Required Office of Professional Development Graduate Programming

Professional development complements your research training and is critical for your success during and after graduate school. Whether you decide to pursue a role in academia, industry, policy, law, education, or in one or more of the many other fields that hire biomedical PhD and MS graduates, knowledge of careers and non-technical skills are required. The required 1st Year Series and meetings provided by the OPD are opportunities for you to initiate and carry out plans to explore careers and develop your non-technical skills during your time in graduate school. In addition, The NIH encourages students to utilize Individual Development Plans (IDPs), required of all NIH-funded trainees, to facilitate research productivity, skill development, career exploration, and professional progress. Leaders in the field of career and professional development find that IDPs for career and professional growth are most effective when they are paired with meetings with career and professional development advisors. The 1st Year Series is designed to build a foundation of knowledge that empowers students to actively engage in career and professional development throughout their graduate training. Meetings with the OPD ensure that students continue to make progress and are aware of resources available to them.

 

PhD Students

1st Year Series

The Office of Professional Development facilitates a 1st Year Series for modules for all 1st year BGREAT graduate students, focused on exploring communication styles, workplace dynamics, barriers and challenges in the biomedical research community, as well as building a foundation for career exploration and professional development. Active participation in this series is a required component of BGREAT 1st year training. Active participation is defined as completion of the 8 asynchronous online modules via Canvas.

Details and Logistics

PhD students will not be able to schedule their 2nd Year IDP Meeting, or receive subsequent approval of their oral prelim committee, unless they have completed this series. The OPD will notify students of relevant date, time and other logistical details of the 1st Year Series prior to the start of the first year students’ fall academic semester. Students may reach out to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and their Director of Graduate Studies to request an exemption, which will be granted on a case by case basis.

2nd Year IDP Meeting

All second year PhD students* are required to do a self-assessment and meet with Sharolyn or Jenna from the Office of Professional Development (OPD) to ensure that a plan is in place for career exploration & professional development. Students are encouraged to use the information discussed in the meeting to develop the career and professional development portion of their individual development plan (IDP).

*The timing of and requirements for this meeting may vary by program, and are communicated by the Directors of Graduate Studies (DGS) and/or Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). Please check the appropriate graduate program handbook and/or consult with your DGS or GPC to determine the timing of and requirements for this meeting.

How to set up and prepare for your IDP meeting

Complete the Office of Professional Development pre-meeting form. The pre-meeting form will direct you to create an account and fill out assessments at ScienceCareers myIDP and share your most recent CV or resume by uploading it via the form. You do not need to update the document - OPD staff will use it to learn more about your professional history. Once you submit the form, you can use the link to the OPD Appointment Calendar to view available appointment slots and schedule your appointment.

Meetings will vary based on individuals. This is just a conversation - there is no exam, and OPD staff are not reporting on what is discussed. It will be up to you to share anything that is discussed with your Research Advisor/Principal Investigator and/or Director of Graduate Studies. Common discussion topics include resources to help improve skills you think you need to work on, how to explore your career interests, setting goals, workplace communication, balancing obligations during graduate school.

Details and Logistics

Beginning January 1, 2020, this meeting is required for students’ advancement to a PhD candidate. The Associate Dean for Graduate Education (Dr. Colin Campbell) or other oral prelim approval designated staff will not approve a PhD student’s oral preliminary examination committees until the student has completed the process outlined above. Students may reach out to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and their Director of Graduate Studies to request an exemption, which will be granted on a case by case basis.

4th/5th Year Career Check-In

All students graduating from BGREAT PhD graduate programs are either strongly encouraged or required* to meet with Office of Professional Development (OPD) staff during the summer before the start of their 5th year to ensure that the student is aware of and connected to career and professional development resources to aid them in planning and preparing for their post-graduation careers.

*The timing of and requirements for this meeting may vary by program, and are communicated by the Directors of Graduate Studies (DGS) and/or Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). Please check the appropriate graduate program handbook and/or consult with your DGS or GPC to determine the timing of and requirements for this meeting.

How to set up and prepare for your Career Check-In

Complete the Office of Professional Development pre-meeting form. The pre-meeting form will direct you to update the OPD on your career and professional development progress and list any specific topics you would like to discuss during the meeting. Once you submit the form, you can use the link to the OPD Appointment Calendar to view available appointment slots and schedule your appointment.

