career-development - National Postdoctoral Association

Postdoctoral Career Development:
Gather Your Building Blocks for Success
Presented by
Kristin Walters, Ph.D. & Jennifer Hobbs, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Associates
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Workshop Objectives
• To demonstrate simple and basic methods for a
successful career development program
• To determine how to find and invite valuable and
motivating speakers
• To highlight ideas for establishing a cost effective career
development program
• To identify the career resources for postdoctoral career
Workshop Outline
• Initiation and development of a career development
• Implementation of a career development program
• Small group discussion
Time to show you how we used basic steps
and resources to build a
Career Development program
Survey your Postdoc Population
• Create a postdoctoral survey at your
• Suggested question topics:
– Top career goals
– Interest in government, industry, academia
– Interest/timing of participation (Monthly? Afternoons?)
– Type of training events desired (interviewing skills,
panel discussions, seminars, etc.)
St. Jude Postdoctoral Survey
• The Postdoctoral Association Council of St.
Jude distributes an annual survey to the
postdoctoral population.
– Online to improve response rates (via
– Topics cover entire postdoctoral experience
– Career Development questions cover career
goals, learning preferences, opportunities for
Compilation and Analysis of Results
• Compile the results
• Analyzed to determine interests and needs:
– General career goals
– Years as a postdoc
– Age
– Gender
Postdoctoral Survey Results
• Postdoctoral Association Annual Meeting
– All postdoctoral fellows are invited to attend
– Presentation of survey results
– Discussion of results
– Open forum for suggestions
Sample Questions
• Which option below best fits your current career
goal? Please check all that apply.
• Are you aware of the current employment trends
for Ph.D. and/or M.D. level scientists?
• How many career development events did you
attend over the past year?
Sample Questions
• Below is a list of past Career Development
events. Please rank the top 5 events that you
found to be the most informative and helpful.
• How would you like assistance in reaching your
career goals?
• From which career development forums do you
believe you receive the most benefits?
Some Additional Considerations
Get support from current faculty and staff
Look to postdoctoral alumni for participation
in career development events
Organized access to alumni and networking
Career Development Series
• Compile a list of the top results from the
survey and annual meeting
• Develop a plan incorporating the survey
• Most requested events
Grant writing seminars & workshops
Industry speakers
Professional Development Plan (IDPs)
Job fair
Consult Additional Resources
• Past Career Development events at St. Jude
• NPA Core Competencies
Scientific Skills
Research Skills
Communication Skills
Leadership & Management
Responsible Conduct of Research
• NIH Postdoctoral Career Development
• UAB Industry Roundtable
Review of topical list
• Establish a committee of Faculty Members
and Postdoctoral Fellows to review the
topical list
• Utilize this committee to generate specific
speaker ideas
• Determine your budget
• With budget in mind, begin compiling a
specific list of possible speakers
– Travel costs
– Honorariums
– Free local speakers
No matter the budget, it is possible to put on a fantastic
career development series!
Step-by-Step Approach to Scheduling
Workshops and Seminars
Design a Schedule
Speaker Invitations
Workshop/Seminar Preparations
Carry Out Workshop/Seminar
Designing a Schedule
• Plan Ahead and Start Early!
• Consider a list of topics and speakers
• Search for local contacts, institutional contacts, former
postdocs, friends and family
• Consider speakers from the NPA or scientific meetings
• Consider dates and times
• Compile all information onto a calendar of approved
Inviting Speakers
• Start Early!
– Divided year into 6 month blocks
– Invitation cycle begin 2 months prior to first event in a 6 month
– Start with local speakers for early events, distance speakers for
later events
• Initiate speaker correspondence via acquaintance of the
– Utilize PI and postdoc to gauge speaker’s interest in participating
Inviting Speakers
• Develop a format letter that can be easily adapted
• All correspondence should explain:
Institutional description and location
Seminar series goals
Topic of the event
Suggested goals and structure of the event
Possible dates for participation
• Provide deadline for agreeing to participate
• Provide deadline for submission of handout materials
• Solicit any additional requests
Preparing for the Workshop or Seminar
• Arrange for space and A/V setup well in advance
• E-mail and post online a full list of event information
• Complete all arrangements for the speaker’s arrival and
presentation early
• Seminars- Request handout or presentation materials
from speaker (Deadline: 1 week prior to event)
• Send e-mail reminders to postdocs 1 week prior to event
– Utilization of Outlook Meeting Requests
• Advertise on campus
• Send e-mail reminders that day
Carrying out the Workshop or Seminar
• Place sign-in sheets and copies of handout materials or
speaker’s presentation at entrance
• Be prepared with speaker introduction and extra
questions to ask the speaker at the end of the event
• Allow for time after the event for direct interaction
between the attendees and the speaker
Follow-Up: Thank You to Speakers and
Event Evaluations
• Send thank you note or e-mail to speaker
• Post or distribute handouts and/or presentation
• Send 8-10 question evaluation to all attendees (Free via
• Make note of changes for a repeat of the event
• Evaluate whether this event should be repeated and
timing of repetition
St. Jude Career Development Seminars (2008-2010)
• Monthly seminars (2008-2009)
• Two seminars per month (2009-2010)
• Postdoctoral Professional Development Event (2007-2010)
1-3 weeks each March
Poster session
Oral presentations
Career development guest speakers
Scientific seminars
St. Jude Career Development Seminars (2008-2010)
Understanding VISAs
Presenting Your Best Self
Networking/Information Interviewing
Professional Networking for Career Advancement
Strategies for Balancing Your Work and Your Life
Demystifying the Faculty Job Search Process
Mentoring Roundtable
Teaching at Rhodes College: A Panel Discussion
My Road to Becoming a Medical Science Liaison
NIH Career Development Awards (K-Series Grants)
NIH Career Development Awards (F32 Grants)
Careers in Technology Transfer
Postdoctoral Funding No U.S. Citizenship Required!
Career Paths in Biotech: The Children’s GMP (Good
Manufacturing Practice Facility)
Beyond the Bench: Exploring Careers in Scientific
Awesome Abstracts and Polished Posters
Individual Development Plan Workshop
Alternative Careers in Science: Panel Discussion
Recruiting 101: A Look at the Recruiting Industry
Written Aspects of a Faculty Job Application
Maximizing your Productivity: Time Management Skills
Setting Up a New Lab: The Postdoc to PI Transition
Networking to Advance your Career
Making the Transition to your Next Career
The NIH Loan Repayment Programs
Getting Your Research Published - Surviving the Reviewers
Let’s Talk - Scientific Seminars
How to Survive and Succeed in Academia
Networking for Your Career
Grantsmanship Series - Small Research (R03) and
Exploratory/Developmental (R21) Grants
Grantsmanship Series - The Anatomy and Physiology of a
Grant Application
Let’s Talk - Chalk Talks
Funding opportunities for Non-U.S. citizens
U.S. Immigration Q & A for Post Docs: Work Permission
Considerations When Changing Employers
An Introduction to NIH F32 Awards
Pathways to Permanent U.S. Residency
Teaching at a Liberal Arts College: The Rhodes College
Women in Science Discussion: Finding a Balance Between
Life and a Career in Science
Putting Your Science to Work
Grant Writing Workshop
Other Career Development Resources
Training events offered by the NIH
NPA Resources (Topics & Speakers)
NPA Core Competencies
FASEB Career Resources & Information
Training events offered by the Medical College of Wisconsin
AAAS/Science Resources
Postdoctoral Career Development:
Gather Your Building Blocks for Success
Presented by
[email protected]
[email protected]
Postdoctoral Research Associates
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital