The National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) offers a variety of online professional development resources that Berkeley graduate students, postdocs, and faculty can access at no charge through the campus’s institutional membership.
NCFDD complements the many resources available on campus to graduate students through the Graduate Writing Center, the GSI Teaching and Resource Center, the Summer Institute for Preparing Future Faculty, the Career Center, your home department, and other programs such as Beyond Academia, Science Leadership and Management, Thriving in Science, and Career Development in the Physical Sciences, to name just a few.
One of the key components of the NCFDD is its Core Curriculum: How to Thrive in the Academy, a series of webinars on topics such as “Master Academic Time Management,” “Develop a Daily Writing Practice,” and Cultivate a Network of Mentors and Sponsors.”
In addition to the core curriculum, the site offers
- webinars range from dealing with writer’s block to raising a family while maintaining productivity as a faculty member
- an online library provides users with materials (slides, audio or recordings, and transcripts) from past webinars and is categorized by topics such as academic publishing, diversity, writing and research productivity, work-life balance, job search advice, and more
- The Monday Motivator, a weekly e-mail message to subscribers, gives practical tips on how to be a productive academic. It reinforces ideas presented in the Center’s webinars
- an online career center where graduate students can explore topics such as writing cv’s and cover letters and negotiating job offers
Here’s how one Berkeley graduate student, Marion Phillips, from the Department of French, describes her experience with NCFDD’s online resources:
“The National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) is an exceptional resource for graduate students at the dissertation stage. NCFDD articles, webinars, and programs help to not only encourage productivity but also to demystify the writing process. I really appreciate the concrete tips in the Monday Motivator newsletter. While writing can sometimes feel like an isolating and solitary pursuit, NCFDD resources remind me that writing can be a challenge for academics at all levels and that many of us struggle with the writing process.
This reassurance, along with specific exercises that stimulate focus and progress, have been invaluable to me as I work on my dissertation. The NCFDD also puts on a 14-day writing challenge (the next one will be in April 2017), in which graduate students, postdocs, and faculty sign up and commit to writing at least 30 minutes a day for two weeks. This can be extraordinarily helpful for setting up a daily writing habit in a low-pressure way. The interactions with and encouragement from other academic writers during the challenge were incredibly motivating for me. Having had this positive experience, I am now seeking out other formats to maintain accountability with my projects and to reach out to a community of academic writers.”
As we continue to evaluate the usefulness of this resource for graduate students, we welcome your feedback. Please send your comments to the Graduate Division’s Professional Development program.