Both academic and non-academic employers seek transferable skills beyond the technical skills acquired in the laboratory. Some examples include: teamwork, effective communication, project management, organization skills, industry specific knowledge 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 have enough knowledge and awareness of your future career choice?
- Do you know how to motivate others to accomplish a specific goal?
Along with an excellent scientific training, students and postdocs require professional skills development. Some of the skills, which are in very high demand in any job sector are –
- Team Player
- Project Management
- Business Acumen
- Out-of-the-box thinking
In order to impart these skills during academic advancement, we are using innovative approaches and building mini-courses/certificate programs to increase the knowledge & training you need to transition to any new career and be successful. Take a look at some of the courses offered in the past and new ones being offered. Stay tuned!
Business Concepts for STEM Scientists. This 8 week mini-course (Certificate Program) is offered in collaboration with UCI Beall Applied Innovation. The program highlights business jargon, business models and provide peek into industry setting. The course is specially designed for PhD students and Postdoctoral fellows in STEM disciplines to understand basic business concepts used in any industry (small, mid or large size). GPS-STEM & UCI Beall Applied Innovation would like to sincerely thank UNIVERSITY LAB PARTNERS for their generous support. Take a look at 2020 course curriculum and register. The course is offered online & there will be limited spots. Please prepare yourself and register accordingly.
Basics of Medical Writing for PhD Students & Postdocs. 5 week mini-course is designed to teach (PhD students & Postdocs – trainees) the landscape of the medical writing field, roles and responsibilities of a medical writer, and the variety of transferable skills required to transition into these roles. The mission of this course is to help trainees understand ins-and-outs of the medical writing field & teach ways to transition successfully. This course is taught by UCI alumni and other professionals currently involved in medical writing roles in biopharmaceutical companies, medical device companies & medical writing agencies in Orange County. Examples of affiliation include, Abbvie (Previously Allergan), Edwards Lifesciences, Quest Diagnostics, PrecisionValue & Medtronic
GPS-STEM Elevator Pitch Workshops & Competition & Effective Communications Certificate Program led by Bri McWhorter. Bri is the founder of Activate to Captivate, where she teaches communication techniques from an actor’s point of view. She is a speech coach for our elevator pitch competition and has worked with GPS-BIOMED leadership to create a new certificate program: Effective Communications. The program covers presentation fundamentals including how to overcome nerves, make a presentation active rather than passive, utilize vocal variety and command a room. Check out videos from 4th Annual Elevator Pitch Competition here.
To learn more about Bri McWhorter’s techniques on “How to use Acting Skills to Overcome a Fear of Public Speaking“, listen to her interview with Mark Bayer from “When Science Speaks”
Science Communication Skills (Phy Sci 220 or MB270) was previously offered each Winter 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 were taught how to engage and inform the audience in few words, avoid jargon, and project in a professional manner. The course culminated in TED-style talks performed by each participant! Check out our TED-style talks here: GPS-STEM on YouTube!
From 2020 onwards, the Science Communication Skills is going into “Flipped Classroom”* format, where students will watch online video modules of Sandra’s course first and then come to attend in-person sessions by Sandra Tsing Loh. We intend to continue recording TED-style talks presented by the trainees.
*Flipped Classroom Definition: A flipped classroom is an instructional strategy and a type of blended learning that reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom. It moves activities, including those that may have traditionally been considered homework, into the classroom. Stay tuned for announcements. You are required to be an official GPS-STEM member to participate in this course. If you haven’t finished all the requirements, please go to our program registration page and fulfill all the requirements.
The aim of this series is to provide instruction and practice of writing NIH fellowships. The format is designed to help PhD students & postdocs to write NIH F30,F31/F32 fellowship applications.
- Understand the grant review criteria and the principles of grant peer-review
- Become familiar with each required component of grant application
- Develop practical experience writing Specific Aims and Background/Significance sections, Goals for Training
- Practice peer-review skills
Nature Masterclasses is an online service to help trainees learn basics of scientific writing (manuscripts), understand peer-review process, & setting up effective collaborations in research. This service is FREE to all University of California Irvine, students, Postdocs, Staff & faculty.
University Extension, UCI’s branch of Continuing Education, offers GPS-STEM members who have accumulated 5 PD credits free enrollment in a variety of courses (Worth ~$700). 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.
Maximum 1 course per quarter. No more than 3 courses (PhD & postdoc duration)
Popular Extension courses include:
- Introduction to Project Management (actual fee $765)
- Market Research & Analysis (actual fee $549)
- Overview of Internet Marketing ($645)
- Regulatory Requirements for Pharmaceutic ($695)
- Regulatory Requirements for Medical Devices
- Motivation & Responsibility
- Post Approval Compliance Requirements
- Project Execution ($745)
- Project Launch ($745)
- Introduction to Data Science ($745)
- Agile for Any Project ($745)
- Project Management for E-learning Profs…
- & more – check full DCE Course list here
Please note – The steps (1-4) and forms involved in enrolling for the DCE courses have changed based on Graduate School policies* Attached is the updated form GPS-STEM Approval_DCE Free Courses = 2019
Step 1: Fill out the from (without SSN), and get it singed by your thesis advisor/PI >
Step 2: Scan it and email it to Graduate Division for approval from the Dean’s office (& Cc Harinder.email@example.com) – Annabel Ortiz: firstname.lastname@example.org >
Step 3: Grad office will approve, sign, scan and email it back to you (Cc’ng Harinder.email@example.com). >
Step 4: Due to COVID19 lockdown, Email the form (Without SSN) to Harinder.Singh@uci.edu and we will contact you for more details. We will approve it based on the PD credits and fax it to DCE.*Important: Graduate Policies and Procedures
Normally, you Print the form, write your SSN (if in-person drop-off) and drop it in Program Director’s office or slide it under the door (#4143 Nat Sci-II) – Ignore this step for now
*“Enrollment in University Extension”: If a graduate student wishes to enroll for credit in a University Extension course while registered or while on an approved Leave of Absence, the student’s proposed program of study must be approved in advance by the Graduate Dean with the written recommendation of the student’s faculty advisor. Section VII. H. Transfer of Credit, for information on transfer of credit for courses taken in University Extension.” * No transfer of credits is allowed. Read instructions from Graduate Policies and Procedures below:
“g. No transfer credit may be given for work completed while currently enrolled, or on an academic leave of absence, without prior written approval of the departmental faculty graduate advisor and the Graduate Dean.
h. Under no circumstances will grade credits be transferred.
i. Courses that are transferred do not count toward the required number of units in 200-series courses.”
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 & School of Biological Sciences to bring you: STAP (Previously TAP-STEM)! Applications for SUMMER TEACHING APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM (STAP) or previously called TAP-STEM are accepted during the Summer and close in September.