Career and Professional Development Resources

Take me to Biomedical PhD Career Outcomes

This page is under constant expansion - be sure to check back frequently to see new information! Revision dates are listed below.

Resources for Graduate Students

Duke graduate students participate in innovative research that shapes the ever-changing landscapes of biomedical sciences. In addition to promoting research excellence, Duke supports students in their quest to achieve training that leads to unique and meaningful careers after graduation. Forty years ago, most biomedical PhDs became tenured professors; however, the landscape has changed dramatically. A career outside of laboratory science is not an alternative career – statistically speaking, in fact, a non-academic career is the majority choice.

Here at Duke, we are excited about the expansion in the types of opportunities for scientists to make meaningful contributions to society. As part of this initiative, Duke requires biomedical trainees to complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) and attend a Career Development Workshop in their third year. Working closely with The Office of Career Services, The Graduate School, and The Duke Alumni Association, OBGE provides and promotes diverse professional development opportunities to position our graduates for a lifetime of professional success, whether it be in laboratory research, science communication, boutique consulting, biotechnology, or beyond.

To get started, take a look below at some of the highlighted resources, or get in touch so we can help you think about how to best take advantage of all that Duke has to offer!

Image of a table summarizing resources discussed in text below
          Lillian Zwemer & Dave McDonald 1June2016

Duke Centers for Guidance and Programming

Graduate School Professional Development Resources

Melissa Bostrom and Hugh Crumley are each passionately committed to enriching the professional development training available to Duke graduate students across all disciplines. The Graduate School hosts a diverse series of events and programs designed to broaden your horizons while developing your proficiency in six core competencies: teaching and mentoring, communication, leadership, professional adaptability, self-awareness, and professionalism and scholarly integrity. The Graduate School offerings  include nearly 100 events per year in the Professional Development Series, up to $2,000 in funding for discipline-specific professional development through a Professional Development Grant, the biannual Academic Job Search Series, and other events related to exploring diverse career paths. Some events are targeted specifically for STEM PhDs, and nearly all are relevant to your development as a scientist and a professional. Be open-minded and creative about how you relate to these offerings. They also maintain a useful suite of online resources, including Duke’s subscription to Versatile PhD and to DukeOptions, an online professional development planning tool.

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Office of Postdoctoral Services

The Office of Postdoctoral Services was established in 2006 to provide a central resource for Duke’s approximately 700 postdoctoral appointees, both on campus and in the School of Medicine.  The Office of Postdoctoral Services (Molly Starback, Director) serves as a liaison between postdocs, faculty, administrators, and staff.  The OPS provides workshops, seminars, and individual career counseling to support postdoctoral training at Duke and prepare postdocs for successful careers, both in academia and beyond.  Partners in professional development training include the Graduate School, Career Center, International House, and the School of Medicine Office for Faculty Development.

While graduate students are not eligible for individual career counseling from the Office of Postdoctoral Services, they are welcome to attend OPS professional development events. Many past events are also available for viewing on the PDA's own YouTube channel. To subscribe to the Duke Postdoctoral Services mailing list, email sympa@duke.edu and put "subscribe postdocs" in the body of your message.

Additionally, the website hosts an exhaustive collection of online resources for every stage of professional development.

Sample Career Development Workshops:

  • The Individual Development Plan (IDP)
  • Finding the Right Fit:  Career Exploration and Decision-Making
  • Transferable Skills
  • The Academic Job Search Series (including the Application Process, Interviewing, Job Talks, Teaching Statements, Negotiating, Managing A Lab, Non-Tenure Track Careers in Academia, Non-Faculty Careers in Academia)
  • Careers Beyond Academia Series (including Careers in Biotech, Tech Transfer, Clinical Research, Regulatory Affairs, Big Pharma, Medical/Science Writing, Patent Law, Business/Consulting, Non-Profits)
  • Postdoc NIH F32 Grantsmanship Series (including Intro to the F32, Perspectives from Awardees and Mentors, Effective Written Communication, mentored small groups)
  • Job Hunting in the Biotech Industry
  • Career Choices for PhDs in the Age of Biotech:  How to Decide Which Path is Right for You
  • Improving Spoken English
  • Speaking About Science
  • Networking: A Tool for Exploring Careers and Building Relationships
  • Interviewing Skills
  • How to Avoid Self-Sabotage and Win at Salary Negotiations

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University Career Center

The Career Center provides opportunities and tools for individuals to explore the intersection of their education, values, goals, skills and experiences in order to identify and realize their aspirations. It's not just for undergrads - our own UPGG alumnus, Dave McDonald, is the STEM graduate student specialist. Dave can offer one-on-one counseling, resource overviews, IDP guidance, résumé consultations, interview prep - he can advise you on every step of the way! Don't forget to read the invaluable bi-weekly newsletter, "STEM Career Insider," which includes local and national professional development opportunities as well as job opportunities. If you've missed a training session or just want to refresh your memory, check out the Career Center's YouTube Channel, which has tons of excellent videos - only some are relevant to you, but it's worth taking the time to find them!

