Professional Development Presentations - Past Seminars
See RESOURCES for notes on many of these topics and others.
Basics of Grant Writing
What You Should Know about Launching Start-up Companies
Intersection of Business & Science: Start-up Companies
Landing a Job in Academia: What Search Committees Look for
Getting a Job in Academia: How Search Committees Work
Landing a Job in Industry: How to Write a Winning Resume
Balancing Science and the Rest of Your Life
Getting Your First Job in Industry
CANCELLED - Mediation Skills
CVs and the Academic Job
Negotiating a Job Offer
Having Difficult Conversations
Ten Habits of a Successful Scientist
Strategies for Successful Grant Writing
Interviewing Skills for Academic Positions
Basics of Scientific Writing
Dr. Sonal Jhaveri teaches Science Communication to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs at MIT and at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She will discuss the basics of how to write a research paper that is targeted for publication in a professional journal.
How to Brand Yourself for a Job: CVs, Resumes, Cover Letters (view presentation pdf)
Dawna Levenson is an MIT alumna (BS, MBA). She is Associate Director at MIT Professional Education, where she runs the Advanced Study Program and the Career Re-Engineering Program (for mid-career professionals). She was with Accenture for 18 years (partner for five).
Basics of Grant Writing
Sonal Jhaveri is an MIT alumna (BS, MS). She received her PhD from Harvard University and has been Principal Investigator on a number of grants from NIH, NSF and other private foundations. She currently teaches Science Communication to MIT undergraduates via MIT's Writing Across the Curriculum Program, and also to graduate and medical students as well as postdocs, both at MIT and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Jhaveri's talk on "Basics of Grant-Writing" will focus on NIH applications, but the basic principles she emphasizes are applicable to all types of grant writing.
How to Use Networking to Enhance Your Career (view presentation pdf)
Robert Dolan provides career counseling and professional development workshops for graduate, alumni, and professional education programs at MIT. He has held both full-time and consulting roles at MIT since 2005. He is a Certified Job Search and Career Transition Consultant with experience in the field of Career Management since 2001, and is certified to administer both the MBTI and Strong Interest Inventory assessment instruments. He has 20+ years of management experience in industry.
The Art of Behavioral Interviewing (view presentation pdf)
Interviewing is not a science, it’s an art…and no two interviews will be the same. How you adapt during the interview process will enhance your ability to be successful. Technical skills will get you the interview; behavioral attributes will get you the job. This session will highlight preparation and strategies for a successful interview, and sample interview questions will be provided along with tips on how to answer those challenging questions.
Bob Dolan provides career counseling and professional development workshops for graduate, alumni, and professional education programs at MIT. He has held both full-time and consulting roles at MIT since 2005. Bob is a Certified Job Search and Career Transition Consultant with experience in the field of Career Management since 2001, and is certified to administer both the MBTI and Strong Interest Inventory assessment instruments. He has 20+ years of management experience in industry.
How to Speak
You can improve your speaking ability by observing a dozen or so heuristic rules. Professor Winston presents a collection of rules along with some observations about their application in lectures, job talks, and conferences.
Professor Winston joined the faculty of the EE/CS Department in 1970 and is Ford Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science at MIT Laboratory (CSAIL). He served as Director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a predecessor of CSAIL, from 1972 to 1997. His Genesis Group studies how vision, language, and motor faculties account for intelligence, integrating work from several allied fields, including not only Artificial Intelligence, but also Computer Science, Systems Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, and Linguistics.
Strategies of Grant-Writing
Dr Shah will discuss why, when, and how to apply for grant money, the types of funding agencies that you can apply to, how to maximize your chances of procuring funds from them, and what reviewers look for in choosing winning proposals.
Dr. Jagesh V. Shah is Associate Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and is HST Affiliated Faculty, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology. He is also Associate Professor of Medicine (Renal Division) at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He has extensive experience in procuring grant funding for his research.
