Professional Development Requirement

FGSR Professional Development Requirement

Beginning in Fall 2016 all incoming graduate students are required to complete the professional development requirement, which includes the Individual Development Plan (IDP) and 8 hours of professional development activities.

What is it?

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a tool to assist students' career planning. In addition to the knowledge and expertise they gain in their specific program or postdoctoral fellowship, the University of Alberta hopes that students develop general skills throughout their program that will help them with their life post-university. The IDP is integrated with 8 hours of Professional Development Activities.The Individual Development Workbook and tip-sheets can be found here.

How to fulfill the PD Requirement

There are various ways in which to satisfy the requirement and your workbook will guide you through this process. You will need to start with a self-assessment and define areas in which you wish to develop your skills. Unless noted, students will receive no more than four hours of credit from any single category of PD options listed below.

  1. Professional Practice: This includes topics such as time management, project management, intercultural communication, being an effective team member, receiving feedback and criticism, using strategic thinking skills, promoting creative thinking skills, and so forth. Sources for these topics are hosted by FGSR, MyGradSkills, Human Resources, and various on nd off campus units.
  2. Career Development: This includes topics related to life as a first year academic, teaching and researching at post-secondary institutions, resume writing, career forums, mentoring,preparing for a job interview and so forth. Sources for these topics are hosted by the Career Centre, FGSR, MyGradSkills, and various on and off campus units.
  3. Entrepreneurship: This includes topics related to starting up a business, self-employment, and entrepreneur training campus. Sources for these topics are hosted by the ABCampus, TEC Edmonton, Career Centre, FGSR, Mitacs, and various on and off campus units.
  4. Teaching: This includes topics related to teaching and can also be sessions considered for the Graduate Teaching and Learning program. Sources for these topics are hosted by the FGSR, MyGradSkills, Centre for Teaching and Learning, and various on and off campus units.
  5. Skills Training: This includes training for safety sessions, learning additional software tools, attending workshops for skills outside the domain of their research.
  6. Mentorship: Only formal mentorship programs that assist the student with career development can apply, such as programs offered by Career Centre, UAlberta Venture Mentoring, and Mentor-Up.
  7. Internships: Students can meet the 8 hour requirement by participating in a registered internship program and identifying skills and attributes gained during this experience. Available programs include Mitacs Accelerate, Sustainability Scholars and the Graduate Student Internship Program.

What is NOT considered part of the PD Requirement?
  • Sessions also used towards ethics
  • Attending a conference or society meeting
  • Presenting a talk or posterGiving a performance/concert
  • Information sessions about resources or programs
  • Sessions required for a student to conduct their research
  • Industry mixers, networking sessions
Upon completion and prior to convocation all graduate students admitted September 2016 and onwards must submit the Individual Development Plan & Professional Development Completion Form to Graduate Advisor to be added to your file.