Postdoctoral fellows are a crucial part of Van Andel Research Institute’s efforts to improve the health and enhance the lives of current and future generations. To this end, the Institute offers several internal fellowship opportunities:
All fellows conduct their work in the Institute’s state-of-the-art research space and have access to an extensive suite of Core Technologies and Services as well as a dedicated team of operations and sponsored research professionals. They also have the opportunity to network with colleagues from around the world, who come to VARI as part of the many invited lectures, scientific symposia and other events held throughout the year.
The Institute recognizes that selecting where to complete a postdoctoral fellowship is a significant decision for postdoctoral fellows and their families. VARI has a dedicated Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, which provides a comprehensive professional development program. The Institute also provides a competitive employee benefits package for all postdoctoral fellows, regardless of external funding. The Institute is located in fun, affordable and family friendly Grand Rapids (read more about Grand Rapids here).
Questions? Email OPA@vai.org. Please note, the Institute does not currently award external fellowships.
As a registered Patent Agent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, I work in diverse fields of science and technology in pursuit of protecting our clients’ intellectual property. As a postdoctoral fellow, VARI’s multi-disciplinary approach to research allowed me to continue to hone my analytical and technical communication skills, which are invaluable in the practice of intellectual property protection.
I remember the spirit of collaboration and innovation at Van Andel Institute. That environment enabled me to partner with fellow VAI scientists to learn and apply new (at the time) genomics techniques to my scientific questions. The experience of genomics discovery opened my eyes to new scientific possibilities and led to a career at a leading genomics company, where I now share similar stories of genomics discoveries with my podcast listeners.
As a postdoc at VARI, the skills I gained in grant writing and review, working collaboratively, as well as experience with cutting-edge resources has helped me in managing peer-review committees and providing scientific oversight of research grants. The intimate setting at VARI offered opportunities for building unique relationships, which were invaluable in navigating my career path.
My postdoctoral fellowship was mentored by Dr. Nick Duesbery, back in 2000-2001; these first years of the Institute were bathed in an incomparable atmosphere of creativity and productivity. Interacting with researchers from different fields opened my mind. This fellowship enabled me to grow up in autonomy; while I learnt new technical skills, I was allowed to acquire and discern the abilities and values associated with being at the helm of a scientific team.
When I think about my experiences as a VARI postdoc, I am most grateful for the support and flexibility that allowed me to explore and gain experience as an educator in higher education. Without this opportunity, I would not have considered a career in medical education. The opportunity to teach and conduct research while a postdoc helped me feel supported beyond the laboratory, and has led to a rewarding career as an educator.
I acquired so many important skills during my time as a VARI postdoc. In addition to developing additional research and technical skills in the lab, I was provided training in grant writing, lab management and communication, among others. All of these now help me immensely in my current role. I would have been walking into this position blindly if it weren’t for the excellent training and programming provided by the VARI OPA!
As a VARI postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Jeff MacKeigan’s Laboratory of Systems Biology, I was able to acquire and hone critical skills in advanced techniques, project development, grant writing and laboratory management. VARI’s postdoctoral program fostered an environment of productive creativity and, together with VARI’s facilities, resources and support, this made my time there thoroughly enjoyable and successful.
I would describe my time as a postdoc at VARI as very exciting and full of opportunities. There was support and funding in place for postdocs to invite speakers, organize events and gain teaching experience, which are essential for career development.
It was a wonderful experience to work at VARI. I had a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Michael Weinreich’s Laboratory of Chromosome Replication (2005-2008). It was a very good experience because I could acquire a lot of skills and advanced techniques at the professional level but also maturity at the personal level. This opportunity opened me doors when I returned in France because this mobility to VARI was very valuable to find a permanent position.