Career & Skill Development

Individual Development Plan

myIDP is an excellent tool to help PhDs assess their skills and plan out career development goals and pathway. This tool is strongly recommended for postdocs in their early stage. 

Imagine PhD is another such tool specifically developed for Humanities and Social Sciences.

Career Development Programs

Preparing Future Faculty Program

Registration is now open for GRAD 8101: Teaching in Higher Education, GRAD 8200: Practicum for Future Faculty, and GRAD 8200: Teaching for Learning. The Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) Program assists postdoctoral fellows and graduate students in developing teaching skills and exploring the faculty role at the college or university level. Learn more about the Preparing Future Faculty Program.

Teaching Assistant and Postdoc Professional Development Program Webinars

The Teaching Assistant and Postdoc Professional Development Program (TAPD) offers graduate students and postdocs formal recognition for investing in teaching-related professional development. After attending six live or recorded webinars and completing the capstone activity, you'll receive a formal letter of recognition from the Center for Educational Innovation and the option of accepting a digital badge. 

Learn more and register

Postdoc Academy

The Postdoc Academy is a multi-institution, comprehensive online program built on the National Postdoctoral Association core competencies to support skill development throughout postdoc training, from orientation to next career step. They offer two free online courses on edX featuring asynchronous, self-paced content: Succeeding as a Postdoc and Building Skills for a Successful Career

New Faculty Program

The New Faculty Program (NFP) provides a host of professional development opportunities for tenure-track faculty, contract faculty, and postdocs at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. The sessions focus on teaching, research, career advancement/leadership, and holistic faculty development. 

All new faculty and postdocs who wish to be involved in the program need to register. Each event/program is assigned a value (NFP unit) that can be used toward the eight (8) NFP units required to receive a letter of recognition from the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs. 

Some events on the schedule are offered by the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD). Sign up for your free membership to access their many programs and services.

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

NCFDD provides on-demand access to the mentoring, tools, and support needed to be successful in the Academy. We focus on four key areas that help achieve extraordinary writing and research productivity while maintaining a full and healthy life off campus: strategic planning, explosive productivity, healthy relationships, and work-life balance.

OED Equity and Diversity Certificate Program

The Equity and Diversity Certificate helps participants develop tools necessary for advancing equity and diversity in all aspects of their personal and professional lives. The program:

The certificate program consists of 10 workshops, and is free for all current students, staff, & faculty on all five system campuses. 

Learn more and register.

Technology Commercialization & Entrepreneurship Resources

Minnesota Innovation Corps (MIN-CORPs)

MIN-CORPS is the University of Minnesota hub for technology innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization. They have a number of events, workshops, and informational sessions coming up. Check out their programming here.

Technology Commercialization Fellow program

The Technology Commercialization Fellowship is a unique opportunity for those with an advanced degree in sciences, engineering, or technology to gain valuable experience in technology transfer, marketing, and licensing. A qualified candidate will work closely with Technology Portfolio Managers, Technology Licensing Officers, and the Corporate Research Partnerships team to evaluate, market, and license technologies and facilitate corporate research partnerships. The Tech Comm Fellow will gain experience in all aspects of technology transfer.

We seek individuals with a Ph.D. in engineering, physical sciences, or software.

View and apply now: Internal/UMN Applicants: Technology Commercialization Fellowship

If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Leza Besemann (, 612-625-8615).

Technological Leadership Institute (TLI) programming and resources

Consider utilizing the innovation and entrepreneurship resources provided by the Minnovation team, which is a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship at the Technological Leadership Institute in the College of Science & Engineering. The innovation ecosystem at CSE supports students, faculty, and startups at all stages of the entrepreneurial journey. Resources includes:

Postdocs outside of CSE are also welcomed to utilize these resources. To learn more, please contact:

Mark Sanders, Donald Osell - Gemini Chair in Entrepreneurship

David Nguyen, Edson W. Spencer Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Mentorship Resources

Mentoring Plans for Postdocs (via National Postdoctoral Association)

National Resource Mentoring Network

FASEB Reverse Mentoring

Mentorship Best Practices: 

In 2017, a sub-committee of the Postdoctoral Association formed to put together these recommended  guidelines, which are actionable "best practices" that can be used by postdocs, faculty, and administrators to create effective mentorship experiences.