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Specific Programs and Series

Academic and Non-Academic Job Search Series

Academic and non-academic careers are considered on alternate years. This series is co-sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Services, The Graduate School, and the Career Center. Videos of prior panel discussions and seminars can be found on the PostDoc Association's YouTube channel. Sample topics include: Nuts and Bolts of the F32, Negotiation of Academic Offers, and Careers in Biotechnology.

Learn More: Academic

Learn More: Beyond Academia

Bass Connections

"Through Bass Connections, students are equipped to be future leaders in addressing complex societal challenges in the academy, government, business and numerous other settings." Participants will develop transferable skills while using their scientific training to engage in complex problems with an interdisciplinary team. Time commitment is less than 10 hours per week for 9-16 months.

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Career Development Workshop (3rd Year)

A half day Career Development Workshop will be required of all third year graduate students who matriculated through a PhD program associated with the School of Medicine.  Students will be asked to complete an Individual Development Plan in the spring semester prior to the course.  The nature of the IDP will be determined by each program for its students with the AAAS IDP used as a guide.  This is in keeping with the  NIH recommendation for creating IDPs for graduate students. During registration for the session, students will be asked to 1) verify that they completed an IDP; 2)  provide the name(s) of the advisor/mentor consulted in conjunction with the IDP; and 3) to indicate two or three career interests determined by their IDP. 

The workshop will include an introductory talk that reviews national and Duke data for career outcomes for biomedical PhDs.  This will be followed by two or three small breakout sessions (8-10 students) with panelists from academia, teaching, biotech, pharmaceutical industry, science writing/editing, regulatory affairs, clinical research/trials, research/academic administration, etc.  Students will be sorted by career interests determined by IDPs in sessions appropriate for their interests. The session will end with lunch during which a speaker from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will discuss the stresses associated with career decisions.

Tracking: The workshop will be combined with a half day Responsible Conduct of Research session.  The event is tracked by the university registrar and recorded on the student’s transcript as a formal four-credit course (GS713).  Students are required to submit an assessment before they receive credit.  Cred for the event is recorded by the university registrar and tracked by the Graduate School as graduation requirement. 

Certificate in College Teaching

CCT is a longitudinal program comprised of formal pedagogical training, mentorship in creating a teaching portfolio, and practical teaching experience. With numerous options for coursework and teaching experience, you can personalize and experience that fits with your interests and schedule. You can enroll for CCT at any time, but ideally do it prior to starting your teaching experience, so that the teaching will count toward completion of the certificate.

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DIscovering Career Options in Translational Science (DICOTS) Network

"The DIscovering Career Options in Translational Science (DICOTS) Network was developed to facilitate interdisciplinary communication between the graduate and medical campuses at Duke University and to provide PhD students with a unique networking opportunity...In the DICOTS Network, students are paired with advisors according to their career interests. The role of advisors is to meet (in person or by phone, if not local) with the graduate student who has a particular interest in their field of expertise; advisors provide career advice and may refer students to educational programs, internship opportunities, or other more specific training avenues." Throughout the year, students also participate in targeted professional development programming. 

New cohorts are formed each September by competitive application.

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Duke Scholars in Molecular Medicine

The Duke Scholars in Molecular Medicine Program is a 9 month program (September to May) in which PhD candidates and postdoctoral associates who are studying basic sciences gain hands on experience in clinical areas related to their field of research. 

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Emerging Leaders Institute

The Graduate School hosts this 6-week session each year in the spring, following competitive application in the fall. Through intensive workshops, interdisciplinary team-work, and personal coaching, participants become more prepared for careers both in and outside of academia.

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Individual Development Plan (IDP)

In keeping with the NIH recommendation for creating IDPs for graduate students, the Office of Biomedical Graduate Education requires that all students who matriculated through PhD programs associated with the School of Medicine complete an Individual Development Plan. The IDP must be completed by June of their 3rd year.  This requirement includes all students who entered through a biomedical program, independent of their source of funding.  Individual programs may require additional or more frequent IDPs.  

The nature of the IDP will be determined by each program for its students with the AAAS IDP used as a guide.  Several programs such as the Medical Scientist Training Program have customized IDPs. 

IDPs are confidential and need not be shared with the student’s thesis advisor, graduate program, or with the Office of Biomedical Graduate Education unless the student voluntarily decides to do so.  They will not be submitted to NIH. 

