Below is a list of resources available to postdoctoral scholars related to a number of professional development-related programming and skills development. For biomedical and life sciences postdocs, please visit the Bioscience Postdoctoral Affairs page.
Career Path Exploration
- UCLA Core Competencies: In order to guide graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to be well-rounded, effective professionals in their current and future careers, university faculty and administrators across the country have developed a series of proficiency areas that we all strive to demonstrate in our professional lives. These “core competencies” make up a successful scholar in the academy and a proficient professional outside of it.
- National Postdoctoral Association (NPA): UCLA is an organizational member of the NPA. One of the greatest benefits is free Affiliate Membership for UCLA postdoctoral scholars. Click on this link to claim your “affiliate membership, postdoc” and follow the registration process (must use UCLA email address). Once you click “Submit” the NPA Staff will review your Affiliate membership within five working days, and you will receive an email when it has been approved. As an NPA Affiliate Member, you can:
- Connect with fellow postdocs across the country through the NPA network.
- Learn from subject matter experts how to navigate pressing issues, from career exploration to improving health and well-being.
- Empower your career by volunteering with the NPA to grow leadership skills and your networks.
- Access to NPA resources including a boutique postdoc career center and tools for postdocs and organizations.
- Participate in research that tracks evolving issues impacting the postdoc community.
- Support the national voice of postdocs and postdoc offices on critical policy issues, such as immigration.
- Eligible for reduced registration fees to the NPA Annual Conference & eligible for the NPA travel award program.
- UCLA Career Center – Graduate Career Services: Graduate Career Services (GCS) team at the UCLA Career Center provides resources around topics of career exploration, career path preparation, job search, networking and interviewing skills, and preparation for jobs inside and outside of academia. Postdocs can log-in to the Career Center’s online professional development platform, Handshake, to access upcoming events, and check out their resource guides below.
- CIRTL: The CIRTL@UCLA program supports the professional and career development of graduate students who are considering academic careers, through a CIRTL@UCLA Certification Pathway, Courses and Workshops, Resource Guides and a robust learning community. Much of their training involves skills development in preparation for future faculty positions, including preparing faculty applications and teaching philosophy statements.
- Your Home Area or Training Program: Check with your Home Area, Research Theme, Institute, or training program for opportunities to network with alumni, speakers and visiting scientists. Research common funding opportunities for those in your area. Speak with visitors and alumni about their experiences in their career path and jobs and for advice on preparation and application. Seek out additional mentors with expertise in the types of careers, training, and network you want to cultivate.
- Postdoc Academy: The Postdoc Academy is a comprehensive online and in-person program built on the National Postdoctoral Association core competencies to support skill development throughout postdoc training, from orientation to next career step.
- Graduate Writing Center: While Graduate Writing Center is mostly focused on serving graduate students, they have some online resources open to postdoctoral scholars. They provide online videos of workshops on a variety of topics, including writing journal articles, conference proposals, literature reviews, grant writing, and for non-native English speakers in improve their English writing skills. They also have a collection of the best online resources for writing.
- CIRTL: UCLA is part of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) nation-wide online network of 40+ universities seeking to enhance excellence in undergraduate education through development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing evidence-based teaching practices for diverse learners. The CIRTL@UCLA program supports the professional and career development of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who are engaged in teaching now, or who are considering academic careers, through a CIRTL@UCLA Certification Pathway, Courses and Workshops, Resource Guides and a robust learning community. Much of their training involves skills development in public speaking, speaking to diverse audiences, and utilizing multiple communication and teaching platforms.
- Your Home Area or Training Program: Check with your Home Area, department, research theme, institute, or training program and mentors for opportunities to practice presenting your work inside your research groups, disciplinary area and at conferences and symposia. Look for guidance with significant writing projects within your research group or department, by seeking feedback, offering to provide feedback, and utilizing workshops or other training opportunities.
Wellness & Self Development
- Staff & Faculty Counseling Center: UCLA’s Staff and Faculty Counseling Center (SFCC) offers a range of services, including confidential counseling, coaching, training, support groups and community resource referrals.
- Finding Community:
- Financial Wellness: Website and App Recommendations and Personal Financial Tools from the Financial Wellness Program
- Engage Across Difference: UCLA Equity Diversity and Inclusion Training Hub
- Individual Development Plan (IDP) Best Practices & Tools for Postdocs & Faculty: An IDP is a customized way to assess your professional, personal, and research goals and design a roadmap for accomplishing them. This page provides best practices and online tools for STEM and Social Sciences and Humanities IDPs.
