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Career Resources for Postdocs at Northwestern

As a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern, you have access to a number of on-campus and online resources to help you achieve your career objectives. In this section, you will find these resources organized into three categories:

  • Professional development resources, including workshops, seminars, webinars, and certificate programs, that can help you develop the skills and competencies you will need to succeed in a variety of different careers within and beyond the academy
  • Career exploration resources that help you identify the specific career path(s) you would like you to pursue and prepare you for the application and interview process
  • Funding resources to help you find a postdoctoral fellowship, bridge or transition grant, junior/new faculty grant, or startup grant from a government or private foundation

Getting Started

There is no one "right" way to begin your professional development and career exploration journey, and the steps you take will be shaped by your unique interests, skills, and objectives. The Graduate School is here to support you as you pursue your professional goals at Northwestern. Through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, you can access one-on-one advising and attend workshops and other programming specifically tailored to the needs and interests of postdocs. The office also serves as a gateway to additional resources on campus and partners with other University offices to develop programming for postdocs. Please contact us if you have any questions about professional development or to schedule a one-on-one appointment to discuss your needs in more detail. We are here to help!

Individual Development Plans are also useful tools that can help you determine what professional development opportunities you would like to pursue at Northwestern and the specific career paths you may want to explore. myIDP is a free individual development and career-planning tool tailored to the needs of scholars in the sciences, while ImaginePhD is for those in the humanities and social sciences. Both guide users through a four-step process that helps you undertake an in-depth exploration and assessment of your skills with an eye toward how those skills may align with your future career objectives.

National Postdoctoral Association

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) is a professional association that serves as a resource and a voice for postdoctoral fellows.  Northwestern University is proud to be a sustaining member. A FREE affiliate membership with access to members-only web content is available to all Northwestern postdoctoral scholars. Anyone with a valid email address ( can sign-up as an affiliate member. Click here to request your affiliate membership.

The NPA is a valuable resource on postdoctoral issues and for professional and leadership development. They also offer opportunities to further develop professional and leadership skills by serving on any of their seven membership committees or running for a seat on the executive board.

Benefits of an affiliate membership to the NPA include:

  • Subscriptions (NPA E-Alerts and POSTDOCket, the NPA’s quarterly newsletter)
  • Professional & Leadership Development
  • Access to Members-Only Content  
  • Contribute Your Ideas
  • Annual Meeting Discount     
  • Retirement Plan (via MetLife Personal Pension Builder)
  • National Representation
  • Elsevier Advancing Postdoc Women Clearinghouse

Additionally, the International Postdoc Survival Guide provides extensive information and resources including the Beginners Guide to Income Taxes, published by the NPA.

Access your NPA affiliate membership today!