About the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Mission Statement

To ensure successful training and work experiences for postdoctoral research associates at East Carolina University by providing a supportive working environment that enhances and promotes research training and professional growth.


  • To serve as the central resource unit for postdoctoral scholar issues on campus.
  • To develop a sense of community among ECU’s postdoctoral scholars and to integrate them into the larger university community.
  • To provide career and professional development programs and services.
  • To assist in the recruitment and retention of postdoctoral scholars at ECU.

Message from the Director

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) at East Carolina University was established in 2008 within the graduate school to ensure successful training and work experiences for postdoctoral scholars by providing a supportive working environment. In October 2013, the office was moved to the Division of Research and Graduate Studies and the position of Director was established. Postdoctoral scholars are a growing population at ECU, and we are committed to support the career development of these important members of our community.

Six core competencies have been defined by the National Postdoctoral Association. These serve to guide the postdoctoral scholar, mentor and institution of those skills that should be achieved for the scholar to ultimately achieve intellectual and professional independence and success:

  • Discipline-specific conceptual knowledge
  • Research skill development
  • Communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Leadership and management skills
  • Responsible conduct of research

Kathryn M. Verbanac, Ph.D.

Kathryn Verbanac 2018
Kathryn M. Verbanac, Ph.D.
Director, Postdoctoral Affairs
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Research, Economic Development, and Engagement
Professor of Surgery