The Professional Development Program offers graduate certificates in College Teaching, Mentoring & Leadership, Research Laboratory Management, and Research Communication. There are three levels of college teaching certificates through the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) at UAB: Associate—Category B, Practitioner—Category A, and Scholar—Category A. As the student progresses through the different levels of CIRTL, the major products completed include a teaching portfolio and teaching-as-research (TAR) project.

Mentoring & Leadership is a Category A graduate certificate focusing on building mentoring and leadership skill sets while creating mentoring and leadership philosophies. The major product of the M&L certificate program is a mentoring and leadership portfolio.

The Research Laboratory Management graduate certificate is a Category A graduate certificate that focuses on preparing those who are engaged in science-related research to effectively lead and manage all aspects of a scientificate laboratory.

The Research Communication Certificate is a Category A program focusing on helping graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and employees in science fields learn how to effectively communicate research to other scientists and non-scientists.

LEAD Leadership and Professional Development

The LEAD graduate certificate is designed to provide students with opportunities to master leadership and professional development competencies. The dynamic nature of today’s society and economy requires us all to think critically, communicate effectively, and transfer skills into multiple environments. LEAD facilitates learning and competencies required for academic, career, and personal success.

The dynamic and global nature of academia, business, healthcare, and other employment sectors require leaders who are able to develop solution oriented teams that are able to produce high quality outcomes. Now more than ever are industries seeking ethical and competent leaders who can navigate uncertainty while fostering productivity. LEAD requires students to master the skills industry leaders articulate as most important for career success and advancement..

LEAD at UAB offers world class educational experiences that are documented on an official transcript. In addition to gaining the skills and competencies needed to advance your career, at the conclusion of the LEAD graduate certificate program you will have earned 15 graduate school credit hours. As a regionally accredited institution, these credits may be applied to interdisciplinary degrees in accordance with institutional policies.*

Who will benefit from LEAD courses? • Anyone interested in improving upon their leadership skills. • Employees seeking career advancement, or transferable skills to maximize employment mobility in today’s dynamic economy. • Students preparing for admissions to graduate or professional school programs where leadership and team-work skills are expected. • Students preparing for entry into the workforce who want to stand out among their peers as the candidate with the most promise. • Professionals considering a graduate degree who want to gain practical skills associated with career advancement and quality of life. • Current UAB employees who are satisfied with their environment and wish to apply an institutional benefit that supports continued academic learning.

For more information, contact Dr. Lisa Kerr, Assistant Dean of OPSEL and Director, LEAD Leadership and Professional Development Certificate Program at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Research Laboratory Management

The Professional Development Program presents a brand new Category A certificate in Research Laboratory Management. Directed by Dr. Lisa Schwiebert, this certificate is designed to prepare graduate students, postdocotral fellows, and staff who are engaged in science-related research to effectively lead and manage all aspects of a scientific laboratory.

Courses include the following: Research Lab Management; Management and Organization; Managing and Leading Teams; Introduction to Regulatory Compliance; Research Lab Safety

Upon satisfactory completion of courses, the certificate will be awarded on the student's official tanscripts.

For more information, please contact Dr. Lisa Schwiebert This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Certificate in Research Laboratory Management

(total 15 credit hours: 9 required/core + 6 elective)

Required/Core   Credit Hours
GRD 711 Research Lab Management 3 hr
MBA 631 MBA 631 Management and Organization 3 hr
GRD 706 Grants and Fellowships 1 hr
GRD 774 Introduction to Regulatory Compliance 1 hr
GRD 775 Research Lab Safety 1 hr
Electives Choose 6 credit hours in total  
MBA 601 Accounting and Finance 3 hr
MBA 681 From Idea to IPO 3 hr
GRD 701 Presentation and Discussion Skills 3 hr
GRD 719 Introduction to Mentoring and Leadership 3 hr
GRD 745 Communication and Diversity Leadership 3 hr
GRD 727 Writing and Reviewing Research 3 hr

CIRTL College Teaching

Learn about the requirements for the College Teaching Certificate on the CIRTL website.

Mentoring & Leadership

The goal of the Mentoring and Leadership Category A certificate is to help students build strong mentoring and leadership skills while exploring the meaning of what it takes to be a mentoring leader.

Whether or not you aspire to be a leader and/or mentor, understanding leadership and mentoring skills will help you become a better member of any team you join.

Some courses taken for this program and some courses can simultaneously count toward other certificates, such as Research Communication, CIRTL College Teaching, and Research Laboratory Management.

Instructional delivery includes both face-to-face and online options. Students must satisfactorally complete a total of 15 credit hours to receive a level-A certificate and credit on their transcripts.

For more information, contact Dr. Kellie Carter, Director, Mentoring and Leadership Certificate Program at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Research Communication

The Professional Development Program presents an exciting new development: the Research Communication Certificate (formerly a “Category B” certification) has been awarded the “Category A” certification. This certificate will be named on completors’ transcripts, and an official certificate will be awarded upon completion.

The Research Communication Certificate will now require 15 hours of approved coursework in areas such as academic writing, presentation and discussion skills, grant writing, writing for a broad audience, developing a research communication portfolio, and more. Students currently enrolled in the Research Communication certificate will now need to complete 15 hours in order to fulfill the requirements of the certificate.

The goal of the Research Communication certificate has always been to help students gain the skills needed to communicate complex research to both academic and lay audiences. We hope you will join us as the certification expands to fill the needs of those working tirelessly to keep the public informed with critical scientific and humanities-based scholarship--scholarship that very much affects and shapes our world.

Any graduate student, post-doctoral fellow, or UAB employee with a bachelor’s degree can enroll in this program. There are no prerequisites required, and courses can simultaneously count toward other certificates, such as the Mentoring and Leadership and CIRTL certificates, which are both OPSEL offerings.

For more information, please contact Dr. Sarah Creel, Senior Academic Writing Instructor.

View the Research Communication Certificate Curriculum.

To apply for the Graduate Certificate in Research Communication:

  1. Fill out the online application for admission into The Graduate School (not required of current graduate students).
  2. Once you’re accepted, complete an “Intent to Pursue a Professional Development Certificate” online form.

Have questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today!