Career Development

USC supports your development and training as a postdoctoral scholar through a number of unique and innovative programs such as:

Your Individual Development Plan (IDP)

The concept of an IDP for postdoctoral scholars was introduced by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)’s Science Policy Committee and is fairly well established for postdoctoral scholars in the sciences.  At USC, we expect that postdoctoral scholars will be provided the opportunity to develop the following core competencies:

The IDP focuses on these core competencies and their development in line with the postdoc’s career aspirations. To learn more about the process, please visit the IDP site.

Postdoctoral Scholar Research Grants

The primary purpose of the Postdoctoral Scholar Research Grant Program is to facilitate the independence of our postdoctoral scholars and help launch their research careers. It does so by providing grants that assist postdoctoral scholars in developing independent research projects and serves as a stepping stone to external funding such as the NIH K99/R00 and F32 grant programs. To achieve these goals, a Postdoctoral Scholar Research Grant provides up to $25,000 in research support.

To view the proposal guideline for 2015, please visit our application site.

Travel & Training Awards

The Postdoctoral Scholar Travel and Training Awards are designed to enable postdocs to attend workshops and conferences or to learn new techniques or perform research at off-site locations or in other labs, experiences which would enhance their training but which cannot be funded through their mentor’s grant.  Awards of up to $3,000 are available for postdocs.

Check out the spring 2015 recipients.

Tuition Remission

Along with your benefits package, postdoctoral scholars are eligible for tuition remission for training-related courses at USC. Postdocs are entitled to 20 units of training-related courses over a maximum 5-year appointment. You can start the process here.

Completed and signed forms should be submitted to postdocs@usc.edu. Registration dates and deadline apply.

Professionalization Tracks 

USC has three distinct tracks for programming: Research, Teaching and Industry. Here’s a sampling of recent workshops and trainings offered across the tracks:

–       Preparing & Submitting NSF, NIH, K99/R00 Proposals/Applications

Includes: how to write an effective proposal, do’s and dont’s, etc.

–       Tools (software & hardware-oriented) Workshops

e.g. Harmonizing Health Data, Next-gen sequencing & Microaray Data

–       Responsible Conduct of Research

–       Mastering Public Presentations, Reputation Building & Personal Expression

–       Managing a Scientific Laboratory

–       Strategizing Survival in the Current Research Funding Climate

–       Creating Your Own Network

How to build an academic/industry network

–       Tools for Improving your Postdoc Profile

Social media, multimedia and digital skills training

–       Syllabus Design & Teaching Philosophy Workshop

PLUS Effective Teaching/Learning Classroom Strategies

–       Tools for Teaching: Emerging Technologies in Higher Education

e.g. game-based learning, multimedia literacies (IML)

Additional information about the professionalization tracks will be posted shortly.

Our Programming Partners Include 

–       Center for Excellence in Research

–       Center for Excellence in Teaching

–       The Office of International Services