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Professional Development Resources

In addition to the professional development programming provided by the PDFO, UBC postdocs have access to a number of professional development tools and resources from a variety of providers.

These resources include self-paced learning modules, facilitated sessions, and short videos on a variety of personal and professional subjects. Please see below for an overview of some of the resources available to UBC-appointed Postdoctoral Fellows.

UBC Resources

Centre for scholarly writing and communication (CWSC)

The Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication (CWSC) is an educational support unit at UBC Vancouver that provides writing support to students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, and faculty. The CWSC delivers evidence-based writing consultations, workshops, retreats, and resources appropriate for UBC Vancouver community members with varying levels of academic English proficiency.

The CWSC offers the following services for UBC postdocs:

In addition to these services, the CWSC offers regular professional development workshops and events. Visit their event listings for a complete listing of upcoming events for all audiences; postdoc-specific events are also shared on the Events page of the PDFO website when available.

For information about CWSC resources, please contact their Program Assistant through their online contact form at https://writing.library.ubc.ca/about/contact-us/.

CENTRE FOR TEACHING, LEARNING AND TECHNOLOGY (CTLT)

The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) focuses on professional development in teaching and learning, integration of technology into teaching and learning, development and delivery of distance education courses and programs and other technology-enhanced learning opportunities and, through the Institute for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISoTL), scholarly approaches to curriculum and pedagogy.

In addition to the Postdoctoral Fellow Teaching Internship (PDTI) and postdoc-specific Instructional Skills Workshop offered in partnership with the PDFO, the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology offers a wide variety of resources and programs for the UBC community.

For information about CTLT resources and programs, please contact the CTLT through their online contact form at https://ctlt.ubc.ca/about/contact-us/.

LINKEDIN LEARNING at UBC

Learn at your own pace! LinkedIn Learning bridges the gap between the career you want and the skills you need. Learn online, at your own pace, with a library of 9,000+ creative, business, and technology courses. Use the “Skills You’re Interested In” Feature in LinkedIn Learning to discover relevant courses that support your personal and professional interests.

  • Learn anytime, anywhere. Access LinkedIn Learning courses from your desktop or mobile device—anytime.
  • Learn in your language. Get learning content in English, French, Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, German and Brazilian Portuguese.
  • Expert instructors. Learn from industry leaders in business, technology and creative fields, all in one place.
  • Personalized Recommendations. Curated course recommendations drawing on insights from over 630+ million LinkedIn members.

UBC staff, faculty and postdocs receive free access to the library of high-quality digital tutorials, courses, and curated learning paths. Visit LinkedIn Learning at UBC to access this learning platform.

WORKPLACE LEARNING (WPL) AT UBC

Workplace Learning (WPL) is a centralized, searchable digital catalogue of learning offered by UBC and available to the UBC community. This platform is intended to serve UBC employees and support UBC training, wellbeing and professional development. Through wpl.ubc.ca, participants can:

  • Discover new learning opportunities available at UBC
  • Register for free or paid workshops or courses offered by units across campus
  • Learn in-person, online, or using a mixed of both
  • Track completed training records and any expiry dates

An Intro to WPL module is available as a resource to introduce participants to the platform and frequently-asked questions.

For information about WPL modules and offerings, please contact the Workplace Learning Team at support.wpl@ubc.ca.

 

External Resources

Mitacs Training

Mitacs Training provides professional skills development courses for Postdoctoral Fellows and graduate students. Each course is designed to improve upon one or more core competencies and is facilitated by industry leaders.Courses are available throughout the year, and UBC-appointed Postdoctoral Fellows are eligible to enroll in Mitacs' catalogue of both asynchronous and facilitated events. Information about each module is available in the course catalogue below.

Many modules include both asynchronous (self-paced) and facilitated sessions. Participants must complete the asynchronous course component before being eligible to enroll and participate in the facilitated session.

Visit the Events page for information about upcoming facilitated sessions. For information about Mitacs Training programming and sessions, please contact training@mitacs.ca.

