Argonne National Laboratory

Training and Development

Argonne's Postdoctoral Office encourages postdocs to take advantage of the many classes and workshops offered both at the Laboratory and offsite. Below you will find information on the various training programs and opportunities for development that the Postdoctoral Office recommends.

Courses and Workships

Argonne encourages postdocs to take advantage of the many classes and workshops offered at the Laboratory. Some courses many postdocs find valuable are listed below:

  • The Art of Effective Feedback
    The goal of feedback is to ensure employee success in achieving the goals and objectives of the work group, division, and Laboratory. Feedback is like a compass – it can reinforce people to continue doing the right thing or redirect them to get back on track. Many of us dislike giving and receiving feedback, especially if it's a difficult conversation when things are not going well and need to change. Develop productive and positive approaches that can increase your confidence when you give or receive feedback.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Series
    Argonne's rich cultural diversity attracts employees from all over the world. While many employees for whom English is not their first language have an excellent command of English, some could benefit from additional training. English as a Second Language helps non-native English speakers improve writing, language fluency, and conversational self-confidence in their professional and social interactions here at the Laboratory.
  • Presentation Skills
    The ability to present ideas and information at meetings, conferences, and seminars is an essential career skill for many persons at the Lab. Increase your success and confidence as a presenter by learning and practicing techniques to look, sound, and feel confident, organized, and effective. Apply techniques for planning and organizing your information in a targeted message for your audience. Enhance your presentation by applying the fundamentals for effective slide design. Develop an approach for handling Q&A, even for the most difficult questions. Practice delivery methods that add value to your presentation and help overcome some of the natural nervousness when speaking before a group.
  • Interviewing Skills Workshop
    Held on March 11, 2009. The ability to present yourself in front of potential employers, is an important skill to have for a future career.
  • Scheduled Courses
    Human Resources offers the professional development programs. Please see their webpage for details about each course.

Brown Bag/Guest Speaker Presentations

These gatherings provide an opportunity for postdocs to socialize, network, give presentations on their work at Argonne, and attend career development presentations by Laboratory management, former Argonne postdocs, and other guest speakers.  Announcements on the topics to be covered and location of the presentations will be posted on Inside Argonne and sent via the postdoc listserve, If you have interest in a topic not shown here, contact Kristene (Tina) Henne at Past presentations include:

  • A Tale of Two LDRDs
  • The Laboratory-Directed Research & Development Program (LDRD) at Argonne National Laboratory
  • Surviving that First Internal Proposal Submission at Argonne
  • What is a Good LDRD?
  • Patent and Perish? How to Publish, Patent, and Survive

Online Toolkit for Postdocs

Science Magazine offers an online Career Development Center for Postdocs . One particularly valuable feature is the Toolkit for Academic Scientists , a comprehensive online career resource for young academic scientists. It addresses issues such as:

  • Getting Hired
  • Getting Funded
  • Research Grant Sources
  • Publishing
  • Managing Your Time
  • Managing Your Lab
  • Managing Your People
  • Tenure and Other Professional Issues

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute provides a number of resources for the development of early-career scientists (useful not only for the medical sciences careers, but for other scientific and engineering disciplines). The publications and links on this Web site can help new investigators "make the right moves" and assist those who take on the important task of providing early-career researchers with scientific management training.

You can download the second edition of Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty. On the same url, you can download a video of a keynote talk delivered by Nobel laureate Thomas R. Cech. The video presents discussions about obtaining a faculty position and achieving tenure, leading a research team, mentoring students, and balancing research and teaching.

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) website contains a wealth of information about obtaining funding, resume building skills and information on alternative careers.