Career and Professional Development Writing Retreat

This program is not currently scheduled

However, you can find resources like slides and recordings under Materials at the bottom of this page. To get announcements when this program is offered next, sign up to the OCPD listserv and be sure to open emails from "UCSF Office of Career and Professional Development"

Can't make it on June 12? We'll be offering another retreat on August 7.


We know that writing can be challenging for scientists, especially when you’re writing something non-scientific. But we also know there are certain things that every scientist needs to write at some point – like a personal bio, a cover letter or résumé, a conference proposal, or a teaching statement.  

Writing in community, rather than in isolation, can help make this process a little less painful – and maybe even a bit fun. That’s why we hope you’ll bring your friends to this writing retreat.

We’ll provide you with a work station, outlets, lunch, coffee, snacks, stickers, and a consultation room where you can come to get help from OCPD staff if you hit a roadblock. All you need to bring is your laptop, charger, and a writing project you’d like to work on.

While we’ll provide a few pointers and resources to kick off the day, this event is not a workshop. Instead, we want to provide a supportive environment for you to make progress on a writing goal that’s important to you. Come for a single 45-minute writing “sprint,” or stay for the full retreat. We hope to see you there!


  • 10 - 10:30 a.m.: Orientation and get set-up
  • 10:30 - 11:15 a.m.: Writing sprint #1
  • Stretch break (15 min)
  • 11:30 - 12:15: Writing sprint #2
  • Lunch provided (30 min)
  • 12:45 - 1:30 p.m.: Writing sprint #3
  • Stretch break (15 min) with coffee and pastries available 1:30 - 3 p.m.
  • 1:45 - 2:30 p.m.: Writing sprint #4
  • 2:30 - 3 p.m.: Finish up and pat yourself on the back!


Is this a workshop? Nope! This retreat is a space for heads-down time to write. That said, you can pop into the consultation room anytime if you have questions!  

How long do I need to stay? You can register for as many or few of the 45-minute writing sprints as you like. Space is limited, so we ask that you register only for the sessions you plan to attend.  

What if I don’t know how to write a resume/cover letter/teaching statement? This is a great place to start figuring it out! We’ll orient you to where to find the OCPD’s sample documents at the beginning of the day, and you can pop into our consultation room any time for more info. Or if you’d prefer to learn in a workshop setting, subscribe to our listserv to be alerted when we’re offering lunch and learns on these topics.

Will it be quiet? Yes! We’ll be keeping our writing room quiet during each of the 45-minute "sprints,” with breaks in between for stretching and snacks.

Can I get feedback? Participants can come to the consultation room anytime during the retreat for drop-in questions about career and professional development-related documents, such as resumes, cover letters, teaching statements, and LinkedIn profiles. The consultation room will be a small-group or semi-private environment. If you’d prefer a private 1:1 appointment, you can make one with us anytime.

What can I work on? You’re welcome to use this retreat to work on any project that would benefit from some dedicated heads-down time. We especially encourage you to bring any projects that are hard to find time for in your regular day-to-day work.  

Can postdocs attend? Yes! This writing retreat is open to all graduate students and postdocs.

A note about our virtual events: We would like to welcome you, as and where you are, to our virtual events. If there are times you just don’t want to be on camera, feel free to attend this event with your camera and mic off. If you prefer to switch on your camera and participate that’s great too. And if this event just won’t work for you please remember you can always make an appointment with us at any time. 

UCSF is committed to making its facilities, activities and events accessible. To request accommodations for this event, please contact Trish McGrath ([email protected]) at the Office of Career and Professional Development at least one week before the event.