GradCat 360 is a comprehensive professional development program for graduate students at Montana State University. It is a series of programs and events designed by the Graduate School and departments across campus that center around nine focus areas. These areas are tailored to help students cultivate a unified set of skills and knowledge for educational success and professional preparation. 

GradCat 360

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Fall 2023 GradCat 360 Events

Graduate Student Writing Retreat with the MSU Writing Center

Friday, Oct. 6 from 5pm-8pm & Saturday, Oct. 7 from 9am-2 pm

Do you need to get a lot of writing done? Want to learn more about writing while making solid progress? Join us at the Writing Center for a writing retreat and dedicate a Friday evening (5-8 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. -2 p.m.) to writing, talking about writing, and community building. We will discuss writing processes and ask you to evaluate what is working for you and what needs to change. Students from every discipline are welcome.

Click here for the link to the sign up sheet. If you have any questions, contact Erin Strickland at [email protected].

Event Calendar

GradCat 360 has pulled together a curated calendar of events for graduate student professional development both on- and off-campus. Links for the events can be found in the event description.

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

For GTAs/GRAs: MSU's Center for Faculty Excellence warmly invites graduate students to attend their teaching workshops and seminars. The CFE site contains teaching, research, and grant writing resources that also apply to graduate students.

Graduate students can also take advantage of the CFE’s institutional membership with the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD), which has many available resources and benefits. An account is needed and is free for MSU graduate students.


GTA Professional Development sessions fall 2022:

Session 1: "How to build an inclusive learning environment. ASPIRE’s Inclusive Professional Framework Facilitated by Craig Ogilvie and Sarah Pennington. Thur Sep 1, 10-11:30am Register for Inclusive Learning Environment

Session 2: Active learning, Facilitated by Ken Silvestri. Tue Sep 13, 2:30 to 4pm. Register for Active Learning

Session 3: "Providing feedback, both formal in grading and informal feedback, e.g., affirming good work, being alert for students who might be struggling or not attending class and reaching out to these students.  Facilitated by Carrie Myers. Thur Sep 29th, 10 to 11;30am Register for Providing Feedback

Session 4: “Connecting with your students, getting to know them, communicating in words and actions that you want students to succeed, while establishing boundaries." Facilitated by Matt Caires, Durward Sobek. Friday Oct 14, 2 to 3:30pm.  Register for Connecting with your students


Graduate Student Peer Mentoring Program: First-year graduate students experience many transitions as they start graduate school ; from figuring out housing, to settling into an unfamiliar city, from discovering a balance between course loads, research and teaching responsibilities, and self-care.. Yet for many first-year students, it is not always clear where to turn for guidance and support. The graduate student peer mentoring program at Montana State University bridges this gap. By connecting incoming graduate students with senior departmental peers within a stress-free, informal, and mutually supportive environment, MSU’s graduate student peer mentoring program creates space for first-year graduate students to explore the many ins and outs of life as a graduate student in a small group setting with student-mentors. Current participating departments are Chemistry&Biochemistry, Ecology, and the Office of International Programs. If your department is interested please contact [email protected]

MSU’s Academic Technology and Outreach (ATO) and the Masters in Science in Science Education (MSSE) program are offering a series of free online recordings entitled “Dialogues in Online Teaching” where experienced online educators discuss community, opportunities and challenges in the remote learning environment.

An Online MOOC scheduled twice a year provides an intro to how students learn and the use of active, inclusive pedagogies.

College Teaching Certificate can be earned at MSU.

MSU has invested in an Institutional Membership with the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD). An account is needed and is free for MSU graduate students. Visit the NCFDD information page and to learn how to sign up.


Learn Anywhere provides resources for teaching and learning remotely.


Montana Engineering Education Research Center (MEERC) supports research in education at MSU.

Professional organizations by discipline:

Teamwork & Leadership

Leadership & Teamwork


Mindfulness Based Graduate Mentorship Program: In the Mindfulness Based Graduate Mentoring Program, together we will explore evidence-based best practices in mentoring so you may be empowered to get the most out of your mentoring relationships now and in the future. We will use mindfulness, reflection and inquiry as tools to delve into how your experience in graduate school can be more fulfilling, more purposeful and less stressful. Find further information on the program, including time commitments, at Mindful Mentoring.  Applications are open now for the 2023-2024 academic year program through Friday September 8, 2023.  Please also feel free to reach out to Jennifer Brown at [email protected]  with any questions.

Mentoring Training: Optimizing the Practice of Mentoring 102: For Research Mentors of Undergraduate Students: is a series of online, self-paced modules designed to help graduate students become effective research mentors of undergraduates.

This course on Building a team through Linked-In Learning discusses how to build a high-performing team.

This Decision making course on Linked-In Learning outlines the four styles of decision-making and which situations they are best suited to.

MSU has invested in an Institutional Membership with the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD). An account is needed and is free for MSU graduate students. Visit the NCFDD information page and to learn how to sign up.

In Fall 2022, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) hosted a series of webinars and small group discussions to help you develop the confidence and resilience you need to navigate challenging situations in school, work, and life. See the recordings of NIH's Becoming a Resilient Scientist Series here.


