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Graduate Student Professional Development

This is your hub, where you can discover resources, connect with mentors, dive deeper into MIT’s 7 professional development competencies, and find out about upcoming events and opportunities.

As a graduate student at MIT, chances are that your skills as a researcher are certifiably exceptional. You have already devoted no small number of years to the pursuit of knowledge and have been mentored by scholars and scientists who are among the very best in their fields. With this training behind you, you are poised to make waves wherever you go in the world beyond MIT. But there’s more.

MIT provides a comprehensive collection of professional development opportunities designed to help graduate students develop skills and knowledge in areas that will be of great value in any career path they decide to follow, within and beyond academe. Graduate professional development is skills-based training complementary to your discipline-based coursework, and focuses on seven competency areas: career advancement, communication, interpersonal skills, leadership and mentoring, personal development, social responsibility, and teaching. Adeptness and fluency within these competencies adds value to your graduate training, preparing you to anticipate what is ahead, tell your own story, collaborate generously, lead from the start, and stay well as you rise. Working with intention on your professional development will help you be more effective as you pursue your goals, and empower you to powerfully contribute towards the greater good as a researcher, educator, and citizen.

Graduate students at MIT have asked for more opportunities to enhance their professional development, and CAPD has grown in order to meet this need. This is your hub, where you can discover resources, connect with mentors, dive deeper into each professional development competency, and find out about upcoming events and opportunities.

Get connected to alumni through Graduate Students of Color Mentoring Circles

Through this month-long program (mid-October through mid-November), connect virtually with alumni who can provide culturally relevant perspectives on pathways to academic and industry careers. Graduate students interested in participating can email Elsie Otero, Assistant Director of Graduate Student Professional Development, at



Path of Professorship Deadline: Oct.18th

Apply by Monday, October 18: the Path of Professorship (PoP) workshop is for graduate and post-doctoral women, non-binary, and gender diverse people. The workshop’s aim is to provide information about academic scientific careers and the application process. Each year we are …

By Elsie Otero
Elsie Otero Assistant Director, Graduate Student Professional Development Elsie Otero
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Graduate Students of Color Mentoring Circles create opportunities to connect with alumni

Career Advising and Professional Development (CAPD) and the Office of Graduate Education (OGE) have launched the 2021-2022 Mentoring Circle initiative for Graduate Students of Color. Through this month-long program (mid-October through mid-November), students have the opportunity to connect with alumni …

By Elsie Otero
Elsie Otero Assistant Director, Graduate Student Professional Development Elsie Otero
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Lindsey Backman: Biochemist, mentor, and advocate

Hannah Meiseles | MIT News Office

Publication Date: September 28, 2021

The PhD candidate studies the human microbiome and its proteins, while also championing the Latinx community on MIT’s campus. Raised in Tampa, Florida, Lindsey Backman takes pride in her family’s …

By MIT News
MIT News Profile Picture
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Faculty Job Opportunity: Open-Field Tenure-Track Role at Harvey Mudd

Harvey Mudd College invites applications for an open field tenure-track faculty position in our General Engineering program. The Department of Engineering seeks candidates with experience and knowledge in applications of engineering who can excel in teaching a broadly-based undergraduate curriculum …

By Amanda Cornwall
Amanda Cornwall Associate Director, Graduate Student Professional Development Amanda Cornwall
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One mentor isn’t enough. Here’s how I built a network of mentors

By Erika Moore

“Unfortunately, I don’t have the bandwidth for a mentorship relationship right now.” “I’m not sure I can help.” “Why are we meeting again?” Those are just a few of the responses I’ve received in my quest to …

By Simona Rosu
Simona Rosu Senior Assistant Director, Postdoctoral Career and Professional Development Simona Rosu
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Featured Profiles

  • Program Director, School of Engineering Communication Lab
  • Communication Instructor + Biotech Liaison

Lily Liu

  • PhD Student, gwaMIT Co-Chair
  • Senior Lecturer, Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program

Featured Resources


You have put a lot of time and effort into pursuing your PhD degree.  Now it’s time to focus on how …

Imagine PhD

ImaginePhD is a free online career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and …

Vitamin PhD

Vitamin PhD is a podcast that Boston University’s team created for anyone who is pursuing a doctorate, has a doctorate, …

The Great Communicators

This 22 episode podcast miniseries includes interviews with exceptional thinkers and communicators from MIT and beyond, including the legendary Noam …