The Impact of Culture in Multicultural Research Teams
This seminar will provide a framework for understanding cultural differences among professionals from different parts of the world, and ways of maximizing effectiveness in communication and productivity when working in multicultural team settings.
Bhaskar Pant is the Executive Director of MIT Professional Education, which delivers multiple academic programs to science and technology professionals globally. Bhaskar has worked internationally as a senior executive for companies such as Turner Broadcasting/CNN (in India), Sony Corporation (in New Jersey) and the Educational Testing Service (in Singapore). He has devoted his career to the development of "global people skills" among working professionals, and recently taught a graduate management course titled "Intercultural Communication in the Global Workplace" at Harvard University's Extension School. Bhaskar has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rochester and a Master’s degree in Communications from Indiana University.
Interviewing Skills for an Academic Job
Dr. Fred Schoen is Professor of Pathology and Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Medical School, and Pathologist and Executive Vice Chairman, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Schoen interviews a large number of applicants every year, for a variety of academic positions. He will hand out a list of questions that a potential applicant should be familiar with, and will conduct a mock interview with a postdoc volunteer, to highlight the do's and don'ts of the interview process.
Writing Resources and Advice for MIT Postdocs
From completing grants and manuscripts to writing a research statement for job searches, writing is a critical component of the postdoctoral experience. Please join us for this event where experts from the MIT Writing & Communication Center and MIT Medical provide task-oriented and cognitive-oriented techniques for becoming a better writer and enjoying the process! Writing-related services provided by MIT will also be discussed.
Dr. Xiaolu Hsi is a Clinical Psychologist at MIT Medical. Dr. Hsi's professional interests are community mental health consultation and working with international students; she has also participated in several writing-related events at MIT. Dr. Elizabeth Mickle Fox works with MIT's Writing and Communication Center, in the WAC program, and as a freelance editor. Dr. Fox hosts special MIT events, including during IAP, for graduate and postgraduate trainees to improve their writing techniques.
Sponsored by the MIT Postdoctoral Association, MIT Medical, and the MIT Writing and Communication Center for the MIT Postdoctoral Community.
handout: Post-doctoral Writing and Speaking Self-Assessment pdf
Transitioning from Academia to Industry
Dr. Stuart Licht earned his BS degree from Princeton University, PhD degree from MIT, and completed two postdocs, one at the Scripps Research Institute and the other at UC Berkeley. He then joined the MIT faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry. He left this position when he was recruited by Novartis. He has since moved to Sanofi-Aventis, where he is Lab Head. Dr. Licht will talk about making the transition from Academia to Industry and will discuss his experience with working in industry.
Having Difficult Conversations
Toni Robinson holds a Juris Doctor Degree from the Seattle University School of Law and a Masters of Science/Applied Behavioral Science Degree from The Johns Hopkins University. She has served as an Ombudsperson, Certified Mediator, and instructor within the MIT community since 1998. She has over twenty-five years experience in management, ombudsmanry, conflict resolution systems design, training, mediating, coaching, and consulting. Ms. Robinson will discuss constructive approaches to resolution of conflict and difficult behavior in the academic arena.
Academia, Industry, or Both?
Are you considering a career in academia or industry? Are you trying to decide between academia and industry? Come and hear experts whose experience and insight might help make the decision easier for you.
Sponsored by Graduate Student Council Academics, Research, and Careers; GSC Activities; MIT Global Education & Career Development; and the Office of the Vice President for Research & Associate Provost.
The Nuts and Bolts of an Academic Job Search
Sponsored by Graduate Student Council - Academics, Research, and Careers; GSC Activities; MIT Global Education & Career Development; the Office of the Vice President for Research & Associate Provost; and the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education
Finding a Good Postdoc
Are you considering a career in academia? Are you seeking to diversify your research skills before launching into an industry career? Perhaps you are already a postdoc, and wish to maximize your experience or make a change. This panel presentation will discuss various aspects of finding, selecting, and having a good postdoc experience, and will include a question and answer segment.
