Postdoc Preview

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Postdoc Preview

September 15 - September 17

Are you a senior graduate student exploring your postdoc options?

VAI Postdoc Preview is a three-day program that provides selected applicants the opportunity to visit Van Andel Institute to learn about our postdoctoral training opportunities, meet one-on-one with our internationally recognized faculty and explore our extensive scientific resources, including our state-of-the-art Core Technologies and Services. This year’s Preview will be held Thursday, Sept. 15 through Saturday, Sept. 17. The application period will open in spring 2022.

There is no cost to attend. VAI will provide transportation, lodging and meals for all selected applicants. We also are pleased to offer family care grants for those caring for children or other family members. More information and the application may be found below.

About postdoctoral training at VAI

VAI labs conduct world-class biomedical research in cancer epigenetics, neurodegeneration, metabolism, cell biology and structural biology — all supported by outstanding Core Technologies and Services. We offer numerous fully funded postdoctoral positions across our areas of focus. Learn more about postdoctoral training opportunities at VAI here.

In addition, we have two new fellowship programs to support postdoctoral training at VAI: a National Cancer Institute T32-funded Cancer Epigenetics Training (CET) program, and the Inspire Fellowship program for postdocs who identify as underrepresented minorities. We accept applications on a rolling basis for CET; the next Inspire Fellowship application cycle will open in fall 2022. Please note that attending Postdoc Preview does not guarantee you a fellowship or a postdoc position at VAI; we encourage you to also apply to one or more of our open postdoc positions and fellowship opportunities (see FAQ tab below for more information).

Questions? Please contact Dr. Erica Gobrogge, program director of VAI’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, at

Program Agenda



Helpful Links

The 2022 agenda is not yet set, but the 2021 agenda is below for reference.


Various times

Participants arrive. VAI will work with participants to book their transportation to Grand Rapids. 

6–8 p.m.

Welcome dinner at a local restaurant with current VAI postdocs 

Friday, Oct. 15

8:45–9 a.m.

Transportation from hotel to VAI

9–9:45 a.m.

Breakfast and overview presentation

9:45–11:45 a.m.

One-on-one meetings with faculty and/or an Office of Postdoctoral Affairs representative

11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m.


12:45–2 p.m.

One-on-one meetings with faculty and/or an Office of Postdoctoral Affairs representative

2–3 p.m.

Tour of VAI

3–3:30 p.m.

Break with snacks

3:30–4:30 p.m.

Research in Progress
Every Friday, VAI scientists and staff gather for a research presentation from one of the Institute’s labs. This time offers an exceptional opportunity to keep up to date with the latest research and to discuss ideas with colleagues in a collaborative environment.

4:30–5:15 p.m.

Every Friday after Research in Progress, VAI scientists and staff gather for Refresh, a time to socialize and unwind at the end of the week.

5:15–5:30 p.m.

Transportation from VAI to hotel

5:30–6:15 p.m.

Break at hotel

6:15–6:30 p.m.

Transportation to restaurant

6:30–8:30 p.m.

Dinner with VAI faculty at a local restaurant 

Saturday, Oct. 16

9–11 a.m.

Tour of Grand Rapids 

11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Lunch with VAI postdocs at a local restaurant 

Various times


The application period for the 2022 VAI Postdoc Preview will open in spring 2022. Email Dr. Erica Gobrogge ( if you would like to be notified by email when the application portal opens.

Eligibility: Applicants must be current graduate students at U.S. institutions who anticipate beginning a postdoctoral fellowship by November 2023. Individuals who identify as underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to applicants who are eligible for VAI’s NCI T32-funded Cancer Epigenetics Training Program and VAI’s Inspire Fellowship. 

How to Apply: Prior to starting the application, please compile a list of VAI faculty members (found here) whose research interests you, along with the following required materials:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research statement: The statement should not exceed two pages and should highlight your research background, including your thesis project, with an explanation of how your experiences connect to your ideal area of interest for postdoctoral research
  • One reference letter from your thesis advisor or thesis committee member

What COVID-19 precautions is VAI taking for Postdoc Preview?

VAI is following CDC guidelines in its facilities. In addition, participants will have their own hotel rooms. If you have further questions about our COVID-19 precautions, please email Dr. Erica Gobrogge, program director of VAI’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, at 

Is there a cost to attend?

There is no cost to attend! VAI will arrange your transportation, lodging and meals and will reimburse you for reasonable additional expenses you incur (e.g., airport parking).

How many applicants will be selected to attend Postdoc Preview?

VAI will welcome up to 12 successful applicants to the 2022 Postdoc Preview. This is a competitive application process; learn more by visiting the “Apply” tab.

I would like to attend but I have child or family care needs. Should I still apply?

Yes! VAI is pleased to offer family care grants of up to $500 to selected applicants. For more information, please contact Eric Miller at

If selected, do I get to choose the faculty with whom I meet?

Yes! As part of your application, we ask that you select faculty members you would like to meet. We will do our best to pair you with the faculty of your choosing, depending on their availability. You can learn more about our faculty by visiting VAI’s lab directory here or by exploring each department’s home page:

If I am selected to attend the Postdoc Preview, am I guaranteed a postdoctoral position at VAI?

No. Postdoc Preview offers an opportunity to learn about postdoctoral training opportunities at VAI, meet potential faculty mentors and network with other future postdocs, all while exploring Grand Rapids. We encourage you to apply to our different postdoc programs either before or after you attend Postdoc Preview. You can learn more about our postdoctoral offerings and how to submit an application at the links below:

Who reviews applications?

Applications will be reviewed by VAI faculty members and VAI Office of Postdoctoral Affairs staff. We are particularly interested in applicants whose stated research interests fit with our faculty members’ research.


September 15
September 17
Event Category:


Van Andel Institute
333 Bostwick Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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