Professional Skills Categories

UCLA has defined the Core Professional Skills that each graduate student should develop during their training, and divided them into the categories below. When you explore the categories, you will find some skills you already have. For the professional skills you would like to develop further, check out the campus resources associated with each and watch your inbox and the calendar of events for training opportunities. You can use this Worksheet to self-identify the core skills you need to develop during your training and create your own professional development plan for your time at UCLA.

See the key below to identify which UCLA offices and units provide training in these skills.  

Career Path Preparation Skills

  • Assessing knowledge, values, and interests to identify potential career paths  
  • Developing an online professional presence
  • Building professional relationships and networks 
  • Researching and locating appropriate jobs and internships 
  • Preparing job application documents
  • Translating my academic skills to different careers and communicating them to potential employer
  • Understanding and navigating interview preparation and process
  • Learning to negotiate a job offer
  • Transitioning from training to a professional career and understanding professional culture

Career Path Preparation Resources

 

UCLA Career Center – Graduate Career Services
The Graduate Career Services team at the UCLA Career Center provides one-on-one counseling, workshops and networking events for graduate students, around topics of career exploration, career path preparation, job search, networking and interviewing skills, and preparation for jobs inside and outside of academia. Look for event announcements in your email and on the GPB mailing list.  Log in to their online professional development platform, Handshake, to access upcoming events, schedule counseling sessions, AND check out their resource guides below.

 

Graduate Programs in Bioscience
GPB hosts career planning workshops on Creating an Individual Development and hosts or advises several networking and affinity groups that can help grow your professional networks, such as Black Scholars in Biosciences, Bioscience Women’s Circle, Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) UCLA Chapter, and Association for Multi-Ethnic Bioscientists’ Advancement (AMEBA).

 

BioCareers
UCLA is a member of BioCareers, the largest jobs board for job seekers in the biomedical and life sciences. In addition to the jobs board, they have other resources for bioscience research professional development. You can join for free with our UCLA Affiliate membership!

CIRTL
The CIRTL@UCLA program supports the professional and career development of graduate students who are considering academic careers, through a CIRTL@UCLA Certification Pathway, Courses and Workshops, Resource Guides and a robust learning community. Much of their training involves skills development in preparation for future faculty positions, including preparing faculty applications and teaching philosophy statements. 

 

Your Home Area or Training Program
Check with your Home Area, Research Theme, Institute, or training program for opportunities to network with alumni, speakers and visiting scientists. Research common funding opportunities for those in your area. Speak with visitors and alumni about their experiences in their career path and jobs and for advice on preparation and application. Seek out additional mentors with expertise in the types of careers, training, and network you want to cultivate. 

Communication Skills

  • Scholarly and professional writing in one’s field
  • Managing complex writing projects
  • Public speaking
  • Making formal presentations in one’s field
  • Communicating with diverse audiences
  • Communicating across multiple platforms

Communication Resources

 

Graduate Writing Center

The Graduate Writing Center offers a variety of workshops and thesis-writing support programs. The GWC offers FREE appointments with friendly, experienced writing consultants to all registered UCLA graduate and professional school students. They provide online videos of workshops on a variety of topics, including writing journal articles, conference proposals, literature reviews, grant writing, and for non-native English speakers in improve their English writing skills. They also have a collection of the best online resources for writing.

 

CIRTL
UCLA is part of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) nation-wide online network of 40+ universities seeking to enhance excellence in undergraduate education through development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing evidence-based teaching practices for diverse learners. The CIRTL@UCLA program supports the professional and career development of graduate students who are engaged in teaching now, or who are considering academic careers, through a CIRTL@UCLA Certification Pathway, Courses and Workshops, Resource Guides and a robust learning community. Much of their training involves skills development in public speaking, speaking to diverse audiences, and utilizing multiple communication and teaching platforms.

 

Your Graduate Training Program
Check with your Home Area, department, research theme, institute, or training program and mentors for opportunities to practice presenting your work inside your research groups, disciplinary area and at conferences and symposia. Look for guidance with significant writing projects within your research group or department, by seeking feedback, offering to provide feedback, and utilizing workshops or other training opportunities.

Wellness and Self Development Skills

  • Time management
  • Setting realistic goals
  • Maintaining progress towards goals
  • Understanding and navigating requirements and expectations of my program
  • Balancing academic and research responsibilities with other aspects of my life
  • Personal health and wellness 
  • Managing personal finances and planning for the future
  • Developing community and social relationships 
  • Actively engaging with different identities and opinions
  • Developing healthy boundaries and self-advocacy skills   

Wellness and Self Development Resources

 

Graduate Programs in Bioscience (GPB)
GPB hosts workshops related to time management and achieving balance, goal-setting, mentoring relationships, successfully navigating your training, personal wellness, and diversity and inclusion. 

 

Your Graduate Training Program
Your mentor, Home Area, department or training program should be able to help you with realistic goal-setting, maintaining progress, and navigating program requirements. Programs and disciplinary areas offer many avenues to practice engaging with different identities and opinions and developing self-advocacy skills. 

