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Graduate Professional Development Framework: Details

GPD Framework

What is the GPD Framework?

We designed the GPD Framework to help you thrive and make the most of your time at Stanford. We identified six important areas of development and created an interactive tool to connect you with the campus resources and learning experiences that you need to reach your potential and meet your goals.

Use the Framework to reflect on your goals and strengths, explore learning opportunities, and dive in to new experiences throughout your graduate studies.

Who can use it?

All graduate students, in any field or degree, can use the GPD Framework to discover valuable resources to complement your degree program, from your first day at Stanford to your last.

How do I use it?

Reflect: Begin by reflecting on your graduate career. Which domains would you like to work on? What skills would you most like to build? Start with your most important priorities. You can always return to other areas later.

Explore: Use the GPD Framework’s discovery tool to find out what’s available on campus to support you in these areas. Decide which domain(s) you would like to work on, and then select the kind of learning experience you’re looking for by adjusting the intensity slider.

Based on your input, the GPD Framework draws from Stanford’s abundant resources, opportunities, and events to deliver you a customized list of recommendations that can help you build skills, gain experience, and truly make the most of your graduate career.

Dive In: You're busy. Use the GPD Framework to set priorities and evaluate which opportunities you want to invest in:

  • Time: Measures estimated time commitment, including, when possible, preparation and/or assignment time.
  • Learning Environment: Identifies the learning environment as individual (learn mostly by self), one-on-few (learn with one other or small group), and group (learn mostly with others).
  • Depth: Estimates how deeply the recommendation delves into its topic. Tip of the iceberg recommendations might introduce or give an overview of a topic, while whole iceberg recommendations will go into greater depth.
  • Intensity: Synthesizes time, depth, and learning environment as well as other subjective factors, like the expectation of active vs. passive participation.

Use the filters and your recommendations’ time, learning environment, depth, and intensity details to create a sustainable development plan that takes into account your schedule, energy level, content goals, and learning style. Schedule events ahead of time, and make sure to set aside time to explore other types of resources as well.


If you signed in with your SUNet ID, your results will be saved securely so you can return to your recommendations list whenever you’d like. You can also use the “My Progress” tool to see which areas of the Framework you have already explored and which you have yet to discover.

The tool is here for you whenever you need it! Return to the Framework often, as your priorities change, we add new resources, and you meet and set your goals.

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Learning advanced disciplinary knowledge & skills
  • developing expertise in your field through courses and other scholarly projects
  • using theories, methods, and tools of your field as expected for your degree
  • understanding the professional norms and expectations of your field
Conducting research & scholarship
  • designing and conducting research and other scholarly activities
  • developing intellectual independence and confidence in your ideas
  • conducting research and scholarship according to standards of academic integrity and responsibility
Collaborating within & across disciplines
  • working effectively in interdisciplinary teams
  • adapting ideas and tools from other fields to your own work
  • seeking opportunities to use your knowledge and skills to serve others and advance other fields
Understanding principles of teaching & learning
  • creating syllabi, agendas, and lesson plans for formal courses and informal teaching settings
  • aligning learning goals with content and instructional approach
  • assessing the effectiveness of your teaching 
Using effective instructional strategies
  • mastering different teaching techniques, such as lecturing, facilitating, demonstrating, leading discussions, and coaching
  • applying appropriate tools and approaches, including instructional and evaluation technologies
  • adapting your teaching techniques for different audiences or settings 
Advising & mentoring
  • cultivating relationships with advisors and mentors
  • setting clear expectations and providing feedback for continuation and change
  • sharing your experiences to mentor others academically and professionally
  • writing productively, clearly, succinctly, and in a style appropriate to your field and audience
  • writing for academic purposes, such as for courses, research, presentation, or publication
  • writing for professional purposes, such as correspondence, funding proposals, or job applications
  • expressing yourself confidently in courses, meetings, and workshops
  • speaking persuasively in high-stakes situations such as a job interview or dissertation defense
  • presenting in a public or professional forum, such as at a conference
Applying digital & multimedia tools
  • developing skills and techniques to visualize and present your work and ideas
  • creating and maintaining a professional online and social media presence
  • sharing your work with non-academic audiences through a wide range of communication channels
Leadership & Management  
Developing leadership & entrepreneurial skills
  • leading, influencing, and inspiring individuals and groups
  • advancing ideas and projects by taking risks and exploring different directions
  • contributing to relevant professional communities and organizations
Managing people & projects
  • leading and collaborating with a wide range of individuals and teams, including peers and supervisors
  • supervising individuals with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds
  • completing projects successfully and on time
Negotiating & resolving conflicts
  • advocating for yourself and on behalf of others
  • engaging in difficult conversations with confidence
  • moving a group from discord to shared goals
Personal Development  
Behaving ethically & with professional integrity
  • conducting yourself and your work with a high level of professionalism and  integrity
  • making ethical and fair decisions
  • treating other people fairly and equitably
Valuing diverse experiences & perspectives
  • respecting differing opinions and backgrounds
  • recognizing and appreciating a wide range of cultural and global perspectives
  • promoting inclusion, belonging, and community
Solving problems & thinking creatively
  • implementing imaginative solutions to complex problems
  • developing self-awareness and self-knowledge
  • building resilience to manage stress and challenges
Career Development  
Exploring career options
  • understanding a variety of career paths
  • discovering the job sectors and industries of most interest to you
  • aligning your graduate studies, skills, and values with career opportunities
Developing job search skills
  • identifying and preparing for career paths that are a good fit for you
  • preparing appropriate job application materials
  • interviewing effectively in different settings 
  • developing relationships with a wide range of people and organizations
  • learning about career paths from others
  • sharing your professional experiences and inspiring others