Graduate and Postdoctoral Development Program

Student standing in front of her poster project.

Who should participate?

  • Any graduate student or postdoc affiliated with the BioInspired Institute
  • Any undergraduates affiliated with the BioInspired Institute who wish to participate in professional development opportunities

To participate in the Graduate and Postdoc Development Certificate Program or get more information about the professional development events, email the Institute.

The faculty and staff of BioInspired Syracuse are committed to supporting graduate student and postdoctoral associate development, and aspire to train well-rounded, polished, career-ready scientists and engineers who will stand out in the job market. We recognize that not all development happens within the bounds of the classroom or lab, therefore graduate students and postdocs in the institute will have the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive co-curricular, professional certificate program.

The program will focus on skill development in the following areas: technical writing, oral communication and presentation skills, graphic design, data visualization, quantitative and technical abilities, research ethics, career and professional preparedness, grant and proposal development, and research and scholarly communications. Additionally, the program will include activities designed to encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration across the Institute.

Events will be organized and offered through the Institute annually in addition to leveraging events hosted by other offices on campus, such as WiSE’s annual science writing workshop and the Graduate School’s 3-Minute Thesis competition. These events and trainings will provide a diverse portfolio of learning opportunities for graduate students, and when added together, make up the BioInspired Graduate Student and Postdoc Development Program.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, the Institute’s inaugural year, the BioInspired Graduate Student and Postdoc Development Program will be running as a pilot. We anticipate the growth and evolution of the program to develop in tandem with the Institute. Your participation and feedback will be critical to the success of this pilot.

Graduate students work on their computers during a graphic design workshop
Graduate students hard at work during a Graphic Design workshop.

Program Structure

Option 1: Graduate Development Certificate

Graduate students in the Institute will be given the option to complete a co-curricular skill development program that spans 3 to 4 years and results in a certificate. Annually students will fulfill requirements outlined within the program curriculum, such as required trainings and checkpoints, and optional skill development badges, all of which count toward certificate completion.

In order to opt into the certificate program, students must sign a contract declaring their intent to participate, which must also be signed by their advisor or PI. Additionally, students participating in the certificate program will be enrolled in the BioInspired Graduate Student and Postdoc Development course, housed in Blackboard, where completion of professional development activities will be tracked.

Option 2: Postdoctoral Associate Development Certificate

Postdoctoral associates in the Institute will be given the option to complete a co-curricular skill development program that spans 2 to 3 years and results in a certificate. Annually postdocs will fulfill requirements outlined within the program curriculum, such as required trainings and checkpoints, and optional skill development badges, all of which count toward certificate completion.

In order to opt into the certificate program, postdocs must sign a contract declaring their intent to participate, which must also be signed by their advisor or PI. Additionally, postdocs participating in the certificate program will be enrolled in the BioInspired Graduate Student and Postdoc Development course, housed in Blackboard, where completion of professional development activities will be tracked.

Option 3: Skill Development Badges

Throughout the year there will be opportunities to participate in theme-based event series that take a deeper dive towards developing specific skill sets. Completion of an event series will count towards acquiring a skill development badge. The current list of skill development badges includes:

  • Research Skills & Scholarly Publishing Badge
  • Career Preparedness Badge
  • Graphic Design Badge
  • Research Communication Badge
  • Technical & Science Writing Badge (in development)
  • Quantitative & Technical Acuity Badge (tentative)

Skill development badges and program events will be tracked in the BioInspired Graduate Student and Postdoc Development course, housed in Blackboard.

Option 4: Ad Hoc Professional Development

Any students affiliated with the Institute can participate in professional development events offered through the Institute and elsewhere on the Syracuse University campus. These events can be tracked in the BioInspired Graduate Student and Postdoc Development course, housed in Blackboard.

Program Resources

  • BioInspired Graduate and Postdoc Development Blackboard CourseThis course serves to track certificate requirements, skill development badges, official schedule of events, and additional program resources. Blackboard will also house records of completion towards the certificate program, skill development badges, and any other professional development activities completed by students in the BioInspired Institute.
  • BioInspired Graduate and Postdoc Development Program Contract (in development) – A contract of intent will be signed by any graduate student and their advisor, who wishes to opt into the Certificate Program. The contract signals the student’s commitment to, and understanding of the program.
  • Tk20 Portfolio System – Students and postdocs participating in professional development events are encouraged to create a profile in Tk20, which will provide a place to archive and present materials developed during the BioInspired Graduate Student Development Program.
  • IDP – (forthcoming) Students and postdocs will fill out an IDP annually and maintain it as part of the Certificate Program.
  • Badgr BackpackA free online badging platform where students can sign up, then display the badges they earn in the BioInspired Graduate Student and Postdoc Development Program. Badges from Badgr Backpack can also be set up to display on a LinkedIn account.