As part of the IDP, the student will be asked to meet and discuss the IDP with a faculty/administrative mentor, who may or may not be the thesis advisor.  Students may choose more than one mentor.  The degree to which information from the IDP is shared with mentor(s) is up to the student. To augment the IDP, a Career Development Workshop is required of all students in July of the 3rd year.  Registration for the session requires that students 1) verify that they have completed an IDP; 2) provide the name(s) and dates of the advisor/mentor consulted in conjunction with the IDP; and 3) to indicate two or three career interests  which will be explored during the workshop.  The signed registration form validates that an IDP was completed.  Completion of the workshop is recorded by the university registrar and is required for graduation.

Preparing Future Faculty

The Duke Graduate School provides a yearlong experience for PhD students and postdocs to prepare them for the multiple roles they may be asked to assume as future faculty members in a variety of academic institutions.  Students who have passed their prelims are eligible to apply. After acceptance, you will be paired with a faculty member in a nearby college or university, where you may gain first-hand experience in lesson planning, lecturing, engaging in faculty meetings, and more. This program is intended for students interested in exploring faculty positions that are not solely reserach-based.

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Additional Resources Organized by Topic

Career Fairs, Networking, and Online Resources: Doing your Research

Develop your skills, build your network, learn about different industries or meet with representatives and recruiters from companies looking for employees just like you! Nervous about networking? It's not a job interview - it's just an opportunity to ask questions and exchange information - otherwise known as conducting research! The added benefit of in-person networking is that you can get a more nuanced narrative, ask follow-up questions, and, of course, form bonds with people who may end up providing essential connections in the future - you never know! Check out these tips for success and our own networking questions cheat sheet, and don't forget to bring along a few business cards! When you get home, you can jot down a few notes so that you remember what you learned from your new colleagues!

  • Career fairs are listed on the Career Services website
  • Go Government: Hosts listings of current openings for Biology jobs in the Federal Government as well as a guide to tailoring your application materials to the particular specifications of the Federal application process.
  • LinkedIn: Use keywords to search your expanded network for professionals with experience in professions of your interest or for those with similar educational background to yours. Don't hesitate to ask mutual acquaintances for an introduction - people are usually happy to talk about their own experiences if you ask politely. Check out a group for professionals in careers you are curious about. While you're at it, don't forget to soup up your own profile using the tips from this online Sakai workshop created specifically for Duke graduate students.
  • NC Biotech Jobs Network: Structured networking with other life scientists, job recruiters and company representatives at this free monthly event.
  • New York Academy Of Sciences Career Resources: Includes career exploration resources, online courses and webinars.
  • NIEHS Biomedical Career Symposium: Expand your network while you explore diverse professional fields.
  • NIH Careers Blog: Rich resource of articles, advice and alumni interview
  • NIH Career Symposium: Panels and skills workshops with over 75 speakers. Note: this is not a job fair.
  • NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education Videocasts
  • Science Careers Networking Series
  • Triangle Biotech Tuesday: Monthly networking event connecting scientific professionals to foster communication and collaboration throughout the Research Triangle
  • University of Chicago myCHOICE: Houses a diverse collection of examples of how biomedical PhDs find meaningful and exciting applications of their scientific training.
  • Versatile PhD: A rich resource for researching potential careers, watching Q&A panel discussions, and viewing successfully used cover letters, résumés, and personal testimonials about career paths.

Biotech/Pharma Scientist (R&D, Drug Development, CRO, etc.)

  • Duke Clinical Research Institute Research Forum: To share lessons learned and best practices for clinical research so we can all do it better. The discussions take place every Tuesday from 12 p.m.–1 p.m. ET and are also live-streamed.

  • Facts and Fiction: Careers in Industry and Academia: Roundtable discussion webinar from Science Careers

  • Industrial Postdocs: GenentechMerck, Novartis & Roche

  • NC Bioimpact: "Want to upgrade your skills or find out more about the biotechnology industry? Short courses or a certificate program may be for you."

  • NC Biosciences Organization: "NCBIO is dedicated to promoting the future growth and development of North Carolina’s bioscience industry.  NCBIO advocates for state and federal public policies that encourage the growth of life science companies, supports  the development of a strong life science workforce, promotes research and technology transfer at universities and other institutions including support for capitalization and commercialization of products." Check out the extensive list of resources.

  • NC Biotech Jobs Network: Structured networking with other life scientists, job recruiters and company representatives at this free monthly event.

  • NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education Videocasts: Video trainings on topics such as "Top 10 List: Things Scientists Ask about Finding an Industry Job",  "Industry Careers Overview and Job Packages", "The Industry Job Search", etc. 

  • Science Careers Networking Series

  • Triangle Biotech Tuesday: Monthly networking event connecting scientific professionals to foster communication and collaboration throughout the Research Triangle.

