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Academic Communication for Postdocs

Academic Communication for Postdocs offers postdoctoral scholars and researchers opportunities to practice academic communication skills to make the most of their postdoctoral experience at Vanderbilt University. This highly interactive course is designed to help participants with an intermediate to advanced level of spoken English communicate more effectively in academic and professional settings. Students will also learn about expectations for postdocs, cross-cultural considerations, and navigating professional relationships. Throughout the course, students will receive feedback on assignments in class and in individual meetings with the instructor.

Activities include:

  • practice making small talk with colleagues
  • practice joining and facilitating group discussions
  • planning and delivering job talks
  • preparing and delivering research presentations 
  • discussing research with different types of audiences
  • strategies for adapting to U.S. academic communication styles

Course Objectives:

  • Increasing comprehensibility, fluency, and accuracy 
  • Improving academic speaking skills 
  • Improving informal speaking skills 
  • Developing techniques for use in professional interactions 
  • Developing conversational skills for discussing research 
  • Improving pronunciation 
  • Improving listening skills 


For more information regarding course content, please contact:

Jim Cracraft, Associate Director, English Language Center
Tel: +1 (615) 322-0247

For more information regarding eligibility, please contact:

Faith Bishop, Associate Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
Tel: +1 (615)-343-7309