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Welcome to the GSPD website!

The office of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Development (GSPD) is the hub of professional development for all graduate students and postdocs at UMBC. We are committed to providing a community of learning and support from the moment you arrive on campus to the day you depart for the next stage of your career.

Our goal is to provide you with the tools and resources you need to succeed academically and professionally. Whether you are a graduate student just starting your journey or a postdoctoral scholar looking to take the next step in your career, we are here to support you every step of the way.

We offer a wide range of programs and resources to help you achieve your goals, including:

  • CIRTL

    The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) program provides professional development opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who are interested in pursuing careers in academia. CIRTL offers workshops, courses, and teaching opportunities to help participants develop their teaching skills and build a strong teaching portfolio.

  • PROMISE

    The PROMISE program is committed to increasing the representation and success of underrepresented graduate students. PROMISE offers a variety of programs and resources to help students have a “third space”, a family away from family, to build their academic and professional skills, and provide mentoring, networking opportunities, and professional development workshops.

  • Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

    The OPA provides advocacy and support for postdoctoral research associates  at UMBC. We also offer workshops and resources to help postdocs develop their teaching and mentoring skills, prepare for academic job searches, and build their professional networks.

  • Resources

    We offer a variety of resources to help graduate students and postdoctoral scholars succeed, including funding opportunities for research and travel, career development resources, workshops and training sessions on topics such as grant writing and communication skills, and one-on-one consultations with our experienced staff.

In your time here, we hope you come to rely on our office for seminars on preparing for a career as a faculty member, building skills in teaching and public speaking, enhancing your writing and writing productivity, and learning to network to build a community of peers and mentors effectively. You can learn about the latest offerings and workshops from our website and myUMBC page or visit our Events Page.

Take a look at our programs and resources, and contact us today to learn more about how GSPD can help you achieve your goals.

Here are some of the Testimonials for the PROMISE Program:

The PROMISE program gave me the community I needed to stay grounded and tenacious about earning my Ph.D. at UMBC. I commend the PROMISE leadership for being amiable and nurturing! I look forward to each event, for the invaluable insights from various speakers, food (there’s a high chance you will get something to eat at the events), or giveaways.  My word of gratitude is inadequate.  I will forever cherish the camaraderie the PROMISE program provides.”  – Adebola A. Daramola (Ph.D. Student, Evaluation and Analytical Methods) UMBC

“Participating in PROMISE programing at UMBC has helped me develop a better understanding of how to navigate graduate school, find access to resources for professional development, and has provided me a supportive community of faculty, staff and fellow graduate students.” – Florence Lucey 

“Prior to being introduced to PROMISE, I had zero intention to pursue academia- partially because I wasn’t too confident about my ability to teach or navigate the academic environment. Since I’ve been involved with PROMISE I have been inspired to pursue academia and through these experiences I gained the confidence needed to venture out into this space!” – Kelsey Gray

“The PROMISE AGEP faculty and staff at UMBC were phenomenal and instrumental in preparing me for a tenure-track faculty position. PROMISE allowed me to learn about the tenure-track hiring process and prepare my application materials accordingly. Without their help and support, I would not be where I am today.” – Michael A. Fleming, Ph.D., P.E. Assistant Professor of Environmental and Civil Engineering at Mercer University

“PROMISE not only keeps its promises but is instrumental in cultivating a supportive community for graduate students at UMBC, with a particular focus on underrepresented minorities over the past two decades. By consistently surpassing expectations, PROMISE has demonstrated the critical role of community in achieving success in graduate school. The programs provided by PROMISE have met and exceeded the expectations of students who attend, including me, contributing significantly to my ongoing success at UMBC. The third space fostered by PROMISE has played a crucial role in shaping my academic journey.” – Chinonso Ezeobi