Professional Development

So, what qualifies as fulfilling the PD option? Here are some suggestions and we plan to be flexible as this new option develops. Again, we are looking for ~60 hours.

  • Serve as a GLDC officer. Not all GLDC positions automatically qualify for the PD option, but the ECC is open to whatever you want to make of it. *See below for more detailed descriptions
  • Plan the Annual IPiB Retreat
  • Complete an internship in industry, government, or other area that complements your PD goals. This could be an internship required for a training grant
  • Complete the Morgridge Entrepreneurial Bootcamp
  • Complete a WARF Technology Transfer Internship
  • Teach a non-Biochemistry course
  • Lead a seminar section of BIOCHEM 729, “Practicum in Undergraduate Teaching”
  • Participate in a relevant bootcamp or in workshops
  • Participate in the Delta Program to take classes, gain teaching experience, and earn a certificate that would enhance your teaching credentials for future employment
  • Take a course(s) outside the IPiB curriculum, such as in Life Sciences Communication, the Business School, or the Law School
  • Get involved with Catalysts for Science Policy (CaSP)
  • Help plan and organize Life Sciences Career Day

*Graduate Leadership and Development Committee (GLDC) Positions

The following are positions within the GLDC that typically fulfill the professional development requirement of ~60 hours when held over one year (about 2 hours a week during the academic year) and include brief descriptions of their associated duties. Time commitments of all positions include prep for and attendance at GLDC meetings (1-2 hours monthly).

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Outreach Chair

Put together and implement lesson plans for a variety of age groups; create kits/assemble supplies for interactive lessons; generate signage for advertising outreach activities; meet with school administrators to design a science curriculum; host large group, interactive lessons with middle school students twice per week.

Career and Lunch Symposia Chair

Hold an NSF-GRFP Q&A panel with current students in the Fall; plan and organize career or professional development events throughout the year based on the wants of the student body; distribute information to the student body regarding upcoming career events; organize and schedule practice oral preliminary exams for interested second-year students; pair interested second-year students with older students for written prelim feedback; participate in planning of Life Sciences Career Day (once every two years).

New Student Orientation Committee and Wellness Chair

NSOC responsibilities
Meet with the New Student Orientation Committee before each rotation to determine lab rotations as well as final lab matches; look over lab rotation choices and lab matches prior to each meeting to determine any conflicts with rotations or matches; attend one of the first-year classes with NSOC chairs to address any questions about rotations and lab matches.

Wellness responsibilities
Host and plan BADGRS meetings (peer support group for graduate students) monthly; Wellness/Mental Health resources meeting through university Mental Health Services; host outdoor wellness events (Olbrich Gardens, Henry Vilas Zoo) based on student desires; host other wellness events focused on mental health and overall wellness

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Recruiting Chair

Rally the students to become point people to organize the weekends; host recruiting kick-off meeting; serve as extra drivers and be on-call during recruitment weekends; be a resource for point people to help organize and get current student help; meet with recruiting committee.

IPiB Retreat Chair

Organize and host IPiB Retreat: Meet with Chairs and others to plan event;
select speakers; set up, host, and break down Retreat; assess event performance and adjust SOP for following year. *May not fulfill 60 hours now that event planning will be overseen by Biochemistry office. Combination with another role such as Student-Invited Speaker Chair or GLDC Vice Chair would fulfill the requirement and constitute a well-rounded administrative professional development experience.

Events and Communications Chair

Plan, host, and assess success of the following departmental and student social events: Summer Welcome Picnic, Winter Reception, Awards in Research & Teaching reception, Tea Time, other social events as needed. Also solicit material for, prepare, and distribute monthly newsletter.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What constitutes a PD opportunity?

Equivalent to a minimum of four hours per week for one semester (~ fifteen weeks or 60 hours) and includes measurable outcomes (e.g., skills learned, audience reached).

Professional development options include, but are not limited to, workshops, additional courses, internship, and engaging in outreach efforts. Students may also opt to teach a second semester of a laboratory or lecture course to fulfill this requirement or a combination of options.

Serving as a GLDC officer might qualify depending on what the student proposes to do.

Can I fulfill my PD plan before my second annual progress report meeting?

Yes, as long as your plan has been approved by your thesis committee and by the ECC

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How are PD plans approved?

Students work with their thesis committees to ensure that their plans fulfill this requirement. Professional development activities must be reviewed and approved by the student’s thesis committee by their second annual progress report meeting (i.e., spring semester of their fourth year of graduate study) and then receive approval from the Examination and Certification Committee (ECC). Fulfillment of the PD plan, if selected, is a requirement for graduation from IPiB

What if I don’t have a PD plan by the end of my fourth year?

If no professional development opportunity is identified and approved by the student’s thesis committee by their second annual progress report meeting, a second semester of the teaching requirement becomes the default for fulfilling this requirement, likely in your fifth year of graduate study.