Skip to main content
Vanderbilt Background Photo

Graduate Life Coach Programming, Summer 2019

Programming listed below is for the current semester.  Visit the Past Programming page to view prior workshops and seminar series.


Critical Conversations Series for Postdocs

Lunch provided by the Office of Postdoc Affairs

Discussions of topics important to your success as a supervisee and supervisor in your academic career.

Registration is now closed for this series as the sessions have filled to capacity.  The series will be repeated in the academic year.  Please check your communications from the Office of Postdoc Affairs for additional programming.

  • Aligning Expectations  - Tuesday, May 14, 12:00 - 1:00 PM
    The most important conversation between supervisor/supervisee is the expectations talk – and it is a living breathing agreement that should be revisited, clarified and changed over time.  Clear, specific expectations are the key to any academic relationship. This session will focus on discussing how best to talk to your supervisor about expectations, no matter where you are in your academic relationship.  We will also discuss how to have the conversation AS the supervisor as you move into that role.
  • Addressing Conflict in Academic Relationships - Tuesday, May 21, 12:00 - 1:00 PM  
    What happens when expectations are unclear, unmanaged or not upheld? Conflict of some shape or form – whether voiced or just felt – can make academic relationships difficult if not openly hostile. This session will address options for addressing, managing and attempting to resolve conflict with supervisors, colleagues and ultimately supervisees as you navigate your career in academia.
  • Giving, Receiving and Responding to Feedback - Tuesday, June 4, 12:00 - 1:00 PM
    Feedback and criticism are an inevitable part of the academic relationship. This session focuses on the messages that we receive from our supervisors and how we respond to that feedback. In addition, we will dive into how to give feedback to peers and supervisees in a way that is constructive and humane
  • Time Management & the Perfectionist-Procrastination Cycle - Tuesday, June 18, 12:00 - 1:00 PM
    “If I could only solve my time management problem!”  But what if that isn’t actually the root of the problem?  Do you find it difficult to start or make progress on projects?  Is it really that there isn’t enough time or could perfectionism and fear of failure be your real obstacle?  In this session, we will discuss the perfectionism/procrastination cycle and devise strategies to interrupt it. 


Critical Conversations Series for Graduate Students

These programs are most suitable for students in PhD programs but are open to all Graduate School students.

These sessions will be held on the Wednesdays noted below, from 1:00 - 2:00 PM in Alumni Hall. (Feel free to bring your lunch!)

Please RSVP as specific room location will be based on number of attendees.

  • Communication & Expectations in the Advising/Mentoring Relationship (June 5)  
    Maintaining a positive relationship with your research mentor is very important and can be achieved through frequent, open and candid communication – including establishing clear expectations and boundaries.  This session will focus on how to establish an open line of communication with your mentor in order to address any differences and align your expectations, in addition to focusing on strategies for improving communication (in person, at a distance, across multiple mentors, and within proper personal boundaries).  We will also discuss the importance of establishing a mentoring and support network.
  • Addressing Conflict in Academic Relationships (June 12)  
    We will discuss strategies for working through conflicts in academic relationships, particularly your mentoring/advising relationships, including on campus resources and processes for working through these situations.
  • Self-Efficacy: Building Confidence and Independence as a Researcher (June 19)  
    Self-efficacy is a belief one has in his/her ability to successfully complete a given goal or task. In other words it is situation specific self-confidence.  We will discuss the sources of self-efficacy and strategies for building your research confidence and independence.
  • Receiving and Responding to Feedback – The Power of Social Persuasion (June 27) 
    In this session, we will work to (1) Identify the intent behind statements and questions, (2)  understand the role of constructive feedback and improve communication between trainees and their mentors, (3)  Assess the influence that mentors have on their confidence in their abilities and (4)  Devise strategies to cope with and respond to feedback that negatively influences their confidence.

 Other Support Programming Resources on Campus