Consulting

  • Duke APD Consulting Club"Duke APD Consulting Club is a student-run organization at Duke University that works to enhance career opportunities, training & development for APD candidates (graduate students and postdoctoral fellows) at Duke University. In past, we have organized a number of events such as case competitions, case interview training, inter-disciplinary networking events, and information sessions with top consulting firms. Missed any lecture or would like to have a peek first? Visit our YouTube Channel for the past offerings."
  • Career Center's "Explore Careers Series" on Consulting: Learn about the basics of a consulting careers, see sample positions and required skills, learn how to gain experience and meet current professionals.
  • Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators (DISI): "We provide a variety of consultancy services for social organizations, including impact evaluation, capacity building, strategy, technology integration, and finance." 

Data Science and Software Engineering

  • Career Center's "Explore Careers Series" on Data Science: Learn about the basics of these careers, sample positions and required skills, learn how to gain experience and meet current professionals.
  • Duke Data and Visualization Services: provides consulting services and instruction that support data-driven research. Our team of consultants and interns offers support in data sources, data management, data visualization, geographic information systems, financial data, and statistical software. Our lab includes 12 workstations with the latest data software and three Bloomberg Professional workstations and is open nearly 24/7 for the Duke community. Recordings of past workshops on topics such as are available here.
  • Duke Network Analysis Center: "The purpose of the Duke Network Analysis Center is to build a world-class network science & analysis program at Duke to: (a) help make visible the cutting-edge network scholarship currently ongoing on campus, (b) promote new collaborations in network science, (c) introduce new researchers to network science and train them in its methods and applications, (d) provide a research service in network analysis methods to the wider Duke community, and (e) enhance Duke’s position as a leader in the research triangle and throughout the nation in this exciting interdisciplinary field."
  • HackDuke: "HackDuke encourages students to venture beyond the classroom. Learn how your skills can be used to make a difference in other people's lives. Get to know your fellow programmers better from your own and other schools!"
  • Innovation Co-Lab: "Where students, faculty or staff of any skill and confidence level can comfortably start to gain an understanding of how to make use of a variety of tools and technologies. Offering workshops in topics like HTML, CSS, Javascript, Python, Research Computing, 3d Modeling and Fabrication, and many more."
  • Introduction to Git at Duke: A free, online course provided by Duke Extend. "This course will cover setting up a Git repository, working with remote repositories on Duke's GitLab, and recommendations for team workflow."
  • Introduction to Linux at Duke: A free, online course provided by Duke Extend. "This course was designed as a comprehensive overview of using Linux command line tools (also handy for Mac users) for a variety of tasks. It’s intended to be a prerequisite for a variety of CS and ECE classes at Duke, as well as for anyone interested in learning Linux."
  • Linda.com free online technical training on computer programming and database design

Entrepreneurship

  • Council for Entrepreneurial Development: "As the Triangle’s networking resource for more than 30 years, CED helps entrepreneurs connect and grow, with the aim of cultivating a community of entrepreneurship in Durham, NC, across the Triangle and throughout North Carolina."  Hosts a yearly conference for entrepreneurship in the life sciences.
  • Duke Global Entrepreneurship: "The goal of this group is to be a sophisticated and active network that helps create debate, dialogue, and productive connections between Duke entrepreneurs.  We are providing the energy and coordination to encourage Duke entrepreneurs, around the globe, to connect and increase their chances of success." Includes links to events, self-help manuals, and profiles of entrepreneurial alumni, among other resources.
  • Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Overview of the opportunities at Duke, including access to facilities and support programs.
  • Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Academy: Workshops to gain skills and learn about industries
  • Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Graduate Courses: Fall 2017 Offerings include evening courses Research and Technology Translation (I&E 710) and Biodesign (I&E 720).
  • Duke Program for Entrepreneurs: "In the Program for Entrepreneurs (P4E), undergraduate, graduate and professional students form multidisciplinary teams to explore potential markets for an innovation, evaluate the viability of a business model, develop strategies for bringing it to market and launching a new commercial or social venture - all in a structured participatory learning environment."
  • Duke Startup Challenge: "The Duke Startup Challenge, founded in 1999, is designed to help Duke's entrepreneurship community flourish, with a year long entrepreneurship competition followed by an accelerator program."
  • Duke Women in Science and Business"Women in Science and Business (WISB) strives to create a community for professional development in which we can discuss the benefits, challenges, and skills required of being a woman in academia. At each meeting we discuss a book; most of the books focus on being a women in the workforce, with a particular focus on thriving in the fields of science and/or business. While the group is aimed at women, we welcome all genders to the discussion."

Global Health

  • Bayer Global Regulatory Affairs InternshipGain valuable work experience in the healthcare industry while working with regulatory professionals on various projects to learn about the role of regulatory affairs in drug development and product registration as well as the regulatory landscape; Along with on the job training, candidates will be assigned a mentor and expected to deliver project at the end of the internship; Work with Health Authorities in many countries around the world, giving you the opportunity to work in a truly global workplace; Work with Health Authorities such as the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). Successful candidates must be a high performer with a global perspective, interested in the interactions between science and policy, who want to work with dynamic people and contribute to a changing environment
  • Doctoral Certificate in Global Health: "The Global Health Doctoral Certificate provides an opportunity for doctoral students from across Duke to engage in the field of global health through a combination of coursework, a research-related field experience, and engagement with peers and faculty. The certificate requires completion of three courses, a doctoral seminar, and a field research experience."
  • Triangle Global Health Consortium: "The Triangle Global Health Consortium’s mission is to establish North Carolina as an international center for research, training, education, advocacy and business dedicated to improving the health of the world's communities. We seek to engage academic, governmental, business and nonprofit organizations in this collaborative effort."

