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Workshop Descriptions

24th Annual NIEHS Biomedical Career Symposium

Overview of the Industry Landscape

Lori Conlan

Lori M. Conlan 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.

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.

Careers at the Bench

Are you interested in doing research at the bench, but do not want a tenure-track academic position? Do you want to pursue your passion for research without the stress and pressure of writing grants? A multitude of job opportunities exist in the government, industry, and academic sectors for laboratory scientists outside of the traditional principal investigator route. Please join this panel to hear from professionals who are performing unique types of benchwork in different research settings. During this panel, you will learn about the day-to-day life of a bench scientist and how to cultivate practical skills for pursuing and succeeding in your future career.

Transitioning to Non-bench Careers in Regulatory Science

Opportunities in regulatory science exist across government, academia, and private industry, and offer versatile options for rewarding non-bench scientific careers. Work in this field is critical for taking innovative science to market as well as ensuring that product safety and legal requirements are met. The panelists in this session have found careers in different facets of regulatory science. They will discuss what it was like to transition into their positions, as well as how to prepare for and succeed in these essential careers.

Science Communication

While the implications of scientific discovery begin in the lab, much of the lives they take on are guided by how clearly they are communicated to non-experts. Science communicators are at the leading edge of public-facing science that can lead to bettering daily life, more effective regulations, technological innovation, inspiring wonder, and so much more. Do you find yourself passionate about learning and sharing – even across disciplines? Did you know science communication is a science itself? Join our panel to meet experts who continue to master their field by bridging the knowledge gap between experts and the general public (including experts in other scientific fields). At this panel we’ll explore the role of scientists as science communicators, the importance of communicating effectively, and how our panelists have fostered a career imbuing greater meaning to scientific research pursuits.

Preparing for Advanced Degrees

Advanced degree preparation can be daunting. This session’s panelists will help answer questions, such as: what can you do as a college student or a post-bac to prepare for entrance to an M.D., Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D., or D.V.M. program? What are important factors to consider when choosing a program? And what are strategies to help manage stress both as an applicant and as a student? If you’re preparing for an advanced degree in the future, join this session for some guidance to help you through the process!

Leading a Lab in Academia, Government, and Industry

A career as a principal investigator, or head of a laboratory, is attractive to many scientists, as it often allows one to freely pursue their own ideas and interests. Such positions exist not only in academic institutions, but also in government and in the private sector. This panel discussion will give you the opportunity to hear different perspectives on what it is like to transition from being a member of a laboratory to running a laboratory in different settings and with different end goals. This panel will also discuss the challenges of mentoring and group management.

Careers in Data Science and Informatics

In an increasingly data driven and “big data” world, job opportunities for individuals interested in data analysis through programming, bioinformatics, algorithm development, and everything in-between are booming! With such an increase, though, it can be challenging to figure out which will be best for you: academia, government, non-profit, industry? Even within the private sector, would working for a contract research organization be a good fit for you? How much intellectual freedom does one really have in industry, anyway? This panel discussion will give you the opportunity to speak with data scientists from different sectors and a variety of career backgrounds to learn about career possibilities and challenges within the broad realm of data science and informatics.

Networking: How to Build Professional Relationships for Long-term Career Success

Dara Wilson-Grant

Dara Wilson-Grant is the Associate Director of Postdoctoral Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill and the owner of Careers in Bloom. Dara helps graduate students and postdocs develop the tools and confidence they need to navigate through the uncertainty and formulate a plan for personal and professional success. The world of work and how we navigate our professional lives have changed significantly due to the pandemic. However, networking remains one of the most effective approaches to getting your career on the fast track. It can help to inform your next steps, expand your connections and influence and enhance your professional reputation. This informative session will show you techniques for effective and tactful networking in this post-pandemic era. Participants will leave this session with a networking action plan that can be implement immediately.

Careers in Clinical Research and Data Management

Are you interested in applying genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics to investigate the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disease? Clinical research incorporates participants genetic variability into the discovery of novel diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic approaches. This panel features clinicians, scientists in academia, and scientists in industry explaining what research looks like in this rapidly expanding, translational field.

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