Postdoctoral scholars (“postdocs”) make vital intellectual and research contributions to the UMass Amherst community.
Postdocs are encouraged to attend the 250 events presented each year by the Office of Professional Development (OPD). These events can help postdocs strengthen their skills in the areas of career preparation, communication, grants and fellowships, personal development, and teaching.
The Graduate School also sponsors social and professional development activities exclusively for postdocs across campus to encourage community building. To learn more and get involved, join the postdoc listserv by emailing OPD.
Questions about benefits, new employee information, and the Postdoctoral Bargaining Agreement can be directed to Human Resources and departmental hiring managers.
Postdoctoral Professional Development Small Grants Program
The Graduate School sponsors a Postdoctoral Professional Development Small Grants Program, which invites postdocs to request up to $500 to support professional development activities that fall outside the normal engagement in research.
Individual Development Plan (IDP)
An Individual Development Plan (IDP) combines personal assessment, career exploration, and skill building within a framework of goal-setting and accountability. Sample models include myIDP (designed for scientists) and ImaginePhD (designed for the humanities and social sciences).
- The National Postdoctoral Association offers a variety of useful resources.
- The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), is an independent professional development, training, and mentoring community for faculty members, postdocs, and graduate students.
- The UMass Amherst Writing Center offers face-to-face and online consultations to help postdocs clarify ideas, reorganize text, set writing goals and build productive writing practices.
- For postdocs interested in teaching, UMass offers a number of resources, including the Office of Professional Development (OPD), the Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development (TEFD); the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL); and Instructional Innovation.
- The Postdoc Academy is a comprehensive online and in-person program built on the National Postdoctoral Association's core competencies to support skill development throughout postdoc training, from orientation to the next career step.