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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Spring 2024 GradCat 360 Events

*** Past Events from the Spring 2024 Semester ***

GradCat Spring Summit

Friday, April 12, 2024 | 8AM-12:30PM | Strand Union Ballrooms

The GradCat Spring Summit is a conference-style, half-day event with several presentations and workshops geared specifically toward Grad Students. Join us in the SUB Ballrooms for breakfast and a day of engaging and informative sessions. Students may choose to attend any or all sessions. View last year's agenda at the GradCat Spring Summit webpage.

Compassion Project Workshops

Friday, March 8, 2024 | 3-5PM | Jake Jabs Hall Room 103
Friday, March 29, 2024 | 3-5PM | Jake Jabs Hall Room 103
Friday, April 12, 2024 | 1:30-3:30PM | SUB Ballroom A  (Held after GradCat Spring Summit)

The MSU Graduate School and Compassion Project are offering three, 2-hour workshops to support graduate student well-being through art, mindfulness, and community-building. Compassion is a skill and practice that increases resilience, boosts well-being, helps us navigate conflict, and strengthens relationships. Guests can expect to be led in a group mindfulness practice, creative art activity, and small-group discussion. All graduate students are welcome - we hope you join us! Sign up for Compassion Project Workshops here.

Graduate Student Writing Retreat with the Writing Center

Friday, February 16, 5-8PM | Saturday, February 17, 9AM-2PM

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. The next writing retreat takes place February 16, 2024 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. and February 17, 2024 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For more information, visit the Writing Center's Graduate Student Events page.

Grad School Pop-Ups

Wednesday, February 28 | 1-2PM | College of Engineering: Barnard Hall Room 347

Join staff from the Graduate School for any and all questions you have about navigating graduate school and MSU. Do you want to know what a comprehensive exam is? Are you looking for resources to help pay for childcare? Stop by our pop-up table to grab a free cup of coffee and a snack and ask any questions you might have about grad school.

Although the Grad School pops up in the offices of different academic colleges or departments, all grad students of any discipline are welcome at any pop up event!

Next Steps in Your Career with AYCSS

Monday, March 4, 2024 | 1-2PM | SUB Room 233/235

The GradCat 360 Professional Development program and AYCSS team up to offer a "Next Steps in Your Career" presentation for graduate students. Learn what you can do now to prepare for a career transition after grad school. Graduate School Career Education Manager Joan Lorraine will cover topics such as networking, interviewing, and negotiating.

Coffee and doughnuts provided!

Postdoc Meetups

Friday, February 23, 2024 | 3-4PM | SUB Room 232
Friday, March 29, 2024 | 3-4PM | SUB Room 236
Friday, April 26, 2024 | 3-4PM | SUB Room 232

Postdocs are invited to begin meeting regularly in the afternoons on the last Friday of each month from 3-4PM in the Strand Union Building. These meetings will be informal get-togethers, so please feel free to come and go as your schedules requires. As we meet, we can fine tune what sorts of professional development and networking opportunities we want to create for the group. Also, we will have snacks, coffee, and tea from the SRO available. A good way to end each month!


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 to access NCFDD programming, and is free for MSU graduate 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, to discovering a balance between course loads, research, and teaching responsibilities, to self-car... 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 Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE): MSU’s Center for Faculty Excellence supports the professional development of all faculty (tenure-track and non-tenure track) across all career stages in the areas of teaching, research/creative activity, outreach/service, and leadership. Graduate students are encouraged to take part in CFE offerings.

College Teaching Certificate:The Adult & Higher Education Program offers a Certificate in College Teaching to develop and promote exemplary teaching among graduate students, aspiring faculty, and current faculty wanting to enhance their teaching skills. The goal of the certificate is to make individuals more competitive in the job market as instructors and faculty members at colleges and universities.

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD): MSU has invested in an institutional membership with the NCFDD. An account is needed to access NCFDD programming, and is free for MSU graduate students. Visit the NCFDD information page for more information on what is included in your free membership and to learn how to sign up.

Dialogs in Online Teaching: 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.

Learn Anywhere Initiative: MSU’s Academic Technology and Outreach (ATO)'s Learn Anywhere Initiative provides resources for teaching and learning remotely.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): An Online MOOC scheduled twice per year provides an intro to how students learn and to the use of active, inclusive pedagogies.

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

Professional Organizations by Discipline:

Teamwork & Leadership

Leadership & Teamwork

Graduate Leadership Academy (GLA): The Grad Leadership Academy prepares Montana State University graduate students for equitable, inclusive, and collaborative leadership across a variety of professional contexts. This year-long program includes individual workshops, meetings, and collaborations, as well as a $500 scholarship award upon completion. 

Mindfulness Based Graduate Mentorship Program: The Mindfulness Based Graduate Mentorship Program occurs yearly during the Fall semester. In the program, graduate students gather together weekly in peer community to mindfully inquire into questions around the qualities of effective mentorship, what functional relationships look like, and how to get support from mentors.

