The Postdoctoral Leadership and Innovation Fellowship Experience (LIFE) is a cohort-based, professional development program that focuses on leadership and project management skills. Ten to twelve postdocs will be chosen to participate in this program, and individuals who complete the program and associated portfolio materials will receive Leadership and Project Management Certificates from the Office of Postdoctoral Services. This program is supported through funding from the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education and the Provost’s Office at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
- We encourage individuals who want to increase their ability to lead diverse teams to apply, especially those who belong to historically marginalized groups
- We will prioritize individuals with the following appointment titles: Postdoctoral Fellow, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Affiliate Postdoctoral Scholar, Brittain Fellow, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics
- Research faculty within 5 years of earning their Ph.D. may participate if there is space
The major aims of the program include:
- Developing cultural competency and personal leadership style
- Building community through reflections, team exercises, and regular meetings
- Discussing and practicing conflict management and resolution approaches
- Developing project management skills by planning and hosting an event for the GT postdoc community
Participants are expected to improve the following skills and apply them to their current research and future careers:
- Socioemotional intelligence (e.g., how to foster psychological safety)
- Collaboration within teams
- Awareness of how to navigate different communication styles
- Ability to leverage and manage conflict within a team
- Experience with project initiation, planning, risk management, monitoring, execution, and assessment
Timeline & Time Committment
The timeline and tentative time commitment for the program is outlined below. Scheduled dates, times, and locations will be provided soon. Before you submit your application, we strongly encourage you to notify your supervisor of the commitment you are making to attend these sessions.
- February 3 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET (location TBD)
February - April 2023 (~18 hours)
- February 7, 14, 21 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET in 1116 East Seminar Room, Klaus Advanced Computing Building [MAP here]
- February 28 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET in Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, Room 469 [MAP here]
- March 8 from 1:30 – 3 p.m. ET in Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, Room 469 [MAP here]
- March 14 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. ET in 1116 East Seminar Room, Klaus Advanced Computing Building [MAP here]
- March 28 and April 4 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET in 1116 East Seminar Room, Klaus Advanced Computing Building [MAP here]
April - July 2023 (~22 hours)
- For 4 weeks, in-person weekly meetings for 1 hour with up to 1 hour of prep
- For 1 week, in-person guest lecture for up to 2 hours
- For 1 week, virtual meeting for up to 2 hours
- For 3 weeks, independent group work and virtual check-ins
- For 1 week, launching the event
- For 1 week, in-person meeting for 1 hour to end the program
*The selected cohort will decide on the timing and location of these meetings
Facts About the Program
The Postdoctoral Leadership and Innovation Fellowship Experience (LIFE) is a pilot program from the Office of Postdoctoral Services. The major aim of the program is to support postdoctoral scholars in developing leadership and project management skills through individual assessments, team exercises, facilitated discussions, and expert guest speakers. One of the unique components of this program is that postdocs will engage in long-term, peer-to-peer mentorship and support.
- How will postdocs benefit from this program?
The program will be divided into two halves: Leadership and Project Management. Postdocs who meet the attendance criteria and complete the associated portfolio materials (see below) will receive Leadership and Project Management Certificates from the Office of Postdoctoral Services. Participants will also receive two personalized assessments, CliftonStrengths and the Thomas–Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, to identify their personal talents and dominant conflict style.
- What is the expected time commitment and workload?
This program will occur from February through the end of July, with breaks interspersed throughout. Postdocs should expect to allocate at least 2 hours per week on pre-/post-work and in-person/virtual meetings. The entirety of the program should take approximately 40 hours.
To receive a Leadership Certificate, postdocs must attend at least 6 of 8 in-person meetings and write a Leadership Statement. To receive a Project Management Certificate, postdocs must attend at least 3 of 5 in-person meetings, attend 2 of 3 virtual meetings/check-ins, and submit a Project Scope Statement, Communication Plan, Project Schedule, Risk Register, and Post-Project Report.
- What if I am unable to attend a session(s)?
There will be some flexibility in the attendance criteria, as we understand that unexpected events or pre-planned travel can occur. If you have specific concerns about the timing of the program, are aware of upcoming academic/personal travel, or have other barriers that may inhibit your ability to participate, please contact Karena Nguyen at email@example.com.
- Can I attend the sessions if I am not chosen for the program?
All postdocs can attend the sessions and will have access to the curriculum materials. If individuals meet the attendance criteria and complete the associated portfolio materials, they can receive Leadership and Project Management Certificates. However, individual participants will not be able to attend the retreat in February or receive the personalized assessments. One of the guest lectures will also be a private workshop for the cohort.
- What curriculum will be used during the program?
We will be using materials from the Leadership and Management in Action Program (L-MAP) and the Academy for Transferable Management Skills Course, which focus on leadership and project management skill development, respectively. These programs were developed and tested with support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and have been used by graduate and postdoctoral offices across multiple institutions. Additionally, subject matter experts from within the university and from other institutions will be invited for guest lectures to supplement the curriculum.
Want to Apply?
Apply for the program using this form. The deadline to submit is January 13, 2023. You will be notified by January 20, 2023 if you have been accepted into the program.
Please e-mail Karena Nguyen, Assistant Director of Postdoctoral Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.