Frequently Asked Questions

Who can join CPDO?

Any Chemistry-affiliated graduate student or postdoctoral researcher is welcome to join!

What does CPDO do?
Based on feedback from an initial survey in 2009 and ongoing evaluations, CPDO members coordinate programs and events within three broad areas:
  • Career options exploration
  • Professional skill development
  • Community, communication, and resource building
What kind of events does CPDO create?
Previous events have included presentations or panel discussions about careers in academia, industry, and government; networking receptions; sessions with visiting seminar speakers; grant writing, job interview seminars, and other events related to development of professional skills. You can get a better feel for our events by looking through our Events page. If you have an idea for a future event, contact us here. 

How much of a time commitment does CPDO involve?
You can be involved as much or as little in CPDO as you would like! Generally, members spend an hour or two every other week for CPDO meetings (although sometimes they are much shorter). Members can expect to spend more time when they are part of the team planning an event.

Why should I join CPDO?
You get to decide what events will be held. If you would like to learn more about something you can hold a workshop. If there is is speaker you've always wanted to invite you can invite them. Added benefits include making professional contacts both within and outside of the University of Michigan, as well as develop leadership skills. 

I've never organized anything like this before. How will I know what to do?
We teach you! We always have a mix of new and old members, so new members can learn the ropes while older members can help show them the way. For most events, people who are interested volunteer to organize, resulting in a mix of new and old members who work together. It's definitely not as hard as you think!

I'm interested in joining, but I still have questions. How can I learn more?
Find a CPDO member and ask them questions or email us at chempdo2009 at! We generally have a formal recruiting session twice a year (May and December), so keep an eye out for emails or on our events page.