Symposium on The State of Women in Biomedical Science

Posted on Updated on

There’s an upcoming symposium that focuses on women in the biomedical sciences, which everyone who can should attend. It is sponsored through funds from Claire’s Natalie Zucker Chair.  We hope everyone can engage with the speakers on this subject.

The State of Women in Biomedical Sciences: A Call to Action

March 19, 2018 from 2-6 pm

Behrakis Auditorium

150 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA.


The goal of the symposium is raise awareness of the challenges facing women biomedical scientists in academia and industry, and to discuss ways to promote equal opportunities for women and men. The format will be four talks followed by a panel where all four speakers will take questions from the audience. A reception will follow the panel to give everyone a chance to meet the speakers and to network.


Here are our speakers and their topics:

  • Nancy Hopkins, PhD, Professor, MIT
    • We’ve come a long way – but not far enough
  • Vicki Lundblad, PhD, Professor, Salk Institute
    • Women scientists need to tell their stories
  • Joanne Kamens, PhD, Executive Director, Addgene
    • Implicit Bias – Tactics for Change
  • Judge Nancy Gertner, (Retired), Professor, Harvard Law School
    • In Defense of Women: Stories from a Lifelong Advocate

Thy symposium is open to the public and free of charge.  Be sure to register at as seating is limited.  Also, please help us get the word out and forward this e-mail to any interested colleagues or post the attached flyer in your building.

We think this symposium will address an issue of broad impact at a time when women are feeling more encouraged to speak up about their concerns, and we hope that it will inspire efforts from both scientists and administrators to insure greater gender equity in biomedical science.

See you there!


Claire Moore



Claire Moore, Ph.D
Natalie V. Zucker Professor
Director, Training in Education and Critical Research Skills (TEACRS) Postdoctoral Program

LiCor scientific reproducibility seminar – Lunch provided

Posted on Updated on

We are co-sponsoring an event on reproducibility and publications with LI-COR. Mark your calendars!

LiCor scientific reproducibility seminar – Lunch provided

When: Tue, March 20, 12:00 – 13:00

Where: Boston – Sackler 507


LiCor scientific reproducibility seminar – Lunch provided

When: Wed, March 21, 12:00 – 13:00

Where: Medford – SciTech 134

Due to the reproducibility crisis, guidelines for publishing experimental data, including those from Western blotting experiments, are becoming more rigid in scientific journals. In this seminar, we will address the sources of variability in Western blot data acquisition and analysis and explore how LI-COR’s technology minimizes variability and simplifies data analysis in Western blots, allowing for more accurate, reproducible data. We will also discuss new journal guidelines for publishing Western blot data and tools that can help researchers meet these new standards. From this seminar, researchers will learn the best practices for acquisition and analysis of Western blot data and which tools can help them obtain robust and reproducible data from their Western blotting experiments.

Invitation to the New England Future Faculty Workshop, July 10, 2018

Posted on Updated on

We received this invitation to join a workshop focused on academic ventures. If you’re interested, apply before May 1.

We invite you to participate in the New England Future Faculty Workshop for Underrepresented Groups in STEM Fields (NE-FFW) on the Northeastern University campus in Boston, Massachusetts on July 10, 2018.  The NE-FFW is designed specifically for underrepresented minorities and women in STEM fields who are late-stage PhD students and postdoctoral scholars and interested in an academic career.


The NE-FFW is focused on the academic job search.  The format of the one-day workshop includes faculty-led interactive discussions and peer-to-peer interactions.  Workshop topics include:  Finding Your Institutional Fit, Standing Out in the Interview, Reviewing CVs, Developing a Research Statement, Negotiating the Job Offer, and more.  To learn more about the New England Future Faculty Workshop for Underrepresented Groups in STEM Fields, go to:


To participate in the NE-FFW, there are several steps interested people need to take:

  1. Apply online by May 1, 2018.
    1. Submit a 300 word statement about why they want to participate
    2. Submit a CV
    3. Submit a diversity statement (1 page or less)
  2. Await notification of acceptance on May 16, 2018
  3. Confirm participation in workshop by paying a $50 registration fee by June 1, 2018


Please share this with colleagues. This unique opportunity is one you won’t want to miss.  We hope to meet you in Boston in July!


Warm regards,

NE-FWW Planning Committee


Northeastern University:

Penny Beuning, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Jan Rinehart, Executive Director ADVANCE Office of Faculty Development

Erinn Taylor de Barroso, Assistant Director ADVANCE Office of Faculty Development

Workshops in Preparing Future Professionals: A Model in Postdoc Career Development

Posted on Updated on

We were joined by Nathan Vanderford from the University of Kentucky on the second part of his seminar series, this time demonstrating valuable tools and lessons to develop a course or workshop on professional development for PhDs!

Realities of today’s workforce with PhD degrees

2% unemployment

52% within academic
48% outside academia

26% for profit
9% non-profit
8% federal employment
3% self-employed
2% state employment

Graduate students interest in moving into the tenure track declines over time:
41.7% First Year
21%Third Year
(Fuhmann et al CBE Life Sci Ed 2011)

But, there is no concerted training for alternative careers!