Open to: MIT-only
Sponsor(s): MIT Global Education & Career Development, GSC Academics, Research, and Careers, GSC Activities, Office of the Vice President for Research & Associate Provost, Office of the Dean for Graduate Education, Postdoctoral Association
For more information, contact:
Optimizing your marketability- how to find non-academic career opportunities in Boston
Lauren Celano will provide her personal insight into the types of career opportunities that exist in the Boston area for those individuals who are completing their graduate or postdoctoral training. She will discuss the various skills, aptitudes, competencies, and personalities that thrive in each career type. She will also address the following topic: Career opportunities outside of academia; identifying transferable skills to assist in job search; how effective networking can help you identify career leads; the importance of informational interviewing, and how to land the job once you get an interview. While there will be a strong focus on the life sciences sector, the presentation will be helpful to postdocs in all fields.
Lauren is the Founder and CEO of Propel Careers, a life science search and career development firm focused on connecting talented individuals with entrepreneurial innovative life sciences companies. Through Propel, she builds relationships and provides guidance on how individuals can position themselves for their next opportunity. She also actively places individuals into positions with exciting life sciences companies. She has a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Gettysburg College and an MBA with a focus in the health sector and entrepreneurship from Boston University. To learn more about Propel Careers, see link: www.propelcareers.com.
Sponsors: MIT Postdoctoral Association and the Office of the Vice President for Research & Associate Provost
From Academia to Entrepreneur: How to Start Your Own Company
Dr. Elizabeth Iorns and Dr. William Gunn are co-founders of the company ScienceExchange.com, which aims to improve the efficiency of scientific research by making resources and experimental services available to researchers. They will discuss what made leaving academia to work on a startup an attractive career choice for them, and how to be competitive in the business world. They will share the lessons learned as well as the collective wisdom shared within Silicon Valley’s thriving startup community. Dr. Iorns will talk about lessons learned from taking part in Y Combinator, a startup accelerator program (http://www.ycombinator.com/ ). Dr. Gunn will discuss making the transition from academia, finding the right opportunity, and tips for working with people from non-academic backgrounds including engineers and marketers.
Basics of Grant Writing
Sonal Jhaveri is an MIT alumna (BS, MS). She received her PhD from Harvard University and has been Principal Investigator on a number of grants from NIH, NSF and other private foundations. She currently teaches Science Communication to MIT undergraduates via MIT's Writing Across the Curriculum Program, and also to graduate and medical students as well as postdocs, both at MIT and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Jhaveri's talk on "Basics of Grant Writing" will focus on NIH applications, but the basic principles she emphasizes are applicable to all types of grant writing.
Dr. Gabrieli will talk about how to manage your time, and along with this, your lab and the projects you are working on. As your career, and the corresponding demands on you, become more complex, these skills are increasingly essential for getting things done effectively.
How to Negotiate an Academic Job Offer
You have been offered your dream job. Now you have to negotiate with your future department/institution for the support you will need to set up your new laboratory. Professors Troy Littleton and Markus Buehler will discuss the do's and don'ts of How to Negotiate a Job Offer.
Dr. Littleton is Professor in the Dept of Biology, as well as in the Dept of Brain & Cognitive Sciences at MIT. He received his MD and Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX and completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin. In 2000, he joined the faculty of the Department of Biology and the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT. Dr. Littleton will talk about how to estimate what it will take to run your lab.
Basics of Scientific Writing
Sonal Jhaveri is an MIT alumna (BS, MS). She received her PhD from Harvard. She currently teaches Science Communication to MIT undergraduates via MIT's Writing Across the Curriculum Program, and also to graduate and medical students as well as postdocs, both at MIT and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Sonal Jhaveri teaches Science Communication to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs at MIT and at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She will discuss the basics of how to write a research paper that is targeted for publication in a professional journal.
