Career & Personal Development

​​​​​​We support the professional and personal development of postdocs by providing access to many campus services that help you improve the skills necessary to become successful researchers. You also have access to many non-academic services and workshops that can be of great benefit to you during your stay at U of T.

​The following University offices provide resources, programs and workshops for professional development and other life skills. Please visit each website for more detailed descriptions and registration information. The Postdoctoral Office is happy to provide a parchment upon the completion of your postdoctoral engagement; details are below.

Career Centre

The Career Centre offers a comprehensive, personalized range of career education and employment services to support and empower participants in making informed decisions about their career and employment goals. Postdocs have full access to the Career Learning Network and their repository of online career resources.​ Postdocs also have full access to the Flexible Futures series of workshops (offered as part of the embedded partnership in Grad Room) that cover the full spectrum of employment opportunities including, but not limited to, academic faculty, industry-based or entrepreneurial work opportunities.​ Postdocs can also attend all Career Exploration​ programming, which will be invaluable at helping PDFs make connections with industry, and can also attend group advising sessions for graduate students and postdocs.​ Postdocs also have available to them a maximum of three hours of individual advising per year.

To register for any of the above, please follow the instructions for postdocs​ on the Career Learning Network. If you experience any difficulty with submitting a registration request, please contact the Career Centre at 416-978-8000. 
 

Teaching in Higher Education (THE 500)

The objective of the THE500 course is to support doctoral students and postdocs from all divisions at U of T in their professional preparation for academic careers by:

introducing effective strategies in teaching in higher education

providing an opportunity for the practice of teaching methods

encouraging students to develop their own teaching philosophy and style

providing information on the teaching and learning resources available at U of T and in current research and

discussing some of the broader issues and concerns of members of the academy​

English Language Skills

Advanced communication training can be an instrumental component of your future academic success. To help you excel, we offer workshops through our English Language and Writing Support (ELWS) program. Register to get help with grant proposals, presentations, and more. If you experience any difficulty in registering for ELWS workshops, please contact the ELWS administrator (​sgs.elws@utoronto.ca; 416-946-7485​). Please note that courses are not available for postdoc enrolment; postdocs can enrol in workshops only.

Would you like help with your day-to-day communication skills? The Centre for International Experience offers a 10-week English Communication Program each academic session. A class for postdoctoral fellows only is available.

If you are looking for more in-depth programs or help, you may be interested in the English Language Program available through the School of Continuing Studies at U of T. Postdoctoral fellows receive a 25% discount on any courses taken within the English Language Program unit.

My Grad Skills 

MyGradSkills is an online and free series of learning modules that allows students and postdocs to acquire professional skills on their own time, at their pace, and anywhere they can access the Internet.

The 18 module topics are varied: academic and research integrity, converting a CV to a resumé​, entrepreneurship and new venture creation, understanding mental health and well-being, exploring diverse career paths for PhDs, and teaching online. 

If you are an Ontario graduate student or postdoc with an institutional email address, you can access this training. 

Graduate Professional Skills (GPS) Program

The GPS​​ can help you to communicate better, plan and manage your time, learn entrepreneurial skills, understand and apply ethical practices, and work effectively in teams and as leaders.​Postdocs are welcome to enrol in any of the GPS offerings that are hosted by the School of Graduate Studies. If you have any issues in registering for a particular course, please contact Liam O'Leary (liam.oleary@utoronto.ca), Graduate Programming Coordinator.

Mitacs

Mitacs is national research organization offering unique research and training programs to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in Canada. Their programs include:

Mitacs Accelerate: Is Canada’s premiere research internship program. It connects graduate students and postdocs with companies through short-term research projects. Interns apply their specialized expertise to business research challenges and transfer their skills from theory to real-world application.

Mitacs Elevate: Provides a foundation of cutting-edge research, business, entrepreneurship and scientific management skills to newly-minted PhDs. Through Mitacs Elevate, new PhDs create and lead a major industrial research project while establishing vital connections within the local business community.

Mitacs Step: Provides business-ready skills to up-and-coming researchers. Step trains graduate students and postdocs in essential interpersonal, project management, and entrepreneurial skills required for them to succeed in their future career.​

Parchments

Postdocs who are nearing the end of their fellowship may request a parchment from the Postdoctoral Office. The parchment indicates your name, the unit in which you undertook your fellowship, and the start and end dates of the fellowship. The parchment is signed by the Dean of Graduate Studies, Vice-Provost Graduate Education, embossed with the School of Graduate Studies seal, and sent to your supervisor for signature. Please email the Postdoctoral Office​ to request a parchment. Parchments may take up to two weeks to produce, so please request one in a timely manner.​