Goals of the course:
– Understand the realities of the job market
– Realise what skills are required to transition
– Identify resources
– Take action to prepare for their chosen career

Five Major Didactic Requirements:

Career Exploration
– Explore the career paths that are of interest to them
– Written paper on necessary skills

Transferrable Skills
– Perform a self assessment and create action plans for improving identified weaknesses

Informational Interviews
– Students contact an individual in their ideal career and conduct an informational interview to develop networking skills
– How did the interviewee obtain their workplace skills?
– How did graduate skill prepare you for this career?
– Expand student’s network by asking for additional points of contact

Career Development
– Students obtain experiences in critical components of the job search process including résumé and cover letter writing
– Practice interviewing and job search execution

Student Engagement
– Students interact with guest speakers as well as present their finding from each assignment to promote student-driven discussions

6% Postdocs
55% PhD trainees
32% Master’s students
6% Other (undergraduates, non-degree seekers)

Course Strengths:
– Safe environment to explore their career options and work through options in a positive way
– Self-assessment
– Identification of career options
– Student engagement
– Student-driven discussion
– Diversity of disciplines
– Development of work readiness skills

Course Challenges:
– Diversity of disciplines (which guest speakers, from which disciplines)
– Tuition (who pays?)
– Permission to attend (scheduling of the class versus time spend for research)
– Course versus workshop format

Course versus Workshop Format

– Sustained engagement
– Incentives (grade) to participate
– Effective platform for exercises

– Costly
– Limited reach
– PI resistance

– Free
– Reach a larger audience

– Interrupted engagement
– No incentive to participate in exercises
– Non-effective platform for exercises

Future Plans:
Certificate Program:
– Work hours component (4 hours)
– Course hours (2 hours)

Tips for trainees:

Goal setting tips:
– Write out goals and map out a strategy
– Post your goals where you can easily see them

Career Exploration and Networking:
– LinkedIn
– Alumni network
– Informational interviews
– Work Experience

Transferrable skills:
– Functional skills
– Knowledge-based skills
– Personal traits and attitudes

– A realistic assessment helps with your placement and career success

Tools to assess transferrable skills:
– Science Careers myIDP
– Gallup StrengthsFinder
– SkillScan
– MN Career Pathways
– Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Non-traditional careers within Academia and how to get them with Nathan Vanderford

Posted on

Nathan Vanderford joined us for a great seminar on navigating the world of alternative careers in Academia!  

Where do current US Biology, Agricultural and Environmental PhD Grads work post-defense?

  • 52% in Academia
  • 48% in Industry

It’s OK to not pursue a tenure track position!

Percent of Doctorate Recipients With Job or Postdoc Commitments, by Field of Study
Field 2004 2009 2014
All 70.0% 69.5% 61.4%
Life sciences 71.2% 66.8% 57.9%
Physical sciences 71.5% 72.1% 63.8%
Social sciences 71.3% 72.9% 68.8%
Engineering 63.6% 66.8% 57.0%
Education 74.6% 71.6% 64.6%
Humanities 63.4% 63.3% 54.3%

Use your PhD as a hub for your career path.

Nathan’s Story:

2003: Bachelors in Science
2008: PhD in Biochemistry
2009-2010: Scientific Writer and Editor (Markey Cancer Center, U. Kentucky)
2010-2011: Postdoctoral Fellowship (Moleculr Physiology & Biphysics, Vanderbilt University)
2010-2011: Director of Research Communications (Markey Cancer Center, U. Kentucky)

-decided to pursue and career in administration
-no interviews!!  What now?
-refocused cover letter from research to transferrable skills

-applied for entry level (vs. jobs with experience)
2013: Masters of Business Administration (Midway University)
-Nathan highly recommends an MBA for anyone interested in careers in business or working in a non-profit
2014-present: Assistant Dean for Academic Development (College of Medicine, U. Kentucky)
2014-present: Assistant Professor (Dept. of Toxicology & Cancer, U. Kentucky)
Nathan’s job description:
Provide scientifically-oriented administrative support to all cancer research and related academic/career development activities within the Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology, the Markey Cancer Center and the College of Medicine
  • Operations manager
  • Administrator 
  • Manager
  • Consultant
  • Strategist
  • PR/Marketing liaison
  • Government affairs liaison
  • Teacher/mentor
  • Career Development
  • Researcher
What does a research administrator do?
Grant and state support activities
  • Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Fund
  • Cigarette Excise Tax Program
  • Cancer Center Support Grant (Ass’t Director for Research)
  • Career Training in Oncology Program (Creator/Founder and Director)
Lots of reporting to the state and government agencies!

Using your PhD as a hub for career selection:

  • Academic affairs
  • Institutional Effectiveness
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Library Services
  • Economic Development
  • Extension Services
  • Information Services
  • Philanthropy
  • Finance and Administration
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Sponsored Projects
  • Research Compliance
  • Research Operations
  • Research Development
  • Health Care Entrepreneurship support

How to find your next job:

  • Provide value
  • Network
  • Develop your personal brand
    • your knowledge
    • your value proposition
    • your mission
    • your values
    • your skills
    • your vision
  • Use social media to advertising and demonstrate your brand
    • Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Blogger, LinkedIn, Instagram
  • Gain practical work experience in your field of interest through internships, volunteering and collaborations