Job Search Strategies Workshop
This workshop will give you the knowledge and confidence to launch an effective job search. You will learn about many valuable resources, including databases, and downloadable information available on the MIT-CareerBridge site. We will examine networking as an important strategy and discuss how to do it in a way that will work for you. MIT has excellent resources to help you network with alumni in different fields. The program will also provide tips on how to stay competitive throughout your job search, starting with prep for the April 4th Spring Career Fair. Come learn how you can deliver an effective message about your qualifications when communicating with employers. You will gain a competitive advantage by mastering these job search basics. Open to Postdocs and all MIT students and alumni. Register on CareerBridge under the events tab.
Transition from academia to industry - do it right.
Dr. Masha Fridkis-Hareli will give an interactive presentation that explores career opportunities outside academia. Based on her personal experiences in academia and industry, she will discuss differences between these two sectors and describe the skill set needed to make this transition smooth and enjoyable. Her presentation is best fitted to graduate and post-doctoral scientists who are considering transitioning to industry but have no insider view of the process.
Behavioral Interviewing Workshop
While your technical skills will get you the interview, it is your behavioral attributes that will get you the job. This session will discuss the preparation and strategies for a successful interview. We will also examine the top skills employers are looking for in their candidates and how you can communicate those attributes effectively. In addition, sample behavioral interview questions will be provided along with tips on how to answer these tough questions. Open to Postdocs and all MIT students and alumni. Register on CareerBridge under the events tab.
Writing Research and Teaching Statements
When applying for an academic position, you will be required to produce a teaching and/or research statement. Writing a poor statement can hurt your chances of being considered for a position, but taking the time to write them well can set you apart from other candidates. Drs. Bell and Halstead will analyze the characteristics of teaching and research statements, discuss their components and review examples - so that you will be able to write thoughtful, creative statements that have impact.
Transition from Academia to Industry – Introduction to Hurdles
Transitioning from academia to industry involves multiple challenges, some of them real some of them perceived. The discussion will zoom-in on typical challenges of the transition and offer some advice to prepare you for the hurdles you might face.
Dr. Zoran Zvonar received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University, Boston, and after postdoctoral experience at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, joined the semiconductor industry. During his R&D career at Analog Devices (1994-2008) and at MediaTek (2008-present) he has contributed to multiple generations of chips and software products for cellular phones. He is MediaTek Fellow and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow.
Not Networking 101—Building Relationships for Success
Networking has gotten a really bad name these days. I take your card, you take my card and then we don’t call each other. This workshop is designed to reintroduce you to how strong professional relationships can be necessary for most people to succeed in their careers. It will provide practical tools for meeting people and for nurturing new and established connections.
Dr. Joanne Kamens received her PhD in Genetics from Harvard Medical School then spent 15 years at BASF/Abbott where she led discovery research projects on small molecule and antibody approaches to inflammatory diseases, ultimately serving as Group Leader in Molecular Biology. In 2007 she joined RXi Pharmaceuticals as Director of Discovery and concluded there as Senior Director of Research Collaborations. In 2011, Dr. Kamens became the Executive Director of Addgene, a mission driven, non-profit dedicated to helping scientists around the world collaborate. Dr. Kamens founded the current Boston chapter of AWIS. She was the Director of the HBA Boston Mentoring Program for 3 years and serves on a number of other boards. In 2013 she was elected as a fellow to the Massachusetts Academy of Science for service to science and the community.
Preparing for Difficult Conversations
Are you too nervous to raise an important topic with your supervisor? When talking with others, do you find it hard to negotiate for yourself without being either too shy or too pushy? In this highly interactive workshop, participants will discuss how to identify and prepare for difficult conversations with the goal of achieving more constructive and longer-lasting results. The workshop will also utilize case scenarios and/or short exercises to help participants explore strategies and resources to, for example, brainstorm and evaluate options for managing conflict; communicate more effectively in challenging situations; and diplomatically, yet assertively, negotiate for oneself.
