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Professional Development

National Postdoctoral Association

UCF is a sustaining member of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), which can help you connect with the broader postdoctoral community and provides many excellent resources. UCF encourages your participation through a free membership.

NPA Competencies

The National Postdoctoral Association has identified six core competencies for postdoctoral scholars. These competencies serve as a guide for the scholar through self-assessment and planning of goals for training and skills they wish to enhance or acquire during their postdoctoral experience.

Since competencies often overlap and affect each other, “the most effective use of the NPA Core Competencies may be to identify and focus on development in areas that will lead to growth in more than one competency” (The NPA Postdoctoral Core Competencies, pp. 2-3). For each competency, NPA offers extensive guidance as well as reading lists.

Individual Development Plan

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a written proposal of goals for personal and professional development. Creating an IDP helps postdoctoral scholars evaluate current skills, interests and strengths; create a plan for developing skills for meeting academic and professional goals; and communicate these goals with their mentors. Faculty mentors can assist their postdoctoral scholars in refining their goals and creating an action plan to measure their progress.

It is recommended that all postdoctoral scholars complete an IDP with their mentor and revisit it annually. Below you will find helpful resources from professional societies, academic institutions, and UCF.

Postdoctoral scholars who are UCF Preeminent Postdoctoral Program (P3) recipients are required to create an IDP and report annually on their progress to the College of Graduate Studies.

IDP Resources

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): myidp.sciencecareers.org 

American Psychological Association (APA): www.apa.org/education/grad/individual-development-plan.aspx

American Psychological Association (IDP video tutorials): www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxf85IzktYWKwEW53Vxv0fGdmNriATHza

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guideline for IDP: grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-13-093.html

National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) Core Competencies: www.nationalpostdoc.org/?CoreCompetencies

U.S. Department of Commerce IDP for Business Students: hr.commerce.gov/s/groups/public/@doc/@cfoasa/@ohrm/documents/content/dev01_006607.pdf

UCF Services and Programs

Postdoctoral scholars can find support through a variety of UCF services and programs.

Office of Research

College of Graduate Studies, Pathways to Success

UCF Libraries

Environmental Health and Safety, EHS Training

Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning

International Affairs and GlobalStrategies

Career Services

  • One-on-one counseling sessions and mock interviews – call 407.823.2361 to schedule
  • Workshops, in Pathways to Success

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Contact Information

Campus Address:
Millican Hall, Suite 230
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Phone: 407-823-2766
Fax: 407-823-6442
Mailing Address:
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The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of Central Florida.

Please note the commission's expectation that contact occur only if there is evidence to support significant non-compliance with a requirement or standard. For other information about UCF’s SACSCOC accreditation, please contact the university's SACSCOC liaison in UCF's Office of Academic Affairs.

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