- Research & Career Development Plan & Periodic Evaluation: Use the career development area of the form to develop short-term and long-term goals.
- Gym Membership: Postdoctoral scholars at UCLA are eligible for a discounted membership to UCLA Recreation’s gym facilities on campus.
- FitWell Courses: As UCLA staff, postdocs are also eligible to participate in the UCLA Recreation FITWELL Program. Take a Fit Break, or participate in Bruin Mindfit to maintain healthy balance in your work life.
- MARC Guided Meditation: The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) offers free drop-in meditations at various locations across campus during the week. Open to anyone interested in learning how to “live more presently.”
- UCLA Interactive Campus Map (with Gender Inclusive Restroom and Lactation Room filters): UCLA Interactive Campus Map helps you locate UCLA buildings, restaurants, shopping, residence halls, sports venues, theaters, points of interest, and much more. Detailed information and photographs for most locations are available.
- All Gender Restroom Map
- Lactation Room Map
- Division of Graduate Education: The Division of Graduate Education (DGE) oversees postdoctoral scholar appointments and services and provides a number of centralized resources. In particular, postdoctoral scholars facing challenges to their training progress for any reason, should reach out to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Case Managers for assistance and guidance to available resources. DGE also provides workshops for postdocs related to navigating your postdoc, financial wellness, diversity and inclusion and other topics. DGE is also a co-sponsor of the Postdoctoral Association at UCLA, an excellent postdoc community open to all.
Leadership, Collaboration, & Project Management
- Division of Graduate Education: The Division of Graduate Education (DGE) provides two opportunities for postdocs to develop leadership skills. First, through the Postdoctoral Association at UCLA, a postdoc-led organization that develops events and initiatives for postdocs and serves as an advisory body to the campus on postdoctoral issues and concerns. Second, DGE hosts the Postdoctoral Scholars Advisory Council, a council of administrators, faculty, and postdoctoral scholars that meets quarterly to discuss and advise on important issues relevant to postdoctoral life at UCLA.
- Graduate Writing Center: The Graduate Writing Center, while focused on graduate students for many of their in-person services, has a number of online resources open to postdoctoral scholars. GWC offers access to an archive of fellowship applications and to their online videos of workshops on a variety of topics, including fellowship and grant writing.
- Developing and expanding entrepreneurial skills:
- Leading a group or planning events:
- Opportunities for Service and Community Engagement:
Teaching & Mentoring
- Compact Between Postdoctoral Scholars & Faculty Mentors: A compact articulates the roles and responsibilities of both the Postdoctoral Scholar and Faculty Mentor.
- Postdoctoral Scholar Annual Evaluation: Provides feedback on the scholar’s progress and an assessment of the scholar’s overall performance.
- CIRTL: UCLA is part of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) nation-wide online network of 40+ universities seeking to enhance excellence in undergraduate education through development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing evidence-based teaching practices for diverse learners. The CIRTL@UCLA program supports the professional and career development of graduate students who are engaged in teaching now, or who are considering academic careers, through a CIRTL@UCLA Certification Pathway, Courses and Workshops, Resource Guides and a robust learning community. Much of their training involves skills development in evidence-based pedagogy, creating inclusive classrooms, designing courses, learning goals and assessments, using instructional technology, and developing a teaching philosophy.
- Your Department or Program: Check with your department, training program and mentors for opportunities to mentor more junior research trainees, including undergraduates, graduate students, summer researchers, etc.
Scholarly Expertise & Integrity
- UCLA Library: Help and Training for Researchers
- Research & Career Development Plan & Periodic Evaluation: Use the research area of the form to develop short-term and long-term research goals.
- Your Home Area or Training Program: Your mentor, department and training program should be your primary resources for developing your research, scholarship and academic skills. There may be questions or issues around your research and the way your research group/mentor operates that you do not even know to ask. Check out the Research Training Cheat Sheet that includes questions every research trainee should ask. Consider including the questions you do not know the answers to in your meetings with your mentor, more senior trainees, and research group. Understanding how faculty mentors/research groups respond to each of these questions can help graduate students compare research environments when choosing a dissertation or postdoctoral lab.
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Information on this website regarding postdoctoral scholar benefits are based on the previous UAW Bargaining Contract [ratified on 10/17/16]. For the most current information, please refer to the recently ratified contract: .