Professional Development & Future Faculty Training

While graduate education is often highly specialized and focused, students may find it beneficial to develop knowledge and skills beyond their own discipline. The School of Graduate Studies offers training opportunities for entering and advanced graduate students. Descriptions of some of the courses and workshops are below. Classes are listed in the schedule of classes. The workshops are generally offered once or twice per academic year; announcements are emailed to students and administrators as workshops are scheduled, and can also be found in the Events Calendar and Announcements column on this website, and on the graduate student blog.


Excellence in Mentorship Fellows Program (16:186:601/603)

This is a two semester class that provides participants with the opportunity to study the functions involved in serving as a good mentor and to work with undergraduates as a mentor for one academic year. Through this program, Ph.D. students consider the skills necessary for effective management of classes and laboratories and how to establish professional relationships with undergraduate students to help them realize their academic and professional potential. Students receive a certificate of accomplishment following successful completion of the course.

Scientific Writing for the 21st Century (16:186:602)

This course focuses on learning to write and edit at a level appropriate to a journal article in the students scientific field. Students do their writing assignments both in and outside class, and critique their own work as well as the work of fellow students. Students work with writing projects that they need to complete, although the goal of the course is skills development.

Writing for the Dissertation (16:186:604)

This course focuses on writing at the level appropriate for a dissertation chapter in the student's scientific field. Students must be enrolled in a PhD program and engaged in revising existing dissertation chapter or drafting a new chapter in order to explore the critical role planning and revision play in the dissertation writing process. 

Responsible and Ethical Research (16:486:501)

Responsible and Ethical Research is a series of four discussion-based workshops that are intended to sharpen and develop the decision-making and communication skills of graduate students to make all better able to handle various sorts of dilemmas and difficult situations. The course is relevant to students of any discipline.

Visit the course page to learn about the topics that will be covered and to find answers to frequently asked questions.


Scientific Communication

This highly interactive, participatory workshop teaches scientists the basics of 'distilling the message' to help them learn to speak clearly and conversationally about their work, especially with the public or scholars from different disciplines. 

Improvisation for Scientists

This workshop, which may be facilitated by a theater professional, uses improvisatory techniques to help scientists connect with their audience.

Career Options for PhDs

Multiple career workshops are offered. Some are presented by graduate school deans or faculty and others include panels of Rutgers alumni

  • College and university careers
  • Interviewing for positions in academe
  • Career options in STEM
  • Career options in the humanities and social sciences
  • Faculty careers in community colleges

Effective Communication with your Advisor

This workshop is presented by a panel of experienced faculty who discuss differing faculty mentoring styles, choosing an advisor, ways to effectively communicate with your advisor, and suggestions on how to prevent and resolve issues that may arise.

Navigating Difficult Situations in Graduate School

This workshop is a variant of the previous one and uses the method of "coaching" to give graduate students tools to "help them help themselves" navigate advisor/advisor relationships, motivation, and other aspects of graduate student life.

Turning your Dissertation into a Book or Article

This workshop consists of a panel of humanities and/or social science faculty who discuss the issues involved in turning one's dissertation into a book or article.

Mentoring Undergraduates in Summer Research

A workshop is held each May for graduate students who will be mentoring undergraduates in summer REUs or other summer research programs.

Work-life Balance

Time Management and Organization

More Opportunities (TAP, GradFund, PLDI, RASTL)

Audio Recordings of Past Workshops