2014 Midwest Postdoctoral Association Symposium

The Professional Development Committee is tasked with conceptualizing and organizing programming meant to enhance the postdoctoral training and professional experience. Our committee coordinates efforts with campus partners to create programs featuring advice from UI experts and to build skills during your postdoctoral experience.

Check the calendar for upcoming professional development opportunities.
Events being planned include but are not limited to:
  • Non-Academic Careers Seminar Series
  • Negotiation Bootcamp
  • Grant-Writing Workshop (How to write and revise)
  • Academic Career Seminar Series

Looking to start your career planning? Start here.

  • UI Grad Student Success: This team of amazing individuals in the Graduate College are here to help you with Individual Development Plan (IDPs), skills assessments, finding training opportunities, and more! Sign up for their newsletter for regular updates about programming.
  • National Postdoc Association Core Competencies: "The NPA has established six core competencies to offer guidance to individual postdoctoral scholars who must seek out relevant training experiences, in collaboration with mentors, institutions, and other advisors who provide this training. "Competency" has been defined as "an acquired personal skill that is demonstrated in [one's] ability to provide a consistently adequate or high level of performance in a specific job function." [BNET Business dictionary] These competencies are meant to serve primarily as: (1) a basis for self-evaluation by postdoctoral scholars, and (2) a basis for developing training opportunities that can be evaluated by mentors, institutions, and other advisors."
  • Research Development Office: Housed within the Office of the Vice President for Research, RDO is your central hub for seminars around grant writing, data/project management, and enhancing research communication skills. Take advantage of their resource library, regular Pivot funding training sessions, and their networking surveys to facilitate collaborations. Sign up for their newsletter for regular updates about research opportunities and seminars.
  • Obermann Center for Advanced Studies: "The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies (OCAS) serves the research mission of the University of Iowa. The Center is a convening space dedicated to debate and discovery. Our grants for University of Iowa artists and researchers support imaginative collaborations and multi-disciplinary exploration. Our programming connects scholars across campus and engages the larger public in the ambitious, illuminating, and transformative work of the artists and scholars we serve." More information about programming can be found here. Sign up for their newsletter for regular updates about events and upcoming working groups.

Also, check out our resource database.

Want to get involved? Have an idea for a seminar? Please contact Annabel Minard.

Professional Development Spotlight: Postdocs interested in undergraduate education and/or mentorship 

Highlights from the 2020 UIPDA Postdoc Survey

What careers are our UI postdocs interested in? (participants were allowed to select all careers of interest from options)

  • tenure track research (50%)
  • non-tenure track research (42.6%)
  • industry-based research (32.4%)
  • tenure-track teaching (30.9%)

Are UI postdocs utilizing Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for career development?

  • Yes, and I find it to be helpful (12.9%)
  • Yes, but I do not find it helpful (22.58%)
  • No (29.03%)
  • Not aware of IDPs (35.48%)

What opportunities do postdocs feel like are not available during their UI postdoc experience? (participants were allowed to select multiple options)

  • presenting to a general audience (27.9%)
  • managerial skills (25%)
  • teaching-lecturing (29.4%)
  • teaching-techniques/pedagogy (26.5%)
  • negotiation (30.9%)
  • intellectual property (19.1%)

Who do postdocs expect to provide training in to support career transitions following their postdoc experience? (participants were allowed to select multiple options)

  • PI/Lab 
  • Department
  • University
  • Postdoc Office
  • UI Postdoc Association
  • Not expected from UI community