COURSE CATALOGUE (categoriZed by mitacs theme):

Networking Skills
Asynchronous course: Advance your reach (SELF-PACED E-LEARNING, 90 MINUTES)

Upon completion of the asynchronous course, you are invited to self-enroll and participate in the facilitated session.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Have the skills to transition to a new role
  2. Set network goals
  3. Make your LinkedIn profile work for you
  4. Network with positive results
  5. Position yourself for a job in industry

Course Content:

Unit 01: Your LinkedIn

  • Elevate your reach
  • Set the job search function in LinkedIn. Always be looking!

Unit 02: Networking with purpose

  • Leverage your network

Unit 03: Being recruited

  • Being recruited
  • Develop a flexible career plan
  • Leverage your experience
  • Remove the nomenclature and rewrite it entirely as a private sector role.
  • Summary
FACILITATED SESSION: BUILDING YOUR PROJECT NETWORK MAP (120 MINUTES)

In this session, participants will develop the skills needed to build a Network Map for their project. Participants will brainstorm a Networking Map for their Project. When complete, the map will identify the key decision- makers, influencers, financiers, and users across all phases of their Project.

Visit the Events page on the PDFO website for upcoming sessions.

Project and Time Management
Asynchronous course: Spur up your project and time management skills (SELF-PACED E-LEARNING, 120 MINUTES)

Upon completion of the asynchronous course, you are invited to self-enroll and participate in the facilitated session.

Learning outcomes:

  • Utilize time management strategies to be more effective and efficient on the job and when working remotely.
  • Describe different ways to manage email and use a calendar to schedule tasks.
  • Articulate the importance of managing stress to improve personal productivity.

Course Content:

Unit 01: Time management

  • Introduction: managing your time
  • Communication
  • Managing time in a pandemic
  • Summary

Unit 02: Project management

  • Introduction: why project management? Learning outcomes:
    • Understand what project management means and its benefits.
    • Identify the phases of the project life cycle and explain its characteristics.
    • Define the project management knowledge areas in terms of their components and processes.
    • Describe a generalized view of how the various project management processes commonly interact.
    • Define effective project management tools and techniques to achieve project objective
  • What is a project?
  • What is project management?
  • Project life cycle and roles
  • Project charter
  • Project success factors and constraints
  • Summary

Unit 03: Master your project

  • Introduction: foundations of project management
  • Project management approaches
  • Project charter, milestones, and timelines
  • Setting reasonable milestones
  • Project management tools and the GANTT chart
  • Costing
  • Review of project plan
  • Advance your project management skills
  • Summary
FACILITATED SESSION: PROJECT AND TIME MANAGEMENT (120 minutes)

This facilitated session is designed to provide learners with the opportunity to practice delivering project status updates to their stakeholders. Learners will draft and present their updates to small groups and receive feedback from their peers. This session builds on the knowledge imparted in the eLearning module.

Visit the Events page on the PDFO website for upcoming sessions.

Reconciliation and EDI
Asynchronous course: Fostering a culture of reconciliation, equity, diversity, and inclusion (SELF-PACED E-LEARNING, 60 MINUTES)

Upon completion of the asynchronous course, you are invited to self-enroll and participate in the facilitated session.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Explain why reconciliation and equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) actions are needed.
  • Articulate the concepts of reconciliation, EDI in your workplaces.
  • Recognize situations where increased reconciliation and EDI are needed.
  • Describe how you can play a role in improving reconciliation and EDI.
  • Recognize and implement ways to break down cultural barriers and foster a diverse, inclusive workplace.

Course Contents:

Unit 01: Professional development plan

  • Introduction
  • Reconciliation
  • What are residential schools?
  • What other experiences should you be aware of?
  • What can you do?
  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Inclusion
  • Breaking down cultural barriers in the workplace
  • Fostering an inclusive, diverse workplace
  • Incorporating principles into your project plan
  • Summary – learning check
FACILITATED SESSION: Incorporating REDI into your project (90 minutes)

The facilitated session will have participants identify the REDI considerations for their project, discuss how to incorporate these principles into their project plan, and, considerations for EDI on the team as well as the methodology on the project.

