Skip to main content

Professional Development

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) strives to enhance, support and promote the postdoctoral experience at NC State University. In doing so, OPA hopes postdocs will realize their potential during their tenure at this university and utilize their postdoctoral appointment as a way to foster their independence as scientists, scholars and researchers. Following are ways in which OPA encourages postdocs to more fully develop their skills, goals and self-awareness during their postdoctoral assignment.

Individual Development Plan

Individual Development Plans (IDPs) provide a way in which postdocs can identify their career goals and professional development needs. Postdocs can also use their IDPs as a communication tool with their mentors which, in turn, will enhance the mentoring process. Postdocs are encouraged to look at the professional development opportunities (see below) offered through OPA and The Graduate School and add these to their IDPs so as to meet their professional development goals.

Postdocs are encouraged to review the assessment tools, templates, and additional resources for creating an IDP hosted: IDP Workshop Resources.

Below are a few templates postdocs and their mentors can use to outline the IDP:
IDP Template 1
IDP Template 2

In addition, check out the my IDP exploration resource through Science Careers to broaden you career horizons. There you can create a free account, examine your skills/interests/values, learn about different scientific career paths, and can build your IDP online to store electronically.

Professional Development Opportunities

OPA provides professional development programs throughout the academic year. The Graduate School, in which OPA is housed, also offers free professional development programs to graduate students and postdocs.

Professional Development Workshops

Postdocs can register for all professional development programs offered by The Graduate School through the Reporter system – Search “GRAD” in the Course/Program ID field.

The full list of the professional development workshops offered through the Graduate School can be found on our website.

Professional development opportunities, offered through the Graduate School, NC State University, and other universities, corporations, and institutions throughout the Triangle, are constantly being added to the OPA calendar.

Teaching and Communication Certificate

The Teaching and Communication Certificate has been designed to increase accessibility, flexibility, and transferability of teaching and communication training for all graduate students and postdocs at NC State. Workshops emphasize the need to communicate across diverse audiences that advanced degree holders will face in the workplace, from undergraduate students, to industry partners, to government agencies, to the general public. Teaching, in this context, means communicating complex ideas clearly and persuasively, tailoring your message to meet the needs of your audience.

Other Resources through NC State University

Distance Education Learning & Technology Application (DELTA)

DELTA holds workshops on instructional technology throughout the academic year for faculty and staff.

Office of Faculty Development (OFD)

The Office of Faculty Development (OFD) provides resources and facilitates workshops for faculty and staff. Postdocs are able to register to any events that are not restricted to only full or assistant professors.

Resources for Postdocs

Postdocs are encouraged to utilize the resources available to them through the National Postdoctoral Association. The National Postdoctoral Association is a professional association that provides a unique, national voice for postdoctoral scholars. The NPA was founded in 2003, with an ambitious agenda to enhance the quality of the postdoctoral experience.

Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, offers opportunities for postdocs to engage with other scientists through their programs and their magazine, American Scientist. This organization is located in the Research Triangle Park and provides a wide array of resources to scientists and researchers.