Professional skills development for postdocs

Developing your professional skills during your postdoctoral appointment will increase the value of your postdoc experience and help advance your career. Our professional development program guides you through the development of six core competencies that are critical to success in academia, industry, government, and non-governmental organizations.

Contact

Reach the Postdoctoral Office at postdoc@ucalgary.ca

Teaching and mentorship skills enable you to effectively instruct and educate students and colleagues on concepts relating to your field of expertise. Those with exceptional ability in this competency enhance the quality of student learning and increase academic success in their classrooms and labs. 

  1. Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning

    The Educational Development unit offers online resources on teaching and learning on topics including: course design, teaching dossiers, teaching philosophy statements, and more.

    Postdoctoral Scholar Certificate

  2. Lynda.com

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    The education and e-learning library on Lynda.com offers video-based courses on all aspects of course instruction: teacher tools, education technology, higher education principles, instructional design, classroom management, and more.

    Education and E-learning Library 

Communication skills enable you to successfully share your ideas and research with an audience or in a job interview, using an approach that you have tailored to the situation. Those with exceptional ability in this competency are comfortable with both written and oral communication, and can confidently share their research in a way that is comprehensive and compelling. 

  1. Student Success Centre

    The Student Success Centre offers online writing support resources in the topics of grammar and editing, citation, and more. 

    *Please note that in-person writing consultations at the Student Success Centre are not available for postdocs.

    Resources: Writing Support 

  2. Lynda.com

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    The communication library on Lynda.com offers video-based courses on all aspects of written and oral communication: business writing strategies, strategic negotiation, managing conflict, understanding copyrights, business etiquette, writing proposals, and more.

    Communication Library 

     

    The presentations library on Lynda.com offers video-based courses to help you become an exceptional presenter: communicating with confidence, Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote training, staying on topic during a presentation, business storytelling, and more.

    Presentations Library 

  3. Science Careers

    This series of articles offers advice on how to prepare for academic and industry interviews.

    How-To Series: How to prepare for an interview

     

    This series of article offers advice on how to write and design your resume or CV for a variety of careers and job markets.

    How-To Series: How to Craft a Winning Resume

A high level of personal effectiveness enables you to accomplish your personal and professional goals using superior problem-solving skills, time management abilities, interpersonal skills, and stress management techniques. Personal effectiveness can also have a significant impact on your next job search. 

  1. Lynda.com

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    The productivity library on Lynda.com offers video-based courses to help you become more efficient using time management, organizational and self-management tools and techniques.

    Productivity Library 

     

    The business skills library on Lynda.com offers video-based courses to help you develop critical skills for succeeding in the professional workplace, including: time management, negotiation skills, communication tips, teamwork fundamentals, managing international projects, creating a business plan, and more.

    Business Skills Library

     

    Online, video-based courses on a number of topics related to advancing your career, including: building business relationships, coaching employees, asking for a raise, writing business reports, using LinkedIn, online job hunting, managing teams, and more.

    Career Development Library 

  2. Homewood Health

    The University of Calgary's Employee and Family Assistance Program, Homewood Health, provides confidential 24/7 service available at no cost to UCalgary postdocs. Homewood Health provides information, advice, and resources to help you manage your work and personal life.

    Homewood Health WellBeing and WorkLife

  3. Science Careers

    The Outreach: Career Development Library offered by Science Careers is a collection of free resources that are used in their career development workshops. Resources include recordings of live workshops, event slides, worksheets, booklets, and webinars.

    Outreach: Career Development Library

Leadership and management skills enable you to articulate a vision, inspire creative thinking, and stimulate the collective energies of a group in order to reach a common goal.

  1. Lynda.com

    Sign up for your free account

     

    The Leadership library offers courses on the skills required for effective leadership in the workplace, including: executive decision making, managing conflict, negotiation, teamwork, team accountability, and more.

    Leadership Library

     

    The Project Management library offers courses on the skills and applications required to improve your project management abilities, including: process improvement, managing technical teams, developing project requirements, managing stakeholders, using Microsoft Project, and more.

    Project Management Library

     

    The Becoming a Manager guide covers the necessary skills and competencies required to becoming a successful manager in any workplace.

    Becoming a Manager Guide

     

    The Management Training library offers courses on a variety of skills required for effective management and team leadership, including: competitive strategy, developing resourcefulness, decision making, team work, intergenerational workplaces, and more.

    Management Training Library 

  2. Science Careers

    This series of articles discusses how to succeed and overcome challenges when managing a lab and staff.

    How-to series: How to Manage a Lab and Staff

  3. Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    This textbook covers all aspects of scientific management, including: leadership, staffing, mentorship, project management, publishing, technology transfer, and more. While it is intended for early career biomedical scientists, those in other fields will also find the material relevant.

    Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty

Individuals with strong entrepreneurial and business skills are action and impact focused, and excel at innovation, problem solving, creativity, and collaboration. Strong entrepreneurial and business skills enhance your research, impact, and employability. 

  1. Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

    This list includes University of Calgary and third-party resources that can be of use to anyone considering joining or starting an entrepreneurial venture. 

    Resources for Entrepreneurs 

  2. Science Careers

    This series of articles offers advice on building your professional network to help you advance your career.

    How-To Series: How to Build Your Network

  3. Lynda.com

    Sign up for your free account

     

    The Starting a Business guide walks you through the process of evaluating your business idea, preparing a business plan and beginning operations.

    Starting a Business Guide 

     

    The business skills library on Lynda.com offers video-based courses to help you develop critical skills for succeeding in the professional workplace, including: time management, negotiation skills, communication tips, teamwork fundamentals, managing international projects, creating a business plan, and more.

    Business Skills Library 

     

    This course helps you understand innovation and how mastering it can lead to increased professional and business success.

    Business Innovation Fundamentals course 

     

    This course teaches you how to build a robust professional network that will increase your opportunities and influence.

    Building your professional network course 

     

    This interview with entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki covers topics including social media marketing, business plans, and prototyping. 

    Guy Kawasaki on Entrepreneurship

Exceptional grant writing abilities enable you to secure funding by effectively communicating the value of a research program to funding agencies. Postdocs at the University of Calgary are given the opportunity to participate in the grant application process as part of the training provided by their supervisor. Those with exceptional academic skills are accomplished in both the scholarly and administrative requirements of academia, and excel at balancing the teaching, research, and service requirements of their institution. 

  1. Canadian Institutes of Health Research

    An overview of the CIHR application process.

    How to apply for funding for CIHR

     

    A library of free resources for those interested in CIHR research funding, designed to assist you through the funding application process.

    Learning activities and resources

     

    This booklet from CIHR provides detailed advice on the grant-writing process, as well as running a lab once a grant is in place. It also includes a list of recommended reading for early-career academics.

    Guidebook for New Principal Investigators: Advice on Applying for a Grant, Writing Papers, Setting up a Research Team and Managing Your Time

  2. Human Frontier Science Program

    This document provides detailed guidelines for preparing grant applications for any funding agency.

    The Art of Grantsmanship

  3. Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    This textbook covers all aspects of scientific management, including: leadership, staffing, mentorship, project management, publishing, technology transfer, and more. While it is intended for early career biomedical scientists, those in other fields will also find the material relevant.

    Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty

  4. Science Careers

    This series of articles discusses how to succeed and overcome challenges when managing a lab and staff.

    How-to series: How to Manage a Lab and Staff