Professional Development

CMB Professional Development Committee

Professional development activities in CMB are led by a student-run committee that was launched in 2005 and plans and coordinates various professional development activities open to the greater campus community. Recent events have included seminars and panels on the biotech industry, teaching, and science outreach, as well as mock interviews and improv for scientists workshops. The committee created a Professional Development Activities Timeline for CMB students. The CMB Office is happy to review requests for small financial contributions towards purchases of supplies for outreach events. To request outreach funds or get involved with the committee, contact the CMB Office.

See the CMB Committees page for more leadership opportunities within CMB.

2023-2024 Professional Development Seminar Series

The Professional Development Committee plans monthly seminars, inviting CMB alumni back to campus to talk about their career path and professional experience. The seminars are held monthly, from 4:00-5:00pm. Fall seminars will be held in the Discovery Building, Orchard View Room. Spring seminars will be held in the Microbial Sciences Building, room 6201.

Fall Semester Professional Development Seminars:  

  • August 16 – UW-Madison Writing Center Resume Workshop
  • September 20 – Rob Chumanov, CRM Manager, Promega Corporation
  • October 18 – Jessica TeSlaa, Scientific Instructional Designer, Promega Corporation
  • November 15 – Ani Michaud and Debayan De Bakshi, Research Scientists in Industry, Promega Corporation

Spring Semester Professional Development Seminars:

  • January 17 – Allen Bateman, Director of Communicable Disease Division, Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene
  • February 21 – Regina Vidaver, Section Manager, Chronic Diseases Prevention and Cancer Control, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  • March 20 – Gary Pulsinelli, Law Professor, Biotech Patents, University of Tennessee
  • April 17, Kathryn Richmond, Executive Vice President, Allen Institute
Professional Development Committee
2019 CMB Professional Development Committee
Milky Way
Photo from Origins multimedia project, published by CMB alumna Kelly Tyrrell. Photo by Jeff Miller, UW-Madison.

Alumni Career Info for Current Students

The Alumni Directory on the Alumni page lists current positions for CMB alumni. Students on the Professional Development Committee have also collected information about alumni career development at 1, 4 and 7 years post graduation to allow current and future CMB students to explore potential career paths, and to reach out to alumni working in areas of interest. In addition, current students can visit the CMB Office to access additional information about alumni career paths. We encourage students to take advantage of the diverse experiences of the CMB community.

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) helps graduate students assess current skills, interests, and strengths; make a plan for developing skills to meet academic and professional goals; and communicate with supervisors, advisors, and mentors about evolving goals and related skills. The university recommends IDPs for all graduate students, and requires IDPs for all graduate students supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. The AAAS MyIDP tool is particularly helpful to students in the biological sciences.

Virtual Networking Resources


Volunteer Opportunities

Biology Outreach Club (BOC)
Biology Outreach Club is a group of UW-Madison graduate students in the biological sciences who help others experience the excitement and wonder of science. The club provides an informal setting for graduate students to discuss ideas and issues in science with the public. You will have the opportunity to participate in various outreach activities including science nights, after school programs, Science Expeditions, Science Olympiad, Wednesday Night at the lab, PLATO, etc. Please contact if you are interested in getting involved with the BOC.

PEOPLE Program
The PEOPLE program is a pre-college program for underrepresented minority students that is designed to teach students how to apply, be successfully admitted, and enroll at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mentor a high school students in the biological sciences as part of their summer research experience in a CMB research lab.


Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
Each summer, the CMB Program participates in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Cellular and Molecular Biology of Stress (CMBS) program, a 10-week summer science research program for undergraduate minority students from across the country. Undergraduate researchers work with graduate students and postdoc mentors to complete a research project. Opportunity involves direct mentoring of undergraduate students who complete a research project, poster, paper, and final presentation.

Resources & Guides

CMB Alumni Data Tool
To help current and prospective students understand their career opportunities after graduation, a CMB student and member of the Professional Development Committee compiled this resource showing alumni career development at 1, 4, and 7 years post graduation.

Professional Development Activities Timeline
This document was created by the CMB Professional Development Committee to give current CMB students ideas of activities to participate in during different stages of their grad careers.

Guide to Graduate Student Life
A guide created by the Graduate School’s Office of Professional Development & Engagement

Created and distributed by the Graduate School’s Office of Professional Development. GradConnections is distributed weekly to all graduate students on campus via email. Click on the link to access archived issues.

Graduate School Professional Development
This website includes lots of information and resources related to creating a plan for success in graduate school, building skills, and career-related information on topics such as career exploration, applying for jobs, post-doc training and more!

An online tool developed by the Graduate School to help grad students be proactive when planning their professional development

Individual Development Plan
A tool to help graduate students assess current skills, interests, and strengths, make plans to achieve goals, and communicate these plans

A career planning tool created by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to meet the needs of PhD students and postdocs in the sciences

Versatile PhD
A resource for exploring non-academic careers

For Future Faculty Series
A compilation of events for graduate students preparing to enter the tenure track

Office of Postdoctoral Studies
Office within the university that provides resources on postdoc positions, career planning workshops and other events

Career Exploration Series
The Office of Postdoctoral Studies keeps a listing of upcoming events, as well as recordings of many past events.

Beyond the Tenure Track
A resource for those pursuing careers outside of academe

Dissertation Writing Camps
Writing camps take place each January and May

Surviving and Thriving in Graduate School
From, various graduate school survival guides and resources on succeeding in graduate school

Careers in Science and Engineering

A Student Planning Guide to Grad School and Beyond


National Association of Science Writers website, includes information about “A Field Guide for Science Writers”, a book that was co-edited by UW-Madison professor, Deborah Blum

Ethics in Science
From the National Academy of Sciences, the popular book titled “On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research”, topics range from authorship practices to experimental techniques and the treatment of research data

Delta Program
The Delta Program is a research, teaching and learning community for faculty, academic staff, post-docs, and graduate students

Life as a Professor at a Small Liberal Arts College 
Article posted in Molecular Biology of the Cell

The Scientist
Online newsletter

New Scientist/PI Guide
HHMI guide to obtaining a faculty position, navigating university structure, setting up your lab, and crafting a mission, staffing, mentoring, funding, time management

NIH Career Resources
Developing Career Skills, Postdoctoral Scholars Associations, Additional Resources

Employment Opportunities

Available Postdoctoral Positions at UW-Madison
UW-Madison Office of Postdoctoral Studies site with links to Postdoctoral positions posted centrally on campus

Postdoc Jobs
Site for job seekers and employers: search hundreds of postdoctoral positions worldwide, including academic, industry and government. Post resume, search postdoctoral fellowships

Minority Postdoc
CMB alumnus Alberto Roca, PhD 1997, is the founder and editor of this resource

Science Jobs
Industry, academic, government, and post doc jobs in a range of disciplines; can search by region and sector

American Society for Cell Biology
ASCB job board, career strategy articles, and general career information

Science Careers
Careers, job postings, meetings, and events

USA Jobs
Official Job Site for U.S. Federal Government Positions

State of Wisconsin Government Jobs

A member-driven state association that is the voice of Wisconsin’s bioscience industry

Careers in Consulting
Complete list of consulting firms in the US by state