Postdoc Career and Professional Resources

Most postdocs spend the majority of their time training to become principal investigators (PIs). Yet, because of the changing career landscape for Ph.D. holders, a tenure-track position in an academic setting is no longer the typical career trajectory for the great majority of postdoctoral researchers. While we understand it might be difficult at times to balance personal professional development with your other work commitments, it is important to dedicate some time and effort into acquiring the professional training and skills necessary to pursue the career of your choice.

Self-assessment

A good place to start your career planning is by doing a self-assessment of your skills. There are many available resources that can be used to identify your strengths and weaknesses and help you improve your skill set.

  • An excellent resource is the myIDP tool maintained by AAAS. This tool allows you to examine your skills, interests, and values, and, based on this information, predicts which career paths best fit your skills and interests.
  • The National Postdoctoral Association has many resources for postdocs, including a list of Core Competencies that postdocs should consult to acquire, maintain and improve their skills.

Campus Resources

Career Resources

  • Professional Development Series: In collaboration with the Graduate Student Association and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the Graduate School is pleased to offer a series of seminars and workshops to help graduate students and postdoctoral fellows develop and enhance their professional skills to succeed in their current positions and future careers.
  • National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity: UNR has an institutional membership, and as postdocs you may sign up for affiliate memberships free of charge. 
  • PhDs.org is a comprehensive site for career resources for doctoral programs of every field of study.
  • Versatile Ph.D. offers the most comprehensive source to discover careers outside of academia, for STEM, Social Sciences, and Humanities. 
  • The Professor is In: An excellent resource for those pursuing academic/faculty positions. 
  • The Science careers website, maintained by AAAS, has numerous articles, booklets, webinars, and forum discussions about several different sectors that employ Ph.D.s, including academia, industry, policy, and government.
  • The Office of Intramural Training at the NIH provides many resources for various career paths and development of transferable skills, including videos of professional development seminars
  • The Medical College of Wisconsin has great links on a variety of career paths available to postdocs, including a list of companies that offer internship opportunities
  • Duke University's Office of Postdoctoral Services has compiled an excellent list of resources, including a list of job listing sites
  • Columbia University's Comprehensive resources for non-academic careers for Humanities and Social Sciences
  • The CIRTL network (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning) started as an NSF-funded, multi-institutional effort, to achieve excellence in teaching and learning in undergraduate STEM education. The site provides numerous resources, including information on writing teaching statements, teaching with technology, addressing diversity in the classroom, and many others.
  • Lynda.com membership: Lynda.com offers in-depth online video training for many software packages. The University pays for everyone with a NetID to have access to these resources. Topics such as working with Microsoft Office programs (Excel, PowerPoint, Word), Adobe Creative programs (Photoshop, Illustrator), programming with R, Python, and courses on understanding big data.