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Your Environment. Your Health.

Workshop Descriptions

23rd Annual NIEHS Biomedical Career Symposium

An Overview of the Industry Career Landscape

Lori Conlan

Lori Conlan, Ph.D. (Director, Office of Postdoctoral Services in the Office of Intramural Training and Education at the National Institutes of Health)

A key difference between industry and academia is that in industry you are expected to produce something of value to your company and the shareholders – this is the business side of science. A scientist with a doctorate degree can assume numerous roles in an industry setting, including technology management, business development, project management, marketing, technical sales, regulatory affairs, quality control, quality assurance, technical support, patents, financial analysis, human resource recruitment, medical science relationship building, clinical research management, and corporate communications. This session will highlight these career opportunities and provide insight into how to position yourself to be competitive for these jobs.

Dr. Lori M. Conlan is trained as a biochemist, receiving her B.S. in biochemistry from Michigan State University and her Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from Texas A&M University. She worked for several years as a postdoc at the Wadsworth Center, NYS Department of Health, before transitioning from the lab to focus on career issues for the next generation of scientists. Lori started as the director of the Science Alliance, an international career development program for graduate students and postdocs sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences. She now is at the NIH in the Office of Intramural Training & Education assisting the 4000 NIH postdocs in their personal career choices. Lori is the director of two offices, the Office of Postdoctoral Services and the NIH Career Services Center. She speaks at universities and institutions around the nation on career development topics for young scientists.

Successful Biotech and Pharma Interviewing: Tips From a Hiring Manager

Ted Benson

Ted Benson (Managing Partner, Corralling Chaos, LLC)

Job interviews can be high-stakes, intimidating, and stressful – or upbeat, fun, and affirming. This workshop will cover interviewing for roles in industry: business contexts, what to expect, how to prepare, and how to present yourself for maximum advantage. You will learn about behavioral, cultural, and team interviews; critical attributes hiring managers look for; how to answer tough questions; and how to foster a positive and productive conversation for both the interviewer and you. The session will be led by Ted Benson, a hiring manager with 20 years of experience at three biotech start-ups and three global biopharma corporations. Come join him for a fun, interactive session that will give you insights and practical techniques that you can put to use right away.

Ted Benson is a biotechnology and management consultant with 20 years of experience turning scientific ideas into biopharma growth and revenue. He successfully led a worldwide strategy team for cultural transformation at a global Fortune 500 company. Ted has closed over $3 million in contracts by driving business development and built & managed innovation groups across international companies. He co-authored over a dozen peer-reviewed scientific papers, and co-invented four patents. An innovator at three biotech start-ups and three large pharma companies, Ted is a proven problem-solver who coaches people and teams to deliver business-critical solutions.

How to Lead Yourself and Others Through Conflict

Roy Baroff

Roy Baroff, MS, JD (Faculty & Staff Ombuds at NC State University)

This session is focused on how you deal with conflict and connecting this with negotiation skills in the workplace. Roy Baroff, an experienced ombuds, mediator and attorney will help you explore your conflict styles, will give you some negotiation tips, and give you a chance to discuss some workplace scenarios. This will be an interactive session designed to get you thinking and to leave with some practical skills.

Roy Baroff obtained his JD from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Law and has experience as a professional mediator in and out of the legal system. He has worked at various law firms in the Triangle Area addressing various types of cases for over 10 years and has served as an adjunct professor at law schools in the area. Roy is currently at NC State as a Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner (since 2014) and has given numerous presentations and trainings on conflict leadership.

Leading and Managing a Research Group in Academia

Sharon Milgram

Sharon Milgram, PhD (Director of the Office of Intramural Training and Education at the National Institutes of Health)

This workshop will highlight skills for effectively managing a research group in academia, ranging from hiring and budgeting to managing commitments within the research institution. In addition, key leadership skills that will aid future principal investigators in managing different working styles and in improving communication with their research group will be discussed.

Dr. Sharon Milgram received her Ph.D. from Emory University in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy and completed her postdoctoral training at The Johns Hopkins University in the Neuroscience Department. Following her postdoctoral training, Dr. Milgram joined the faculty of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Dr. Milgram rose to the rank of Full Professor with Tenure in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, leading an active research program focused on the cell biology of polarized cells. Additionally, Dr. Milgram founded and advised the UNC Office of Postdoctoral Services and served on the advisory committee of the Sigma Xi National Postdoc Survey. In 2007, Dr. Milgram joined the NIH OITE (, an office dedicated to providing career counseling and professional development opportunities for trainees in the NIH intramural Research Program. The OITE coordinates trans-NIH training programs at all educational levels, including the Summer Internship Program, NIH Intramural Postbac Programs, the Graduate Partnership Program, the Undergraduate Scholarship Program, and NIH Intramural Postdoctoral Programs. Dr. Milgram lectures widely on STEM careers and has a passion for working with trainees at all educational levels.

Articulating Your Accomplishments: Tips for Navigating USAJOBS

Tammy Collins and Angela Davis

Tammy Collins, Ph.D. (Director of the Office of Fellows’ Career Development at the NIEHS) and Angela Davis (Lead Human Resources (HR) Specialist with the National Institutes of Health, Office of Human Resources, servicing the NIEHS)

When you sit down to write your resume, you probably spend a great deal of time thinking about your work and wondering how to present it to hiring managers. Simply stating that you served as a committee leader, or that you researched a given topic doesn’t convey the full impact and depth of your accomplishments. This workshop will provide you with a step-by-step guide to articulating your achievements, as well as tailoring your resume to a government job announcement. Participants will gain an understanding of how government job applications differ from those in other sectors, and they will leave feeling confident that they can create a high-impact job application for government positions.

Key Takeaways:

  1.  Understanding the nuts and bolts of applying for federal jobs.
  2. Learning how to federalize your resume.
  3. Understanding vacancy announcements.
  4. Conquering questionnaires.
  5. Learning a step-by-step framework for articulating achievements.

As Director of the Office of Fellows’ Career Development at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Dr. Tammy Collins creates and organizes professional career development and scientific training opportunities for the postdoctoral community, and she also serves in a wide variety of other capacities such as in policy implementation, strategic planning, conflict resolution, etc. She recently led a team to identify the career paths of NIEHS postdoctoral alumni spanning back 15 years, and published a new tool for both classifying and visualizing these careers in Nature Biotechnology. She hopes the new approach will help the broader community ‘speak the same language’ when reporting outcomes in order to facilitate meaningful institutional cross-comparisons. She also has a desire to learn more about factors that influence career decisions so that she can best advise those navigating into careers, and so that she can craft career programming that best addresses the needs of postdoctoral fellows. Her central mission is to ensure that others are equipped with the knowledge and skills to become successful and independent in their chosen career. Prior to transitioning into her current role, Tammy received her B.S. in Chemistry from Appalachian State University, and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Duke University. After a brief postdoc at Duke University, she joined NIEHS as a postdoc in 2009 where she developed her passion for working in the scientific career development field.

As a Lead Human Resources (HR) Specialist with the National Institutes of Health, Office of Human Resources, servicing the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Angela Davis provides a myriad of personnel management services such as recruitment and placement, position classification and management, compensation administration, and organizational design. She offers HR consultation to NIEHS staff on agency policies and procedures, makes recommendations for resolving sensitive staffing issues, and provides staffing information and data to management. In addition to providing the full spectrum of HR advisory services to highly complex and dynamic organizations, Angela leads the North Carolina HR staff by coordinating work assignments, delivering performance feedback, and training team members. Previously, she served as the HR Specialist for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in Rockville, MD.

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