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Professional Development

Strategic professional development can help grad students land well, both in academia and beyond. This page lists primarily non-curricular resources that will help you get where you want to go.

Start in Your Own Backyard: The Graduate School

The Duke Graduate School sponsors many professional development programs, events, and funding opportunities. Its professional development site outlines the full slate of offerings, including:

transferable skills workshop
Transferable skills workshop in fall 2016

Some graduate School professional development offerings specifically for future faculty include:

  • Bass Instructional Fellowship Program: Endowed fellowships to provide Ph.D. students with more hands-on teaching experience while at Duke
  • Certificate in College Teaching: Introduces students to best practices in postsecondary teaching; components include peer observation of teaching and an online reflective portfolio
  • Preparing Future Faculty Program: Exposes students to a broad range of teaching roles at partner institutions, and helps them find teaching mentors
  • Academic Job Search Series: Prepares students to conduct a successful search in academia, whether for tenure-track faculty, other faculty roles, or academic administration. Expert panels and workshops, many focused on humanities and social sciences. Offered biannually.

Considering a career beyond academia? Check out these Graduate School resources:

  • Professional Development Series: Events designed to broaden graduate students’ career perspectives and develop competencies in communication, self-awareness, professional adaptability, leadership, and professionalism
  • Graduate School Administrative Internships: Nine-month internships where students work within The Graduate School and conduct research on topics related to graduate education and administration

Beyond The Graduate School

For internship opportunities beyond those offered through VH@Duke and at The Graduate School, check out the following units:

New! Duke Summer Doctoral Academy

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Duke Summer Doctoral Academy offers a two-week program of short courses designed to introduce doctoral students to skills and topics that are not typically included in a doctoral curriculum. Courses offered in summer 2018 included How to Build An App, How To Launch and Scale a Business, How to Work More Effectively in Teams, and Design Thinking and Ed Tech. 

Online Resources (for Academic and Nonacademic Paths)

Duke Ph.D. students can also take advantage of two valuable external online resources, free of charge through Duke’s institutional subscription:

The Expanding “Alt-Ac” Online Universe

As much as we at VH@Duke dislike the term “alt-ac,” it retains currency amid an ever-expanding universe of sites devoted to discussion and analysis of career paths for humanities Ph.D.s. Many of these resources are extremely useful, and we highlight a few here. Others are less useful. We recommend steering away from any online resource dominated by negativity and hand-wringing about the state of the academic job market.

Many universities now have sites devoted to nonacademic career resources for humanities Ph.D.s.  Save yourself a few hours and start with the best, most comprehensive one:

Other organizations/projects/sites that should be on every humanities Ph.D. student’s radar:

Books and Other Things to Read

Just a few of the latest titles, selected for usefulness in providing larger intellectual context, inspiration, or guiding next steps: