Professional development is a critical part of graduate education at Princeton University. The Graduate School provides programming that is relevant to all fields and inclusive of academic, administrative, and industry careers.
Princeton University offers a variety of resources to support graduate student success and enhance scholarship and research. From writing support to teacher training, graduate students have access to many courses, workshops, and co-curricular activities to explore their academic interests. To support the breadth of interests of Princeton’s graduate students, the Graduate School collaborates with campus partners to provide robust programs.
Explore this section to learn more about professional development opportunities at Princeton. Feel free to contact Amy Pszczolkowski, Assistant Dean for Professional Development, firstname.lastname@example.org, with your questions.
Graduate School Professional Development Programs
Graduate students often find themselves weighing their options on whether to pursue tenure-track positions or administrative opportunities. In both instances, understanding how universities operate is critical to a successful career. Established in the fall of 2014, the University Administrative Fellows (UAF) program provides an excellent opportunity for graduate students to gain greater knowledge of the administrative side of higher education.
ReMatch is a mentoring program that offers resources and funding to achieve two main, mutually constitutive goals:
- To foster meaningful research connections between first and second-year undergraduate students and graduate students across all divisions
- To support a diverse and inclusive research community at Princeton and beyond.
The program connects undergraduate students and graduate students, through their shared interest in academic research, and offers fellowship funding for mentorship connections and joint research projects. Graduate students can choose their own level of engagement, which might range from attending a few informal meetups each semester to mentoring an undergraduate intern in a long-term research project over the summer.
ReMatch is a collaborative initiative between the Office of the Dean of the College (ODOC) and the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School (ODGS).
Graduate students who identify mentees through the ReMatch program can submit a co-prepared proposal to host a summer research student. Please see the ReMatch Summer Program page for more information.
Princeton Research Day (PRD) is a one-day celebratory event for undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs to present their work to the campus community. The event promotes Princeton’s commitment to scholarship, innovation, and research. This year’s event will take place on May 5, 2016. The application system will open in December.
Funding for Professional Development Activities
Scholarly Interdisciplinary Symposia, Seminars, and Workshops – Each year the Graduate School solicits proposals from graduate students seeking funding to support scholarly symposia, seminar series, and workshops. The intent is to encourage events that enrich the intellectual and academic lives of students by complementing the academic offering of departments and programs with those that provide opportunities for students to present ideas and research to audiences across disciplinary boundaries.
Proposals for this fund are accepted and reviewed each summer for the next academic year. Students can expect to receive a maximum of $2,000 from this funding source and are encouraged to seek out other funding sources to supplement Graduate School support.
Professional Development Initiatives
To assist graduate students in receiving more discipline-specific professional development, the Graduate School solicits proposals from graduate students seeking support for professional development activities including conferences, lectures, and workshops during the academic year. The intent of this fund is to encourage students to pursue professional development experiences that will enrich the student experience and prepare them for careers after graduate study. Our focus is to fund programming and events that are initiated by graduate students and fill a professional development need not currently met through the department, the Graduate School, or other campus resources.
Proposals for this fund must be submitted by July 1 for fall programs and by January 1 for spring programs. Students can expect to receive a maximum of $2,000 from this funding source and are encouraged to seek out other funding sources to supplement Graduate School support.
Professional Development Travel Fund - The Graduate School has established a Professional Development Fund to support graduate student professional development activities. Individual professional development grants of a maximum of $500 are available through the fund for students who would like to participate in a professional development activity not directly related to their program of study or scholarly work. Examples of fundable activities include travel funding to participate in a professional development conference, workshops, panel discussions, and networking events.
Deans Fund for Scholarly Travel - The Dean's Fund for Scholarly Travel provides grants of up to $600 to currently enrolled doctoral students in year-of-study three through the first year of DCE status who have been invited to present a scholarly research paper at a conference or meeting directly related to their program of study or scholarly work. Students may apply once during the year for one or more conference presentations, or they may apply multiple times during the year for more than one conference. In no case, however, will students be awarded more than $600 during the year.
