You have many sources of information and avenues for support, both at UW and beyond! Below are links to helpful resources for current and past Allen School postdocs, including campus contacts, information on potential research and career development opportunities, and guidance on preparing for an interview, building your network, and enhancing your research, leadership and entrepreneurial skills. We will continue to develop this page as new resources become available.
General Support Throughout your Postdoc
Postdoc resources at UW
The Graduate School’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs serves postdocs across UW and guides them toward campus resources to support their career, appointment, mentoring, and teaching and research skills. On OPA’s website, you will find a variety of self-service resources and opportunities for connecting with other postdocs, many of whom will have similar questions and career development goals. OPA also offers financial resources to postdocs in the forms of travel awards and an annual distinguished mentor award.
> Tip: The Graduate School’s Associate Dean of Student & Postdoctoral Affairs, Dr. Bill Mahoney, holds weekly office hours with postdocs. He can advise on various topics such as creating your individual development plan, strategizing for conversations with your mentor, grant-writing, and more.
> Tip: Subscribe to the bi-weekly postdoctoral affairs newsletter to stay informed on news related to postdoctoral study, deadlines, programming, and more.
Several of Core Programs’ Mentor Memos are relevant to postdocs; for example, the ones on academic job offer and salary negotiations, collaborating and co-authoring, and presenting your research at academic conferences (to name just a few). Mentor Memos are written by UW faculty and staff and are guides for a range of skills and scenarios not necessarily taught in the classroom or lab.
> Tip: This PI/advisor meeting checklist can help direct your conversations during mentoring meetings or progress checks!
Connect with the UW postdoc community
The UW Postdoctoral Association (UWPA) is dedicated to enhancing the welfare, and fostering the professional development and career advancement, of the postdoctoral community. Engage with them at an upcoming event or on social media (including Slack), or signing up for their mailing list!
The UW Postdoc Diversity Alliance (UWPDA) seeks to increase the diversity of research leaders in academics and other industries and advocates for institutional support of equity and inclusion, promotes opportunities for professional development among our peers, and provides a community for social support and allyship. Find them on Slack or Twitter or consider signing up for their mailing list or attending events!
The National Postdoctoral Association provides resources and programming to prospective and current postdocs. Their career development pages include individual development plans, skills development resources and tutorials, and more.
> Tip: Check out their quick guide to 6 postdoctoral core competencies.
The University of Illinois has a compilation of papers and talks on topics such as public speaking, teaching, and running a lab that may be relevant to postdocs.
Research and Writing Support
Here is a handy list of paper databases that the Allen School and/or UW have access to: link
Postdocs also have full access to UW Libraries’ vast collection and network of databases, journals, articles, and more.
>Tip: The libraries can also advise on scholarly publishing and open access.
Allen School postdocs have access to technical writing support! Review this three-part technical writing workshop: Putting Your Best Text Forward
UW’s Office of Research provides resources and policy information relevant to every stage of the research lifecycle.
> Tip: If you're getting ready to write a research proposal, review their proposal writing guide as well as some tips for writing a compelling proposal (PDF) from Susanne Hambrusch (Purdue) and Ed Lazowska (UW CSE)
Professional and Career Development
Be sure to review the Ph.D./Postdoc Career Support suite of resources for those soon to enter the job market! Here, you will find resources and information pertaining to both the academic and industry job searches, including:
- Panel discussion recordings
- Narrative how-to guides on attending conferences and navigating the academic job interview process
- Teaching support and best-practices
- Sample application materials from academic job searches
- And more!
> Tip: Many of the links that used to be on this page (such as UW-produced handouts and guides or best-practices for the job search) have moved to this section.
UW is a member of the Research University Alliance, a nine-university partnership that focuses on the advancement of underrepresented minority PhD student and postdocs pursuing academic careers and seeks to diversify the future professoriate.
A key component of RUA is the Research Exchange, which supports eligible postdocs and Ph.D. candidates with travel funds to visit and network at one of the 8 partner RUA universities: UC Berkeley, Caltech, Georgia Tech, Harvard University, UCLA, University of Michigan, Stanford University, and UT Austin.
Postdocs and "all-but-dissertation" Ph.D students who are US citizens, permanent residents, or "Dreamers" under DACA and identify as an underrepresented minority group are eligible to apply. Click here to learn more.
Making an Individual Development Plan (IDP)
We strongly recommend all postdocs create their IDPs within their first three months of their appointment and refer back to it often, including performing annual revisions.
An IDP is an essential tool to help you:
- Consider your training and professional development from a broad perspective.
- Pause and reflect on goals that can get lost amidst daily research activities.
- Set clear short-, mid- and long-term training and development goals.
- Establish clear expectations/steps.
- Facilitate self-reflection and fruitful discussions.
- Create a written action plan for your individual goals and career of choice.
- Identify and use resources to help you achieve your goals.
As an IDP is a personal document, there is no standard template or format that you ought to follow. Your career trajectory to date will differ from others’, so your IDP should reflect your unique self-assessment, inventory of skills and knowledge, and goals for your postdoc and beyond.
> Tip: The UW Graduate School’s IDP creation guide and starter template are great starting points for thinking through this process and creating your first draft.
A variety of additional IDP templates are available, including some designed specifically for pursuing careers in CS or STEM! Postdocs are encouraged to utilize a template that best serves their needs.
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Science Careers’ myIDP
- Generic IDP template (University of Minnesota)
- IDP for postdocs (Stanford University)
In general, your PI (or whomever else might be paying you) is the best source of information regarding the dates of your appointment and details of its funding source. Staff in the Allen School’s business office can support the administrative aspects of your employment and compensation - things like budget charges, extending or ending your appointment, etc.
> Tip: If you will receive compensation for work you do beyond your postdoc responsibilities (such as consulting or founding a company), there are important policies and procedures to be aware of! You very well may need to obtain advance approval for your work through Form 1460. More information here.
You might find yourself in a position of needing or wanting additional sources of funding to support your current postdoc or next position. If so, then there are a variety of resources for getting started: