seminars and workshops

CNS offers seminars and workshops throughout the academic year and summer months, focusing on 5 main areas:

  • Career Exploration and Professional Development for Non-Academic Careers
    • Panel Discussions with PhDs in a variety of careers
    • Seminars focused on: Job Search Strategies; Resume and Cover Letter Guidance; Interview Preparation
    • Networking and Recruitment Events
  • Grant Application Workshops
    • NSF-GRFP, NIH NRSA Awards, K99/R00 Awards
  • Academic Careers Workshops
    • Helping students and postdocs prepare for the academic job market
  • Training Programs
  • Responsible Conduct of Research Training
    • Core sessions to cover: Research Misconduct; Responsible Publication/Authorship; Peer Review; Conflict of Interest

Seminars are often held on Tuesdays (the 3rd Tuesday of each month) from noon-1:00pm in NHB 1.720, with video-link to graduate students and postdocs at the Marine Science Institute.

All CNS-sponsored Professional Development events are listed on the Online Events Calendar, and are advertised via email using the CNS grad student email listserv (

A tentative calendar for 2016-17 events can be found here. Additional workshops, seminars, and networking/recruiting events will be added and advertised during the course of the academic year.)


Individual Consultations and Career Coaching

The Career Development Specialist for CNS graduate students is Dr. Po-Tsan Ku.  Po-Tsan has a PhD in cell and developmental biology, and also holds an MBA from the McCombs School of Business.  He first came to Austin for his postdoctoral work, and started his corporate career at Ambion, Inc.  He has 13 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, and has held senior management positions in multiple companies.  

Po-Tsan is available for individual consultations with grad students and postdocs in all CNS disciplines.  He can provide the following services:

  • Job Search Strategies
  • Career Exploration
  • Identifying Skills that Transfer to Industry
  • Converting CV to Resume
  • Resume Review and Editing
  • Academic Job Search (Faculty and Postdoc positions)
  • Interview Preparation
  • Salary Negotiation

To make an appointment with Po-Tsan, call the Career Design Center at 512-471-6700.


CNS concentration in teaching and mentoring

Starting in Fall 2016, the Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Science will offer a 3-seminar course series for graduate students and postdocs interested in learning to teach and mentor effectively. These courses will allow students to expand their knowledge and experience in teaching and mentoring beyond what is typically gained from a TA experience. Graduate students and postdocs who complete all 3 seminar courses (Introduction to Evidence-Based Teaching, Mentored Teaching Experience, and Mentoring Undergraduate Reseachers) will earn the CNS Graduate Concentration in Teaching and Mentoring. More information about these courses is available here.


Other Resources and Services

Information about pre-doctoral funding opportunities is regularly updated on the College of Natural Sciences Strategic Research Initiatives website. If you need help identifying the departmental support staff who can assist you with proposal preparation and getting the necessary permissions from UT to submit a proposal, you can contact: Keep in mind that you should begin the administrative process at least 2 weeks in advance of your deadline.


UT-Austin Faculty Innovation Center provides an array of resources and services to promote innovation and excellence in teaching and learning. Both online resources and individual instructional consultations (including teaching philosophy/teaching portfolio consultations) are available to graduate students preparing for academic careers.


The University Writing Center is now offering free writing support to all UT graduate students. We welcome writers from all departments at all stages of graduate study. We offer individual consultations, weekly writing groups, workshops, and all-day writing retreats. Our services are available at no charge to graduate students. To make an appointment or learn about upcoming workshops and retreats, visit


Versatile PhD is a web-based resource for graduate students and postdocs interested in non-academic careers.  Historically, Versatile PhD has served humanities and social sciences graduate students, but additional content relevant to STEM PhDs is being developed. The University of Texas is a subscribing institution - sign up here.


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has online career development and job search resources, and supports an online tool for personal career planning:  MyIDP (Individual Development Plan).


Texas Venture Labs is a start-up accelerator that connects talented and entrepreneurial graduate and PhD students from the CNS, Engineering, MBA, Pharmacy and LAW programs with local start-up companies. CNS students can enroll in the class with advisor approval and will receive business education from top-tier MBA professors and real-world experience from entrepreneurs. Projects are semester-long and students work alongside founders to solve important problems, develop growth plans and prepare the company for investment. If you are interested in learning more, please visit the Texas Venture Labs Student Application site. 


The Department of Statistics and Data Sciences provides free consulting to students working on their thesis, dissertation, research studies or journal articles.  They provide assistance with study design, power analysis, model selection, software use, and interpreting results.  Visit here to learn more or to schedule an appointment.