MSU Leadership Institute: The MSU Leadership Institute offers answers, resources, and connections for the future leaders of business, government, and education. Acting as a catalyst to the awakening of students' natural leadership skills, communication abilities, and creativity, the Institute empowers students to do more.

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD): MSU has invested in an institutional membership with the NCFDD. An account is needed to access NCFDD programming, and is free for MSU graduate students. Visit the NCFDD information page for more information on what is included in your free membership and to learn how to sign up.

LinkedIn Learning: This course on building a team through Linked-In Learning discusses how to build a high-performing team. This decision making course outlines the four styles of decision-making and which situations they are best suited to.

Becoming a Resilient Scientist Series: 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.

Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership Journal's Shared Leadership Model: Shared leadership can provide a foundation for nonprofit organization sustainability. A culture of shared leadership can enhance an organization’s resilience and adaptability and help ensure its ability to navigate turbulence and uncertainty. See here for more information on the shared leadership model.

Kotter's 8-Step Process for Leading Change: Kotter’s award-winning methodology is the proven approach to producing lasting change. Download the 8-Steps to Lasting Change ebook here.

MSU Office of Student Engagement (OSE): The Office of Student Engagement provides and facilitates student engagement opportunities for MSU students through a variety of programs, events, services, and activities. We are THE HUB for students interested in connecting with their fellow Bobcats through student government, student organizations, programs and events, and engaging in service to the community.



Grad Student Wellbeing

Graduate Student Wellbeing

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

Food Resources for Students

Bounty of the Bridgers Campus Food Pantry

  • About: The Campus Food Pantry offers free supplemental and emergency food assistance to students, faculty, staff, and families of MSU.
  • Location: 1102 S. 6th Ave., entrance is on the side of the building off of Arthur St.
  • Hours: Summer Hours: Monday-Thursday from 2-6pm, excluding Memorial Day (May 27th) and Independence Day (July 4th)
  • More Information: 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: Bounty of the Bridgers Saturday Food Pantry

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. Although the campus-wide Grab 'n' Go Program was paused in Spring 2024, The Graduate School will continue to provide grab 'n' go snacks for graduate students in 104 Montana Hall.

Food Security Scholarships

  • About: The Food Security Scholarship awards a 25-swipe dining hall meal plan to students with barriers to accessing enough nutritious food.
  • Application Timeline: Applications are open at the beginning of fall and spring semesters. See below for more information and exact application deadlines.
  • More Information: Bounty of the Bridgers Food Security Scholarships

Professionalism & Ethics

Professionalism & Ethics

CITI Training through the Office of Research and Development: CITI Training provides training for research on human subjects, species-specific and wildlife research, biosafety, and other specialized research training.

Office of Research Compliance's Institutional Review Board (IRB): The primary mission of the Institutional Review Board is the protection of the rights, welfare, and well-being of human subjects who participate in research at Montana State University. The IRB approves all research conducted by MSU faculty, staff, and students that involves human subjects.

Office of Research Compliance's Conflict of Interest (COI) Help Page: Visit the Conflict of Interest help page to find resources that help MSU affiliates recognize potential conflicting interests.

Center for Science, Technology, Ethics and Society (C-STES): The Center for Science, Technology, Ethics and Society can help you 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.


Equity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion at MSU: We believe that excellence at Montana State University is best achieved through a culture of intellectual and personal growth that is diverse and inclusive. Click here to learn more about diversity and inclusion at Montana State.

Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons (DISC): Welcome to our Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons (DISC). We aim to empower students to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally while contributing to a more inclusive campus culture. We celebrate unique identities and perspectives and provide a safe space for constructive dialogues.

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

Indian Education for All (IEFA): The MSU Department of Education provides a variety of workshops and resources as part of the Indian Education For All (IEFA) Initiative.

Inclusive Professional Framework (IPF): The Inclusive Professional Framework (IPF) identifies three core domains - Identity, Intercultural, and Relational - which underlie inclusive professional practices. The IPF provides a set of skills in the three domains that can be applied to inclusive practices across context and roles. These skills also contribute to health and well-being and inclusive climates within institutions and organizations.

Various Professional Societies' Diversity & Inclusion Statements:



MSU Writing Center: The MSU Writing Center supports students across MSU as they develop the written communication skills necessary in their academic, professional, and civic lives. The Writing Center offers many different kinds of support specifically for graduate students!

Three Minute Thesis Competition: The Three Minute Thesis Competition celebrates exciting master's and doctoral work while supporting students' ability to effectively communicate their research.

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

LinkedIn Learning: MSU offers a free subscription to LinkedIn Learning where students can take professional development courses, including short courses in interpersonal communication, email communication, and public speaking.

Electronic Theses and Dissertation (ETD): Master's students writing a formal thesis and doctoral students writing a formal dissertation are required to go through the Graduate School formatting procedures. Find resources for formatting your ETD.

