Postdoctoral Scientists Certificate Program

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) offers certificate credit for postdoctoral scientists at UTMB. The certificates (PDF) and the courses (PDF) leading up to them carry credits that will be reported on transcripts available through the UTMB Office of the Registrar. The Provost requires all postdocs to be enrolled in the certificate program as a condition of their postdoctoral appointments. There is no cost to postdocs for this program—all tuition and fees are paid by the GSBS.

Courses in the certificate program provide training in core competencies, as well as specialized training that scientists require for professional success. Some courses offer credit for everyday activities: conducting mentored research, attending departmental seminars and journal club meetings, and drafting a career development plan, none of which requires classroom attendance.

As of Spring 2014, seven certificates are available. The core certificate is Advanced Biomedical Research Strategies. Secondary certificates focused on specific career areas include:

  • Advanced Academic Management Skills
  • Effective Teaching & Mentoring
  • Translational Research Team Management
  • Bioinformatics & Systems Biology
  • Patient Centered Outcomes Research
  • Translational Burns Research

Each certificate requires 12 semester credit hours (SCH) and may be earned in a one-year (three-term) course of study. The certificates are structured for maximum flexibility, both for course sequencing and time management. Several courses are online and many others are offered at times that do not conflict with laboratory schedules, so that participants may give full attention to their learning.

Each certificate consists of required courses, prescribed electives, and a spectrum of specialized additional electives. To promote maximum flexibility and individual career preparation, most elective courses may be applied to any certificate. In addition, a base course (Mentored Research, CTPS 6001) is available to all postdoctoral scholars every term, for one to four semester credit hours. It consists of focused research and supervision in the postdoc’s area of concentration, allowing the scholar to stay in the lab to work on experiments, manuscripts or both, in conjunction with the mentor.

Upon completion of the required coursework for a specific certificate, postdoctoral scholars are responsible for requesting its issuance from The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. This feature gives scholars control over the timing of when a certificate is earned and issued.

Examples of key courses:

  • Ethics of Scientific Research (required once only) - MEHU 6101
  • Career Planning for Postdoctoral Scientists (required annually, for credit in all certificates) - CTPS 6103
  • Practical Scientific Writing - CTPS 6104 and Effective Presentation Skills – CTPS 6111 (recommended electives for four different certificates)
  • Advanced Business Management - CTPS 6302 and College Teaching & Learning – CTPS 6301 each offered only every two years