Postdoctoral Professional Development Plan

General Recommendations

A postdoctoral fellowship should be viewed as an opportunity to develop as an independent researcher, teacher, and scholar. It is also a period of transition between graduate student years and the time you will spend in the workforce.

The following recommendations supplement the yearly professional development plans described below.

  • Identify your goals and make plans for achieving them.
  • Find diverse activities to support your professional development plan.
  • Produce influential research.
  • Establish connections and make yourself known in your field, e.g. by attending conferences.
  • Think of supervising students.
    • A good place to start is by working with a group of undergraduates in the mathematical modeling course (MATH 485).
    • You may also want to propose small research projects suitable for undergraduates.
    • You could also work with one of your mentor's graduate students and take a leadership role in mentoring.
  • Learn how to balance time.
  • Determine who you are (an analyst, a geometer, etc).
  • Do some outreach.

Year 1

  • Volunteer to give a seminar on the topic of your thesis, so that people in the department know you and your work.
  • Plan to attend UA professional development workshops (see main resource pages for details).
  • In consultation with your mentor, develop a teaching plan for the next 3 years.
  • If you have not yet done so, finish publishing your thesis.
  • Develop or update your web site.
  • Start exploring new projects; try to be diverse.
  • Get involved in some outreach.
  • Start drafting research proposals for your second year.
  • Apply for travel grants and plan to attend conferences.

Year 2

  • Finish all of the Year 1 items that are still pending.
  • Give talks, both inside and outside the department.
  • Plan your teaching for Year 3; try to diversify.
  • Go to (big) conferences.
  • Finish some of your ongoing projects.
  • Think about mentoring students. 
  • Consider applying for grants and for selected jobs.
  • Make contacts for potential external references.

Year 3

  • Update your resume and web site.
  • Finish your big projects.
  • Apply for grants.
  • Apply for jobs.
  • Make sure to be involved in outreach/service if you have not yet done so.