Learning Sessions (PALS)

Skill Building for Postdocs

During our course runs on edX, learners can join a regional-, institutional-, or discipline-focused Postdoc Academy Learning Session (PALS). PALS are small groups of postdocs who meet once per week in-person or virtually throughout the six-week course.

Learning Sessions

Postdoc Academy learning communities enhance online learning by connecting content directly to the postdocs’ local context & community and promote deeper reflection of the material.

PALS participants are four times more likely to complete the course! These participants also often feel they have gained a new community of peers and many continue to keep in touch after our Learning Sessions.

This spring 2024, the following PALS will be running during our edX course (please note PALS all run on slightly different schedules):
Global PALS (Open, virtual) – Meeting time TBD
SPHERE Humanities/Social Sciences PALS (Discipline, virtual) – meets Wednesdays, 12-1pm ET, March 20–May 1
Virginia-wide PALS (Regional, virtual) – meets Mondays, 12-1 PM ET, March 25–May 6
Wash U St. Louis: Danforth Campus (Institutional, in person) – meets Monday, 9-10am CT, March 18–April 29
Wash U St. Louis: Medical Campus (Institutional, in person) – Monday, 9-10am CT, March 18–April 29
Check back in the next few weeks as we update this list!

Facilitate a Learning Session

PALS Facilitators agree to uphold the following:
1. Create an environment for learning through reflection and discussion
2. Promote equitable participation of all members
3. Build trust and create a sense of community

PALS can be led by a postdoc, a faculty/staff member with a postdoc, or any leader(s) at an institution(s). If you are interested in facilitating a regional-, discipline-, or institutional-focused PALS, please complete the form linked here. The information collected helps us learn more about your institution and postdocs for reporting and tracking to NIH.

Facilitator Guide

The Facilitator Guides are specific to each online course 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. The guides can be downloaded using the following buttons.

Adapt and Use Our Materials

The content in the Postdoc Academy online courses is freely accessible under “Courses” 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.