Make the Most of Your Time

Successful career transitions in today's world require more than just discipline-specific knowledge and technical expertise. 

​Before you can identify what additional skills and qualifications you need to transition in your career, you first need to decide where you want to go. One of the best ways to determine this is by creating a Career Plan or Individual Development Plan (IDP). We highly encourage you to not only create an IDP, but also to discuss it with your mentor(s). Feel free to use our online Individual Career Plan (ICP)​ tool, or any of the other resources
 available online (e.g., myIDP.)   

​​"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else" - Yogi​ Berra.​

Core ​Competencies

  1. The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) has identified six core competencies that every postdoctoral fellow should acquire by the end of their training. Ideally, you will have begun working on these competencies while you were a predoctoral trainee, and all current predoctoral trainees should try to incorporate these competencies into their training. Proficiency with these core competencies will help ensure that you develop the skills and abilities necessary to succeed both inside and outside of academia. You should strive for proficiency in each of the following areas:
  2. Discipline-specific conceptual knowledge
  3. Research skill development
  4. Communication skills
  5. Professionalism
  6. Leadership and management skills
  7. Responsible conduct of research (RCR)​ - You can find information on RCR at CU Anschutz here​. 

Discipline-specific conceptual knowledge, research skill development, and RCR are a major focus of your daily life in the lab. These other skills, however, are often not directly addressed. As such, the CDO has created a structured career development program​ that will give you opportunities to learn about, develop, and demonstrate your communication, professionalism, leadership and management skills. Keep an eye out for our workshops, and participate frequently to ensure you are on a path to success.



The University of Colorado Denver and the Anschutz Medical Campus was selected as one of seventeen universities nationwide for the NIH Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) award, which has allowed us to develop professional training opportunities
 that have now been integrated into CDO courses and workshops.

The CDO offers a centralized location to identify career development training events​. In addition to attending these events, here are some resources that will help you broaden your professional experience, and help prepare you for the next stage of your career: