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Core Programs: Cultivating Capacities for Success

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Writing grants. Writing a thesis. Finding a mentor. Learning research protocols. Launching a dissertation. Learning to teach. Finding a job. Graduate students’ to-do lists are so long, it’s hard to know where to start and how to do it all.

Fortunately, the UW Graduate School has developed professional development resources to help graduate students and post-doctoral students create their own strategy and plans so they will be successful during - and beyond - their graduate educations. These resources help students explore the rich opportunities at the UW and tap into the expertise and guidance of faculty throughout campus.

Through a series of workshops, events, presentations and online memos and guides, as well as links to other professional development resources, graduate students and post-docs can learn how to:

  • Present research to general audiences
  • Improve writing and editing skills
  • Conduct the various phases of research and understand protocols
  • Develop and hone teaching skills in the lab and classroom
  • Find the right kind of mentoring
  • Explore career opportunities
  • Use social media for networking
  • Manage stress
  • Clarify personal and professional values and goals
  • Learn about grant funding opportunities

So, whether a graduate student is working collaboratively on a co-authored article, or seeking time management skills to balance parenting with graduate education, the Graduate School offers advice, ideas and resources.

For suggestions, comments, or questions please email the Core Programs staff at

Our Partners


Resources for GPAs and GPCs


A mentor is more than an adviser. A mentor provides you with wisdom, technical knowledge, assistance, support, empathy and respect throughout, and often beyond, your graduate career. Mentoring helps students understand how their ambitions fit into graduate education, department life and career choices.

Individual Development Plan

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a written guide to help provide some structure when working through your goals, as well as guide you in letting your professors, mentors, family and friends know how best they can support you in reaching your academic, personal, and professional objectives.

Mentoring Guides

Mentor Memos

The UW Graduate School offers a series of Mentor Memos — penned by UW faculty and staff — that cover these topics, and much more. The memos often compliment a slate of GS Core workshops offered by the Graduate School throughout the year.