UW Graduate School

OPA Blogspot


March 22, 2018

Are you ready for an academic career?

We know from reviewing national data that most entering postdocs believe they want a career in academia. And yet, a few years later, this career path becomes much less desirable. What happens? After seeing up close what your faculty go through — grant seeking, publication struggles, promotion demands, and other daily elements of the academic…


February 22, 2018

Postdocs, you are more skilled than you know!

Postdocs often reach out asking for advice regarding what to look for in a future career. You may have wondered yourself: Should I stay in academia or consider moving to an industry setting? I enjoy talking about science, should I get a job in policy, outreach, or K-12 education? It is important during these times of uncertainty…


February 8, 2018

Research Culture and Climate: It’s On Us

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris spent a week at UW in January 2018, and some of us (including postdoc leadership) were able to spend time with him. His recent book brings together much of the published literature and personal stories about the “reproducibility crisis ” in research, biosciences in particular. We pressed him to identify possible…


January 25, 2018

5 tips to boost your productivity

All of us struggle with motivation at different times, and winter can be particularly challenging. That said, it can also be a good time to hunker down and get some work done. Whether you plan to stay in academia or not, you will need written products coming out of your postdoc years to demonstrate what…


January 11, 2018

Make your professional travel budget stretch! Here’s how.

Professional meetings, international workshops, and annual society gatherings are essential activities in your professional life. These regional, national, and international gatherings are where you hear about innovations in your field, grow your network, identify mentors and collaborators, receive critical feedback on your research, and learn about new and emerging directions. And yet, most of us…


December 14, 2017

Diversify your research funding! Here’s how.

With federal budgets getting tighter and the future uncertain, having a strategy for diversifying your funding portfolio is key to success. Gone are the days where an academic researcher might have a career fully funded by a single organization. Not only is it good for your bottom line, but diversifying your funding sources can also…


November 30, 2017

Managing stress – a lifelong pursuit!

No question about it, being a postdoc is stressful. Academic life is stressful. Your future is uncertain, you are under pressure to produce, you may have family and life circumstances that add to the joy – and the stress – of your experience. Given the data on mental health among graduate students and postdocs, we at…


November 16, 2017

Working with mentors to support your career goals!

We all have different mentors in our life. These people have our best interest in mind and are able to guide and support our professional and personal development. In your personal life, look for advisors who are compassionate, enthusiastic, generous, honest, insightful, selfless and wise. In your professional life, it is imperative to find mentors who…


November 2, 2017

Exploration and Action: Keys to identifying your next steps

We often talk with postdocs about steps you can take to plan for your future. Before jumping into goal setting, investing time in assessment, reflection, and exploration can help assure your goals are aiming you in the right direction. We have promoted a few self-assessment tools in the past (myIDP and Doug’s Guides). A new tool from the…


October 19, 2017

Career Advice for Beyond the End of The Road

If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s. – Joseph Campbell   Dr. Keith Micoli visited UW from NYU where he directs the postdoc office and has worked for a decade to support postdoc professional development. Dr. Micoli shared advice with UW postdocs at a workshop on October 16, and we…



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