Leadership and Management

Fellows' Career Development

Leadership and Management

Leadership and Management

Fellows' Career Development

NIEHS and NIH provide trainees with workshops and resources to prepare them for leadership and management roles and to help them thrive in a team environment. Below, you will find examples of past workshops focused on helping trainees develop competence in leadership and management.

Management Boot Camp

A 2-day workshop offered every other year at the NIEHS campus by NIH OITE.

Management of people and resources is a key component to being successful as you move forward in your career. The OITE has developed an intense course to give advanced postdocs and fellows an overview of common management concepts that are not often taught in a research environment. The topics covered will be applicable to all sectors (academics, industry, non-profits, government, etc.).

Course Schedule:

Unit 1: Managing you

  • Transitioning to a management role
  • Introduction to emotional intelligence
  • Time management
  • Learning concepts: This session will encourage participants to assess how they interact with people, the environment, and projects to effectively manage workflows.

Unit 2: Managing staffing

  • Hiring and interviewing

Unit 3: Managing Interpersonal Interactions

  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Conflict management and resolution
  • Difficult conversations
  • Learning concepts: Effectively managing your interactions with others will help you build stronger relationships in the workplace and prevent the conflict that can undermine them. Among the most critical skills are the ability to give feedback clearly and tactfully; listen and respond to feedback from others; analyze and address conflict in the workplace; and prepare for and engage in difficult conversations. Thoughtful development and application of these skills will serve you whether you are talking to an employee on your team, a peer, or a member of leadership.

Unit 4: Managing the team

  • Motivating your staff
  • Planning ahead
  • Dealing with setbacks
  • Learning concepts: Motivating a staff means knowing how to communicate project goals and expectations. This session will define strategies to motivate staff and what to do when setbacks occur.

Conflict Resolution and Reduction: A Primer for Meeting Needs and Preserving Relationships

Speaker: Dr. Karen Peterson, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

This interactive workshop will include lecture, small group discussion, and larger group discussion. The topics that will be covered include:

  • The causes of conflict, which centers on human needs that are not being addressed
  • Different styles of dealing with conflict, including briefly covering the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Styles and small group discussions to compare and contrast the audience’s styles
  • A model process for getting to the root cause of a conflict to help resolve it. This process includes reframing the issue to take away emotions that get in the way of moving forward, techniques that reduce defensiveness and make it safe to talk about sensitive issues, discovering the interests that lie at the heart of the conflict, brainstorming options to resolve the conflict, and assessing and choosing the best option
  • A discussion about how to manage emotions that can get in the way of resolving conflict, including how we end up feeling those emotions to begin with and how to break the cycle of emotions that can complicate conflict
  • Special cases of difficult people and how to deal with them, especially focusing on narcissism, which is often the root of truly difficult behavior in an academic setting

Transitioning Successfully from Postdoc to Independent Positions

A 2-day workshop offered by NIGMS, which featured talks by leading scientists on how to transit from trainee into leading and management role of an independent investigator. Find archived videos of the presentations.

Examples of Leadership Opportunities

  • Chair of NIEHS Trainees’ Assembly (NTA): The Chair and Co-Chair positions are instrumental in helping influence the direction of training at NIEHS. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase and develop leadership skills and experience. This leadership opportunity can help set you apart from other candidates when applying for jobs in the future. 
  • Chair of NIEHS Career Symposium: As one of two Co-Chairs of the Career Symposium Planning Committee, you are going to lead a team of about 20 committee members to develop and organize one of the most popular symposiums for scientific professional development in Research Triangle Park (RTP). You will have plentiful opportunities to improve your leadership and management skills, including determining the agenda, selecting and inviting speakers, and making logistic arrangements for accommodating more than 400 participants.
  • Chair of ELITE Consortium: The leaders of the Enhancing Local Industry Transitions through Exploration (ELITE) consortium will organize visits to local biomedical industry firms. It’s also a great opportunity to practice networking and communication skills.
  • Host of Brown Bag Lunch (BBL) Career Series: Being a host for the BLL Career Series is a great opportunity to meet and network with local professionals in different careers.
  • NTA Steering Committee Liaison Positions: The liaisons serve as communication channels between the NTA members and NIEHS as a whole. Example positions: Website Development, Social Chair, NIEHS Newsletter (Environmental Factor) Liaison, etc.