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Leadership and Education in Academic Research and Networking for Enhancing Diversity (LEARNED)

Program Activities

Professional Development

Participants develop research agendas, learn techniques for networking, prepare for job searches, and actively submit scientific materials for presentations and publications. Doctoral candidates and postdoctoral fellows participate in mock interviews with senior faculty and administrators and receive one-on-one CV reviews and feedback.

Professional development workshops are offered every two months. Please check our calendar frequently for upcoming workshops and seminars. Topics include:

  • Strategies for productivity
  • Public speaking and scientific presentation
  • Effective networking and community engagement
  • Maintaining a budget
  • Job searches and salary negotiation
  • Interviewing skills
  • Manuscript submissions
  • Grant writing



Through a peer-plus model, each LEARNED participant will connect with a constituent in the next stage of their academic path to help navigate through the current stage of their program:

  • Pre-dissertation PhD students ↔ Dissertation-stage students
  • Dissertation-stage students ↔ Postdocs
  • Postdocs ↔ Faculty

Through a “buddy system”, historically underrepresented PhD students and postdocs can share their experiences and give feedback on achieving academic success. Participants will meet regularly with mentors to assess progress, discuss potential barriers to success, and advise on areas of improvement. 



Casual networking events are held every two months (alternating professional development activities) to increase interactions with faculty from underrepresented groups, allowing students and trainees to candidly discuss any ongoing obstacles and acquire guidance in a supportive environment while gaining a sense of belonging through access to role models reflective of themselves. 

Participants also build and expand professional connections through panel discussions with underrepresented researchers from other institutions - academic, government, and industry - in preparation for future career prospects