Career Development

Internship and Career Center

The Internship and Career Center (ICC) provides a wide variety of career services and career development events for graduate students and postdocs across disciplines and for all career paths, academic and non-academic. Tailored career services include confidential one-on-one career advising, workshops, panels, networking events, and internship and career fairs.

Advising topics covered include career exploration, job or internship search, curriculum vitae (CV) or resume review, cover letter review, interview preparation, job negotiation, LinkedIn profile review, negotiating and offer, and career planning and goal setting. Students and postdocs have access to one-on-one advising services as alumni for up to one year after leaving UC Davis, and access to workshops, panels, and fairs indefinitely.

The ICC offers specialized programming for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars throughout the year. The ICC also has webpages with resources, including CV and resume samples

The GradPathways Institute for Professional Development.

The GradPathways Institute (GPI) provides innovative support for professional and career development programming based on 8 core competencies:

  • Success and Socialization
  • Writing and Publishing
  • Presentation Skills
  • Teaching and Mentoring
  • Leadership and Management
  • Professionalism and Ethics
  • Career Management
  • Wellness and Life Balance
See the GradPathways calendar for upcoming events. 

Experiential Opportunities

  • Leaders for the Future: LFTF is a 7-month certificate program for PhD and postdocs from all disciplines. Fellows participate in an immersive experience and receive training designed to develop leadership, business communication, project management, innovation and entrepreneurship skills. Fellows participate in the UC Entrepreneurship Academy as well as a series of career studios and workshops throughout the academic year.
  • Professors for the Future: PFTF is a year-long competitive fellowship program designed to recognize and develop the leadership skills of outstanding PhD students and postdoctoral scholars. Fellows receive formal training in teaching methods and course design, participate in a seminar course on Ethics and Professionalism, and meet regularly for roundtable panel discussions. They also work on special projects of their own design to enhance the graduate or postdoctoral experience and professional development of their colleagues. Includes a $3,000 stipend.
  • Business Development Fellows: This year-long program from the Graduate School of Management provides UC Davis graduate students and postdocs in all disciplines with hands-on experience in developing business skills for a career in industry or to develop new business ventures. Fellows take courses in technology management, innovation and entrepreneurship, and participate in interdisciplinary practicums alongside MBA students.
  • Keller Pathway Fellows: This year-long program from the Graduate School of Management is for UC Davis graduate students and postdocs who have a specific business idea. Aspiring/early-stage entrepreneurs  expand their networks and move ideas into the world. Fellows grow a foundation and network to commercialize a business idea, attend the UC Entrepreneurship Academy and participate in the Big Bang! Business Competition. Priority is given to women, cross-disciplinary and underrepresented applicants.
  • Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology: The DEB is an inter-graduate group program that allows PhD students to receive and be credited for training in the area of biotechnology. It is open to students from participating UC Davis PhD programs. One of the program requirements is a professional internship (DEB 282). Typically this is an internship at a biotech company, although students may propose alternative experiences for approval, and distance-learning options are available.
  • Innovator Fellowship - Innovation Institute for Food and Health Fellowship: This IIFH fellowship for PhD candidates and postdocs places recipients in immersive food, agriculture and health innovation internships with venture capital groups. Recipients also receive up to $70,000 in funding for salary, tuition, travel and research expenses over four quarters.
  • Tech Transfer Internship: This internship is offered once or twice a year by UC Davis Innovation Access within the Office of Research division of Innovation & Technology Commercialization. Interns learn the process of technology transfer in a university setting and gain transferrable real-world business skills in technology review, commercial positioning, and marketing. Students can follow the UC Davis Innovation Access employer account on Handshake to see when internship openings are posted.
  • InterSECT Job Simulations: InterSECT has interactive job simulation exercises for PhD-level scientists and humanists, regardless of professional stage, that support career transitions and explore future career options.
  • Graduate Student Career Development Assistance Award: Graduate students who have completed unpaid internships may apply for this award from the unpaid internship fund. Details and application deadlines vary, but are generally offered multiple times per year.

Online Resources

  • MyIDP Science Careers: This web-based platform from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) offers science PhD students the tools to define and explore their career goals. It offers exercises to help students assess their skills, interests, and values, as well as resources to explore 20 common scientific career paths. Students can also create an Individual Development Plan (IDP), a plan for how to meet their career development goals. 
  • Academic Career Readiness Assessment (ACRA): This rubric from UCSF Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) provides graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with the information they need to explore faculty careers, define professional development goals, and apply to faculty positions, with a focus on the life sciences.
  • Survey of Earned Doctorates : The Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) is an annual national census conducted by several U.S. federal agencies, which includes information on doctoral recipient's educational history, demographic characteristics, and postgraduation plans. View the Data Tables on postgraduation commitments for overview on data organized by topics such as demographic information, field of study, employment sector and median annual salary.
  • PhD Career Pathways Project: This project from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) collects aggregate data on PhD career aspirations and outcomes from partner universities and provides insights on the experiences and outcomes of doctoral training at the national level. View the Research Briefs for reports on topics such as how well humanities and STEM PhDs trained degree recipients for their careers, the value and timing of PhD professional development, and job changes of PhD graduates after earning their degree.
  • The Versatile PhD: This website is an online community of graduate students and postdocs interested in exploring career opportunities beyond academia. Registration is free and provides access to panel discussions, forums and unique resources that demystify the process of preparing for and entering non-academic careers. Its PhD Career Finder offers information on 38 career paths for STEM and Humanities/Social Science PhDs.