Spotlight on Postdocs

Hello, postdoc fans!

UCSF’s fourteenth annual celebration for National Postdoc Appreciation Week is coming September 18-22, 2023. Below you'll find tools to help you celebrate postdocs, with email templates, Twitter tips, and other ideas you can use to show postdocs how much you appreciate all of the work they do.


Not sure what to say? We can help. Check out these starter emails to get some inspiration.

Send a message to a postdoc

Hi [name],

It’s National Postdoc Appreciation Week, so I wanted to take a moment to let you know that I’ve noticed and appreciated all your hard work in the lab.

This last year, I’ve seen you [something the postdoc has done well]. In particular, I really appreciate your work on [project]. The way you have led our [term] efforts has made an enormous difference in our lab.

We’re so glad to have you as a part of the team. Working with you has been a privilege, and I am excited about continuing our work together in the next year.


Send a message to the whole lab

Hey all,

It’s National Postdoc Appreciation Week, so I wanted to take a minute to throw a spotlight on our amazing postdoc(s) in the lab.

[name] – since you joined our lab you’ve brought a positive attitude and  amazing [term] skills. We all deeply appreciate your [personal detail, i.e. dad jokes,  bowties, etc.]

[name] – your work on [project] has been impressive, and the way you have supported us all in this weird season has made a big difference.

We’re so glad to have you as a part of the team. Working with you is a privilege, and we all look forward to continuing our work in the future.



Feel like tweeting about it? Please do! Here are some tips and examples to get you started:

  • Keep it Short - Twitter only allows 240 characters per tweet, so keep things brief!
  • Use a Photo - A picture is worth a thousand words!
  • Use our Tags - We would love to retweet you! Tag us @UCSF_Postdocs and use our tags for this week:  #ucsfNPAW #NPAW2023

Check out these tweets from NPAW 2020 for inspiration:

Tweet from Tiffany Scharschmidt at ScharschmidtLab There's easily 100 things I could thank these two UCSF Postdocs for. Let me start with the fact that they single-handedly kept our mouse colony going during the spring shutdown. Thanks Antonin Weckel and MAD Postdoc. What would we do without you!? #NPAW2020 #ucsfNPAW. Photo of two postdocs in hosptial gowns, hairnets and masks.

Tweet from seemay chou at seemaychou Next postdoc shoutout goes to my 2nd postdoc ⁦ anne sapiro⁩ who made an amazing leap from RNA editing to tick-microbe system!! She’s a newly minted LSRF fellow and my gambling partner in both science and at the black jack table #NPAW2020 #ucsfnpaw #doubledown Photo of two poeple smiling with slot machines in the background.

UCSF Recognize


Try out UCSF's official email and e-card recognition platform

UCSF's Recognize Platform is built specifically to help you say thank you. With this tool, you can spotlight your postdoc in two ways: via an email or a digital card. Both options have an automatic cc function that includes the recipient's supervisor as well.

9 Ways to Show Your Appreciation

More ways to spotlight your postdocs and show your gratitude

1. Cheers from Peers

Giving the rest of the lab a dedicated time to show appreciation for postdocs is a great way to recognize the work postdocs do. Set aside time in a meeting for postdocs’ peers to throw them some roses.

2. The Gift of Time

Give your postdoc an extra day off, an extra-long lunch break, or a morning to sleep in. A few more hours to themselves can be a great way to thank them for all of the hours they put into the lab.

3. A One-on-One

Set aside an hour to spend one-on-one with your postdoc(s) and offer dedicated mentorship and an encouraging presence. Postdocs are here to learn from you!

4. Eat Up

We all like food! Coffee and donuts for the lab, taking your postdocs out to lunch, or offering a gift card to a local spot can fuel their work!

5. Something Small

Did your postdoc start collecting plants during the pandemic? Get them a new potted friend. A pet parent? Try a new toy or treats. Show your postdoc you care with a small, personal gift.

6. Take a Break

Get the team together for some mid-day fun. Try a group game or co-watching an episode of a favorite TV show.

7. Thank You Note

It may be old fashioned, but a handwritten thank you note can be enormously meaningful. Take a few minutes to jot down what you appreciate about your postdoc and leave it on their desk/bench.

8. Care Package

Snacks, some cozy socks, and a new kind of tea might be just the thing your postdoc needs to keep going. They may not be your kid away at college, but they’d probably appreciate a lot of the same things.

9. Listen Up

Talk with your postdoc about what is working well for them in the lab, and what they might like to see change. One of the best ways to appreciate people is to ask them how you can make their work environment even better.