We are proud to welcome the 2017 Yale Ciencia Academy Fellows. These 40 young scientists come from 23 institutions in Puerto Rico and throughout the US, they represent a wide variety of research interests, and each brings diverse experiences and perspectives. Just two months into the new class, we are already blown away by the talent, creativity, and drive of the students.
During the first Conversations with Scientists of the 2017 Yale Ciencia Academy (YCA), scientists in research careers talked about their experiences applying for and getting a postdoc, as well as shared practical advice and strategies that helped them during the process.
The panelists were: Dr. Reyna Martinez de Luna, Research Scientist at SUNY Upstate Medical University; Dr. Janitza Montalvo-Ortiz, Postdoctoral Research Associate at Yale University; and Dr. Manuel Navedo, Associate Professor at the University of California, Davis.
During this conversation, panelists in a variety of careers shared practical advice on how you can effectively market yourself to be competitive for your next career move. Panelists also shared strategies for personal branding to help graduate students establish themselves as leaders or experts in their field.
Below is some reading material about marketing yourself and personal branding:
During this conversation, panelists with experience obtaining grants, fellowships and other funds shared practical strategies to get funding from diverse sources (federal and state government, foundations, private industry, etc.), particularly graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. Panelists also provided general advice for successful fundraising in or outside academia, for example, making sure you have an organized, solid narrative; reading the call for proposals carefully; seeking feedback from mentors and peers; anticipating reviewer questions, etc. Read more about Conversations with Scientists: Funding & Fellowships
Your training as a scientist gives you a lot of skills that can be applied to many other sectors. Many life sciences PhDs find fulfilling employment in jobs as varied as science policy, consulting, publishing, law, funding, etc. But how do you make the transition from academia to a new sector? How can you sell the skills you gained as a PhD to work in positions where laboratory research is not involved?
The biotechnology or pharmaceutical industry offers diverse opportunities for PhDs in the life sciences. You can pursue careers in research and development (R&D), management, business, operations and manufacturing, among many others. But, how do you enter a career in industry? How does a PhD prepare you? What skills are important? Read more about Conversations with Scientists: Careers in Industry
A postdoctoral position is the expected next step for many graduate students. If you are interested in an academic career, then a postdoc is definitely a necessary rung on the ladder towards academia. Choosing the right postdoc will then be one of the most important decisions for your career and you will need to think about it carefully and with advance time before making the switch. If you are still not sure about your career goals, then a postdoc might afford you additional time to make a decision, but this can come at a cost of time and salary. For these reasons, it is important to inform yourself as soon as possible about what it means to do a postdoc and what to consider when searching for one. Read more about Conversations with Scientists: The Postdoc Transition