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


Academic Job Search Series

In 2018-2019, we are offering two types of events:

Academic Job Search Workshops

Interested in learning more about the Academic Job Search process, and the materials you will need to gather for an application? Come to brown bag lunch workshops on Wednesdays to learn more through presentations and activities. Co-sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Studies and CU-CIRTL. RSVPs are requested.

Job Search Discussion Groups

This year, we are once again gathering a supportive community of peers where you can discuss your experience on the academic job market. Bring questions, problems, and things you've always wondered about to these monthly Tuesday lunch discussions aimed at doctoral students and postdocs. Co-sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Studies and CU-CIRTL. Catered lunch will be provided. RSVPs are required.

The Application Process for an Academic Job

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 from 12:00-1:30 pm - B51 Warren Hall

Presenters: Christine Holmes, Director of Postdoctoral Studies

This is a brownbag discussion, bring your own lunch and we'll provide drinks and dessert

Writing a Teaching Statement

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm - B51 Warren Hall

Presenters: Colleen McLinn, Director of CU-CIRTL

This is a brownbag discussion, bring your own lunch and we'll provide drinks and dessert

Designing Your Research Statement Around Undergraduate Research

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm - B51 Warren Hall

Presenter: Jeffrey Werner, Associate Professor of Chemistry, SUNY Cortland

This is a brownbag discussion, bring your own lunch and we'll provide drinks and dessert

How to Approach the Research Plan in a Job Application (for a Research-Intensive University)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm-B51 Warren Hall

Presenter: Marvin Pritts, Professor of Horticulture, Cornell Unviersity

This is a brownbag discussion, bring your own lunch and we'll provide drinks and dessert

How to Submit Grants at Cornell: A Primer

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm-B51 Warren Hall

Presenters: Kim Holloway, Associate Director of Proposal Advancement, Office of Sponsored Programs

Brown bag event - bring your lunch and join us. We'll provide drinks and dessert.

 Interviewing and Negotiation (brownbag)

November 14 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. - RoomTBA


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. 

Cosponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Studies and the VP of Human Resources, this 10-module program uses lecture, discussion, 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 organization structure and context and the role of communication in conflict resolution, team function and change.

Schedule:  September through March

Program Objectives:

  • Build the Post Doc 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 the work
  • Examine and practice tools for addressing individual and team conflicts
  • Learning what leadership practices to leverage when the unexpected happens


  • Module 1:  Understanding Leadership and Personal Style:  Behavior Preference and Organizational Impact
  • Module 2:  Leaders & Followers:  Life in Organizations
  • Module 3: Understanding Organizations: Structures, Roles and Behavior
  • Module 4: Moving from Group to Team
  • Module 5:  Resolving Individual Interpersonal Conflicts
  • Module 6: Resolving Multi-party Conflicts
  • Module 7: Norms, Culture & Leadership
  • Module 8:  Organization in Crisis:  Putting Your Leadership Knowledge to Work
  • Module 9:  The Crucible—Where Leadership Meets Crisis
  • Module10:  My Voice, My Story:  Understanding the Untold Lived Experiences of Graduate and Professional Students

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

Postdocs are eligible to receive one-on-one tutoring for any written document, prepared presentation, or pronunciation issue. This service is sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Studies and available to postdocs at no cost. The ELSO tutors will work with any type of project, including research articles, CVs, resumes, personal statements, grant proposals, and academic presentations. Tutors can work with clients on all levels, from grammar to overall structure, and at any step in the process, from brainstorming to finalizing.

Postdocs are eligible to attend up to two 45-minute sessions per week. Tutoring takes place in Caldwell 260. To learn more about this program and our tutors, click here. To find available hours and sign up for the service, click here.  For additional information, contact ELSO Tutoring Services Coordinator Dr. Nathan Lindberg at

Earn a Workshop Certificate of Participation from the Center of Teaching Excellence 

Postdocs have the opportunity to earn a GET SET workshop certificate of participation by attending three or more GET SET workshops within a certificate category within a two-year period. In completing a GET SET workshop certificate, participants will explore multiple aspects of a key topic in higher education. Additionally, earning a workshop certificate allows participants to document their participation in the series and demonstrate their commitment to teaching excellence and professional development, qualities that are becoming increasingly important in the academic job market. Participants may earn up to eight certificates: one in each certificate category.

 GET SET Workshop Certificate Categories


Center for Integration Of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL)

The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) is a National Science Foundation-funded initiative “committed to advancing the teaching of STEM disciplines in higher education.” The CIRTL Network includes 25 top research universities, with coordination from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. It provides teaching professional development for STEM graduate students through faculty based on three core ideas: teaching-as-research, learning communities, and learning-through-diversity.  For additional information:   cu-cirtl

 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 3 to 4 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:


Other Programs

There are many other programs offered throughout the year, such as:

Job Search Workshops

  • Job Search Seminar
  • Career in Industry Panel Discussion
  • Grant Writing Round Table
  • Career Cruise (full day intensive job search seminar sponsored wit  Career Services and other units)
  • Interviewing  Techniques
  • How to Convert your CV to a Resume

Academic Job Search Workshops

  • Academic Job Search Seminar
  • Academic Panel Discussion
  • Successful Postdocs Job Search Panel Discussion
  • How to Write a Research Statement
  • How to Write a Teaching Statement
  • Interviewing Panel Discussion
  • Negotiation Panel Discussion (upcoming)
  • How to Start a Lab Panel Discussion (upcoming)

Grant Writing Seminar

  • Where to Look for Grants and Fellowships
  • Grant Writing 101
  • Introduction to Writing a Successful Grant

Career Services

·         Career Cruise (full day intensive job search seminar sponsored wit  Career Services and other units)

·         Career fair

o   University Wide Career fair in September

o   Non-Profit Career Fair in February

o   Engineering Career Fair in March

o   Mock Interviews

Engineering Diversity Office

·         Master Your Future: Mastering NSF Grant & Fellowship Proposals

·         Master Your Future: Entrepreneurship 101 for Engineers & Scientists

·         Master Your Future: Research In Industry (upcoming)

CNS Career Advancement Program for Engineers and Scientists (CNS CAPES)

·         CNS Career Advancement Program for Engineers and Scientists (CNS CAPES) is designed to improve the competitiveness of Cornell graduate students and postdoctoral scholars entering the workforce, in part by providing training in the important "real-world" skills often overlooked in traditional graduate programs, such as public speaking, proposal writing, and effective interview techniques.

     Programs offered with various departments

·         Women In Science Networking Events

·         Public Engagement and Science Communication Symposium

·         Research at an Undergraduate Institution

·         Career in Intellectual Property law

·         Put your Science to Work

·         Research Proposals -- Maximizing Your Chance for Success

·         Writing a Resume that Works

·         How Research Universities Evaluate Faculty Applicants

·         Public Speaking for Scientists and Engineers

·         A Career at the Interface Between Science and Public Policy

·         Leading a Life of Research in a U.S. Governmental (and military) Laboratory

·         Scientific Writing for Non Native Speakers of English