​Career and Professional Development

Career Development & Exploration

We encourage you to explore opportunities and learn about career pathways for bioscience Ph.D.s. Scientific knowledge and research ability are only some of the skills that students and postdocs need to succeed. You will also need skills in communication, management, leadership, and professionalism. To develop these skills, DBBS offers a variety of workshops throughout the year. We plan a variety of seminars in professional development and invite guest speakers for career talks. Visit the Seminars & Workshops page for more information. Joining a campus organization can also further develop these skills.

Planning for Your Next Step

All graduate students should complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) at http://myidp.sciencecareers.org no later than the end of their second year. myIDP is a web-based career-planning tool created to help graduate students and postdocs in the sciences define and pursue their career goals. 

Students and postdocs should identify at least two long-term career options. An IDP can help you set goals and stay on track to attain the desired career.  

Students wishing to pursue an academic postdoc should begin searching approximately one year prior to defending. This means connecting to researchers in the desired field (and possibly geographic location) to begin conversations about possible postdoc positions. Postdoctoral positions are temporary training positions, not a final career position. As such, students should look for postdoc positions that will provide them with skills and training that align with their long-term career goals. Since postdocs are hired directly by the PI, it is important to engage in individual networking and contact with PIs to secure the postdoc position. 

Students and Postdocs wishing to pursue non-faculty career paths should begin job searching approximately six months before they would want to start their new position. This process includes preparing the appropriate job search materials for the desired field and networking to identify available positions. The Career Center and DBBS jobs board can help with this process.  

Graduate students and postdocs can schedule individual, confidential career advising appointments with career strategist, Arlene Taich, Ph.D. Arlene is available on the Medical Campus every Tuesday, and at The Career Center on the Danforth Campus on Wednesdays. Click on The​ Career Center page for more information.

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