Visit the Events page on the PDFO website for upcoming sessions.

Communication Skills
Asynchronous course: Enhance your communication skills (SELF-PACED E-LEARNING, 120 MINUTES)

Upon completion of the asynchronous course, you are invited to self-enroll and participate in the facilitated session.

Learning Outcomes:

  • List the key elements of communications and how they impact on the credibility of one’s communications.
  • Identify and create appropriate content tailored to the audience and purpose of your communications.
  • Summarize key points and explain complex concepts to specialists and non-specialists alike.
  • Describe the different expectations a research community may have for communication vs a one-pager for a manager in a private company or not-for-profit organization.
  • Build Out the Communications Plan for your Project, including the Unique Value Proposition.

Course Content:

Unit 01: Principles of effective communication

  • Introduction
  • The core elements of communications
  • Video: Introduction to communications
  • Personal reflection
  • Verbal and nonverbal communications
  • Brevity is the soul of wit
  • When it should be an email, a call, or both
  • Writing the one-pager
  • Summary

Unit 02: Shaping your project's message

  • Introduction
  • How to communicate the value proposition of your project
  • Defining your project’s key message
  • Developing your pitch
  • Learning how to promote your project
  • Summary and learning check
FACILITATED SESSION: Refined project communication plan (120 minutes)

In this facilitated session, participants will present their Project Communications Plan, and will receive feedback from their peers and the facilitator.

Visit the Events page on the PDFO website for upcoming sessions.

Career Planning
Asynchronous course: Boost your career (SELF-PACED E-LEARNING, 90 MINUTES)

Upon completion of the asynchronous course, you are invited to self-enroll and participate in the facilitated session.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this Course, you are invited to self-enroll and participate in the facilitated session. Learning outcomes:

  • Identify transferable skills for non-academic career path for your resume.
  • Explore non-academic career paths suited to your educational background.
  • Identify core skills and competencies that can be presented confidently in an interview.

Course Content:

Unit 01: Professional development plan

  • Introduction, learning outcomes:
    • Understand the purpose and importance of professional development
    • Identify professional development opportunities
    • Understand how to transition from academia to private industry
    • Develop an Individual Development Plan
  • Michelle’s story
  • Why professional development?
  • Identifying professional development opportunities
  • Transitioning with purpose
  • Developing an IDP
  • Assessment and exploration
  • Summary – learning check

Unit 02: Ready, set, get recruited

  • Introduction – learning outcomes
    • Practice networking skills
    • Describe how to make an impact in an industry
    • Prepare for job readiness
    • Demonstrate skills needed to be successfully recruited
  • Real world application
  • Networking skills
  • Making an impact
  • Becoming job ready
  • Other samples
  • How to be successfully recruited
  • Summary – learning check
FACILITATED SESSION: Mastering the elevator pitch (120 minutes)

In this facilitated session, following a review of the fundamentals, participants will actively share the drafts of their Individual Development Plans (IDPs) with their peers. They will be afforded the opportunity to provide and receive feedback from their peers. They will also be granted time to revise and amend their IDPs for additional peer or facilitator feedback.

Visit the Events page on the PDFO website for upcoming sessions.

R&D Management
Asynchronous course: Enhance your communication skills (SELF-PACED E-LEARNING, 120 MINUTES)

Upon completion of the asynchronous course, you are invited to self-enroll and participate in the facilitated session.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Describe how to read corporate financial reports such as a balance sheet and income statement
  • Explain the value of business development and intrapreneurialism in the workplace
  • Describe how to build a team for success
  • Identify strategies to gather market intelligence
  • Describe how to encourage, be part of, and deliver the entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial spirit in a large organization

Course Content:

Unit 01: Understanding business

  • Business fundamentals and their importance for R&D management
  • Intrapreneurship and why it’s relevant

Unit 02: Refining your proposal

  • Identifying opportunities
  • Plan and prepare the venture
  • Resourcing and taking action

