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SBU Postdoc Spotlight 

SBU Postdoc Spotlight is a celebration of the research performed by Stony Brook's postdoctoral scholars.Paola Cepeda presents at Spotlight 2019

Cutting-edge research at SBU presented for a general audience. Spotlight talks are five minutes long and are designed like a Three Minute Thesis talk to be accessible to specialists and non-specialists alike. The Postdoc Spotlight is a great opportunity to see some of the latest discoveries and exciting research taking place at Stony Brook.

Location: Wang Center Lecture Hall 2

Date:  Thursday, November 16, 2023

Spotlight Talks: 4:00 pm - 5:00  pm 

Reception & Award Presentation: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm 

This event is free and open to the public.


Congratulations to all our speakers for their hard work, and especially, our best talk winners from the 2023 SBU  Postdoc Spotlight!  Special thanks to OVPR for sponsoring the prizes again this year. 

2023 SBU Postdoc Spotlight Winners

1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Ankita Singh
Microbiology and Immunology (right)
Gabriel Matos,
Microbiology and Immunology (left)
Katherine Gallagher,
IACS & SoMAS (center)


Spotlight Agenda

4:00pm-4:15pm Welcome & Overview
Lecture Hall 2

Celia Marshik, Dean, Graduate School, and Vice Provost, Graduate and Professional Education

Miguel Garcia-Diaz, Interim Vice President for Research

Kathleen Flint Ehm, Assistant Dean, Professional Development and Postdoctoral Affairs, and Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

4:15pm-5:00pm (approx) Spotlight Presentations 
Lecture Hall 2
Indhu Varatharajan, Postdoc, Geosciences
Photo of Ciro Ciro Riccio, Physics and Astronomy The Crack in the Mirror
Photo of Mitu Mitu Sharma, Chemistry Can Chemistry Unlock the Treasure of Bountiful Crops?
Photo of Katie Katherine Gallagher, Institute for Advanced Computational Science & School of Marine and Atmospheric Science The Mystery of the Gap
Photo of Gabriel Gabriel Matos, Microbiology and Immunology Stopping the Fungi Apocalypse
Photo of Arshad Arshad Mehmood, Institute for Advanced Computational Science & Chemistry Painting with Light: A Journey of Interpretation
Photo of Atul Atul Pradhan, Medicine Tuberculosis: A Present Challenge
Photo of Ankita Ankita Singh, Microbiology and Immunology Fixing Leakage in the Gut
5:00pm  Winners Announced & Award Presentation
Wang Center East Hall

Postdoc speakers receive specialized coaching in providing a broad and engaging talk for non-specialists. Speakers work with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. The internationally recognized center works to enhance understanding of science by helping to train the next generation of scientists to communicate more effectively with the public, the media and others outside their own specialty. Selection as a speaker is a unique professional development opportunity that helps prepare our postdocs to become the innovators and leaders of tomorrow. 

Prizes given for the best talk. A panel of judges evaluate the talks for how well they achieve the Spotlight's goals of sharing the excitement of our postdocs' discoveries in a way that is accessible to a non-specialist.


Presentation Guidelines

Yedu Neelam, GeosciencesOnly SBU Postdocs are eligible to give a Spotlight talk. Talks will be approximately five minutes long. Speakers should craft a talk that distills the heart of their research for a general audience who may not be specialists in the style of a TED talk or the Three Minute Thesis. Speakers will receive individualized coaching on their presentation from science communication experts.



Postdocs listeningThe talks will be evaluated by a panel of judges from a range of backgrounds and disciplines for how well the speaker engages a general audience of non-specialists and can convey the excitement and innovation of their research without jargon or distortion. Presentations are evaluated on Clarity, Content and Engagement according the following criteria

Clarity (1-10 points):

  • Did you find the presentation followed a clear and logical order?
  • Did you feel the language used was appropriate for a non-specialist audience?
  • Did you find the presentation slides clear and easy to follow?

Content (1-10 points):

  • Did you understand the significance of the presenter’s research to their field, to culture, and/or to society?
  • Did you understand the approach or method taken by the presenter to address their research questions?
  • Did you understand the conclusions, results, and/or findings from the presenter’s research?

Engagement (1-10 points):

  • Did you feel the presentation slides enhanced your engagement with the presentation?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain your attention?
  • Did the presenter effectively use techniques to connect with you and the audience, such as analogies, stories or questions?



The top three talks will be awarded prizes generously sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

1st Prize: $500
2nd Prize: $300
3rd Prize: $100



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