Professional Development

Welcome to the Professional Development committee homepage for DUPA!  Our committee is primarily focused on helping postdocs acquire the job skills necessary to succeed on both academic and industrial career tracks.

We highly recommend you visit the website for the Office of Postdoctoral Services (, as one of their primary goals is providing resources for postdocs looking to advance to the next step in the academic or industry career track.

A selected list of resources includes:

  • Practice Job Talk:  One of the main responsibilities for the DUPA Professional Development committee is to provide the opportunity for Duke postdocs to give practice job talks.  The practice job talks provide postdocs the opportunity to get valuable feedback from a diverse and intelligent audience of their fellow postdocs.  In particular, we focus on providing criticism of presentation skills (body language, slide layout, presentation flow) which are critical when presenting to a non-specialist audience.  For more information, email William Huhn or Ashley Williams, DUPA Professional Development Co-Chairs.
  • Career-Related Document Critique:  Molly at the Office of Postdoctoral Services will review various career-related documents (e.g. resumes, CVs, research/diversity/teaching statements), sit down with you, and suggest changes to better align the document with your chosen career path.  Please contact Molly Starback for more information.
  • Mock Interview:  Molly also conducts mock interviews.  (She does a lot, really.)  Please contact Molly Starback for more information.
  • Business Cards:  Official Duke University business cards may be ordered through Universal Printing at .  Your department may also have their own procedure for business cards.
  • Career Skills Training Sessions:  The Duke Career Center ( holds weekly seminars teaching job hunting skills (structuring your resume/CV, interviewing skills, writing a cover letter, etc.)  Postdocs are usually welcome to attend without advance reservation.  Molly at the Office of Postdoctoral Services also sends out weekly and monthly e-mails to highlight professional development opportunities at Duke.
  • Data/Visualization Training Sessions:  Being able to manipulate data and present findings to a general audience is a skill set that is increasingly in demand for all career paths.  Data and Visualization Services at the Duke Library hold a regular series of workshops for teaching these valuable skills to members of the Duke community.  Their workshop schedule may be found at
  • Technology Training Sessions:  The Innovation Co-Lab at Duke holds regular classes for learning technical skills at various levels of experience, all the way from basic programming skills to hardware hacking, as well as weekly studio nights.  For more information, see their website at

For additional questions, if you are interested in giving a practice job talk, or if you would like to reach out to the Duke postdoc community to promote a professional-development-related event, email William Huhn or Ashley Williams, DUPA Professional Development Co-Chairs.

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