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Professional and Academic Development Reminders for GradTerps

The Graduate School offers a range of programs to support the academic and professional development of students, from goal setting and mentoring to writing support and opportunities for career development. We have included events in the following categories:


The Graduate School Writing Center

The Graduate School Writing Center offers a range of appointments for writing and oral communication support. They are offering two series to help students sharpen the tools in their academic writing toolboxes:  

For students working on theses or dissertations, our Spring Break Writing Retreat will help you make time to write, while Formatting Fridays offer guidance on how to format your thesis or dissertation. And join us on April 7 at 11am for Embargo? Copyright? Understanding the choices for making your dissertation accessible, a session designed to help you make some of those final choices about your dissertation once it is completed!

3 Minute Thesis Competition

An 80,000 word PhD thesis would take 9 hours to present…

The student’s time limit... 3 minutes!

All graduate students are invited to participate in the Graduate School’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition! Preparing a 3MT presentation is a great way to talk about the importance of research in a way that is vivid and engaging while emphasizing its key point without using jargon. Please visit the 3MT website for more information about the Spring 22 competition and to see past winners. Register for this year’s competition by February 21, 2022, using this 3MT Registration Form.


Individual Development Plan (IDP)

Do you need a plan to reach your academic and professional goals? 

Doctoral students with a plan are often less overwhelmed and more satisfied with their graduate experience. Create your personalized Individual Development Plan (IDP) that includes academic, career, professional development, health and wellness and financial goals for each semester and year of your studies. Download the IDP template and list of suggested goals to create your IDP today.  Additional resources including online communities to develop mentoring relationships, incorporate mentoring best practices, and additional research on mentoring can be found on the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs webpage for mentoring.

Mentoring Up Workshops

Learning best practices for mentoring in the 21st Century can strengthen advising and mentoring relationships, as such, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) offers a Mentoring Up Workshop series for postdoctoral scholars and PhD candidates on a quarterly basis. Additionally, OPA offers a Mentoring Workshop series for faculty members in conjunction with the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars, University of Maryland, Baltimore on a semi-annual basis.

This series of discussions is part of the “Entering Mentoring” Series which was developed at the University of Wisconsin, Madison by Pfund, House, Asquith, Spencer, Silet, and Sorkness. The content of each session in the curriculum is designed to address the key concerns and challenges identified by research mentors that train graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Register for the following sessions:

February 18th – Introduction and Effective Communication

February 25th – Aligning Expectations and Assessing Understanding

March 4th – Addressing and Enhancing Equity and Inclusion

March 11th – Supporting Independence and Promoting Professional Development

Career Support

Thinking about your career, but don't know where to start? Ready to search for an internship or job, but dreading it? Begin with the series of nine, 20-minute Foundational Career Development Workshops just for doc students offered live via Zoom or watch the recordings.

Deepen your knowledge about the career development process, effective job and internship search strategies, interviewing tips and well-crafted job documents in Doctoral Career Navigator. Navigator is an ELMS-Canvas space with 13 self-paced modules and a community of doc students exploring options and searching for opportunities. 

Go even deeper with Aurora - a professional development training platform that will help you successfully transition into academic or nonacademic career paths. Aurora contains a video library of 200 informational interviews with PhDs in a wide range of careers. Free monthly webinars and virtual conferences are offered each semester.
Want to talk about your specific career questions? Watch this video about how to schedule an appointment with Dr. Susan Martin through Careers4Terps or email her directly at


Have a suggestion for other ways the Graduate School can provide academic and professional development support for graduate students in your programs? Email us at