Both academic and non-academic employers seek transferable skills beyond the technical skills acquired in the laboratory. Some examples include: teamwork, effective communication and strong leadership. It is important to translate your experiences to a variety of audiences.
Here are some questions that can assist you when thinking about future training you may need:
- Can you describe your research in a dynamic way to someone who may not have a science background?
- Are you willing to tackle novel projects in which you have a limited background?
- Do you know how to motivate others to accomplish a specific goal?
Annual GPS-BIOMED Elevator Pitch Competition, led by Bri McWhorter. An elevator pitch is an informal speech delivered by you to another person in a professional or social situation. Many employers and professionals often ask you to “tell me about yourself” and having a prepared elevator pitch is a useful way to introduce yourself and market your unique abilities. The pitch is about you—but specifically about the key things that make you “stand out” from other people. The annual GPS-BIOMED pitch series is intended to help you craft an engaging elevator pitch and deliver that pitch confidently.
Science Communication Skills (Mol Bio 270) Offered each Spring Quarter and taught by Sandra Tsing Loh, well-known author, actress and host of the NPR podcast: Loh Down on Science. Grad students and postdocs are taught how to engage and inform the audience in few words, avoid jargon, and project in a professional manner. The course culminates in TED-style talks performed by each participant! Check out our TED-style talks here: GPS-BIOMED on YouTube!
University Extension, UCI’s branch of Continuing Education, offers GPS-BIOMED members who have accumulated 5 PD credits free enrollment in a variety of courses. Relevant courses focused on Regulatory Affairs, Medical Product Development and Organizational Leadership maybe of high interest to our members. Most of the courses are offered online, so scheduling is convenient for busy grad students and postdocs and can be completed outside of regular lab hours.
Popular Extension courses include:
- Regulatory Requirements for Pharmaceutical or Medical Device Products
- Medical Product Lifecycle Management
- Fundamentals of Clinical Trials
- Fundamentals of Project Management
- Introduction to Data Science
The Business of Science – Applying the Scientific Method to Succeed in Industry: During the summer GPS-BIOMED members along with fellow grad students and postdocs from Southern California Universities have the chance to participate in The SciPhD Business of Science Certificate Program, gaining professional skills to make them more competitive for professional careers. One attendee shared the following:
SciPHD’s programs are certain to benefit PhD students and postdocs regardless of their career aspirations. While several courses and books aim to describe the fundamentals of business, project management, and career development, SciPHD’s tailored approach to presenting these key concepts to scientists with advanced degrees sets it apart. The facilitators’ extensive academic and industrial experiences allow them to draw parallels between our scientific training and the non-technical skills strongly-desired inside and outside of academia.
– 2016 UCI Postdoc Participant
Interested in education or building your teaching skills? GPS-BIOMED is happy to partner with the Center for Engaged Instruction & Ayala School of Biological Sciences to bring you: TAP-STEM! Applications for TAP-STEM are accepted early Summer and close the first week of September.