Career Development

Mentoring Kickoff Event with Joanne Kamens

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The wonderful Joanne Kamens, Executive Director of Addgene gave an excellent seminar on Mentoring 101: using mentoring to advance your career.

Many of the 2015-2016 Tufts PDA mentees joined us in listening to Joanne’s expert wisdom on how to find and maintain good mentoring relationships.

Please join us for future events focused on improving your mentoring skills!

Tufts PDA Mentoring Circles

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Are you interested in guidance in your academic or industry career progression? Need help managing your work-life balance? Want to build your network?

What is a Mentoring Circle? 

A Mentoring Circle consists of several mentees with STEM, Humanties or Social Science backgrounds swho are committed to meeting monthly to support one another with support, advice, and information. Each circle will be directed by an experienced mentor.

Who will be in my circle? 

The MASS AWIS mentoring committee will review submitted surveys and match you with a circle based on interest, career goals, geography, and other factors.

What will we talk about? Are we just going to sit around and complain?

The mentoring circle is a supportive forum to constructively resolve all issues, but the focus is on career and personal growth. The group decide the details of scheduling and we will provide ideas and articles to help start conversations within your circle. All participants should be willing to both give and get professional and personal support from others in their circle. Mentors will aid in directing conversational topics within the circle and by sharing their knowledge and experience.

Applications due Friday, October 30.

Apply online at

Weekly Highlights – 28th August 2015

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Upcoming Events:

Sept 9

Get Powerful: Achieving influence, a MASS-AWIS Seminar
Click on link for more details

Sept 15

Futures in Life Sciences: Big Data Careers
(One of our former postdocs, Viktoria is a panelist!)

Saturday, Sept 19th

Sarah Cardozo Duncan: the Career Strategist’s guide to finding a job after your PhD.
A Career Development Workshop

12pm – 4pm
Behrakis Auditorium, Jaharis Building, Boston campus,  150 Harrison Ave, Boston MA 02111

  • Identify your best skills to fit your dream job and how to leverage them
  • Learn how to network from a pro!
  • Includes a free lunch!

12pm – 4pm, Jaharis Auditorium, Boston campus,  150 Harrison Ave, Boston MA 02111

Register for free HERE!

Thursday, Sept 24th

Postdoctoral Office Poster Competition

9am – 11:30am
Sackler 114, Boston Campus

The event will be a great opportunity for postdocs across all of Tufts to come together and present a poster showcasing their research! First and second place winners in junior and senior categories will receive a travel award to be used towards travel to a meeting or conference. First place awards will be $1,000 and second place will be $500. Please contact Sara for entry form and guidelines. Entries are due by September 16th. Please send completed applications and any queries to Sara:

Take your PI to lunch (Boston campus)

12pm – 1pm
Sackler 216A

Bring your PI to a nice lunch to celebrate postdocs or come by yourself!
Please register with Sara:

Friday, Sept 25th

Take your PI to lunch (Medford campus)

12pm – 1pm
Aidekman Arts Center, Remis Sculpture Court

Bring your PI to a nice lunch to celebrate postdocs or come by yourself!
Please register with Sara:

Aeronaut Brewery Tour

5:30pm – 8:30pm
14 Tyler St
Somerville, MA, 02143

Join the Tufts Postdoctoral Association in celebrating the end of Postdoc Appreciation Week!  We’ll be touring the inner workings of the Aeronaut Brewing Co. and then sampling their wares (try a craft beer on us) and dining on the finest local pizza!

It’s going to be a fun night of the science of brewing, enjoying great beer and company.   Come and meet your fellow postdocs!  Significant others are welcome at this social event.

Tours are available 5:30pm – 6pm and 6pm – 6:30pm.

You can register online HERE. Cost is $19.45 and includes the tour, a craft beer and pizza. Password is pstdocslovebeer

Please note, you can also register and pay for the tour in person via cash (only $17.50) at the Boston and Medford campuses and save yourself the processing fees! Please see the following locations. Please bring correct change!

Boston campus: Jaharis cafe, Mon 8/31 & Wed 9/2 from 12pm – 1pm (Ania –
Medford campus: 8/28 from 12:30pm-1:30pm at 200 Boston Ave, 4th floor lounge and 9/1 from 3:30pm-4pm in the Barnum lobby (Sarah –

Posts from our Facebook page:

Career development:

Lab Resources:



Job Opportunities:

Highlights of the Week – 21st August 2015

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Upcoming Events:

Sept 9

Get Powerful: Achieving influence, a MASS-AWIS Seminar
Click on link for more details

Sept 15

Futures in Life Sciences: Big Data Careers
(One of our former postdocs, Viktoria is a panelist!)

Sept 19

Postdoc Appreciation Week: Career Development Workshop with Sarah Cardozo Duncan
Details TBA

Sept 24

Postdoc Poster Competition on Boston campus
Details TBA

Take your PI to lunch – Boston campus
12PM Sackler 216A

Sept 25

Take your PI to lunch – Medford campus
12PM Aidekman Arts Center, Remis Sculpture Court

Posts from the Tufts PDA Facebook page:

Career Articles & Resources:


Awards, Grants, Job Postings & Other Opportunities


How to work out what you want to be when you grow up – An intro to Individual Development Plans

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What are you going to be when you grow up?

We are already adults, yet the majority of postdocs and PhD students are likely plagued with this simple question that we have been asked since we could talk.

As scientists, we have a large number of scientific, analytical and managerial skills that benefit a wide array of jobs. You possess many transferable skills (such as project and time management, risk analysis and conflict resolution) that you may not even be aware of. In the haze of all the possibility – how do you know what is the best career for you?

One strategy is to create a list of must haves and deal breakers and try to identify career paths that fit what you are looking for. Do you want to work 9-5? Perhaps consulting is not for you. Do you need financial stability? An academic career may make this more difficult (although definitely not impossible, and once you gain tenure, faculty positions are arguably one of the most stable jobs).

Another very useful tool is to use an Independent Development Plan. Science Careers has a fantastic one that is free to use upon registration. It is a three part assessment tool that analyzes your skills, interests and values to identify career paths that align with all of these areas. The hardest part of the process is being completely honest with yourself about your responses – the tool does a better job if you range your responses from 1 to 5, rather than answering everything as a 5 or “strongly agree”.

These are my top 10 results from the Science Careers IDP tool:

One thing you will notice is that my percentage skills match for all paths was between 93% and 87%, pretty high! This means I have the skills to do all of these jobs, however – would I like doing them? Thats where the Interests match comes in. It tries to align what you enjoy doing and your requirements for a content life with what jobs require of you and can also give you. My percentage match based on my interests varied much more than my skills match (I did pull out the spreadsheets and crunch the numbers!). This means you shouldn’t necessarily be looking at jobs just because your skills matches what they require. You have a much better chance being successful in a career if you are happy doing it!

Tools like an independent development plan are just the first step to your dream career. Once you have identified where you could be looking, you then need to head out into the world, network, do informational interviews and really find out what the job is about. Does it really match your interests? If not, head back and try researching a different career path. By doing these informational interviews and networking you are also expanding your own network of people, one of whom may know of a job that might be perfect fit for you.

It is definitely a long road, but as seasoned researchers, our major skill is to find information and critically evaluate all options. Why only research your lab work? Why not apply your research skills to finding the best career that aligns with your goals and interests?

Good luck!

Cover Image By Afirsichbaum (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

First published on Adage of Ania