Integrating Research and Careers on the Phenotype

A National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT)



Professional Skills for the Life Sciences (BIOL 8240/8250)

This two-semester course provides first-year graduate students in the life sciences with basic professional skills to begin their scientific careers. This includes time management and career planning, communicating in science and giving oral presentations, balancing teaching and research, research ethics and preparing research posters and small grant proposals. Emphasis will be placed on developing an inclusive scientific community.
(Year 1).


Integrated Studies for the Phenotype (BIOL 8300)

This course explores current research on the mechanistic bases, origins, and phenotypes, with an emphasis on the novel insights that can be gained through integrative approaches. Integrative studies will be explored through a combination of guided readings, class discussions, and self-exploration of the literature. Chalk talk exercises will provide practice in project design and presentation skills. Directed readings and laboratory tours will introduce students to techniques and approaches available in life sciences labs and how they can be applied across disciplines. 
(Years 1 or 2, required as an EXPAND Fellow)

Career Design/for Life Sciences (BIOL 8310)

This course will use a student-centered approach to explore diverse careers available to life science PhD students. Students will identify how their skills and experiences match a variety of professional opportunities, and they will develop an individual development plan (IDP) to guide their career planning. This class is open to all 3rd & 4th year life science PhD students in A&S and BIMS and is part of the PhD Plus Career Design Series and the NSF EXPAND Program.
(Years 3 or 4, required as an EXPAND Fellow)


Professional Transitions Seminar (BIOL 8320)

This seminar is designed to facilitate degree completion and transition to the next career stage for students nearing completion of their PhD. Specific goals will be developed to meet the needs of current students, but will include a writing support group, plans and skills for securing a post-graduate position, check-ins to reinforce time management and reasonable self-expectations, and development of materials required to succeed on the job market in academia or elsewhere (e.g., web presence, resume, cover letter, research description, teaching portfolio, summary of professional experience).
(Years 4 or 5)