Law, Intellectual Property & Tech Transfer

  • Career Center's "Explore Careers Series" on Tech Transfer, IP, and Patent Law: Learn about the basics of these careers, sample positions and required skills, learn how to gain experience and meet current professionals.

  • Duke Office of Licensing and Ventures Fellows Program: "The Fellows Program is an exciting opportunity for Duke graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to gain exposure to the process of commercialization of academic science!"

  • Duke Science and Society: "The Duke Initiative for Science & Society examines the integral role of science in law, policy, social institutions, and culture"
  • Introduction to Patents at Duke: A free, online course provided by Duke Extend. "This short course is divided into two main types of instructional units - lectures that explain how and why the patent system works and demos that show you how to conduct patent searches using the tools available here at Duke and online."
  • Journal of Law and the Biosciences: Build your intellectual community and consider submitting a commentary piece
  • Law 333 Science Law & Policy: "What are the government policies that support science? How is science regulated and controlled? What can science contribute to law and policy? How do the states, the federal government and international agencies interact to set science policy? How do disparate regulations and law impact research and translation? How is scientific research funded? These questions and more will be explored by looking at the interaction of law, science, and policy."
  • Law 471/Bioethics 706 Amicus Lab: "The purpose of the Amicus Lab is to teach students about the use of emerging science and technology in the courts and regulatory agencies through the drafting and submission of amicus briefs and comments to rule-makings."
  • Law 527 Access to Medicines: Intellectual Property and Global Public Health: A seminar course available to non-law graduate students by permission of the instructor
  • SLAPLAB: "SLAPLAB (Science, Law & Policy Lab) is a vertically-integrated, interdisciplinary laboratory directed by Dr. Nita Farahany (Professor of Law & Philosophy, Director of Duke Initiative for Science & Society). SLAPLAB is designed to bring science to bear on questions of law and policy. Faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and undergrads work together on shared research projects and publications." Work with SLAPLAB is performed in addition to the student's ongoing dissertation research.

Medical and Regulatory Affairs

  • Bayer Global Regulatory Affairs InternshipGain valuable work experience in the healthcare industry while working with regulatory professionals on various projects to learn about the role of regulatory affairs in drug development and product registration as well as the regulatory landscape; Along with on the job training, candidates will be assigned a mentor and expected to deliver project at the end of the internship; Work with Health Authorities in many countries around the world, giving you the opportunity to work in a truly global workplace; Work with Health Authorities such as the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). Successful candidates must be a high performer with a global perspective, interested in the interactions between science and policy, who want to work with dynamic people and contribute to a changing environment.

  • Duke Clinical Research Institute Research ForumTo share lessons learned and best practices for clinical research so we can all do it better. The discussions take place every Tuesday from 12 p.m.–1 p.m. ET and are also live-streamed.
  • Duke Translational Medicine Institute's Office of Regulatory Affairs and Quality (ORAQ): Provides education and training opportunities free of charge to all members of the Duke community, including workshops on regulatory requirements for investigational new drugs and investigational new devices as well as 7-week Regulatory Affairs Training Program.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner's Fellowship Program: "FDA invites outstanding health care professionals, scientists, and engineers to apply to its two-year Fellowship Program, where they will receive regulatory science training and the chance to conduct cutting-edge research on targeted scientific, policy, or regulatory issues under the mentorship of an FDA senior scientist."
  • NCBioImpact: Offers a short course on FDA and EPA Regulations
  • North Carolina Regulatory Affairs Forum: "NCRAF is dedicated to providing education and support for the continuing professional development of individuals who have an interest in regulatory affairs activities as they apply to research, development, or manufacture of drugs, biologics, or medical devices."  Check out the educational opportunities and blog for news and perspectives.

Science Communication, Writing and Outreach

  • AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program: "This 10-week summer program places science, engineering, and mathematics students at media organizations nationwide."
  • American Society for Cell Biology"Write for the ASCB Post. In our search for the latest in cell biology news and insights, the Post welcomes opinion articles and plain language discussion of exciting new cell research. Add Your Voice to the COMPASS (Committee for Postdocs and Students) Blog. The COMPASS blog is looking for fresh and intelligent content on topics relevant to young scientists."
  • Bioethic 502: Communicating Science & Bioethics
  • Bioethic 510S: Science and the Media: Narrative Writing about Science, Health and Policy
  • Bioethic 702: Science Communication for Scientists
  • BOOST: Science Communication & Grade 5-12 Education
  • Career Center's "Explore Careers Series" on Science Writing and Journalism and Museums and Outreach: Learn about the basics of these careers, explore sample positions and required skills, and find out how to gain experience or meet with current professionals.

