Are you as overwhelmed by the sheer number of scientific talks, workshops, posters, career, and social events as I am? I feel like a kid at a candy store: dazzled and paralyzed by choice.
The scientific sessions are a no brainer. After all, the thrill of understanding biology and developing new tools to study the phenomenon of life is the very reason we are all gathered. While learning about new research is exciting and relevant to our work, I think, as PhD students (and I write from the student perspective), it is easy to lose track of our long term career goals in the details of our research project. A recent NSF report on the employment plans of doctorate recipients show a variety of career options for PhD students (see figure) that aren’t readily visible early on in graduate school. As shown in the chart, PhD graduates are pursuing diverse careers, and the conference is a good opportunity to explore and learn about these different career options.
That is why I am excited to attend the career programs at the biophysics society meeting. The programs address both a wide audience and a range of topics. I will share with you a few of the sessions I am considering attending. Like that kid in the candy store, I have not made up my mind whether I’ll go for the colorful jawbreakers or the caramel toffees.
Grant Writing Workshop: How (Not) to Write Your NIH Grant Proposal – Monday 1:00-3:00pm
PhD Careers Beyond the Bench – Tuesday 2:30-4:30pm
Career Opportunities at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions: Finding a Job and Finding Success – Tuesday 12:30-2:00pm