PhD Professional Development

As a doctoral student, you’re not only learning, but doing. Whether you’re working in a lab, serving as a teaching fellow, writing a paper for publication, or completing an internship, you’re simultaneously preparing for your future professional life while also working side-by-side with those who are already well along in their careers. Professional development for doctoral students encompasses the activities and resources that can help you sharpen your skill set for the work that you’re doing now and in the future, while also helping you maintain a sense of well-being along the way.

Professional Development and Postdoctoral Affairs (PDPA) supports Boston University doctoral students in their professional development journey. Whether you’re exploring career options or looking to build transferable skills, resources and programming exist to support you. You can find up to date info on events, workshops, and other programs on our Twitter (@BU_PhDs) or our Instagram (@BU_PhDs).

PDPA provides a variety of professional development resources for current PhD students and we are consistently working to expand our current offerings. Visit the pages below to learn more:

Workshops & Professional Events
Professional Development and Postdoctoral Affairs (PDPA) Office offers a variety of workshops, panels, and other events to guide doctoral students in their career planning. Workshop topics range from career planning, to building skills in communications, to developing job application materials. 

Drop-In Office Hours
Drop-in virtual office hours provide students with a space to ask Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs staff questions, receive professional development advice, and learn about available resources.

Professional Development Grants
Although BU offers many professional development opportunities for doctoral students through departments, offices, and organizations, we recognize that external opportunities often arise that have the potential to significantly benefit students’ professional growth. The professional development grant program was established to provide financial support for such opportunities. 

Things I Wish I Knew…

“Things I Wish I Knew…” is a multimedia project developed by the Office of Professional Development and Postdoctoral Affairs (PDPA) and BU URBAN Graduate Program in Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health (BU URBAN). They have teamed up to produce a series of videos, where current Boston University PhD students speak to the things they wish they knew before  encountering significant milestones in their PhD education. Learn from students from across backgrounds, disciplines, and Ph.D. life stages, where they reveal the hidden curriculum within PhD education that goes beyond coursework and academic milestones.

Vitamin PhD Podcast
Vitamin PhD is a podcast produced at Boston University for anyone who is pursuing a doctorate, has a doctorate, or supporting others on their doctoral journey. The podcast delivers career narratives and skills know-how in multiple formats. In Career Pathways episodes, we help you explore career options by interviewing people who have earned their doctorate and now work in a variety of sectors. In our Navigating Challenges episodes, we discuss issues that can present difficulties in graduate school, and we provide tips to help you succeed. During our Roundtables, we talk with current PhDs about their experiences at BU. Whether you tune in during your daily commute or while working on your research, we hope that Vitamin PhD can help you learn, laugh, and connect to our listening community.

Contact Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs at or connect with us on Slack via this link.