The Postdoc Academy: Succeeding as a Postdoc
The first online course, “Succeeding as a Postdoc,” addresses foundational skills and career planning, establishing the professional habits postdocs will need to strategically prepare for their career and succeed in their postdoc. This six-week course will run three times a year on our edX platform with the next start date in fall 2021.
We encourage institutions to adopt and adapt our open educational materials to serve the professional development needs of their postdocs. Explore course resources for each module:
Each week focuses on one theme and contains between 2-4 hours of content – watching short videos, engaging in discussion forums, and reflecting on self and others. You can complete the course work at any time while the course is running.
In addition to participating in our first online course, postdocs can join a Postdoc Academy Learning Session (PALS). Learning communities support online learning by connecting content directly to the postdocs’ local context and community, and promote deeper reflection of the material. These small groups of postdocs meet virtually once per week while either taking the online course, or utilizing Postdoc Academy content. Each PALS is guided by a facilitator (a postdoc or anyone who supports postdocs), with both discipline- and institutional-focused learning communities available. Learn more about PALS here.
Additional Resources for Postdocs
While some skills for postdocs are discipline-specific, there are many competencies that apply to postdocs of all disciplines and stages. Below you will find some (of the many) resources available to postdocs.
Finding Success as a Postdoc
- Optimizing Postdoc Training: Get the Postdoc Training You Need
- Time to Rethink Graduate and Postdoc Education
- The Postdoc Situation
National Postdoctoral Association Mentoring Plans
- Resources include how to develop a postdoctoral mentoring plan, how to be proactive in your mentoring relationships, NSF mentoring requirements, and more.
- Note: You must be a NPA member to access these resources. Check with your local postdoc office to see if your institution is a member!
AAMC Compact between Postdoc Appointees and their Mentors
- This compact can help align the expectations in the postdoctoral mentor-mentee relationship.
- Offers a set of guiding principles to initiate discussions around postdoctoral mentoring.
Finding Alignment on Expectations
- Table 5.1 in Proactive Postdoc Mentoring provides a checklist for postdocs and their faculty mentor/research group.
- These reflection questions could guide conversations about finding alignment on expectations between a postdoc and mentor.
Exploring and Preparing for a Successful Career
- Myers-Briggs Personality Type
- SkillScan: Identify your transferrable skills
- DiSC Profile: Determine your behavioral tendencies and preferences
- Science Careers: STEM-focused blogs
- Beyond Academia: Graduate student-run, highlights non-academic careers
- Beyond the Professoriate: Focuses on non-faculty careers
- InterSECT Job Simulations: Simulate daily tasks from different career paths (STEM and humanities)
- The Versatile PhD: View job application materials, new Options4Success course
Working Effectively in an Intercultural Environment
National Research Mentoring Network Webinars
- Research Science and the Messiness of Engaging Cultural Diversity
- A Conversation on Culturally Aware Mentoring (in partnership with iBiology)
- Resources to Enhance Culturally Aware Mentoring (in partnership with iBiology)
- Choosing Diversity: A Bigger Us (in partnership with iBiology)
National Postdoctoral Association Diversity Webinars
- Diversity: The Key to Innovative and Creative Solutions
- Diversity: Implicit Bias – An Obstacle to Achieving Diversity
- Diversity 101
- Large library of resources for diversity-minded opportunities, including funding, fellowships, and travel awards.
NIH Scientific Workforce Diversity Toolkit
- Provides resources and tips for promoting diversity at your institution, creating a diverse talent pool, and mentoring for diverse scientists
American Psychological Association Resources
- APA provides an extensive guide on The Road to Resilience, including building resilience and identifying resources to look for help.
National Postdoctoral Association Webinar
- An extensive resource to learn about the skills and attitudes that are associated with resilience.
- Recognize the advantages of resilience in overcoming obstacles and adversity.