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Individual Development Plan (IDP)

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a tool to identify professional goals, reflect on past accomplishments, assess skills relative to career goals, and plan actions for academic progress to achieve short- and long-term career objectives. An IDP is an ideal way to facilitate communication with mentors. Creating, implementing and reassessing goals are an integral part of the IDP process.


Poster and Presentation Tips
A compilation of templates and guides for successful oral presentations and poster presentations.

Presentation Skills
Provides tactics and strategies to make a presentation memorable and effective

The Writing Center at UNC
Free writing feedback, advice, and instruction service for students and instructors at UNC.

Academic Cover Letter Writing
Strategies for presenting your qualifications effectively in an academic context.

Bell Tower Toastmasters
The Toastmasters International club of Chapel Hill. For those who want to build skills in leadership and effective public speaking.

How to Write an Anonymous Peer Review
Suggestions for writing a professional peer review.


Academic Development

Academic Support

The Learning Center at UNC
Offers academic counseling, ADHD consulting and coaching, and dissertation coaching for graduate students

Dissertation/Thesis support discussion forum.

E-mentoring for Science and Engineering.

Funding & Financial Literacy

UNC Graduate Funding Information Center
Online assistance and instruction for UNC graduate students seeking funding.

Funding from The Graduate School at UNC
Funding awards offered by The Graduate School for UNC students.

        Funding and Doing Sponsored Research in the Humanities
        Funding resources and panelist guidance.

Funding from the UNC Office of Postdoctoral Services

Funding resources and fellowships for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

Tax Help from UNC VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) 

Assistance to help and answer questions regarding taxes (stipends, grants, etc.)

        Financial Literacy for Graduate Students


Research at Carolina
Online tools for researchers and information about funding sources, policies, and training opportunities.

UNC Parr Center for Ethics
The Parr Center hosts lectures throughout the year on ethics in research and medicine.

UNC Odum Institute for Research in Social Sciences
Short courses in research methods, e.g. quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and spatial analysis.

UNC Libraries Research Data Toolkit
This guide is intended to help researchers write data management plans and better understand the process of data management, agency requirements for data management plans, and locate services available on campus for various aspects of data management.


This tool is intended to guide researchers in writing data management plans that meet institutional and funder requirements (UNC login required).


An ORCID ID is a unique researcher identifier that will disambiguate a researcher and promote their scholarship. These IDs are beginning to be required by funding agencies.

Data management tutorials
What Is Data Management and What Goes in a Plan?

This tutorial answers the what and why questions of data management — what is data managment, why is it important, and what should go into writing a plan for it? — and covers a variety of resources and tools to help with the process.


This tutorial is a basic introduction to what metadata is, various elements one can use to describe research data, and best practices for assigning metadata.

NIH Public Access Policy

This guide covers the NIH Public Access Policy for publication including its requirements and step by step instructions on how to comply.

Teaching, Instruction, & Mentoring

Best Practices for DGAs and DGSs
Provides guidelines and expectations as students work with faculty and advisors

Classroom Emergency Preparedness Script
UNC Chapel Hill Safety Procedures

List of questions that are crucial for establishing effective mentoring relationships

National Research Mentoring Network
Increasing diversity in the biomedical workforce

Preparing International Teaching Assistants Program (PITAP)
A UNC program that helps international graduate students learn the teaching and speaking skills needed to be a Teaching Assistant.

UNC Center for Faculty Excellence: Resources for Graduate Students

UNC Honor System
The rules and regulations that guide the Honor System.

Leadership & Professionalism

Leadership Development

Carolina Business Institute
A rigorous immersion program held in the summer designed to provide current students and recent college graduates who did not major in business with the information and skills to succeed.

Carolina Leadership Development
Offers a variety of programs, services, and academic courses for everyone interested in leadership at the University.

Carolina Speakers
The University’s speakers bureau, composed of UNC faculty and staff, who are available to present programs at community events.

Public Service, Service Learning, & Community Engagement

Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF)
The student government representing graduate & professional students.

Updates from the service learning program at UNC.

UNC Campus Y
Public service committees and campaigns on campus.

Carolina Center for Public Service
The Carolina Center for Public Service offers fellowships and public service awards for graduate students, and also hosts the GO! Global Orientation on Culture and Ethics.

Carolina Women’s Center
Educational and co-curricular programs on gender equity issues.

Career Development

Career Exploration

AAAS Career Development Center
STEM-focused essential skills courses

Beyond the Lab
Explore non-academic careers in the biomedical sciences
Explore careers from professionals in the life sciences who have non-academic jobs.

Jobs and Internship Guide (UC Berkeley)
This 59-page guide has information on preparing for your job search, internships, sources for jobs and internships, resume and letter writing, successful interviewing, and internship and job offers.

MLA Career Exploration Activity
Explore structured self-assessment of skills, job analysis activity, and transferable skills for humanists.

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity
For graduate students, they offer a skills-based program for strategic planning, dissertation writing, mentoring, and the job search processes.

Explore pay ranges for different jobs, positions, fields, geographical regions, and markets.

Science Careers Magazine

UNC General Alumni Association
Connect and network with UNC alumni.

UNC Office of Postdoctoral Services
Career and Professional development services such as career assessments, workshops and seminars, and a networking database of former UNC postdocs.

University Career Services
Events, handouts, and resources for students.

The Versatile PhD premium content (UNC login required)
Excellent career exploration site for doctoral students interested in non-academic careers. Supportive community, jobs board, and most importantly, the PhD Career Finder – an online tool that describes non-academic careers that are good for PhDs and shows you authentic PhD resumes and cover letters that got PhDs hired into those careers.

Job Search Databases

Academic 360
A meta-collection of Internet resources that have been gathered for the academic job hunter. Not limited to teaching positions.

Search for jobs in the UK.

Chronicle of Higher Education Jobs Postings
Postings for faculty/research, administrative, executive, educational, for-profit, non-profit, and governmental positions.

Creative Hotlist
Jobs for artists, designers, creative directors, programmers, producers, and other communication arts positions.

Administrative, faculty, and executive jobs.

Search engine for current jobs across multiple disciplines.

Journalism Jobs
Listing for journalism jobs, including newspapers, tv, radio, publishing, online media, trade publications, PR/Media Relations/Communications, nonprofit/academia/government, financial/technology, and diversity.
Job listings for PhDs, including tenure-track, non-tenure track, postdoctoral, fellowship, internship, and contract positions.

Public Relations Society of America
Public relations, communications and marketing jobs.

The Science Jobs
Jobs in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, and other academic, research, and management fields. Strong international focus.

University Jobs
Search extensive job database for faculty and staff positions as well as postdoctoral and science jobs.

USAJOBSFederal government jobs.

Browse VersatilePhD job postings at all levels.

VersatilePhD Premium Content
Student access to premium VersatilePhD content (UNC login required)