Shared leadership model

Kotter’s 8-step process for leading change 


The Grad Leadership Academy prepares MSU's graduate students for equitable and inclusive collaborative leadership. This year-long program includes individual workshops, meetings, and collaborations, as well as a $500 scholarship award upon completion. Applications for 2021-2022 are due August 6th, 2021.

MSU Leadership Institute

Office of Student Engagement



Upcoming Events

Visit the Grad Student Wellbeing page for wellbeing resources, events, and partners.

Grad Student Wellbeing

Professionalism & Ethics

Professionalism & Ethics


1 credit course on Project Managements - details TBA

CITI Training provides training for research on human subjects, species-specific and wildlife research, biosafety, and other specialized research training.


Institutional Review Board (IRB) approves all research conducted by MSU faculty, staff, and students that involves human subjects.

Conflict of Interest (COI) helps MSU affiliates recognize potential conflicting interests.


Initiative for Science, Technology, Ethics and Society (STES) Identify ways in which your decision making throughout your work process may impact others, and to creatively consider how to ensure that your decision making is responsible and just.

Food Resources for Students

Following this link you will find graphics and outreach for each of the programs below:  Food Security Programs Outreach

Please share these programs as far and wide as you find appropriate with the students in your area. Social media, newsletters, websites, display boards, etc. are great ways to spread the word.


Bounty of the Bridgers Campus Food Pantry


Saturday Pop-Up Pantry

  • About: The Pop-Up Pantry offers food assistance to students, faculty, staff, and families of MSU over the weekend at Family and Graduate Housing. This pantry location is the best place to get produce and bread for the week.
  • Location: 1218 S. 15th St.
  • Hours: Saturday from 1-3pm, or until supply is gone.
  • More Information:


Grab ‘N Go Snack Program

  • About: The Grab ‘N Go Snack Program is a campus-wide extension of the Campus Food Pantry and is designed to make sure hungry students are always near a snack to get them through the day. There are more than 14 participating offices that will host snacks for students in need.
  • Location: Follow link below to see full list of offices and addresses.
  • More Information:


Food Security Scholarships


Gallatin College East Cat in the Bag Food Closet

  • About: The Cat in the Bag Food Closet is an extension of the Campus Food Pantry and is located at Gallatin College East. It offers free supplemental and emergency food assistance to students, faculty, staff, and families of Gallatin College.
  • Location: 705 Osterman Dr., GCE 5, beside the computer lab.
  • Hours: Monday – Thursday from 9am-9pm, Friday from 9am-4pm.
  • More Information:


Equity & Inclusion

Diversity Events at MSU

Diversity Development Certificate Program at MSU: Students are welcome to take this training aimed at growth in awareness, knowledge, and skills related to diversity and inclusion.

National Change Events: Workshops and mini-courses on inclusive teaching and mentoring.

Indian Education for All (IEFA) workshops and resources

Safe Zone Training at MSU: Students are welcome to take this training aimed at raising awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.

MSU has invested in an Institutional Membership with the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD). An account is needed and is free for MSU graduate students. Visit the NCFDD information page and to learn how to sign up.


The Diversity & Inclusion at MSU office has a full list of student resources.

Various Professional Societies' Diversity & Inclusion Statements:


Diveristy & Inclusion at MSU

Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons (DISC)




Graduate Writing Groups: The MSU Writing Center hosts writing groups for graduate students facilitated by peer tutors. The groups can be either in-person or online and offer an opportunity for students to give and receive feedback on their work at any stage of the writing process. The goal of a writing group is to create a supportive writing community in a collaborative, non-evaluative space. If you are interested in joining a group, contact Erin Strickland ([email protected]), the Writing Center's Graduate Program Coordinator, or sign up using this google form. 

Focus Fridays: The MSU Writing Center will hold "Focus Fridays," an open writing time,  every Friday from 9 am to noon. Graduate students are invited to come together in person to write and connect with a larger writing community. Or, they can join virtually using Microsoft Teams. See our Graduate Writers page for more information

Appointments with a writing tutor can be made with the MSU Writing Center.

LinkedIn learning, including short courses in Interpersonal CommunicationEmail Communication; and Public speaking.

Three Minute Thesis Competition: this event celebrates exciting doctoral work while supporting students' ability to effectively communicate their research.

MSU has invested in an Institutional Membership with the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD). An account is needed and is free for MSU graduate students. Visit the NCFDD information page and to learn how to sign up.

  • The NCDFF has a 12-week Dissertation Success Curriculum - The NCFDD Dissertation Success Curriculum is designed to provide the skills, strategies, and support that advanced graduate students need to overcome the three biggest obstacles to finishing their dissertation: perfectionism, procrastination, and isolation.


Writing style guides from the Writing Center.

Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) resources with the Graduate School.

Academic Technology & Outreach's Learn Anywhere has information on developing a communication plan for communicating with students.

StonyBrook University Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science offers research-based foundational skills and best practices for science communication.


The MSU Writing Center 

Toastmasters Club at MSU can provide resources for graduate students to improve speaking and presentation skills.

