The Leadership Development Alumni Mentoring Network for Doctoral Trainees

Effective leadership comes in many forms and is usually shaped by your experiences. The ability to lead effectively is a skill necessary in all career fields and specialties, whether you are establishing your research laboratory, preparing a final public health report for a non-governmental organization, or pursuing opportunities in industry, finance, consulting, and elsewhere.

By developing leadership skills as a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow, you can better prepare for jobs that require team or project management, effective communication and decision-making, innovative thinking, establishing equitable and inclusive practices, or a mix of those responsibilities and more.

Below are highlighted some resources to help guide you as your build your ability to be an effective leader.

The Leadership Development Toolkit

The Leadership Development Toolkit has been created by the PDCO to focus on 12 different professional development concepts that relate specifically to a Postdoctoral Fellow as they begin to navigate to the next career phase (and in some cases, graduate students may find these materials useful as well).

You can engage with the material on your own, or set up a cohort with your peers to facilitate the materials in a workshop-like series to practice your leadership skillsets as you work through the materials. Each concept has an associated workshop and module of materials to help develop your facilitation of these materials, if you choose to do so.

The topics covered in series:

  • Creating a Mentoring Development Team
  • Managing Up
  • Impactful Individual Development Plans
  • Finding Funding and Writing Grants
  • Becoming a Resilient Scientist
  • Social Media for Scientists
  • Presentation Skills to Advance Your Career
  • Expanding Your Professional Network and Developing Collaborations
  • Strengthening Your Scientific Writing Skills
  • Effective Mentoring
  • Developing Research Independence
  • Career Exploration Strategies

Please email Dr. Doug Dluzen ( with any questions related to the materials and how to use them.

How to Sign Up for the Postdoc Leadership Development Toolkit

Because most JHU postdocs aren’t automatically enrolled into the JHU Canvas system, this means you must be manually enrolled to access the toolkit. Below are the easy steps to get enrolled and on your way to growing as a leader!

  1. You must sign up for Canvas. To enroll, visit and click the blue JHU Login button (where you will then be asked to enter your JHED credentials). Doing this one time will create your Canvas account in the system.
  2. Once you are in the system, Email Dr. Doug Dluzen ( to let him know that you’ve entered the Canvas system. Identify you would like to be enrolled in the Leadership Development Toolkit Canvas course and he will enroll you. If you’re interested in PDCO support for a new cohort of fellows, please also indicate that.
  3. Enjoy the toolkit materials!

The Provost’s Leadership, Advancement and Development (L.A.D.) Academy

The Provost’s Leadership, Advancement and Development Academy, a.k.a. the L.A.D., is a program that provides resources to support our postdoctoral fellows and faculty (early-, mid-, and late-career) from the time of hire all the way up to the time they retire. L.A.D. offers a combination of commercially available (free to JHU students, fellows, and faculty) and in-house programs, curriculums, trainings, and resources to support leadership and professional growth.

Materials cover topics such as:

  • Mentorship and Leadership
  • Scholarly and Academic Identity Formation
  • Academic Team Building
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
  • Professionalism
  • And much more

The L.A.D. Academy also includes complimentary access to Nature Masterclasses and Academic Impressions, each with a portfolio of career-development programming options to develop your leadership and other skillsets. As a JHU doctoral student or postdoctoral fellow, you have access to these resources.

Example L.A.D. course curriculum include:

  • Leadership and Supervision: with topics covering leading a collaboration, conflict management, building confidence as a new leader, identifying and mitigating imposter syndrome, and more.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility: with topics covering microaggression, removing barriers to student learning, resources for faculty with disabilities, implicit bias, and more.
  • The Early Career Faculty Bootcamp: with topics covering peer review, networking for researchers, building your brand, effective collaboration and science communication, and more.

Visit the Provost’s Leadership, Advancement and Development Academy website for the full list of resources and tools to support your career development and leadership growth!