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Professional Development

The Office of Postdoctoral Studies sponsors a number of events including the following professional development programs for postdocs. If you have questions about any of the programs, contact Christine Holmes at

Professional development programs for postdocs:

To view more programs, visit the Graduate School’s Professional Development Page.

Postdoc Leadership Program (Certificate Program)

Overview:  Leadership involves effectively engaging people to work together to achieve organizational, political, or social goals. Skill in this arena is a critical factor in organizational and career success. Every postdoc, no matter what field of endeavor, will face a variety of complex leadership challenges. How these challenges are met will have a significant impact on the postdoc’s career and life.

Sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Studies, this highly interactive 8-module program uses lectures, discussions, simulations, and cases to introduce postdocs to key concepts and skills of leadership in today’s complex environment. It provides a practical forum to assess and develop personal leadership skills in self-knowledge, individual and group dynamics, power, the importance of organizational structure and context, and the role of communication in conflict resolution, team function, and change. This program runs from October through March.

Audience:  Current Cornell postdoctoral Associates and Fellows

Schedule: Fall semester


Throughout the program, explore the responsibilities and challenges of leadership related to each of these topics:

  • Create virtual network of Post Docs—help you build social capital
  • Enhance awareness of your style and impact on others
  • Explore decision-making strategies, resonance with your style and appropriateness of each style in different contexts (both cultural and organizational)
  • Expand your awareness about how to create a high-functioning team
  • Provide tested strategies for effective meetings
  • Experience a framework to help you understand and resolve conflicts
  • Heighten your awareness about conflict in work groups and ways to avoid/resolve it
  • Set the stage for you to tailor your next steps in leadership development to your own style, career context and organizational level


Module 1: Your style and impact (part 1)

Module 2: Your style and impact (part 2)

Module 3: Group norms

Module 4: Creating a High Functioning Team

Module 5: Resolving conflict (interpersonal)

Module 6: Resolving conflict (group & preventive strategies)

Module 7: Optimizing Meeting Effectiveness

Module 8:  Understanding & shaping group culture & close of program

One-on-One Tutoring on Writing, Presentations, and Pronunciation

Postdocs are eligible to receive one-on-one tutoring for any written document or prepared presentation. This service is sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Studies and available to postdocs at no cost.

Tutors are trained and employed by Cornell’s English Language Support Office (ELSO) and include Cornell faculty members and graduate students from a range of academic backgrounds. ELSO tutors will work with any type of project, including research articles, CVs, resumes, personal statements, statements of purpose, grant proposals, and conference presentations. Tutors can work with clients on all levels, from language to overall structure, and at any step, from brainstorming to finalizing. Postdocs are eligible to attend up to two 45-minute sessions per week. Tutoring primarily takes place in the ELSO office, Caldwell 260.

To learn more about this program and ELSO tutors, visit the ELSO Office website. To find available hours and sign up for the service, visit the scheduling page. Registration is required, but the client’s information is kept confidential. For additional information, contact ELSO Tutoring Director Dr. Nathan Lindberg (

The Cornell Prison Education Program

The Cornell Prison Education Program is dedicated to supporting incarcerated persons’ academic ambitions and preparation for successful re-entry. We believe that Cornell faculty and student engagement as instructors at correctional facilities manifests Ezra Cornell’s commitment to founding an institution where “any person can find instruction in any study.”

CPEP offers college courses to students in Cayuga and Auburn Correctional Facilities. These students take three to four classes a semester as they work toward their associate’s degree. Past course offerings include courses in Sociology, Government, Law, Music, Biology, Economics, and Psychology.

For additional information, visit the Cornell Prison Education Program website.