Unit 03: Entrepreneurialism

  • Entrepreneurial spirit in the private sector
  • Entrepreneurial spirit in the not-for-profit sector
  • Entrepreneurial spirit in the public sector (government)
  • Supplying Canada's response to COVID-19
  • Summary wrap-up & learning check
Leadership Skills
Asynchronous course: High performing leadership and teams (SELF-PACED E-LEARNING, 90 MINUTES)

Upon completion of the asynchronous course, you are invited to self-enroll and participate in the facilitated session.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Describe the qualities and skills of effective leaders today
  • Explain leadership styles
  • Describe how you can be a leader in your own organization, to support the business objectives
  • List the characteristics of successful teams
  • Explain how to ensure an inclusive workplace
  • Identify burnout and stress
  • Build on the interpersonal course by digging deeper into conflict management, avoidance and progressive principles

Course Content:

Unit 01: Leadership and team working

  • Leadership
  • Motivation and inspiration
  • How to build an inclusive workplace
  • Roles, responsibilities, and traits of a team leader
  • The 80/20 rule – The Pareto Principle

Unit 02: Leading teams

  • Leading with intentionality and team leadership
  • Keping track of team activity
  • Managing conflict in a team
  • Summary - learning check
FACILITATED SESSION: Applying the principles of sound leadership and team building (90 minutes)

In this facilitated session, participants are building on their foundational knowledge of leadership strategies and applying them by identifying and critiquing leadership styles in demonstrated video scenarios.

Visit the Events page on the PDFO website for upcoming sessions.

Writing and Presentation Skills
Asynchronous course: Refine your writing and presentations skills (SELF-PACED E-LEARNING, 90 MINUTES)

Upon completion of the asynchronous course, you are invited to self-enroll and participate in the facilitated session.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Differentiate between public sector (academic) and private and non-for-profit sector written materials.
  • Write a business report.
  • Identify and create appropriate content tailored to the audience and purpose of a presentation.
  • Structure your presentation.
  • Convey appropriate verbal and non-verbal communications techniques.
  • Develop a pitch deck for your Elevate Project.
  • Demonstrate refined writing skills appropriate for the purpose of the document and the audience for whom it is intended.

Course Content:

Unit 01: Writing skills

  • Writing skills refined
  • Writing strategic business reports
  • Build your scientific and technical writing skills

Unit 02: Impactful presentations

  • Presentations
  • Presentation techniques
  • Presentation platforms
  • Summary – learning check
FACILITATED SESSION: Framing your project in a masterful presentation (120 minutes)

This facilitated session has the participants developing a pitch presentation for their group (10 mins plus 5 mins for Q&A). Feedback provided by group peers.

Visit the Events page on the PDFO website for upcoming sessions.

NATIONAL CENTER FOR FACULTY DEVELOPMENT AND DIVERSITY (NCFDD)

The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) provides professional development, training, and networking opportunities to members from academic institutions across Canada and the United States. Under UBC's institutional membership, postdocs can access free workshops and webinars on a wide range of topics ranging from increasing research productivity and dissertation success to maintaining work-life balance.

To create an account: 

  1. Visit UBC’s page at www.facultydiversity.org/institutions/ubc.
  2. Click “Activate my Membership”. Please note you will need an email address ending in “ubc.ca”.
  3. Create a profile.
  4. You should then be able to sign-in anytime to access the programs

If you have any problems creating your profile or accessing the site, please contact membership@facultydiversity.org

INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS (idP)

Individual Development Plans (IDPs) are tools that can assist postdocs in preparing for their future careers by identifying career paths, establishing professional goals, and identifying skill gaps. These IDPs can be invaluable tools in planning and identifying the next steps in transitioning to their post-PDF careers, whether within or outside the academe.

The following free tools are available to assist postdocs from all backgrounds in developing IDPs.

 

Things to Watch, Read and Listen To

articles of interest

On Postdoctoral Fellowships
On Professional and Career Development

PODCASTS

VIDEOS

The PDFO team has compiled a series of learning path playlists in LinkedIn Learning on subjects related to career planning and development. A CWL login is required in order to access these playlists. Visit LinkedIn Learning at UBC for information about the LinkedIn Learning platform.