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD): MSU has invested in an institutional membership with the NCFDD. An account is needed to access NCFDD programming, and is free for MSU graduate students. Visit the NCFDD information page for more information on what is included in your free membership and to learn how to sign up.

  • The 12 week 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.

Developing a Communication Plan for Students: MSU’s Academic Technology and Outreach (ATO) offers information on developing a communication plan for communicating with students.

The Link at the StonyBrook University Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science: "The Link" offers research-based foundational skills and best practices for science communication.

Career Development & Exploration

Career Development
& Exploration

AYCSS Career Services: The Office of Career, Internship, and Student Employment is here to help you land the perfect job. We want to do our best to help you succeed professionally so we offer sources to help you prepare.

  • Career Fairs (Graduate students are welcomed/encouraged to attend these!)
  • 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.
  • Book an appointment with a graduate Career Coach. Joan Lorraine 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

Individual Development Plans (IDP): IDP

MSU Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE): MSU’s Center for Faculty Excellence supports the professional development of all faculty (tenure-track and non-tenure track) across all career stages in the areas of teaching, research/creative activity, outreach/service, and leadership. Graduate students are encouraged to take part in CFE offerings.

Professional Organizations: Here is a 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement

MSU Office of Student Engagement (OSE): The Office of Student Engagement posts numerous community engagement opportunities throughout the year.

MSU Extension: MSU Extension agents and subject matter experts serve local needs in 56 counties and 7 reservations with one mission: to improve the lives of Montana citizens by providing unbiased, research-based education and information that integrates learning, discovery and engagement to strengthen the social, economic and environmental well-being of individuals, families and communities.

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD): MSU has invested in an institutional membership with the NCFDD. An account is needed to access NCFDD programming, and is free for MSU graduate students. Visit the NCFDD information page for more information on what is included in your free membership and to learn how to sign up.

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

The Science Math Resource Center (SMRC): The Science Math Resource Center (SMRC) is devoted to the advancement of science and mathematics teaching and learning. We provide professional development for a new generation of K-12 educators of tribal, rural, and urban communities; conduct educational research; and coordinate the statewide annual Science Olympiad that is held at Montana State University in Bozeman.

Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS): The purpose of ARIS is to advance impacts of research for the betterment of society and the expansion of research. They elevate research impact by providing high-quality resources and professional development opportunities and by creating connections among researchers, community partners, and engagement practitioners. See the ARIS guiding principles here.

Museum of the Rockies: The Museum of the Rockies is a standout institution in the field of natural history museums. They offer many ways to get involved with programming.

Scholarship & Innovation

Scholarship & Innovation

Funding and Fellowships for Grad Students: The Graduate School is dedicated to helping students secure funding and/or fellowships during their time spent at MSU.

MSU Library Research and Technology Resources: The MSU Library offers an abundance of resources for data, articles, research, and technology.

MSU Blackstone LaunchPad: The Blackstone LaunchPad is a non-profit campus resource for students, alumni, and faculty interested in business and entrepreneurship. We work with established businesses and fledgling entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life and grow their businesses.

MSU Technology Transfer Office (TTO): The mission of the Technology Transfer Office at Montana State University is to commercialize MSU innovations, spur entrepreneurship based on MSU technology, and provide a gateway for industry partners to access MSU technologies and capabilities.

MSU Statistical Consulting and Research Services (SCRS): Welcome to Statistical Consulting and Research Services (SCRS - pronounced "scissors")! If resources allow, we offer statistical consultation to MSU students and faculty, as well as non-affiliates. We offer assistance and collaboration through the entire research process, including general discussions regarding the role of statistical inference in your research.

MSU Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP): The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) engages in the project life cycle from proposal submission to the close-out of a grant or award.

MSU Office of Research Compliance (ORC): The Office of Research Compliance (ORC) oversees University programs to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations for research. ORC creates and supports an environment that furthers the ethical and responsible conduct of research.

MSU IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE):Montana INBRE is a statewide network of Ph.D.-granting institutions, baccalaureate schools, and community and tribal colleges that invests in Montana's biomedical research capacity and workforce pipeline.

MSU Center for American Indian and Rural Health Equity (CAIRHE): As a research center for the people of Montana, CAIRHE epitomizes the service mission of our state's land-grant university. Our investigators and their partners work diligently in Montana’s rural communities and on tribal lands to design health equity research and health interventions that improve quality of life and, ultimately, save lives.

Science Talk Annual Conference: Do you have engaging science communication projects, research, best-practices, or science art you’d like to share and/or see? Join us and present at a dynamic, hybrid science communication conference. You can participate in the Science Talk Annual Conference from anywhere in the world. Here’s your chance to share your work with other science communication practitioners, facilitators, and professionals.

Time Management Tips (PDF): Counseling and Psychological Services provides a handout about time management. Although it was written during COVID, these tips are still applicable today.