Professional Development

Professional development goes beyond what students do in the classroom and at the bench. It includes an array of skills and knowledge that are not often taught yet are vitally important to furthering one’s career.

Individual Development Plans

See MET Graduate Student Kyle Wegner discuss the development and importance of IDPs during graduate study.

All students are required to complete the AAAS Individual Development Plan following their first semester to identify strengths in their background, as well as areas where further professional development are recommended. In addition, the Program encourages students to make use of the Graduate School’s DiscoverPD resource. Finally, students are able to track progress through annual committee meetings, at which time students and advisors are asked to complete an evaluation of progress and have a frank discussion about areas for improvement.

IDP’s are a required portion of an F31 fellowship application process.  For this reason, it is important to keep, maintain, and update your IDP’s as you navigate your graduate school career.

Further Development Opportunities

The Molecular & Environmental Toxicology Program currently recommends that students complete three units (hours/activities) per semester from the professional development areas listed below. These areas are adapted from the National Postdoctoral Association’s listing of core professional development competencies :

Discipline-Specific Conceptual Knowledge
Research Skill Development
Communication Skills
Leadership & Management Skills
Responsible Conduct of Research (Ethics)

Courses & refreshers should be noted on the Progress to Degree form associated with committee meetings.

Teaching Assistantship / Preceptorship in Molecular & Environmental Toxicology:

All students in Molecular & Environmental Toxicology must serve a preceptor in one of the program core courses. This experience is considered part of a student’s training and enables students to learn what goes into running discussions, answering questions, and developing and grading homework and exams. Part of this “teacher training” is to help students develop a teaching portfolio to make their teaching portfolios stand out against others. The critical training points and requirements of this program include:

1) Attendance at the MET Student-driven TA training
2) Professional Development Activity Related to Teaching (For more information about the Teaching Resources click here)
3) Draft of Teaching Philosophy (the University of Minnesota has a good page that explores the particulars of a teaching philosophy statement