Professional Development

Individual Development Plan

Individual Development Plans (IDPs) provide a planning process that identifies both professional development needs and career objectives. Furthermore, IDPs serve as a communication tool between individuals and their mentors.

IDPs include long-term career options one wishes to pursue and the necessary tools to meet these, and short-term needs to improve current performance. IDPs are an important part of postdoctoral mentoring, and summaries of trainee experiences provide information to training grant reviewers.

The recommended method for completing the IDP is myIDP. myIDP is a unique, web-based career-planning tool tailored to meet the needs of PhD students and postdocs in the sciences.

Paper Template Option:

Career Opportunities for Trainees Series (COTS)

The Case Western Reserve School of Medicine sponsors this professional development series, which is designed to introduce trainees to the array of career paths that are available to PhD biomedical researchers. Local, regional, and national leaders as speakers or panel discussants will be invited to present each semester. Presentations will include information on the speaker’s career trajectory, their daily activities, and a description of additional training necessary for entering each career. Major advantages and disadvantages of the career choice will also be discussed.  For more information, contact

CWRU Career Center

The Career Center is committed to offering a variety of services from major exploration tools to individualized career counseling sessions, resume critiques, mock interviews, and Career Fairs.

Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Coaching Program

This program provides a space for participants (graduate students and postdocs) to engage in personal and professional development by working  through the five steps of the Intentional Change Theory (ICT). Participants are guided through this process by volunteer coaches who are CWRU faculty and staff certified through the Weatherhead Coaching Certificate program, and beyond. This collaborative program, between Student Activities & Leadership and the Graduate Studies Professional Development Center, is open to all graduate students and postdoc scholars and fellows. Contact:

UNIV401 Advanced Professional Development for University Teaching

UNIV401 is intended to provide graduate students and postdocs with the chance to learn innovative, effective, and evidence-based teaching strategies that are useful in university classrooms. This is a zero-credit hour course (free) co-sponsored by UCITE and the Graduate Studies Professional Development Center. 

Diversity 360 for Graduate Students and Postdocs

In Diversity 360, we further explore topics from the Diversity 360 program through facilitated sessions, panels, service projects, or guest speakers on the following topics: Gentrification/Urban Planning, Academic Inequity/School to Prison Pipeline/Mass Incarceration, Cultural Appropriation, Socioeconomic Status - Racial Juxtaposition, Women's Rights/Feminism v. Womanism/Intersectionality, Colorism, Understanding those that are Undocumented, Women's Health (Access), Ecological Awareness, Gender Diversity, and more. Open to graduate students and postdocs. Contact

Professional Development Day

This is an annual event open to staff, faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and alumni which features professional development information and sessions. This event is a collaboration between the Human Resources Professional Development Center, Graduate Studies Professional Development Center, Faculty Development, Center for International Affairs, and Alumni Affairs. This event is typically held in January. 

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD)

NCFDD is a professional development, networking, and mentoring service that offers support, resources and forums to help participants increase their research and writing productivity, and improve work-life balance. All CWRU faculty members, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, have access to the resources on the NCFDD website. Register at the website For registration assistance email

Kelvin Smith Library

The library offers workshops/programs for faculty, grad students, and postdocs like Citation Management, Increasing Scholarly Impact, and more. Contact Jen Starkey, Team Leader for Research Services at

Additional Programming Available

Contact the Graduate Studies Professional Development Center at for more information or check out the Events section of the Graduate Studies Campus Groups page

  • Skills Workshops: Elevator Pitch, Networking, Poster Presentations, Etiquette, and more
  • Academic and Non-Academic Careers Series
  • Weatherhead Executive Education Courses
  • Local and National Speakers and Authors
  • Imposter Syndrome Workshops (in partnership with Graduate Student Life)

Useful Links