You are here

Getting more in depth information ~year 2-4

What’s the best way to start networking?

It’s so important for your career to network! Meeting people that work in the area that you are exploring will not only help you understand more about those careers, but will also help you get a job.

  • Get some business cards. Duke can help you.
  • Get on LinkedIn
    • Duke CMB Alumni LinkedIn - We are establishing a network of alumni that can help one another across a diverse job market.
    • Watch out for a very useful LinkedIn workshop sponsored by the career center.
  • Informational interviews
    • Informational Interviews are basically a slightly formalized conversation in which, for example, graduate students ask questions of professionals in a field which they have some interest. Through the conversation, a grad student can learn the professionals’ career path (how got to where they are), what helped them make decisions about their career, what advice they have for a grad student looking to enter their field, etc. Additionally, Informational Interviews are a great way to Network.
    • The Career Center has some comments and questions to consider about informational interviews.
  • Career fairs with workshops
    • NIEHS, here in the triangle, offers an annual career fair with a focus on providing information about careers in industry and government.
    • A little further away, but really useful for those interested in government and industry careers, the NIH offers a large annual career fair, primarily made up of question and answer sessions with panelists.

Who can I network with while at Duke?

  • Join the CMB LinkedIn group.
  • Attend Career Center events.
  • Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE)
    • “WiSE offers a supportive environment to explore lots of topics relating to graduate students. I’ve been to seminars ranging from how to give a good talk to issues facing women academics. The wine and cheese parties are also fun for meeting both men and women across the science disciplines.” -Allie
  • North Carolina Biotechnology Center Jobs Network - This monthly series features a wide variety of job seeker workshops, panels, and discussions with time for networking.
  • Biotech Tuesdays
  • Professional societies: ASCB, Women in Bio, GWIS

Why should I go to a conference?

Attending and presenting at academic conferences can be really useful for career development. Not only do you learn about lots of ongoing research and labs/topics you may be interested in, you have the opportunity to showcase your skills and informally scope out potential postdoc labs or programs. Some conference even have their own events and resources devoted to facilitating career development.

  • The graduate school provides some money for travel to a conference, once per year, after your prelim, so take advantage!
  • One popular conference among CMB students is American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). They also have a lot of career development resources and CV review opportunities on their website and at their annual meetings.
  • Attending a conference is a great time to network and learn about on-going science in your field. It may be hard, but to get the most out of a conference you should be prepared for it. Here are a number of resources about how to get the most out of attending a scientific conference:

What if I’m interested in teaching?

  • Certificate in College Teaching
    • "Courses that teach course design, classroom techniques, and effectively crafting teaching statements. Peer-reviewed teaching experience required as part of the certificate. "-Marcela
  • Preparing Future Faculty
    • "Site visits to numerous different types of institutions of higher education in the area showcase the variety and are very useful when applying for teaching positions. You are formally paired with a faculty mentor at an institution which can provide mentored teaching experiences."-Marcela
  • Bass Fellowship
    • "Not required to teach and having a hard time gaining experience? Bass Fellowships fund you to teach or assistant teach in other departments. There is also an Online Teaching Fellowship to gain experience with massive online courses (MOOCs). "-Marcela
  • LEAP
    • "Find it daunting to teach for a semester and make progress in your research at the same time? Consider teaching in the two-week spring program Launching into Education about Pharmacology (LEAP) in a pre-designed course."-Marcela
  • Duke TIP
    • "TIP courses run for three weeks in the summer where instructors design and teach challenging courses for talented high school students." -Marcela

What other opportunities are available at Duke?

  • Access to Medicine: Intellectual Property and Global Public Health
    • “This course offered at the Duke Law School is offered every other Spring and reserves seats specifically for biomedical students, engineering students, and public policy students. It was a great introduction to intellectual property law, broad regulatory affairs, and science policy. The class meets once a week in the evening and is discussion based.” -Lauren
  • Business course
    • "Fuqua offers many classes through their Health Sector Management program that you may find useful if you are interested in business, entrepreneurship, policy, or working at a biotech or pharma company. Classes can include weekly seminars and team based interactive classes. Check the Fuqua website for current classes and ask the professor for permission to attend, whether formally or informally."-Sarah
  • Duke Scholars and Molecular Medicine
    • "This program links graduate students and postdocs with clinicians in a field-relevant track. The idea is to promote greater awareness of patient and clinic needs and give trainees a different frame for their research. Additionally, this program brings in speakers from a variety of non-academic careers to expose us to alternate careers."-Erin
  • American Journal Experts
    • “AJE was an opportunity to get involved with science writing/editing. Working for AJE also allowed me to take time off after graduate school and travel, and to take my time finding a position that I wanted because I didn't have to worry about having an income right away. One of the other intangible benefits was that I generally knew people or had an initial 'in' with people at networking events that I went to because AJE sent people to them. It's much easier to integrate yourself into a group when you have something tangible in common with at least one other person in the group!”-Julie Neubauer, graduated 2012
  • Duke Translational Medicine Institute Regulatory Affairs Internship
    • “This is an informal internship that gives you an overview of regulatory affairs. There is typically a long waitlist, so apply early if you are interested.” -Sarah
  • other internships
    • Sciversify is a local company that is working with local biotech companies to provide training experiences and internships for late stage graduate students.

What kind of postdoc should/could I do?

Whether you just know you are going to postdoc or haven’t quite decided, here is a great page from UCSF’s Office of Career and Professional Development addressing the question “Should I do a postdoc?”. It also offers some links to begin to answer the next question in the postdoc search “What kind of postdoc should I do?”

Postdocs come in many flavors including research, teaching, industry, clinical, etc. Here are examples of non-traditional research postdocs that you might not be aware of.

  • Teaching postdoc programs:NIH IRACDA program, HHMI, individual schools
    • The NIH has awarded 19 US institutions an Institutional Research and Career Development Award (IRACDA). Alongside the traditional mentored research experience, postdocs of these programs receive training and experience teaching at partner institutions.
    • HHMI also awards individual institutions to fund HHMI Teaching Fellows who typically receive training in teaching and are encouraged to develop innovating and effective ways to teach science, and then team-teach a course.
  • Industry postdocs: triangle-specific programs
    • Most large companies have umbrella-like postdoc programs.
    • Consider regionally-funded programs, like the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Industrial Fellowship Program.
    • Postdocs are often listed as other positions, try networking with people from the company you’re interested in.

Links to other pages

Getting Started ~year 1-2

Getting more in depth information ~year 2-4

Preparing to transition ~year 4-7

People to talk to for your career development plan