishes this by advocating on behalf of the postdoctoral and research associate community to all levels of UBC administration, by: 1. providing an open forum to communicate and share experiences; 2. hosting top-tier events that highlight the scholarly work of our peers; 3. operating professional development seminars to supplement postdoctoral training; and 4. offering career-oriented resources for the next generation of research leaders.

Members of the PDA deliver Introduction to the UBC PDA and Guide to Vancouver and Canadian Culture presentations and participate on a Surviving and Thriving at UBC: A Postdoc's Perspective panel as part of our Orientation for Postdoctoral Fellows.