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From a Distance: Online Resources

Whatever their location, students in The Graduate School can remain engaged in their professional development. Below are links to online resources, as well as archived videos of seminars and panel discussions held at Duke.

These resources are brought to you by the Office of Postdoctoral Services, Career Center, and The Graduate School’s Professional Development Series.

LInkedIn Networking

This video and handout, developed by the Duke Career Center, help you polish your profile and leverage LinkedIn as a networking and career research tool. The video will also introduce you to ways to use the Duke Alumni Network as part of your research.

Exploring Careers on the Career Center Website

The Career Center offers a series of extremely valuable guides to help you land a job in the specific industry of your choice. Data Science, Museums and Outreach, Public Policy, and Science Writing and Journalism are only some of the guides to be found at Explore Careers.

Resume help videos on YouTube from the career center

Use these short, helpful videos to produce a professional resume that will get you the job you want.

Video Recordings: Academic Job Search Series and Careers Beyond Academia Series

Throughout the year, Duke offers a variety of professional development topics of interest to graduate students and postdocs. The Office of Postdoctoral Services has archived videos of many of these seminars and workshops, where you get to hear from experts and professionals in a variety of career fields.

To find videos for any sessions that were recorded, visit the Academic Job Series and Careers Beyond Academia Series webpages and look for the red links. New videos will be added as they become available.

You can also visit the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel to access recordings of past series, including:

The Versatile PhD

The Versatile PhD is a website founded to help graduate students prepare for nonacademic careers. As a Duke student, you can access premium content (go to the access portal, sign in with your Duke NetID, and follow the on-screen instructions). If you’re contemplating a job search beyond the tenure track, The Versatile PhD can demystify the process and possibilities. Here is just a sampling of what you can find:

  • The Ph.D. Career Finder helps you explore possible career options and features first-person stories of Ph.D.s and A.B.D.s working in those professions. They share their experiences of pursuing a nonacademic career as well as actual résumés and cover letters that they used in landing their jobs.
  • Online panel discussions focusing on common careers for STEM and Humanities and Social Sciences Ph.D.s are archived on the VPhD site.
  • Forums allow you to join networking groups, learn about the career paths of other Ph.D.s, and ask questions to a diverse, sympathetic, and knowledgeable community. There are two forums, one for Humanities/Social Sciences scholars and another for researchers in STEM fields.

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

Duke's institutional membership in the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) provides access to many webinars and resources for working productively in academia as a graduate student and faculty member. Many resources focus on writing productivity, but you can also find webinars addressing such topics as building a network of mentors, overcoming academic perfectionism, and working with agents. The NCFDD Library provides archived versions of many past webinars as well.

Find information about how to claim your Duke membership to NCFDD here, and read a post by recent alumna Christina Davidson on the value she found in NCFDD as a graduate student on the Professional Development Blog.

Webinar: Five Actionable Steps for Transitioning Smoothly to a Non-faculty Career

In this free webinar, presented by Bitesize Bio, Duke Ph.D. alumna Heidi Scott Giusto, owner and founder of Career Path Writing Solutions, discusses how she forged her own career path outside of academia as well as five steps you can begin taking NOW that will help you transition when you are ready.

The current state of the academic job market has come under scrutiny in recent years, largely because of the shrinking number of tenure-track jobs available. This situation has forced graduate students and postdocs to reconsider their employment options. Other scholars may realize that academia is no longer a good fit for them but are unsure of how to land a non-faculty position. This process of self-reflection and job searching can be filled with anxiety and fear. But it doesn’t have to be.

The presenter shares how she came to terms with something unexpected: after many years spent pursuing a PhD, she realized she didn’t want to be a professor or researcher.

Principles and Techniques for Developing and Delivering Effective Scientific Presentations

Duke Presenting Clinical and Translational Science (PCATS) experts Kevin Weinfurt, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, and Steve Grambow, Ph.D., vice-chair of Education and assistant professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, created a series of videos to assist other scientists in developing effective presentations. The series comprises four sections: Telling Your Story, Creating Slides, Presenting Data, and Giving Your Presentation. Find the PCATS YouTube Channel to watch the videos.