SAFE is a central resource for all students and groups to ensure that funds available for student activities are allocated in a fair, efficient and transparent manner. Graduate students and graduate student groups are able to seek campus funds for research, conferences and internships, from a variety of sources including academic departments, administrative units, campus life groups and affiliated organizations through the SAFE funding portal.
Department Professional Development Support
Some academic departments and programs appoint a graduate placement officer to provide career guidance to graduate students. While the specific role of the placement officer differs by department, placement officers are faculty and staff members who advise, mentor, and support the graduate students as they prepare themselves for the competitive job market. The placement officer provides field-specific guidance for graduate students in the job seeking process and may provide assistance with some or all of the following: preparation of application materials, navigation of the application and selection process, preparation for teaching and research talks, and negotiation of job offers.
While department placement officers often focus on preparing students for academic job searches, they may also provide assist students navigating the nonacademic job search process.
Career Services supports graduate student career searches both inside and outside the academy through individual career advising. Career advisers will meet with students to discuss academic and non academic job search strategy and timing, dossiers, CVs, resumes, interview preparation, and networking opportunities.
- Meet the Princeton University Press - The Graduate School, in collaboration with Career Services, organizes an annual meet and greet with the Princeton University Press. The event introduces students to the academic publishing process and possible career options with the press.
- GradSpeak – Work on your public speaking and oral presentation skills with John Weeren and Stephanie Whetstone of PrincetonWrites.
- Graduate Student Advisory Board – Graduate Student Advisory Board provides input to Career Services in order to develop a more personal counseling approach. The advisory board is selected by Career Services with input from the Graduate Student Government so that a wide variety of academic disciplines and stages of education are represented
The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning offers extensive programs and services geared toward developing graduate students as professional scholars and teachers. These programs can both assist students in meeting degree requirements or and in acquiring skills needed for careers in teaching.
AI Training – The McGraw Center oversees mandatory training for all new Assistants in Instruction (AIs). The Graduate School requires all first-time AIs to attend training, which provides a base level introduction into teaching issues and skills needed for first-time AIs.
English Language Program – The McGraw Center oversees the English Language Program (ELP), which provides English language support through testing, courses, and groups for non-native English speaking graduate students.
McGraw Faculty-Graduate Teaching Seminar: Scholarly Approaches to Teaching – The McGraw Center, in collaboration with the Graduate School, offers graduate students and faculty the opportunity to engage in a year-long teaching seminar that focuses on the processes and goals of teaching as well as the challenges encountered by undergraduate students.
Pedagogy and Professional Development Workshops - McGraw Center pedagogy workshops are focused on aspects of teaching, learning, and academic careers. The workshops explore topics of grading, leading discussions, and teaching with film and lecturing. They also focus on critical thinking in disciplinary courses as well as on writing a teaching statement. The professional development workshops help prepare graduate students for their academic careers such as the Master Class on Lecturing, which includes Princeton faculty, and "Prof 101," a seminar for those starting academic positions in the following year.
The Writing Program offers a continuum of options for graduate students to develop writers and teachers. Writing courses and one-on-one consultations with experienced fellow writer’s help students improve their writing skills needed for dissertation work and publication. Advanced students interested in professional development opportunities can serve as writing fellows or develop their own writing courses.
Dissertation Boot camps - The Writing Program, in partnership with the Graduate School has developed dissertation boot camps. The boot camps are designed to provide support for students' working on their dissertation, including a quiet space and a community of writers.
Writing in Sciences and Engineering (WSE) - Provides half-term writing courses and proposal writing workshops geared toward excellence in science and technical writing.
Graduate Writing Days - Sponsored by the Graduate School and GSG, Graduate Writing Days welcomes graduate students of all stages of study to the writing program whether it is to write a dissertation, conference paper, journal article, seminar presentation, chapter, or grant application. Graduate Writing Days is a great option for both dissertation writers or pre-generals graduate students who are interested in a different space to jump-start or complement a productive writing routine.
