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Professional skills development

The PhD, and beyond? Did you know that the FESP offers doctoral students training to develop their professional skills and ease their transition to employment? Find out more about the nanoprogramme, the doctoral professional development internship and the free one-credit courses.

Nanoprogramme

Adaptez vos compétences en recherche au monde du travail

Prochaine cohorte débutant en septembre 2023

Favorisez votre intégration dans des environnements de travail dynamiques, interconnectés, interdisciplinaires et multiculturel en acquérant les compétences clés d’adaptabilité, de gestion, de collaboration et de communication.

Professional development internship  for doctoral students

This paid, credited internship is available for all sessions, full-time and part-time.

An indisputable asset for those who wish to optimize their employability.

Watch the information video (in French only)

Bulb over a focus group

Free, credit courses for doctoral students

The free training courses offered by the FESP allow you to develop your skills and employability. These one-credit courses explore different aspects of job market integration in an atmosphere conducive to discussion and personal and professional networking. 

Facilitate your professional integration by identifying, developing, and enhancing your skills.

  • Multiple benefits at your fingertips:
  • Join a learning community with many shared experiences.
  • Participate in stimulating interactive courses with an emphasis on active learning.
  • Take advantage of a concise and self-paced format combining distance and blended learning.
  • Student participation in English is possible (online forum, exercises, assessment).
Big bulb

Nanoprogramme

Adaptez vos compétences en recherche au monde du travail

Prochaine cohorte débutant en septembre 2023

Favorisez votre intégration dans des environnements de travail dynamiques, interconnectés, interdisciplinaires et multiculturel en acquérant les compétences clés d’adaptabilité, de gestion, de collaboration et de communication.

Additional information

List of skills to be developed

These skills are an integral part of the Reference Guide on Skills to Be Developed at the Master’s and Doctoral Levels developed by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and adopted by the University Council on November 3, 2015.

The guide is designed to help students assess and attain their own objectives by providing information on the skills they can expect to acquire through their training and those they can improve or develop through the additional training offered by FESP and other UL services.

You can use the guide in conjunction with your collaboration or study plan as a basis for discussion with your advisor or supervisor in planning your program.

Insofar as it makes transferable skills more concrete, it makes a good addition to a scholarship application, a letter of recommendation, an evaluation report, a curriculum vitae, etc.

In recent years, many stakeholders, including Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (2008), Conseil Supérieur de l’Éducation (2010), and the Conference Board of Canada (2015), have expressed concerns and issued recommendations regarding doctoral education and the professional integration of PhD students. In response to these concerns, and to the needs expressed by many students in the 2016 Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey, in which 88% of doctoral students at Université Laval expressed strong support (63%) for FESP’s proposal to offer complementary training to facilitate their integration into the labour market, FESP designed a professional development training program for graduate students. These courses are designed to actively engage students in a process of ongoing personal and professional development to enrich or develop complementary skills, thereby enhancing their employability.

There is a clear consensus in Quebec and across Canada on the need to better prepare doctoral students for the workplace. Not only are more and more students earning PhDs, they are also less likely to find employment in academia. Which is why it is more important than ever for doctoral students to broaden their horizons and envisage different post-graduation career scenarios.

Each professional skills development course offered by FESP is worth 1 credit and appears on your transcript. The transcript will serve as proof that you have acquired the skills required in a professional sector.

Most of the course activities are designed as training sessions to help you develop good reflexes and quickly pick up strategies that can help you achieve your professional goals.  Through various means—simulations, case studies, role-playing, practical exercises, observation games, roundtable discussions, online forums—you will learn to use tools that enhance your employability and improve your ability to market your unique expertise.

Each course represents a total investment of about 45 hours, including independent study. Coursework consists primarily of active participation through discussion, sharing, and group work that foster connections and the development of your personal and professional networks. 

Evaluation is largely based on participation, and the grade is pass or fail.

Your transcript will show that you have acquired the skills required in a professional sector.

These courses do not apply toward your program’s degree requirements.

Courses offered in distance or blended mode

These courses are free for all students (including international students) enrolled in a doctoral program at Université Laval. 

Students enrolled in these courses are not be required to pay tuition, administration fees, ancillary fees, academic modernization fees, or technology fees. Student association fees as well as health and dental insurance are at the student’s expense. Students who wish to opt out of the insurance plan must submit an opt-out request during the change of coverage period.

These courses are for students already enrolled in a doctoral program at Université Laval Courses offered in distance or blended mode

Be sure to check the maximum student capacity in the course description. Note that students are divided into several smaller groups to stimulate discussion and interaction. 

No authorization is required to register for these courses. The professional skills development courses you take do not interfere with your doctoral program. Neither the course credit nor grade is taken into account in the calculation of your average. Your transcript will show that you have acquired the skills required in a professional sector.

Credits earned in professional skills development training are not considered in the total credits needed to achieve full-time student status. Only degree-applicable credits are considered in determining full-time status. 

During the registration period, confirm your course selection and proceed with your registration in myPortal.

The content of some courses is in French and English. However, you can participate in discussion forums and write assignments in either language. Many articles and supplementary learning resources are in English.  

Testimonials (in French only)

Samuel Gagnon

Étudiant au doctorat – Sciences géographiques
A suivi le cours Diagnostic de compétences: reconnaître et accroître son potentiel professionnel (DVP – 8000)

Initialement, j’ai choisi ce cours parce que j’avais quelques doutes sur mon choix de carrière après mon doctorat. J’avais en tête qu’il me ferait voir quelques nouvelles opportunités de travail. Le cours touche à beaucoup plus que le marché de l’emploi. Il nous invite à nous questionner sur nos valeurs et nos ambitions d’une manière que je n’avais jamais faite auparavant. Ces moments de réflexion (que nous ne prenons jamais dans la vie courante) ont été révélateurs et m’ont permis de croître comme personne. Je recommande donc le cours à n’importe qui en transition ou fin de parcours.

Samuel Gagnon

Élizabeth Canitrot

Étudiante au doctorat - Épidémiologie
A suivi le nanoprogramme Adaptez vos compétences en recherche au monde du travail

En commençant ce nanoprogramme, j’espérais une formation et des outils pour m’aider à orienter mes choix de carrière, à découvrir les opportunités professionnelles post-PhD dans mon domaine. J’ai, pour la première fois, identifié à voix haute et de façon honnête mes attentes et mes besoins, afin de faire un choix de carrière qui soit congruent avec mes valeurs et mes aspirations. Aujourd’hui, confiante et sereine, j’aborde ma carrière professionnelle. Cette formation nous fournit les outils pour réaliser ce travail d’écoute de soi et d’ouverture sur le monde professionnel, si essentiel à l’heure de faire des choix de carrière.

Élizabeth Canitrot

Daniela Alicja Ogonczyk-Makowska

Étudiante au doctorat – Microbiologie-immunologie
Stagiaire au ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs

Intéressée à poursuivre ma carrière hors du milieu universitaire, j’ai réalisé un stage de quatre mois. Cela fut une des meilleures décisions que j’ai prises. Bien que le stage soit axé sur mon domaine, la virologie, il m’a permis d'élargir mon champ d’expertise et de développer des compétences recherchées dans le milieu industriel. Il m’a prouvé que les connaissances et le savoir-faire acquis pendant ma thèse sont transposables et très valorisés hors académie, et que je pourrai, sans problème, trouver un emploi épanouissant. Je me sens beaucoup plus confiante et en sécurité dans le contexte de recherche d’emploi.

Daniela Alicja Ogonczyk-Makowska

In the event of a discrepancy between the French and English texts, the French version prevails.