Free the PhD Partnership Program for UCSB grad students and postdocs

by Lana Smith-Hale, Graduate Career Counselor
Wednesday, February 03, 2021 8:30 AM

After a successful pilot launch in Fall 2020, we are excited to be able to offer UCSB graduate students and postdocs another chance to experience this (virtual) career development course during Winter 2021! It is free of charge and will help you explore alternative careers to academia. This is essentially a “career class” where you will get individualized feedback, insider information on how to best sell your skills and how to network with the right people, and engage with a cohort of UCSB graduate students and postdocs to learn from your peers who are literally going through the same career concerns you are. 

Course Details: 
This free 6-week course runs from February 15 - April 2, 2021 (with 1 week off for spring break) is a quick, intensive, and interactive blended professional development learning experience that is designed specifically for UCSB’s PhDs and Postdocs within both the career exploration stage (Exploration Cohort), and the active job search stage (Application Cohort). We are excited to partner again with Vay Cao, owner and creator of Free the PhD, who brings a wealth of expert knowledge on transitioning the PhD into the "real world." 

Students will get access to a digital course and mobile app with instructional text and video content specifically designed to lead you step-by-step through the psychology and practical protocols for career success. You will get access to a Private UCSB Community Forum and weekly live Office Hours that will be moderated by Lana Smith-Hale and Vay Cao, assigned homework each week to act upon the lessons provided, get individualized feedback on materials and opportunities to practice new skills in order to walk away from the Course more prepared, confident, and energized to reach your desired career goals. 

Qualifications & Expectations:
There are up to 40 spots available (20 spots in each cohort). The 2 cohorts are the career exploration stage (Exploration Cohort), and the active job search stage (Application Cohort). You will self-select in the application.

This is open to any UCSB graduate student and postdoc who is interested in actively participating in a 6-week career course to help either find a career path or get the tools to apply to jobs. Expect to spend 2 hours per week on the course: 1 hour engaging with the platform (e.g., completing homework assignments, engaging in learning the content) and 1 hour per week attending live Office Hours. The aim is to help you in concrete ways, not add more work to your plate.

The course is open to those who have received an IPS grant before. 

Application Details:
The application is due Wednesday, February 10, 2021 by 11:59pm Pacific. It is a fairly short application process that you can access through the IPS portal. Applicants will be notified on Friday, February 12 if they are accepted into the course or not.

When filling out the application, be sure to select the option "I am requesting no more than $100 in funding from IPS (e.g., Free the PhD Career Development Course)" on the application. You may enter "N/A" for all of the travel and budget questions on the form. In the name of the professional opportunity title, please say "Free the PhD Winter 2021" and identify which cohort you are applying to: Exploration Cohort (e.g., unsure what jobs you want/could do) or Application Cohort (e.g., actively applying to jobs or internships).

This course is available through a partnership with Free the PhD and UCSB Career Services generously sponsored through the UCSB Individualized Professional Skills (IPS) program. Please email Lana Smith-Hale with any questions about the program. We look forward to reading your applications soon! Please sign up by
February 10 and email Lana Smith-Hale with any questions.