  • ComSciCon Regional Annual Conferences: "Communicating Science is a workshop series organized by graduate students, for graduate students, focused on science communication skills."
  • DOinGG: Science Communication & K-12 Education
  • Duke Center for Science Education: K-16, Graduate and Community Education
  • Duke Med Elementary: Medical and Public Health Education for 3rd & 4th Graders
  • Duke Science & Society: Archival listing of courses at the intersection of science and society
  • Duke's Science Policy Tracking Website (SciPol)"The site provides comprehensive information on science policy across legislative, regulatory, judicial, and executive actions. Our signature policy briefs provide in-depth information about the policy, underlying science, endorsements and opposition, and likelihood of adoption. Briefs are authored by students, who receive edits and feedback to train them in the skills of policy analysis and to ensure the quality of published content." Read more and get involved!

  • Duke Science Review"The Duke Science Review is a unique platform allowing for the exploration and development of scientific passions while honing skills in written communication." Gain experience in science communication through submission of an article, or in the editorial process by joining other School of Medicine and undergrad students on the board of editors.
  • DukeSNAP: Science Communication
  • Graduate School Professional Development Blog: Contributing an Alumni Profile is a simple way to build your science communication portfolio while developing your own professional network
  • Journal of Law and Biosciences: Contribute a commentary to build your record of science communication
  • Morehead Science Ambassadors IMPACTS Program: "Morehead recruits and trains 50 scientists each year in public communication. The goal of this program is to have scientists who reflect the diversity of our state ready and willing to communicate their passion for science to diverse audiences. IMPACTS, or the “Inspiring Meaningful Programs and Communication through Science” program, cultivates STEM professionals from colleges, universities, businesses and government. These scientists then go on to become official Morehead Science Ambassadors." Competitive application yearly each fall.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships in Science Communication and Science Policy (see also "Science Policy" section below)
  • Science Communicators of North Carolina: "SCONC is a professional organization founded in April 2007 in the Research Triangle of North Carolina to provide fellowship and networking among folks who bring science to the public.We include science writers, journalists, public information officers, teachers and institutional communicators working in universities, government labs, industry, museums and schools — just about anyone interested in communicating science."
  • Toastmasters: "Duke Toastmasters Club is a supportive community for developing leadership and communication skills. Members learn to express thoughts, ideas, and opinions and also develop leadership potential through an enjoyable, supportive and thoroughly professional, self-paced educational program." Whatever your professional goals, developing clear, persuasive, and engaging communication skills will be well-worth the time. Check out the website for meeting times and resources.

