The Professional Development Program (PDP) was started to meet the increasing need for career skills beyond those normally acquired in the lab. These include written and oral presentations, grant writing, peer review, career planning, time management, networking, balancing personal and professional life, and ethics. The PDP has two main components, a seminar in Professional Skills and Ethics ("the PDP seminar") and longer in depth workshops on ethics and related topics.
The PDP seminar, Neur 520 section 2, meets in the spring semester from 2:30 - 3:30 on Tuesdays. The class is a mix of lecture presentation, group discussion, in class exercises, and reading and written assignments. Guest appearances by NSP faculty and postdocs, and by outside seminar speakers, are a regular feature of the PDP. The PDP seminar is highly recommended but not required. However, the sessions on ethics are required of all NSP students.
Workshops meet in the evenings and typically last three hours. They cover core topics in ethics, and additional topics of interest in ethics, professional skills, and other aspects of graduate school and professional life.