Environmental Factor

Environmental Factor

Your Online Source for NIEHS News

August 2017

Creative webpage redesign sparks interest among NIEHS fellows

The NIEHS Office of Fellows’ Career Development (OFCD) recently updated its webpages. OFCD Director Tammy Collins, Ph.D., along with program manager and data analyst, Hong Xu, provided pertinent career information in an easy-to-use format.

"We really want to put a public face on all the opportunities available at NIEHS, so that past, present, and future fellows have one central place to go to for information," Collins said.

The new redesign is easily accessible from other NIEHS webpages, making navigation intuitive. In addition, the webpages are mobile–friendly, meaning they are as usable on a tablet or smart-phone as they are on a desktop computer screen.

"It's easy to navigate, and there is a lot of information there," said Joanne Damborsky, Ph.D., an Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) Fellow in the NIEHS Ion Channel Physiology Group.

Bringing it all together

The new web design was the work of a small group of individuals. Collins and Xu drafted and approved text. Chad Osterlund, Ph.D., a former trainee who workied with OFCD, organized the content. A team of contractors, led by NIEHS Digital Design Manager Joseph Poccia, produced mock-ups of the webpages.

Tina Berger was the lead contractor on the project. “During the design and development of the new OFCD site, we worked to create an experience that was unique and user friendly, to help fellows find information easily regardless of whether their device was mobile or desktop,” she said.

The website will be useful during bi-annual new fellow orientations, with content on the pages replacing multiple printed documents. In the future, the team plans to expand the website to include alumni career outcomes, job application templates, counseling information, and pages specific to international fellows.

Katharine McCann, Ph.D., president of the NIEHS Trainees Assembly, had only positive things to say about the site. "The new website is an all-encompassing resource that really highlights all of the training and career development opportunities for postdocs at the NIEHS," McCann said. "By making things more visible and user-friendly, the website puts a spotlight on the amazing postdoc training environment at NIEHS."

(Simone Otto, Ph.D., is an IRTA Fellow in the Ion Channel Physiology Group at NIEHS.)


Highlighting trainee opportunities

The new redesign has three main categories: Career Development; Involvement, Awards, and Grants; and Working at NIEHS. Each section contains content on additional pages. The Career Development page links to individual development plans and highlights how to obtain career counseling. The Workshops and Training Courses page showcases how the training environment at NIEHS focuses on teaching and mentoring, leadership and management, communication and career readiness.

The Involvement, Awards, and Grants page highlights many of the opportunities available at NIEHS, such as the Career Symposium Planning Committee, the NIEHS Trainees Assembly, and the Enhancing Local Industry Transitions Through Exploration (ELITE) Consortium. Another page details the awards and grants available at NIEHS, while another recognizes past award recipients, guides applicants on the grant writing process, and lists potential funding sources.

The most visited content on the website is the Relocation page, found under the Working at NIEHS tab. Specifically, the "Moving to RTP" pdf gets the most traffic and includes information prospective fellows need to know before coming to the institute. Because the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area of North Carolina consistently ranks in the top 10 of the best places to live in the U.S., the Relocation page may continue to be the most popular on the OFCD site.

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