Conversations in the meeting will focus on current skills, interests, values, and career exploration progress. Students will leave the meeting with a list of SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound) goals for their transition out of their graduate program to the next career step. In some cases, a student may set up additional meetings in order to use the OPD as an accountability tool to stay on track.

Details and Logistics

The OPD will reach out to all students at the end of the spring semester of their 4th year to remind them of this policy and encourage them to set up an appointment. Students may reach out to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and their Director of Graduate Studies to request an exemption, which will be granted on a case by case basis.

 

MS Students

1st Year Series

The Office of Professional Development facilitates a 1st Year Series for modules for all 1st year BGREAT graduate students, focused on exploring communication styles, workplace dynamics, barriers and challenges in the biomedical research community, as well as building a foundation for career exploration and professional development. Active participation in this series is a required component of BGREAT 1st year training. Active participation is defined as completion of the 8 asynchronous online modules via Canvas.

Details and Logistics

The OPD will notify students of relevant date, time and other logistical details of the 1st Year Series prior to the start of the first year students’ fall academic semester. Students may reach out to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and their Director of Graduate Studies to request an exemption, which will be granted on a case by case basis.

Fall IDP Meeting

All first year masters students* are required to do a self-assessment and meet with Sharolyn or Jenna from the Office of Professional Development (OPD) to ensure that a plan is in place for career exploration & professional development. Students are encouraged to use the information discussed in the meeting to develop the career and professional development portion of their individual development plan (IDP).

*The timing of and requirements for this meeting may vary by program, and are communicated by the Directors of Graduate Studies (DGS) and/or Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). Please check the appropriate graduate program handbook and/or consult with your DGS or GPC to determine the timing of and requirements for this meeting.

How to set up and prepare for your IDP meeting

Complete the Office of Professional Development pre-meeting form. The pre-meeting form will direct you to create an account and fill out assessments at ScienceCareers myIDP and share your most recent CV or resume by uploading it via the form. You do not need to update the document - OPD staff will use it to learn more about your professional history. Once you submit the form, you can use the link to the OPD Appointment Calendar to view available appointment slots and schedule your appointment.

Meetings will vary based on individuals. This is just a conversation - there is no exam, and OPD staff are not reporting on what is discussed. It will be up to you to share anything that is discussed with your Research Advisor/Principal Investigator and/or Director of Graduate Studies. Common discussion topics include resources to help improve skills you think you need to work on, how to explore your career interests, setting goals, workplace communication, balancing obligations during graduate school.

Details and Logistics

For Stem Cell Biology MS students, the Fall IDP meeting should occur by September 30. For MPaT MS students, the Fall IDP meeting must be scheduled before you are able to register for Spring classes. Students may reach out to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and their Director of Graduate Studies to request an exemption, which will be granted on a case by case basis.

Career Check-In

All students graduating from BGREAT MS graduate programs are either strongly encouraged or required* to meet with Office of Professional Development (OPD) staff at the end of their first year (Stem Cell MS) or Fall of their second year (MPaT MS) to ensure that the student is aware of and connected to career and professional development resources to aid them in planning and preparing for their post-graduation careers.

*The timing of and requirements for this meeting may vary by program, and are communicated by the Directors of Graduate Studies (DGS) and/or Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). Please check the appropriate graduate program handbook and/or consult with your DGS or GPC to determine the timing of and requirements for this meeting.

How to set up and prepare for your Career Check-In

Complete the Office of Professional Development pre-meeting form. The pre-meeting form will direct you to update the OPD on your career and professional development progress and list any specific topics you would like to discuss during the meeting. Once you submit the form, you can use the link to the OPD Appointment Calendar to view available appointment slots and schedule your appointment.

Conversations in the meeting will focus on current skills, interests, values, and career exploration progress. Students will leave the meeting with a list of SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound) goals for their transition out of their graduate program to the next career step. In some cases, a student may set up additional meetings in order to use the OPD as an accountability tool to stay on track.

Details and Logistics

For Stem Cell Biology MS students, the Spring Career Check-in should occur by April 1. For MPaT MS students, the Spring Career Check-in must be scheduled before your final committee is assigned. Students may reach out to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and their Director of Graduate Studies to request an exemption, which will be granted on a case by case basis.

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