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The Extra 5% Can Make All the Difference





INDE 234 (Spring)

Introduction to Writing Research Proposals

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This course gives important instruction in research proposal writing, with a substantial writing component. Enrollment is by instructor approval only.

Top skills covered: research proposal writing

CTL 219 (Summer)

Oral Communication for Graduate Students

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This course focuses on graduate-student speaking activities such as teaching (delivering lectures, guiding discussion, and facilitating small groups), professional presentations and conference papers, and preparing for oral exams and defenses. In-class projects, discussion, and individual evaluation assist students in developing effective techniques for improving oral communication skills.

Top skills covered: oral communication

HRP 214 (Winter)

Scientific Writing

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This course walks graduate students step-by-step through the process of writing and publishing a scientific manuscript. Students will learn how to write effectively, concisely, and clearly with the preparation of an actual scientific manuscript. Students are encouraged to bring a manuscript on which they are currently working to develop and polish throughout the course.

Top skills covered: scientific writing, editing, publishing

"Helpful to those interested in scientific writing."

Students help produce and publish SAGE, an eco advice column, by choosing, researching and answering questions about sustainable living submitted by Stanford alumni and the general public.

Top skills covered: writing, researching, publishing

ENVRES 200 (Fall/Spring)

Communication Matters

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Available on YouTube, Dr. McConnell reviews the foundations of preparing and presenting an effective scientific talk.

Top skills covered: presenting scientific talks

ENVRES 200 (Fall/Spring)

Designing Effective Scientific Presentations

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Available on YouTube, Dr. McConnell reviews the foundations of preparing and presenting an effective scientific talk.

Top skills covered: presenting scientific talks


The Stanford Biosciences Grant Writing Academy provides coaching, review and editing for multiple grant mechanisms to all postdoctoral scholars and graduate students in the biosciences. Our goals are to enhance the development of productive, independent research scientists, support postdocs and graduate students in creating successful proposals and provide coaching, editing, and review for multiple grant mechanisms.

Top skills covered: writing, grant proposals, fellowships

Leadership Labs

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The Leadership Labs are a series of highly interactive workshops, condensed by the VPGE from Stanford's Graduate School of Business leadership curriculum. These workshops are built around real-time feedback for rapid skill development and cover essential areas for every work environment—such as team development, conflict management, social competence, and managing personality differences.

Top skills covered: interpersonal relationships, management

"Leadership Labs is an exceptional survey of emotional intelligence, underscoring its utter importance in professional and personal contents."

Management Matters

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Managing people can be the most stressful part of any job—but, if done well, can also be one of the most rewarding. This workshop sequence focuses on simple principles and guidelines that, once learned, can make the process of managing others enjoyable and effective. Previous workshops included "Working with Different Styles," "Making Expectations Clear," and "Giving and Getting Feedback."

Top skills covered: management, interpersonal relationships

"Management Matters gives a new perspective on interpersonal relationships, focusing on managing up, down, as well as sideways."

This workshop series is a dynamic mix of theory, demonstrations, skills exercises, and role-play practice intended to increase your confidence and effectiveness in any negotiation you undertake. Participants will leave with a practical framework that gives a clear map of an effective negotiation process. Previous workshops included "Basics of Negotiation Success," "Role of Persuasion in Negotiation," and "Role Plays and Feedback."

Top skills covered: negotiation, interpersonal relationships

Science Posters: Best Practices

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This workshop guides early stage students in making science posters, focusing on how to determine what content to include and how to best organize it all. Students will also discuss what makes particular posters better than others.

Top skills covered: posters

Would you like to know the secret to high-output, low-stress scholarly writing? In academia, it is often assumed that writing comes naturally. However, an overwhelming body of research shows that there are very clear and practical strategies that can greatly increase your writing productivity. This workshop covers everything from principles of "quick starting" to clarifying your thinking and improving the quality of your work.

Top skills covered: writing, productivity

Vocal Yoga

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These drop-in, weekly coaching sessions offer training in breathing, relaxation, and articulation to improve your oral communication skills in a variety of settings. Vocal Yoga is offered on Wednesdays of each quarter during Weeks 2-10.

Top skills covered: oral communication, personal wellness

The Hume Writing Center offers assistance to graduate students with oral and written communication throughout their academic career. Graduate students can seek help with preparing a fellowship application, take courses and workshops in public speaking, and receive personalized feedback on an upcoming presentation or job interview.

"Tremendous help for me as an English-as-a-second-language speaker."

"The Dissertation Boot Camp really kick started my thesis writing. I learned more about my writing style and made great headway on my thesis through this program."

The Office of Graduate Education aims to help train and empower the next generation of leaders and innovators within and beyond academia and industry. We recognize that our graduate students are the central drivers and conductors of some of the most transformative research in the world. Our office offers programs and services to support graduate students and sustain the level of excellence achieved by the Stanford Biosciences.

Today's intellectual and social problems require the minds and talents of students from many fields. Stanford's graduate students are able to roam freely, gathering and sharing ideas across disciplines. VPGE works to expand cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary educational opportunities for students, encouraging students to enroll in classes across the University and bringing students from diverse fields together.

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