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Career Planning Resources

Online Resources

UC Merced is proud to be an institutional member of the National Postdoctral Association! As a result, all UC Merced Postdocs are eligible for free individual affiliate membership in the National Postdoctoral Association. Please establish your account using your UC Merced email address.

When thinking about which career path to take, it is often helpful to conduct a self-assessment to identify skills and interests. The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) recommends the following career and professional self-assessment tools:

  • Myers-Briggs Test: a questionnaire that describes your preferred way of interacting; there are many free online tests you can find
  • Career Beliefs Inventory: a career counseling tool that can help identify and overcome attitudes that interfere with choosing a career
  • Core Competencies: The NPA established six core competencies to offer guidance to individual postdoctoral scholars who must seek out relevant training experiences, in collaboration with mentors, institutions, and other advisors who provide this training.
  • MinorityPostdoc: This premier web portal on the minority postdoctoral experience and a wealth of resources on professional development
  • National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity: is an independent professional development, training, and mentoring community of faculty, postdocs, & graduate students from over 450 colleges and universities. To establish your account:
    • Go to
    • Select your institution from the dropdown menu.
    • On the institution’s landing page, click “Activate My Membership.”
    • Complete the Registration Form using your institutional email address (e.g.,
    • Go to your email and click “Activate Account” in the confirmation email.
  • National Postdoctoral Association (NPA): member driven community that provides a wealth of resources and a unique, national voice for postdoctoral scholars. Their mission is to improve the postdoctoral experience by supporting a culture of inclusive connection. At the individual, organizational, and national levels, we facilitate enhanced professional growth, raise awareness, and collaborate with stakeholders in the postdoctoral community. Establish your account using your UC Merced email address in order to be eligible.
  • ImaginePhD: a free career planning and exploration tool for the humanities and social sciences
  • SciPhD: SciPhD offers an online self-assessment training course. NPA Affiliate or Individual Members can receive a 25% discount on this course.
  • Duke Postdoc YouTube Channel

UC Merced Resources for Career Exploration

UC Merced offers career exploration consultations through the Center for Career and Professional Advancement. Interested postdoctoral scholars can sign up for a one-on-one consultation on Career Assessment here. In addition, your Faculty Mentor and peers can provide extra insight through their own experiences navigating through the postdoctoral traineeship.