Science Policy & Advocacy

  • AAAS Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering Workshop: "This entry-level program is organized to educate graduate students who are interested in learning about the role of science in policy-making, to introduce them to the federal policy-making process, and to empower them with ways to become a voice for basic research throughout their careers.  The workshop is designed for students in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, with limited experience and knowledge of science policy and advocacy who want to learn more about science policy." Each year we send one-two  students, all expenses paid, to DC to participate in this program.
  • AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships: "AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) provide opportunities to outstanding scientists and engineers to learn first-hand about policymaking while contributing their knowledge and analytical skills to the federal policymaking process. Fellows serve yearlong assignments in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government in Washington."
  • Advocate Science"Advocate Science occupies a unique niche among national science organizations.  We are solely focused on regional and statewide issues and engagement.  We plan to replicate what we learn in Raleigh, NC and apply this to other regions.  All of our initiatives from a regional science map, science policy forums, school science expert speaker bureau are replicable.  In the Triangle region, we are known for our entrepreneurial spirit.  It is very fitting, that our region will be the first of many AdvocateScience locations."
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Science Policy Fellowship: "The primary goal of the fellowship program is to offer young scientists (within 5 years of PhD) exposure to work at the intersection of science communications, policy and social science. The fellow will work closely with the ASBMB Director of Public Affairs, Benjamin Corb, and participate in a range of science-policy research, communications and advocacy activities. He/she will spend time on Capitol Hill attending meetings and hearings, agency briefings, seminars and coalition sessions. He/she will participate in activities of the ASBMB  Public Affairs Advisory Committee . Outside of the general responsibilities discussed below, the fellow will have significant freedom to follow specific topics and issues that are of interest to him/her."
  • American Society for Cell Biology, Advocacy Toolbox: Provides resources and advice on connecting to congress, starting a student group, and examples of successful advocacy.
  • American Society for Human Genetics, Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship"The fellowship is designed as a bridge for genetics professionals wishing to transition to a policy career. This unique fellowship provides three separate types of experiences: time spent in the National Institutes of Health within the Executive Branch; a staff position on Capitol Hill serving elected officials in the Legislative Branch; and experience working with ASHG in the non-profit science advocacy sector. This variety of assignments provides experience for fellows in multiple areas of policy-making and helps build a professional network that advances their careers in policy."
  • American Society for Microbiology Congressional Science Fellowship: "The program will select a postdoctoral to mid-career microbiologist to spend one year on the staff of an individual member of Congress, Congressional Committee, or with some other appropriate organizational unit of Congress. The purpose of the program is to make practical contributions to more effective use of scientific knowledge in government, to educate the scientific communities regarding public policy, and to broaden the perspective of both the scientific and governmental communities regarding the value of such science-government interaction...Prospective Fellows must be citizens of the United States, be members of ASM for at least one year at the time of application and must have completed their Ph.D. by the time the fellowship begins in September."
  • Bayer Global Regulatory Affairs InternshipGain valuable work experience in the healthcare industry while working with regulatory professionals on various projects to learn about the role of regulatory affairs in drug development and product registration as well as the regulatory landscape; Along with on the job training, candidates will be assigned a mentor and expected to deliver project at the end of the internship; Work with Health Authorities in many countries around the world, giving you the opportunity to work in a truly global workplace; Work with Health Authorities such as the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). Successful candidates must be a high performer with a global perspective, interested in the interactions between science and policy, who want to work with dynamic people and contribute to a changing environment.
  • California Council on Science and Technology: "The California Council on Science & Technology (CCST) Science & Technology Policy Fellows Program places ten PhD-level scientists annually in the California legislature for one-year appointments. Fellows work hands-on with policymakers addressing complex scientific and technical issues as well as assuming other responsibilities of full-time legislative staffers. CCST is recruiting nationally and encourages applications from individuals across the country. Fellows should be interested in California policy issues and its legislative process."
  • Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program"The Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program, now in its 20th year, provides early career individuals with the opportunity to spend 12 weeks at the Academies in Washington, DC learning about science and technology policy and the role that scientists and engineers play in advising the nation." Sponsored by the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine.

  • Duke Graduate and Professional Student Council: A great avenue for involvement in University governance and administration. "GPSC's purpose is to: represent and advocate on behalf of graduate and professional students at Duke University; serve as a liaison among the student governments of the graduate and professional schools of the University; serve as a liaison between graduate and professional students and the University Administration; nominate graduate and professional student representatives to University committees; program events of interest to the graduate and professional student community; and financially support the programming of graduate and professional student groups."

  • Duke INSPIRE: "Duke INSPIRE is dedicated to the enrichment of graduate education and open scientific discourse.  We aim to accelerate academic scientific progress and increase public engagement with scientific advancement."

  • Duke Law, Science & Technology Post-Doctoral Fellowship: "This fellowship is intended for individuals with a doctoral degree (JD, PhD, MD, DPhil) who are interested in an academic or policy career working on issues in science and society, with a particular interest in the legal, ethical, and social implications of science and technology." Accepts applications only periodically - contact scienceandsociety@duke.edu for questions. 

