Facilitate a Postdoc Academy Learning Session (PALS)

PALS are learning communities comprised of small groups of postdocs who meet once per week in-person or virtually during our online courses. If you are interested in facilitating a discipline- or institutional-focused PALS, please complete the form linked below. The information collected helps us learn more about your institution and postdocs for reporting and tracking to NIH. You can select your preferred level of involvement and have the option to join our community of facilitators. This community is focused on supporting practitioners through creating an open discussion space and continued professional development. Community benefits include:

  • Learning from other facilitators and network with other practitioners
  • Access to online facilitation trainings, held quarterly
  • Attending a day-long facilitation training, held yearly at the National Postdoc Association Annual Conference
  • Access to evaluation tools, including pre-session and post-session surveys
  • Staying up-to-date with upcoming online and in-person events

Once the form is submitted you will receive a free copy of our Facilitator Guide via e-mail. This guide is specific for our first online course, Succeeding as a Postdoc, and 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. A new facilitator guide for our second online course, Building Skills for a Successful Career, is currently under development and will be available soon.

Facilitator Training

The Postdoc Academy is pleased to partner with the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) to host an annual train-the-trainer style program as part of the NPA Annual Conference. This interactive training is for those interested in facilitating postdoc learning communities at their institutions or within their disciplines. In addition to hands-on training, participants are provided professional development resources and are introduced 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 and who have some prior facilitation experience. We expand on traditional programs by working through inclusive facilitation strategies and assisting participants with strategies for capacity building in their learning communities. We focus on developing and practicing facilitator skills, creating a community of practitioners, as well as disseminating our materials and content. Please note that you are not required to attend facilitator training to lead a PALS or join our facilitator community.

Adapt and Use Our Materials

The content in the Postdoc Academy online courses is freely accessible 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.