STEM Storytellers Fellowship at MSU helps graduate students improve oral communication skills.


Career Development & Exploration

Career Development
& Exploration

Upcoming Events

1-Credit course on career exploration - details TBA.

Spring and Fall - Career Fairs held by the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success. Graduate students are welcome and encouraged to attend these two day events!

Individual Development Plans (IDP)


Hire-A-Bobcat, powered by Handshake is MSU’s FREE online recruiting platform for students and employers. Graduate students can search for post-graduation career opportunities, summer employment, research, and internships. Filter and save searches, register for career fairs, and get notifications!

Non-exclusive list of Professional Organizations that graduate students can join to connect with their field. Consider seeking out a Professional Organization related to your field of study.

For those seeking positions in academic institutions in North America, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Search the Human Resources websites of more than 2,400 colleges and universities geographically or alphabetically.

Academic Careers Online (ACO)
Contains worldwide job listings in universities, community colleges, and research institutes.

Academic Employment Network
Postings of academic positions, including teaching, school administration, and other jobs in higher education

American Anthropological Association (AAA)
Includes job listings as well as general information and links to sites about careers in anthropology.

Chronicle of Higher Education Career: Careers
Contains job listings, e-mail alert services, job search articles, a discussion forum, and useful links.

Higher Ed
Job database focused on college and university positions.

H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online
Provides job listing in the humanities, social sciences, and communications.

How to Secure a Postdoc Position
Information from the University of Washington Career Center on working as a postdoctoral fellow.

The National Academies
Contains job listings in engineering, science, medicine, and social science.

Contains discussion boards, links, and articles for graduate students working on dissertations.

Physics World
Lists jobs as well as company profiles.

The Riley Guide
As a compendium of sites that covers the entire career development process, the Riley Guide is a great place to start your career information search on the internet. The A-Z index on the home page can be used to get specialized job listings or career topics.

Science Careers
Contains job openings, job fair announcements and career management articles.

Every Ph.D. Needs a Plan B
Article available at the Chronicle of Higher Education

Postdocs in Industry
ScienceCareers article discussing postdocs in the industry for scientists

New York Academy Science Alliance
Provides career-related information including career path videos of individuals working outside academia

Preparing for a Career in Industrial Research
Helpful article available at ScienceCareers

Blog by PhD reviewing options for those seeking opportunities beyond academic research

American Mathematical Society website - advice and resources on academic and non-academic careers

*Note this American Chemistry Society portal for career counselors has a helpful overview of biotech/pharma and green careers

Presidential Management Fellowship
A 2-year, full-time position providing leadership training designed by the U.S. government to attract outstanding graduate students (master's and doctoral level) from ANY ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE to various positions in most federal agencies. It is a great way to advance quickly to a high-ranking permanent position in the federal government. 

USA Jobs
The site for federal government job vacancy announcements maintained by the U. S. Office of Personnel Management.

Go Government
Resources for students about federal government opportunities from the Partnership for Public Service


Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success Careers

You can book an appointment with a Career Coach specifically for graduate students. Joan Ghassemi is the Center's Graduate Career Education Manager and can help you:

  • Learn more about yourself through self-assessments

  • Explore majors and careers that are a good fit for you

  • Review your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile

  • Prepare for job, internship, and graduate school interviews 

  • Engage in experiential learning, like internships and student employment, to help you gain experience and learn about your career interests

Community Engagement

Community Engagement


MSU has invested in an Institutional Membership with the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD). An account is needed and is free for MSU graduate students. Visit the NCFDD information page and to learn how to sign up.

The Center for Faculty Excellence provides the following webinars:


Citizen Science through this is an NSF-supported online hub of citizen science projects. This is an opportunity to support your academic and professional career. View the Citizen Science workshop hosted by MSU with a national panel of speakers.

Advancing Research Impact in Society and their guiding principles

Including Broader Impact chapter in your thesis/dissertation

Mentoring undergraduate capstone projects


Office of Student Engagement

MSU Extension

MSU Science Math Resource Center

Museum of the Rockies

Scholarship & Innovation

Scholarship & Innovation


Rocky Mountain Data Science, a student club designed to give members hands-on experiences with data science projects, will be hosting free workshops and "Code Talks" to discuss Data Science and programming. Find out more about the workshops and register for their mailing list at

Science Talk '22 from March 23-25: Science Talk is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and is organizing three-days of workshops, short-talks, exhibitors, poster & art presentations, and networking. Head over to the Science Talk conference website to take a look at the agenda and speakers, and to register for the science communication community's premiere event of the year.


Time Management in the Time of COVID (PDF) - tips on time management from Counseling & Psychological Services.

MSU Library's research articles and databases and technology checkouts

Library presentation on Research Visibility - how to make your research more visible, from Nov 2020.

Data Management with the MSU Library

Funding for Graduate Students

Blackstone LaunchPad resources for entrepreneurs

Technology Transfer Office

Statistical Consulting


MSU Library

Office of Sponsored Programs

Office or Research Compliance

IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE)

Center for American Indian and Rural Health Equity (CAIRHE)