UW Graduate School

Professional Development


August 14, 2020

Thinking about your own path and preparation

In a typical year, our summer schedules often allow us some space to step back, reflect, and focus on our own professional development. We hope that as we continue to respond to and slowly recover from the current pandemic, you will find a little time to focus on yourself as you prepare for the future….


July 2, 2020

Career Advice During COVID-19

As we continue to adjust to Stay Home, Stay Healthy orders for Washington state, the realities of a changed work environment and altered research expectations have clearly hit home. Unfortunately, the financial impact of Stay Home, Stay Healthy won’t be fully realized for a number of months, if not years. More importantly, it will be…


June 22, 2020

Strategies to take your research to market impact

In May 2020, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and UW CoMotion co-hosted a virtual professional development event focused on helping postdocs explore ways to commercialize your research products (check out the full recording). Four scientists in various entrepreneurial stages shared their insights on how to effectively take their research from discovery to market.  Briefly, there are…


May 21, 2020

Career advice during COVID-19

As we anxiously await the termination of our current Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, the realities of a changed work environment and altered research expectations have clearly hit home. In recent weeks, we’ve heard of the dire predictions of budget shortfalls – within the School of Medicine, across the UW campus, and within our community. Unfortunately, the…


November 14, 2019

Is the job right for me?

Postdocs are often so busy trying to complete the next experiment or write the next draft of a manuscript (and hopefully get it published!), that we don’t have sufficient time to plan for the next stage of our careers. Usually, we start with reading job announcements, preparing our application materials, and then hoping to get…


October 19, 2019

Elevator Speech: An Effective Way to Communicate Your Work

Have you heard about the concept of an “elevator speech”? It’s a brief summary of who you are, what you do, and your career or project goals—with an emphasis on brief. Imagine running into the CEO of the dream company you’d like to work for, while waiting in line for coffee or taking an elevator:…


June 6, 2019

Crafting an Effective Diversity Statement and Cover Letter

In Spring 2019, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA), Core Programs in the Graduate School, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), and the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMA&D) co-sponsored an interactive workshop led by the UW Postdoc Diversity Alliance, Crafting an Effective Diversity Statement and Cover Letter. A panel of four speakers —…


April 11, 2019

Enrich your portfolio through conferences

Since spring 2016, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has supported the professional and career development needs of postdocs towards independence through quarterly travel grants. To date, we have funded 66 postdocs to travel to regional, national and international conferences. Travel grant recipients kindly shared their conference experiences, and we are highlighting several of them here. We…


June 28, 2018

UW Ph.D. student wins $100,000 Schmidt Science Fellowship

Hal Holmes, a doctoral candidate in Bioengineering, has been selected as an inaugural Schmidt Science Fellow, an incredible honor that includes a $100,000 stipend and participation in a global meeting series — beginning at the University of Oxford in July — where fellows will learn about a range of scientific fields. Holmes — whose research on the development of an automated…


April 5, 2018

When the mentee becomes the mentor

As a grad student, you may have the opportunity to mentor an undergraduate student, or even a beginning grad student. But how do you make the most of this opportunity? As a mentor, you are in a position to provide intellectual, professional and social guidance to your mentee. If you are working with an undergraduate…



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