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Career Planning for Early Career Scientists – A New FREE Online Course

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina's picture
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The Yale Ciencia Academy is proud to announce the launch of “Career Planning for Early Career Scientists” (CPECS), a FREE online resource developed by Yale University and the nonprofit Ciencia Puerto Rico in collaboration with iBiology and the Science Communication Lab. CPECS focuses on helping early-career scientists develop skills needed for career planning. Through short videos and exercises students learn how to explore career options, leverage a community of mentors, and develop goal-setting skills. The course was designed with doctoral students and postdocs in mind, but its concepts, principles, and strategies can help scientists at any stage. 

CPECS was developed in collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Fuhrmann, a renowned career development and exploration expert and one of the authors of myIDP.  The course focuses on fundamental skills and tools that can be used at every step of a scientist’s journey, including learning personal assessment strategies to find careers of interest, deconstructing long-term goals into structured and feasible short-term goals, and building an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that can be used for professional or personal growth. 

The course was designed with the busy lives of scientists in mind. It takes only 1-3 hours over three weeks to complete and includes nine short instructional videos, handouts, activities, and discussion forums to connect individuals with peers to share tips and strategies. CPECS guides learners through the completion of exercises and breaks down career planning skills and strategies into more manageable steps. By the end of the course, learners have a personalized roadmap of actionable items that can be immediately implemented to further their career goals.

Thanks to its modular design and exercises, the course may also be used by training program directors and administrators interested in enhancing their trainee’s career planning skills or complementing the use of the IDP tool in their programs. 

This course marks the third in a series “Skills for a Successful Transition from PhD to Postdoc”  Yale Ciencia Academy, iBiology, and Science Communication Lab. Others in this series include The Strategic Postdoc and Strategies for Effective Public Engagement. A fourth training on mentoring topics is in production. 

For questions related to this resource, please contact