Facilitate with the Postdoc Academy Resources
Start a Postdoc Academy Learning Session at Your Institution
In addition to two online courses, postdocs can join a Postdoc Academy Learning Session (PALS) at their institution. Local learning communities support online learning by connecting content directly to the postdocs’ local context and community, and also promote deeper learning of the material.
PALS are small groups of postdocs who meet once a week while either taking the Postdoc Academy online course, or utilizing Postdoc Academy content from our website. All PALS will be held virtually. Each PALS will be guided by a facilitator (a postdoc or anyone who supports postdocs) who will receive a Facilitator Guide and can join our Community of Facilitators.
The facilitator of a PALS will:
- Create an environment for learning through reflection and discussion
- Promote equitable participation of all members
- Build trust and create a sense of community
- Uphold the norms and standards of the Postdoc Academy community
To become a facilitator, complete the form below to freely access the facilitator guide. If you’d like to interact regularly with our Postdoc Academy community, you can also join our community of facilitators that will meet virtually throughout the year.
Join our Community of Facilitators
This community is focused on supporting practitioners through creating an open discussion space and continued professional development. By joining our Community of Facilitators, you can:
- Learn from other facilitators and network with other practitioners
- Access online facilitation trainings, held quarterly
- Attend a day-long facilitation training, held yearly at the National Postdoc Association Annual Conference
- Access evaluation tools, including pre-session and post-session surveys
- Stay up-to-date with upcoming online and in-person events
Request the Facilitator Guide
We recognize that time and resources can be limiting and you may just want access to the Facilitator Guide. Our PALS Facilitator Guide is freely available – we just want to know a little bit about your institution and postdocs for reporting and tracking to NIH. By requesting the Facilitator Guide, you aren’t committing to participating in our virtual meetings and other community benefits.
The Facilitator Guide contains suggestions for discussion topics, reflection prompts and learning activities designed to explore the content and encourage postdocs to situate the learning within their context. We encourage you to use the guide flexibly to fit the goals, purpose and needs of your community.
In-Person Facilitator Training
The Postdoc Academy is excited to partner with the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), hosting an annual in-person train-the-trainer style program as part of the NPA Annual Conference! Join the Postdoc Academy team in an interactive, day-long training for those interested in facilitating postdoc learning communities at their institutions. This immersive workshop will provide hands-on facilitator training, professional development resources, and introduce you to the community of PALS facilitators. Training is open to postdocs and faculty or staff, and is designed specifically for those interested in adapting our content to local programming. This training will be accessible to those with some prior facilitation experience. We will expand on traditional programs by working through inclusive facilitation strategies and assisting participants to develop strategies for capacity building within their own institution. We focus on developing and practicing facilitator skills, as well as creating a community of practitioners, in addition to disseminating our materials and content.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020 Facilitator Training was reformatted to an online series of trainings. Stay tuned for an in-person Facilitator Training at NPA 2021!
Adapt and Use Our Materials
The content in the Postdoc Academy online courses is freely accessible on under “Explore” on this site and via the EdX platform. We encourage institutions to adopt and adapt our open educational materials to serve the professional development needs of their postdocs.