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Professional Development

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Your Professional Development Begins Today

No matter what your career plans are, your graduate school experience must encompass more than just coursework, research, presentations, and publications. The Graduate School provides programs, resources, and events to help you with every step along the way—from identifying potential career paths, to developing skills to compete for them, to managing your career. These opportunities will help prepare you for success in academia, business, entrepreneurship, government, and nonprofits. Professional development is not one workshop or one course; it is something you do throughout your time at Duke. So get started now.

Overview of professional development offerings from The Graduate School (PDF)


  • Tuesday, September 28, 2021
    3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

    The Teaching Statement: A Workshop

    A teaching portfolio is more than a collection of documents: it is set of claims about your teaching and evidence to support them. In this workshop, you will examine how claims and evidence can be framed in way that allows you demonstrate your skill (or potential) as a university instructor in a teaching statement supported by materials created by you.

  • Wednesday, September 29, 2021
    1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

    Preparing for Postdocs in the Social Sciences and Humanities

    Join a panel discussion featuring Duke Ph.D. alumni currently in postdoctoral roles to gain insights on navigating the application process for these positions, as well as making the most of your time in a postdoc.

  • Thursday, September 30, 2021
    10:00 am to 11:30 am

    RCR Forum: Managing Your Research Career Using an Individual Development Plan (IDP) (GS717.01)

    Your experiences and the training you receive as graduate students can shape the rest of your career, and there are strategies and resources that can increase your chances of getting what you came for. During this program, participants will learn how to develop clear and specific goals and objectives, along with a plan for executing them.


Alumni Profiles Series: Sheena Scruggs

September 22, 2021
Sheena Scruggs, Ph.D.

“Most grad students wouldn’t consider it lucky to join a lab with little direct funding to support their research, but the process of grant writing throughout my Ph.D. unlocked my passion for science writing, specifically for audiences outside of my field. Fast forward to present day: I have been working in science communications for almost seven years. I am an accomplished science writer who has been published in Scientific American and The Philadelphia Inquirer and have held various roles in communications and project management within the National Institutes of Health.”

Alumni Profiles Series: Mark Steen

September 15, 2021
Mark Steen, Ph.D.

I’m a big believer in finding something that you’re interested in, doing it with some passion and with a high degree of quality, and then letting that be your step to whatever comes next.”

Alumni Profiles Series: Heather Heenehan

September 8, 2021
Heather Heenehan, Ph.D.

How did Heather Heenehan find a path at the intersection of teaching and sustainability following her Ph.D. in Marine Science and Conservation? By being a sponge! She shares her experience absorbing new skills on her way to becoming an upper-school faculty member and the Sustainability Coordinator at an independent preK-12 school in Westport, Connecticut.


Don’t Miss Out

Check out all the professional development programs and events we have to offer.