B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, 2005 email@example.com
• B.S. Cell and Molecular Biology, 2005
• July 2006 – November 2007: Research Technician at the
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
• February – May 2008: Contract Research Associate at
• May 2008 – March 2011: Staff Biologist at Sirna
• March 2011 – Present: Research Associate at Clovis
• …begins before you graduate
• Graduate school
– Masters degree/certificate programs
– PhD and/or MD
– non-CMB advanced degrees
• Research in academia
– DFCI, MD Anderson, MSKCC, etc.
• Contract positions
– Aerotek, Kelly, LabPros, etc.
• Masters programs
– M.S. considered 2 years of work experience
– Non-research programs
• Business, law, marketing, management, etc.
• Patent agent, clinical research associate, quality assurance, forensic science, etc.
• PhD programs
– Recommend a gap year
– Necessary to shatter glass ceiling for “research” positions
• Medical School
– Flexibility to do research and/or practice medicine
• Focus on institutions with many research labs:
– Long hours and low pay, but invaluable and extremely rewarding experience
• can bolster grad school and job applications
• Kelly Scientific, Aerotek, LabPros Inc.
– Easiest way to get an interview in industry
– No benefits, hourly pay
– Contracts are typically 6-12 months
– NOT IN THE MIDWEST!
• Foot-in-the-door approach to a full-time position
• Internships at Merck, Eli Lily, Genentech, etc.
• Without a PhD, you need to be local to interview
– using a relative or friend’s address improves likelihood of interview
Which research setting is right for me?
• Less resources/pay
• Best job security
• More intellectual freedom
• Greater opportunity for publications
• Lots of money and fancy equipment
• Highly compartmentalized and bureaucratic
• Poor job security
• Defined career path
• You need to be around a job to get a job
– Biotech hubs = SF Bay, Boston, San Diego
• Duplex your job search
– Register with a contract agency while applying on your own
• Find jobs:
– Indeed.com > Monster.com
– Individual company websites
• Biospace.com lists all biotech/pharma companies within a given state
• Follow-up one week after applying
• Need to clear the HR hurdle
• A CV is always better than a resume
– Formatting matters!
– Be concise on the first page, descriptive on the following pages
– Word, PDF, and plain text formats
• Cover letters
– Unless specifically noted, always include
– Personalize the first paragraph, but the rest can be templated to make life easier
• Microsoft Excel
• Basic image editing
– Photoshop or Gimp
• Time and data management
– Lab notebooks
– Effective multitasking
• People skills
– Vendor relations, data communication
– Ability to ask for help when lost
• RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!
– Competitors, recent news, staff history,
• Express willingness to learn
• Interviews are a two-way road
• Ask tough questions
– Status of clinical trials?
– Contingency plans for failures?
– Opportunities for publications/presentations?
– Career advancement track?
• Confusion is normal, and you’re going to screw up many, many times
• Research doesn’t follow a 9-5 schedule, but don’t work yourself to death
• Take advantage of every opportunity to present your work
• Expose yourself to other facets of the industry
• Don’t be afraid to leverage the resources offered
• Network as much as possible
• Details on my job at Clovis?
• The future of cancer therapy?
• Emerging fields in biotech?
• Which skills are most valuable?
• Tips on surviving the CMB curriculum?