Leadership Training Program

Leadership Training for Postdoctoral Scholars and Graduate Students

This series of interactive workshops is designed to help trainees thrive in a research environment, deal with conflicts, and be effective leaders and team members. The topics have all been developed with a focus on research groups and the academic environment. The training will provide strategies for effective integration into a Ph.D. program, the lab, and the department, as well as, offering a forum for trainees to share experiences with peers and build community.

Certification Process
Certificates are available for those who complete 5 of the 6 offerings of the Leadership Series.


Notice: Each event requires a minimum number of participants. If the minimum isn’t reached the event might be cancelled or postponed.

These workshops are sponsored and hosted by UCLA Bioscience Graduate Programs & Postdoctoral Affairs.

Series Workshops

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 12:00-1:30pm (Zoom)
RSVP by Oct. 15

Receiving and responding to feedback is a critical part of the training process. During this session, participants will:

  • Identify the role of constructive feedback and recognize the intent behind statements and questions.
  • Assess the influence that mentors can have on a trainee’s confidence, and devise strategies to cope with and respond to feedback that negatively influences their confidence.
  • Practice effective ways to communicate with their research mentor.

Wednesday, Nov. 8, 12:00-1:30pm (Zoom)
RSVP by Nov. 5
This workshop guides you through identifying your long-term life values, setting professional goals that reflect those values, and as a result developing an individualized vision of what professional success looks like for you. You will leave with tools to guide self-reflection over the course of your professional career.

Wednesday, Nov. 29, 9:00-10:30am (Zoom)
RSVP by Nov. 26 

Positive mental habits are key to building confidence, managing an academic workload, successfully pursuing goals, and coping with the stresses of daily life. In this introductory workshop, participants will develop strategies for building positive mental habits.

During this session, participants will:

  • Explore how their worldviews are shaped and how those views influence thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
  • Learn how self-talk is generated and identify ways self-talk can either help them be more resilient or hurt them and hold them back.
  • Learn how to dispute negative self-talk.

Note: For a workshop that focuses on cognitive distortions and imposter fears, join us for Part 2.

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, 4:00-5:30pm (Zoom)

RSVP Link coming soon

Developing a successful strategy to manage time and obligations is key to coping with an academic workload, successfully pursuing goals, and balancing personal needs and interests. Participants will practice the Getting Things Done model of time management and leave with tools to implement it in other facets of their lives.

During this session, participants will:

  • Learn how to gather all of their goals and to-do’s in one place.
  • Learn how to develop a system for organizing their tasks and goals.
  • Learn how to prioritize the order of tasks and goals within a given timeframe.
  • Learn how to build a time management routine and make it a habit.

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Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, 9:00-10:30am (Zoom)

RSVP Link coming soon

The goal of this workshop is to empower participants to proactively identify and successfully navigate common conflicts in the research environment in order to foster an enriched environment that facilitates open dialogue. This workshop provides an accessible framework for conflict management.

During this session, participants will:

  • Develop self-awareness of their conflict management style.
  • Reflect on different ways to respond to different conflicts.
  • Learn constructive ways of working through conflict.
  • Practice difficult conversations.
  • Development of a conflict management plan.

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, 12:00-1:30pm (Zoom)

RSVP Link coming soon

Self-efficacy is the perceived confidence people have in their ability to perform a specific task or skill. Participants will gain strategies for bolstering their research confidence and minimizing self-doubt.

During this session, participants will:

  • Define what self-efficacy is and explore four sources for self-efficacy
  • Articulate the mentor’s role in fostering mentees’ research self-efficacy.
  • Identify signs of self-efficacy in relation to research-related tasks.
  • Practice strategies for building self-efficacy in research.

*This workshop is also part of our Mentoring Up (Mentee Training) workshop series.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 9:00-10:30am (Zoom)

More information coming soon

Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 12:00-1:30pm (Zoom)

RSVP Link coming soon

Resiliency is a key to building confidence, managing an academic workload, and successfully pursuing goals, especially during these uncertain times. Participants will gain strategies for building and maintaining resilience during their academic journey.

During this session, participants will:

  • Identify attitudes and behaviors that can help promote resilience when navigating difficult situations in school, work, and life.
  • Examine important elements of negative self-talk, cognitive distortions, and imposter fears
  • Learn strategies to counter internal messages and input from others that distort a trainee’s views of their abilities and accomplishments

Note: You do not have to take Part 1 in order to participate in Part 2.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Must be able to attend the entirety of each session participated in
  • Must complete a post-workshop evaluation survey
  • Must be a UCLA graduate student or postdoctoral scholar

Certificates are available only for participants that complete five of the six offerings of the Leadership Series.

  • You must be present for at least two-thirds of the workshop for it to count towards the certificate.
  • No participant will be admitted to a workshop after 30 minutes of the workshop have passed.

To obtain a certificate…

  1. Fill out our Leadership Certificate Completion Survey, which will ask you to list which workshops you attended and the dates those workshops were offered. 
  2. Once you complete the survey, please email Dr. Diana Azurdia (dazurdia@mednet.ucla.edu) if you’re a graduate student and if you’re a postdoc you should email Dr. Lynn Talton (ltalton@mednet.ucla.edu). Let them know you completed the certificate and have filled out this survey.
  3. You can expect a response within 14 business days.

No. You only need to complete five of the workshops to receive the Leadership Certificate.

This series can be completed in any order.

No. This series can be completed over your entire tenure at UCLA.

Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters

RSVP opens at the start of each quarter.

On the rare occasion that a workshop is over-enrolled, participants will be prioritized in the follow order:

  1. First priority will be given to graduate students and postdocs who are in the biosciences.
  2. Second priority will be given to graduate students and postdocs outside of biosciences disciplines.

Yes. See priorities list for who is chosen for the program.


Postdocs should email Dr. Lynn Talton (LTalton@mednet.ucla.edu) or Letty Treviño (ltrevino@mednet.ucla.edu).
Grad students should email Dr. Diana Azurdia (DAzurdia@mednet.ucla.edu).