 

Graduate Division
Graduate Division oversees graduate student appointments and services and provides a number of centralized resources. In particular, graduate students facing challenges to their training progress for any reason, should reach out to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Case Managers for assistance and guidance to available resources. Graduate Division also provides workshops for graduate students related to navigating your training, obtaining fellowship funding, financial wellness, diversity and inclusion and other topics. 

 

Graduate Student Resource Center
The Graduate Student Resource Center (GSRC) offers workshops year-round on topics related to wellness, self development, funding, success in your program and more. You can visit their office for drop-ins, free printing services, and more. Join their newsletter for more information about upcoming events and to stay connected.

 

UCLA Wellness and Self Development Resources
UCLA offers a number of wellness and self development resources for graduate students.

Leadership, Collaboration, and Project Management Skills

  • Managing projects
  • Obtaining funding in a research or professional setting
  • Managing a budget in a research or professional setting
  • Developing entrepreneurial skills
  • Leading the planning of an event or initiative
  • Leading a team
  • Working in a diverse team
  • Collaborating across different working styles
  • Resolving interpersonal conflict
  • Managing mentor and mentee relationships
  • Identifying opportunities for service and community engagement

Leadership, Collaboration, and Project Management Resources

 

Graduate Programs in Bioscience (GPB)
GPB hosts workshops related to leadership, grant and fellowship applications, mentorship training, managing conflict, working in teams, etc.  

 

Graduate Writing Center

The Graduate Writing Center offers a variety of fellowship and grant application writing workshops. The GWC offers one-on-one writing consultant appointments for fellowship writing support and provides access to an archive of fellowship applications. They provide online videos of workshops on a variety of topics, including fellowship and grant writing. 

 

Your Graduate Training Program
Your mentor, Home Area, department or training program should be able to help you with developing skills around managing projects, obtaining funding, working in teams and with people with different working styles, managing mentoring relationships and with opportunities for service and engagement. Look to identify mentors in these areas beyond your faculty mentor, including other faculty, senior trainees, advisors and administrators. 

 

UCLA Leadership, Project Management and Collaboration Resources
UCLA offers a number of leadership resources for graduate students

Teaching and Mentorship Skills

  • Creating an inclusive classroom for learners from diverse backgrounds
  • Applying evidence-based pedagogical methods
  • Designing and developing a course and learning goals
  • Developing effective assessments for learning outcomes
  • Training learners in research skills and techniques   
  • Advising, role modeling, and mentoring  
  • Using instructional technology effectively
  • Developing a teaching philosophy

Teaching and Mentorship Resources

 

Graduate Programs in Bioscience (GPB)
GPB hosts courses and workshops related to developing research mentorship skills, both as a mentee and mentor. 

 

CIRTL
UCLA is part of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) nation-wide online network of 40+ universities seeking to enhance excellence in undergraduate education through development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing evidence-based teaching practices for diverse learners. The CIRTL@UCLA program supports the professional and career development of graduate students who are engaged in teaching now, or who are considering academic careers, through a CIRTL@UCLA Certification Pathway, Courses and Workshops, Resource Guides and a robust learning community. Much of their training involves skills development in evidence-based pedagogy, creating inclusive classrooms, designing courses, learning goals and assessments, using instructional technology, and developing a teaching philosophy.

 

Your Graduate Training Program
Check with your department, Home Area, training program, and mentors for opportunities to mentor more junior research trainees, including undergraduates, new graduate students, summer researchers, etc.

Scholarly Expertise and Integrity Skills

  • Understanding how to access and assess literature and research in your discipline   
  • Developing command of the existing knowledge in your discipline
  • Developing familiarity with interdisciplinary knowledge
  • Designing research to address significant questions in your field
  • Mastering research methods in your field and adjoining fields
  • Using best practices for scholarship in your field  
  • Collaborating effectively in research
  • Upholding ethical norms and practicing responsible conduct of research 
  • Practicing civility in scholarly exchange, collaborative work, teaching and mentorship 

Scholarly Expertise and Integrity Resources

 

Graduate Programs in Bioscience (GPB)
Graduate Programs in Bioscience and Bioscience Postdoc Affairs host courses in Responsible Conduct of Research and Rigor and Reproducibility that meet NIH and NSF Fellowship and Traineeship requirements. Also, many workshops provided by GPB touch on effective collaboration, mentoring relationships, and other best practices in research settings.

 

Your Graduate Training Program
Your mentor, department and training program should be your primary resources for developing your research, scholarship and academic skills. There may be questions or issues around your research and the way your research group/mentor operates that you do not even know to ask. Check out our Research Training Cheat Sheet that includes questions every research trainee should ask. Consider including the questions you do not know the answers to in your meetings with your mentor, more senior trainees, and research group. Understanding how faculty mentors/research groups respond to each of these questions can help graduate students compare research environments when choosing a dissertation or postdoctoral lab.

 

Scholarly Expertise and Integrity Resources