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Professional Development

Rackham offers opportunities, funding, and resources that prepare graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to access the wide range of careers available to them. Our Rackham professional development and engagement programs – from our DEI Certificate to our Program in Public Scholarship – provide outlets for interdisciplinary learning and community building related to professional interests.

Professional Development Opportunities

Rackham Doctoral Intern Fellowship Program

Pursue a fully supported internship as part of your doctoral graduate training. Internships offer doctoral students a mentored experience in non-academic settings that is tailored to meet the needs of partner organizations.

Rackham DEI Professional Development Certificate

Learn how to work in a diverse environment while fostering a climate of inclusiveness through the Rackham DEI Professional Development Certificate.

Rackham Program in Public Scholarship

Expand your public engagement through programs that help you imagine the potential for your scholarship to reach audiences and communities beyond the academy.

The Biotech Career Development Program

The Biotech Career Development Program (BCDP) is an annual structured, cohort-based program to educate, train, and provide career exposure to many aspects of biotechnology outside of the traditional academic tenure-track faculty position.

Gupta Professional Ethics Series

Rackham is committed to cultivating the highest ethical standards in the conduct of scholarship and professional ethics for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The Gupta Professional Ethics series was established through the generous support of the Gupta Family Foundation in 2021.

Bouchet Honor Society

Named for the first African American doctoral recipient in the United States, the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society (Bouchet Society) recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate.

King Talks

Rackham’s annual King Talks are TED-style talks echoing the theme of U-M’s MLK Symposium. Through this program, Rackham students publicly communicate the relevance of their research to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. King Talks Speakers receive an honorarium and a professional footage of their talk for their own use.

Preparing Future Faculty

In collaboration with Rackham Graduate School, CRLT offers programs to help graduate students prepare to pursue and succeed in faculty careers. Topics include preparing for the job market, learning about current issues in higher education, tenure and faculty worklife, and effective teaching for a diverse student body.

Get Started with Professional Development

Rackham offers opportunities, resources, programs, and funding to support your professional development.

Not sure where to begin?

Start by exploring our Developing Core Skills guide, filled with resources for developing the skills essential to success in graduate school and beyond. Build your capacities in career development, collaboration, communication, content expertise, DEI, leadership, personal well-being, and teaching with access to the resources at Rackham and the university.

Upcoming Workshops

Rackham hosts a variety of workshops around core professional and academic development skills.

Doctoral Student Career Counseling

Dr. Kirsten Elling, Graduate Student Advancement Coordinator and Dr. Tim Cavnar, Ph.D. Career Coach at the University Career Center, meet with doctoral students virtually and in the Rackham Building for career counseling and coaching. Graduate students can schedule an appointment through Handshake to discuss career exploration, the job search, resumes and CVs, interviews, and more.

Schedule an Appointment

Join Rackham Connect

We know graduate students often ask, “what’s next” and “what else.” That’s why we have created a space for you connect with Rackham alumni and explore potential answers to those questions. Rackham Connect is a digital space developed in partnership with the Career Center’s University Career Alumni Network (UCAN) where students can connect with alumni and potential mentors.

More alumni are joining Rackham Connect each day, and they’re excited to hear from you. Create your profile and start connecting.

Create Your Profile


Professional Development Grant

Rackham Professional Development Grants support short-term experiences for doctoral students to develop professional skills and advance their career goals. Funding is available for doctoral students seeking careers both within academia and in a variety of fields beyond the professoriate.

UM Postdoctoral Association Professional Development Grant

The UM Postdoctoral Association (UMPDA) provides awards of up to $250/each to support Postdoctoral Research Fellow career development through professional learning, training, and membership opportunities.

Rackham Conference Travel Grant

The Rackham Conference Travel Grant supports graduate students’ participation in the life of their academic professions through attending and presenting at conferences.

UM Postdoctoral Association Conference Award

The UMPDA provides awards of up to $250/each or $500/each to support Postdoctoral Fellows wishing to attend conferences virtually or in-person, respectively.

Professional Travel with Children Grants

These grants are intended to support Rackham parents who incur expenses while traveling with small children (under the age of 6) while attending conferences, workshops, meetings or other academic events as part of their scholarly research or in pursuit of professional career readiness both within and outside of academia. We have professional travel grants for both graduate student parents and postdoctoral fellow parents.

Contact Professional Development and Engagement

1530 Rackham Building
915 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070
Phone: (734) 647-4013
Fax: (734) 936-2848


Professional Development and Engagement is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The office is closed Saturdays and Sundays and on the following holidays: Thanksgiving (Thursday and the following Friday), Christmas through New Year’s, Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day.