  • Duke Policy Bridge: "Deep engagement with the policy world is one of the Sanford School’s core values. The Policy Bridge was created to promote engagement as a two-way street, amplify the impact of our research to benefit society, and help our faculty and students be more aware of and responsive to the needs of the policy community. The Policy Bridge serves the entire Duke community."
  • Duke Population Research Institute: "The Duke University Population Research Institute (DUPRI) is an interdisciplinary research organization bringing together researchers from the biological, economic, mathematical, psychological, statistical, sociological, and policy sciences at Duke."
  • Duke's Science Policy Tracking Website (SciPol)"The site provides comprehensive information on science policy across legislative, regulatory, judicial, and executive actions. Our signature policy briefs provide in-depth information about the policy, underlying science, endorsements and opposition, and likelihood of adoption. Briefs are authored by students, who receive edits and feedback to train them in the skills of policy analysis and to ensure the quality of published content." Read more and get involved!
  • Duke Science & Society: "The Duke Initiative for Science & Society examines the integral role of science in law, policy, social institutions, and culture" Also includes and archival listing of courses at the intersection of science and society, including the intersection of law and genetics.
  • Engaging Scientists & Engineers in Policy: "an ad hoc alliance of organizations that have joined together to empower scientists and engineers to effectively engage in the policy making process at all levels of government (federal, state and local). ​ESEP serves as a resource one-stop-shop, a communication forum, networking opportunity and as an engagement vehicle for science & technology policy stakeholders." Check out their resources page!
  • Internships and Fellowships in Science Policy: Not an exhaustive list, and may be a touch out of date, but it's a great place to start searching!
  • Law 333 Science Law & Policy: "What are the government policies that support science? How is science regulated and controlled? What can science contribute to law and policy? How do the states, the federal government and international agencies interact to set science policy? How do disparate regulations and law impact research and translation? How is scientific research funded? These questions and more will be explored by looking at the interaction of law, science, and policy."
  • National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine Gulf Research Policy Fellowship: helps scientists hone their skills by putting them to practice for the benefit of Gulf Coast communities and ecosystems. Fellows gain first-hand experience at the interface of science and policy as they spend one year on the staff of federal, state, local, or non-governmental environmental, natural resource, oil and gas, and public health agencies in the Gulf of Mexico region. 
    With the guidance of a mentor, fellows delve into activities like research, evaluation, restoration planning, stakeholder outreach, and policy development and learn what it takes to make scientific information not just useful but useable. Meanwhile, host offices get a talented technical expert with a fresh perspective and a new network of contacts across the Gulf of Mexico region. 
  • NC Biosciences Organization: "NCBIO advocates for North Carolina’s life sciences industry at the state and national levels.  In North Carolina, the Organization represents its members at the North Carolina General Assembly and before state courts, regulatory agencies and executive branch policy leaders. At the national level, NCBIO works with the national Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) to support appropriate federal policies and to keep members of North Carolina's congressional delegation informed as to industry needs and priorities." 
  • Rethinking Regulation: "Rethinking Regulation at Duke's Kenan Institute for Ethics is an interdisciplinary research, teaching, and outreach program exploring the broad terrain of regulatory governance through both descriptive and normative approaches...The program serves as a launching pad for interdisciplinary research and education projects, providing a new means of connecting faculty and students across the boundaries of disciplines and professional schools. It also provides opportunities to link scholars to policy-makers."
  • SLAPLAB: "SLAPLAB (Science, Law & Policy Lab) is a vertically-integrated, interdisciplinary laboratory directed by Dr. Nita Farahany (Professor of Law & Philosophy, Director of Duke Initiative for Science & Society). SLAPLAB is designed to bring science to bear on questions of law and policy. Faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and undergrads work together on shared research projects and publications." Work with SLAPLAB is performed in addition to the student's ongoing dissertation research.
  • The Presidential Management Fellowship: "PMFs perform valuable service to the American people while jump-starting their careers, and get full salary and benefits as well as challenging assignments, formal professional training, rotations to other agencies, feedback on their work, plus an opportunity to make government run more efficiently. Finalists appointed as PMFs are hired by Federal Agencies and engage in solving domestic and/or international issues in areas such as public administration, engineering, technology, science, criminal justice, health, and financial management, to name a few." As of November 2017 the STEM-specific track was suspended, although individuals with an interest in STEM-related policy are still encouraged to apply to the main PMF.
  • Under the Poliscope Blog: Written by Dr. Carrie D. Wolinetz, Associate Director for Science Policy and Director of the Office of Science Policy (OSP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Teaching

  • ASHG Genetics and Education Fellowship: "The fellowship is designed as a bridge for genetics professionals wishing to transition to education careers. This unique fellowship provides several experiences: working with NHGRI’s Education and Community Involvement Branch; working with the education department at ASHG; and an optional experience working with another organization involved in substantive science education initiatives."
  • Bass Instructional Fellowship: Logistical and financial support for a robust teaching experience and pedagogical training during graduate school. Time commitment is similar to that of TA'ing: 10-20 hours per week for one semester.
  • BOOST: Science Communication & Grade 5-12 Education
  • Career Center Career Options Guides to K-12 Education or College and University Teaching
  • DOinGG: Science Communication & K-12 Education
  • Duke AHEAD: Geared toward health professionals, but also includes some basic-science offerings, including "teach the teachers" style opportunities, an educational literature discussion group, and a certificate program in Health Professionals education.
  • DukeTIP: K-12 Education
  • FEMMES: "Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering and Science is a student-led organization at Duke University that hosts educational outreach programs related to math, science, and engineering for 4th-6th grade girls in Durham."
  • A Guide for Graduate Students Interested in Postdoctoral Positions in Biology Education Research: Review article published by CBE Life Sciences
  • IRACDA Teaching Postdoc: Combines traditional postdoctoral research with structured training in pedagogy and teaching opportunities
  • MUSER (Matching Undergraduates to Science and Engineering Research): With the support of their PI, graduate students or postdocs can register to mentor an undergrad in laboratory research. Project-matching occurs thrice yearly.
  • Teaching Assistantships: In addition to contacting faculty and department chairs directly to inquire about positions, consider these opportunities.
  • Teaching IDEAS Series: "Instructional Development for Excellence And Success is an annual workshop series open to Duke graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff. Invited speakers in this series will draw upon their experience to address topics relevant to classroom teaching, dealing with students, or faculty life and career paths."

Revised 27 March 2018

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can be directed to OBGE staff at obge@dm.duke.edu.