PAI Professional Development

PAI Professional Development

The postdoc experience is recognized as an important and critical maturation period to foster success for a new assistant professor entering the academy. Big Ten Academic Alliance universities are committed to increasing their efforts to provide more comprehensive professional training for postdocs.

Big Ten Academic Alliance PAI postdoctoral scholars participate in the PAI Workshop Series. The series includes highly interactive and synchronous virtual sessions that are focused on developing the skills needed for transition to a tenure track faculty position. This series covers topics such as mentoring, team science, and grant writing.

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    PAI Workshops

    The PAI workshop series provides professional development for PAI postdoctoral scholars through highly interactive and synchronous virtual events. In this series, participants will actively engage in sessions covering topics such as mentoring, team science, and grant writing. Below is an overview of the workshop sessions. Participation in the workshop series is only open to those who are enrolled in PAI. There is no cost for participation in these sessions, though you must register for each session separately.

    Negotiation Skills

    November 2021

    Speaker: Phil Clifford

    Session description: Are you prepared for high stakes negotiations? A successful negotiation is not just "meeting in the middle." In this interactive session you will learn and practice the principles that lead to win/win negotiation. The goals of the session are to understand shortcomings of positional negotiation, tips on exploring the other party's interests, practice a high stakes negotiation.

    Leading Breakthrough Science Teams: A Team Science Workshop for PAI Postdocs

    December 2021

    Speaker: Betsy Rolland

    Session description: As more research is being done in teams, scientists need tools and techniques for collaborating with researchers across disciplines, labs, and institutions. This 3-hour virtual workshop will focus on preparing you to both participate in and lead interdisciplinary research teams. We will: 1) Discuss the opportunities and challenges of participating in interdisciplinary research and team science throughout the research career trajectory; 2) Present practical strategies for being an effective team member: how to be a good collaborator and how to evaluate offers of collaboration to ensure the proposed projects fit with your career goals; 3) Explore how to lead an effective science team: developing a mission and vision for your own lab, identifying and onboarding collaborators, developing an authorship plan, and building accountability into collaborative projects. The workshop will be a mix of short didactic and interactive sections, with the goal of increasing your knowledge of and comfort with engaging in interdisciplinary research and team science.

    Mentoring Up

    January 2022

    Speaker: Marcela Hernandez

    Session description: Succeeding in research is facilitated by helpful mentors. But this doesn’t mean passively following your mentors – you must proactively “mentor up” as you engage with your mentors. In this workshop, you will learn how to maximize your relationship with your mentor.

    Conflict Resolution/Difficult Conversation

    February 2022

    Speaker: Mallory Martin-Ferguson

    Session description: In this interactive session, experts in conflict resolution will discuss the ways in which our experiences with conflict and our perceptions of conflict are culturally grounded and will explore strategies to navigate and address difficult conversations. You will leave with concrete strategies for productive dialogue and clear communication, able to approach difficult conversations with more confidence and consideration in the future.

    Diversity and Mentoring Statements for Academic Positions

    March 2022

    Speakers: Blessing Enekwe and Linda Macri

    Session description: There is growing importance and requirement for adding a statement on diversity, equity and inclusion. In this webinar, Dr. Blessing Enekwe and Dr. Linda Macri from University of Maryland, College Park will bring their expertise to present to you about these documents.

    Grant Writing Resources and Strategy

    April 2022

    Speaker: Lisa Nielsen

    Session description: This session will cover how to find and interpret solicitations, the logic flow for creating grant outlines, grant language and style, research project planning, and general grant knowledge to prepare for your future research career. The resources and planning methods shared will be relevant to postdocs from every academic discipline.

    Well-Being and Mental Health (self-care, safe spaces)

    May 2022

    Speakers: Nicole Del Castillo and Joyce Goins-Fernandez

    Session description: This workshop will allow participates the ability to gain a greater understanding of wellbeing and mental health, how they are linked and the importance of wellbeing.  Participants will be able to identify challenges to maintaining wellbeing and gain knowledge about strategies and tips to improve their wellbeing. 


    University of Illinois  •  Indiana University  • University of Iowa  •  University of Michigan  •  Michigan State University  •  University of Minnesota  •  University of Nebraska-Lincoln  •  Northwestern University  •  Ohio State University  •  Pennsylvania State University   •   Purdue University
    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under AGEP-Transformation #1309028 and #1309173. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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