Toni Robinson holds a Juris Doctor Degree from the Seattle University School of Law and a Masters of Science/Applied Behavioral Science Degree from The Johns Hopkins University. She has served as an Ombudsperson, Certified Mediator, and instructor within the MIT community since 1998. She has over twenty-five years’ experience in management, ombudsmanry, conflict resolution systems design, training, mediating, coaching, and consulting.
From Lab to Startup: Stories of entrepreneurs working to solve researchers' problems
Hear from entrepreneurs about their path from lab to startup, the birth of their idea while working in the lab, and their involvement in the rise of digital tools for researchers.
About the Presenters:
Digital Science is a new technology company started out of Macmillan Science and Education, providing software and tools for scientific researchers. From intelligent knowledge discovery tools to software applications for the laboratory and decision-support systems for managers, Digital Science combines world-class technology with a resolute focus on scientists and those who support the research process.
1DegreeBio is an independent marketplace for Life Science products including reagents, digital tools, equipment and service providers for life science research. It is an open-access platform that enables researchers to source and review the highest-quality products and service providers for their research needs.
ReadCube is a free desktop application and associated web services for managing, enhancing, and accessing academic research articles.
Caitlin Aptowicz Trasande is Head of Research Policy, Digital Science. Prior to joining Digital Science, she managed the Nature Trends project at Nature Publishing Group. She has experience in consulting (The Advisory Board Company) and legal research (United States Office of the Independent Counsel). She received a PhD in Neurobiology from the University of Chicago after studying Classics and Philosophy at St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD).
Alex Hodgson is CEO of 1DegreeBio and Director of Marketing at ReadCube. Prior to starting 1DegreeBio, Alex spent four years working at the Structural Genomics Consortium's Toronto Lab, where Alex grew increasingly frustrated by the lack of digital tools for researchers. In 2010, Alex brought together a team of talented people and collectively they set forth to build a better way for the community to source products, launching 1DegreeBio 6 months later. Alex has an Honors Bachelor's Degree from the University of Toronto in International Relations, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Hult International Business School (formerly the Arthur D. Little School of Management), and an Organizational Change Management Certificate from Harvard University. Alex was named one of 50 Women to Watch in Tech by Femme-o-nomics in 2011.
Sponsored by the MIT Postdoctoral Association and the Office of the Vice President for Research
Of Science and Strategy: Setting Goals for Research and for Life
What does strategy have to do with science? According to thought leader Isaiah Hankel, surprisingly a lot. Dr. Hankel has decoded the psychology behind career success and applied it to the science lab.
The result? Nothing short of a breakthrough in strategically maneuvering your career into the exciting new opportunities opening up for academic scientists.
Here's a provocative question: What do students do now that applying for jobs with a resume does not work? What if you could tap into the skills that wildly successful people are using?
You'll discover the strategic thinking driving this new career approach. You'll learn:
The goal? A career that you not only love, but one where you are recognized for you expertise and are rewarded for it. It's about being a leader, and creating meaningful bodies of work. It's about telling a story with your life that you'd want to read and share.
Dr. Hankel did his undergraduate work at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania and received his Ph.D. in Anatomy and Cell Biology from the University of Iowa. Since graduating, he has been simultaneously advancing his career in flow cytometry and cellular imaging, and his career in personal development and business coaching. In the last two years, Dr. Hankel has given over 250 seminars in 20 different countries throughout Europe, New Zealand, Australia and North America. Dr. Hankel has worked with numerous leaders in the biotechnology industry, including Lily Pharmaceuticals, Leinco Technologies, Orflo Technologies, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Cellerant Therapeutics, Miltenyi Biotec, Expert Cytometry, Tree Star, Amgen, Celgene, Ambrx, BD Biosciences, Baxter Bioscience, Pfizer, Roche and Genentech.
Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Career Services (Global Education and Career Development)