CAFE Graduate Student and Post-Doctoral Mentoring Resources

Plant and Soil Sciences professor Dave Van Sanford works with a graduate student

A mentor is an experienced person at a university who provides training, counseling, support and wisdom to students. Studies indicate that graduate students who are mentored effectively are more productive and more successful as students and in their subsequent professional careers. The University of Kentucky and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (CAFE) offer resources for graduate student and postdoctoral mentoring, including a series of mentoring seminars.

Upcoming Events

UK Commercialization Workshop Series

The series will provide information on the fundamentals of the University of Kentucky’s intellectual property and commercialization process. These workshops are sponsored by the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship in the Gatton College of Business and Economics, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Who Should Attend?

UK faculty, clinicians, postdocs and graduate students with an interest in commercialization and entrepreneurship.

The three workshops in the series are scheduled for the following dates and location:

March 4: Intellectual Property, 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m., 127 Wethington Building. For details, click here (scroll down).

April 2: Commercialization Pathways, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., 127 Wethington Building.

April 21: Funding Opportunities, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., 127 Wethington Building.

Information Sessions on USDA Careers

Webinars will be offered on March 10, 11 and 31, and on April 1, 14 and 15. The same information will be provided on each date, and webinars will be recorded and captioned. Topics include An Overview of USDA, An Introduction to USDA Careers, Available Opportunities, Basic Qualifications and Application Process, and Mission Areas Presentations. Faculty and Career Services Staff, and Recent Graduates and Students who are U.S. Citizens or U.S. Residents should participate. For more information, click here.

Mentoring seminars, Fall Semester 2014

Archived presentations (PDF format):

Intellectual Property
Natasha Jones, Intellectual Property - University of Kentucky, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Development

The unbridled entrepreneurial spirit
Bruce Webb, UK Department of Entomology and ParaTechs founder

The grant budget and its justification
Kim Hall, UK CAFE Grants Officer

Building your online presence – do’s and don’ts
Anita Lee-Post, Gatton Business School, UK

Mentoring seminars, Fall Semester 2013

Archived presentations (PDF format):

Pulling your proposal together – the conceptual framework to filling in the forms
Joseph Chappell, Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Kentucky

Things to consider when designing a successful extension program
Rick Durham, Department of Horticulture, University of Kentucky

Roles and opportunities for expatriates in developing countries
Brent Rowell, Department of Horticulture, University of Kentucky

Mentoring resources for UK graduate students and postdocs

James W. Stuckert Career Center

408 Rose Street
Lexington, KY 40506
Phone: 859 257-2746
Fax: 859 323-1085

Any undergraduate student currently enrolled in a degree program at the University of Kentucky is eligible for unlimited use of career counseling services including individual appointments, mock interviews, workshops, on campus interviewing, Wildcat CareerLink and the use of the career resource library. 

Graduate students currently enrolled at the University of Kentucky are welcome to take advantage of our drop-in service referred to as Quick Career Consultations as well as any of our programming. We are not able to schedule individual appointments. If the graduate student happens to be a UK undergraduate alumnus, please contact Alumni Career Services. 

The Writing Center

The University of Kentucky Writing Center offers free help to all students, faculty, and staff. Center staff help with the process of composing and communicating in all media, including essays, reports, posters, visuals, websites, slide presentations, and videos. Staffed by graduate students and undergraduate peer consultants, the Center offers free individual and group consultations. We provide a supportive and confidential environment tailored to the needs of our clients.

Location: W.T. Young Library, Room B108B, in the Hub (lower level)

Research Support Programs

Internal Support Programs
• Research Support Grants
• Equipment Maintenance Program
• Summer Faculty Fellowships
• Arts & Humanities Grant Supplements
• University Research Professors
• University Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
• Lyman T. Johnson Postdoctoral Fellowship

Research Support Offices

Proposal Development Office (PDO)

• Provides proposal narrative on institutional resources (a.k.a. “boiler plate”)
• Critiques proposal narrative
• Advises on resubmission strategy
• Conducts grant-related workshops

The Proposal Development Office has several services for which ALL postdocs and graduate students should sign up. Job and grant proposal invitation alerts come to you directly by signing up for two different mailing lists. First, go to Under “Additional Resources” locate “Information for Students.” Click on this link and this will take you to the “Sponsored Programs Information Network (Click on SPIN),” which will allow you to register to receive funding alerts. You should also visit “Request a PDO Service” and register to receive “PDO Funding Alerts.” The staff at PDO provide “Proposal Review/Editing” services to allow you the get another pair of eyes on any proposal you might be contemplating submitting. There is also a calendar of “PDO Workshops” to which you should refer.

Office of Sponsored Projects Administration (OSPA)

• Assists with proposal budget preparation and guidelines
• Provides final proposal review, signature, transmittal
• Reviews contract and grant terms and conditions

Office of Research Integrity (ORI)