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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.

Co-sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Studies and the VP of Human Resources, this 10-module program uses interactive group activities, case studies, discussions, postdoc presentations and professionally conducted workshop sessions 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.

Audience:  Current Cornell postdoctoral Associates and Fellows

Schedule:  October through March


Program Objectives:

  • Build the postdoc community and provide an opportunity to network with others
  • Enhance awareness of personal style
  • Experience leadership contexts and organization structures and their impact on individuals, teams, and their work
  • Examine and practice tools for addressing individual and team conflicts
  • Learn what leadership practices to leverage when the unexpected happens
  • Appreciating diversity in all contexts
  • Learning skills of integration and synthesis


  • Module 1: Leadership and Personal Style:  Behavior Preference & organizational impact
  • Module 2: Leaders and Followers-the simulation
  • Module 3: Understanding Organizations and Leadership Contexts
  • Module 4: Moving from Group to Team
  • Module 5: Norms, Culture & Leadership – Part 1
  • Module 6: Norms, Culture and Leadership – Part 2
  • Module 7: Resolving Interpersonal Conflicts
  • Module 8: Resolving Multi-party Conflicts
  • Module 9: Leadership in change and crisis

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.