core competencies

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UCLA Core Competencies

The UCLA Core Competencies for Professional Development were designed as a framework for Graduate Students (GS) and Postdoctoral Scholars (PDS) as they plan for their own professional needs. The key topics within each competency are an example of the types of skill areas one might develop within each area. Check out the events calendar for opportunities, events, and workshops on campus focused around the core competency areas.  

Career Path Preparation: GS/PDS will feel confident and empowered to explore, pursue and apply for their chosen career path.

  • Key topics: Career Exploration; Experience Acquisition; Professional Etiquette; Application Document Preparation (CV, Resume, Cover Letter, Teaching Statement, Research Statement, Diversity Statement); Networking; Job and Internship Search; Interviewing Skills; Negotiation Skills


Communication Skills: GS/PDS will be able to address and communicate with diverse audiences.

  • Key topics: Scholarly Writing; Oral Presentation; Verbal and Written Communication with Diverse and Non-specialized Audiences; Digital Literacy


Self-Assessment & Development: GS/PDS will have knowledge on healthy work habits and personal skills.

  • Key topics: Wellness and Life Balance; Values, Knowledge and Transferable Skills Assessment; Financial Literacy; Success and Socialization in Your Program; Transitioning from GS/PS to Professional Career


Project Management, Leadership & Collaboration: GS/PDS will have skills to generate fundable projects, lead/work in teams, and operate independently.

  • Key topics: Entrepreneurship, Grant Writing, Budget Management; Teamwork; Collaboration, Conflict Management; Valuing Diversity; Time Management, Delegating


Teaching & Mentorship: GS/PDS will have the skills to be effective teachers and mentors to their students and peers.

  • Key topics: Pedagogical Methods and Teaching Philosophy; Syllabus and Course Design; Leading and Facilitating Active Learning; Learning and Skill Assessment; Advising and Role Modeling


Scholarly Expertise and Integrity: GS/PDS will have mastered the skills necessary to conduct highly regarded and intelligible work in their area of study.

  • Key topics: Command of Discipline-specific Knowledge and Scholarship; Familiarity with Interdisciplinary Knowledge and Scholarship; Command of Research Methods in Field and Adjoining Fields; Exposure to Collaborative Research; Familiarity with Ethical Norms in Field (governing conduct of research, attribution, shared authorship in collaborative efforts, and IRB approval); Commitment to Civility in Scholarly Exchange and Pedagogy