The Graduate School has awarded 10 Professional Development Grants for the 2020 calendar year—the most in the history of the grant, which was established in 2014.
The grants provide up to $2,000 to help graduate students and their departments create discipline-specific professional development programming and resources for exploring both academic and broad career options. Such programming complements the offerings from The Graduate School, which focus on topics that are applicable across disciplines.
The 2020 grant recipients and their proposed programming:
Biology: Supporting a workshop facilitated by Project Biodiversify, an organization that gives science educators the tools necessary to make their classrooms a more inclusive space through instruction on pedagogical techniques for sex- and gender-related topics in classrooms.
Chemistry: Holding events that provide opportunities for STEM Ph.D.s and postdocs to learn about careers while networking with professionals in diverse careers, along with an event to practice negotiation skills in a fun and supportive environment.
Duke Institute for Brain Sciences: Creating a professional development experience to help graduate students and postdoctoral fellows develop skills in mentorship, with a focus on practical strategies for identifying projects, setting expectations, communicating effectively, acting inclusively, and promoting professionalism.
Medical Physics: Hosting a “Patient Communication for Medical Physicists” workshop for the Radiation Therapy Practicum to help attendees develop effective patient-communication strategies in an interactive practice session with simulated patients.
Neurobiology: Hosting a career seminar series that provides the opportunity for neuroscience graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to engage with professionals with training in neuroscience/neurobiology who have successfully followed a diverse variety of career paths.
Ph.D. programs in the Nicholas School of the Environment: Launching a year-long mental health seminar program to continue to provide mental health resources to graduate students, focusing on preserving mental health while researching difficult topics, keeping research safe and harassment-free, helping someone in need, staying sane when the media reports on your work, and maintaining mental health during the job search.
Pharmacology and Cancer Biology: Hosting a panel of the graduate program’s alumni, who will present their career progress through a variety of non-academic, non-research professional career paths.
Pharmacology and Cancer Biology: Holding educational workshops and hosting a guest speaker for graduate students to communicate about harassment and harassment policies and to teach skills to manage conflicts.
Political Science: Supporting events organized by Women in Political Science, including writing and editing groups, dinner events with female leaders, a panel on “Identity and the Job Market,” and a panel on “How to Write an Academic Paper.”
Romance Studies: Developing a speaker series that puts humanities graduate students in touch with Ph.D.s whose careers have taken them from the United States to Europe (or vice versa) and addresses job options both in academe and beyond while paying special attention to the particularities of moving between different national contexts to find work.