Proposal Writing Workshops - Proposal writing is always challenging. Writers must argue for why their project is so important and so likely to succeed that it deserves a substantial investment of time and money. Writers developing their proposals will find a range of resources available at Princeton to support their writing. Graduate students working on proposals or fellowships can take advantage of the wide variety of writing support offered through Writing Center programs.
Writing Center Fellows - Writing Center Fellows are Princeton undergraduate and graduate students who work one-on-one with student writers. Excellent writers have the opportunity to gain professional development experience by giving feedback to other writers, especially on macro issues such as developing an argument and organizing ideas. Writing center fellows have the chance to affect students’ academic lives in positive and meaningful ways. Perhaps as important, fellows get the chance to hone their teaching and writing skills through their work as a fellow.
Quin Morton Fellows - Princeton graduate students who will be in Dissertation Completion Enrollment (DCE) status in 2016-17 are invited to apply for one-year positions as Quin Morton Teaching Fellows. Quin Morton Teaching Fellows teach one topic-based Writing Seminar of their own design each semester and participate in an intensive faculty development program, which includes meetings and workshops on seminar design and writing pedagogy.
The Keller Center focuses on bridging technology and society through innovation, design, and entrepreneurship. The Keller Center provides a broad range of interdisciplinary courses, co-curricular activities, workshops, and lecture series aimed at educating leaders for a technology-driven society.
Keller Center Fellows in Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship - Keller Center fellows serve as key advocates and supporters of the Keller Center's role while honing their skills as leaders and entrepreneurs. Graduate and undergraduate students selected for the program serve one academic year terms. They are invited to special events and functions hosted by the Center and are eligible to apply for special funding to pursue individual and group projects.
The Office of the Dean of the College provides a wide variety of professional development opportunities for graduate students interested in teaching and mentoring undergraduate students.
Freshman Scholars Institute – The tuition-free Freshman Scholars Institute is an academically rigorous pre-college program designed to assist admitted students for whom the academic and social challenges of Princeton’s fast-paced freshman year may prove especially demanding. Graduate students may be offered the opportunity to teach an FSI courses and inform current FSI students about the wide range of opportunities and resources available to them on campus.
Resident Graduate Student Program – The Resident Graduate Student (RGS) program is intended to enhance the residential college experience and help foster a fully integrated campus community that unites under-graduates of all four years, graduate students and faculty across the disciplines, and staff. RGSs are appointed by the master of the college as full members of the college fellowship, living in a furnished graduate student suite, taking meals in the dining hall, and participating in the intellectual and social life of the college along with faculty fellows, visiting scholars, and other members of the Princeton community. RGSs pull from their own experiences and interests to develop programming intended to enhance the residential college experience.
The Program in Teacher Preparation includes the Prison Teaching Initiative (PTI), which provides credit-bearing college courses to inmates at New Jersey correctional facilities near Princeton’s campus. Courses in several disciplines are taught by volunteer instructors including Princeton faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, alumni, and advanced undergraduates.
The Center for Digital Humanities (CDH) research team serves as a hub for expertise in digital methods, tools, and best practices that allow scholars to analyze traditional and unconventional source bases to discover and share new insights. The CDH hosts workshops, reading groups, invited lecturers, conferences, and other special events.
Princeton Research Day celebrates the research and creative endeavors of Princeton University undergradutes, graduate students, and early career researchers by highlighting all types of discovery at the University, from laboratory research to the creation and interpretation of artistic work. More than 160 talks, posters, performances, art exhibitions, demonstrations and digital presentations on topics in the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, humanities and the arts will be on presented. PRD is an excellent professional development opportunity for graduate students at all stages to gain experience in presenting their research interests in various format from 10 minutes talks to poster presentations and performances.
Memberships to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) are available for all graduate students at no cost. NCFDD provides online professional development workshops, webinars, and seminars on topics relevant to all graduate students such as increasing writing productivity, prioritizing and managing time, cultivating mentors, securing external funding, and maintaining work-life balance.