UW Graduate School

individual development plan


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…


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…


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…


October 5, 2017

Setting Yourself Up For Career Success

As we head into a new season, it is a good time to take a moment to assess where things stand regarding your career goals. What are your achievements of the past couple of months; of the past year? What skills do you want to hone in the coming months? What kinds of careers are exciting…


August 15, 2017

Postdocs, Know Your Rights!

Along with key partners such as the the Career & Internship Center, and UW Schools & Colleges, the Office of Postdoc Affairs (OPA) works to support over 1,100 postdocs at UW. The benefits and rights of being a postdoc vary based on your funding source and position. We want every postdoc to know your rights, as the University…


March 23, 2017

Tips for Postdocs from National Postdoc Association Meeting

On March 18-19, 2017, leadership from OPA and UWPA participated in the 15th Annual National Postdoc Association meeting in San Francisco. Three members from the Fred Hutch Student and Postdoc Advisory Committee also attended, and a postdoc from  Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR) so Seattle was well-represented! There were many good working sessions and…


January 12, 2017

The Postdoc Experience Revisited

The University of Washington, along with many peer institutions, is working to integrate the recommendations for revisiting the postdoctoral experience made by the National Academies of Sciences in 2014. We will keep you posted on progress as we move forward, and we invite you — postdocs, leaders within your units, faculty champions — to advocate for and adopt these…


December 15, 2016

Strategies for Getting to Independence

As part of our Monthly Postdoc Conversation this week, we discussed challenges postdocs face when working on the pathway to establish research independence.  The group discussed common situations such as: What happens if I am doing work that just utilizes skills I already have? How do I carve out my research direction? What happens if…


October 6, 2016

Getting the Most Out of Your Postdoc

At the UW and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, we are committed to you getting the most out of your postdoc experience here. There are a few national policies and high-level recommendations that can be useful if you need leverage to ask for time from your faculty advisor, or to step out at take risks,…



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