Developing Skills for Industry, Nonprofit & Government, Science Communications, or Academia | NYU Langone Health

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Professional Development for Postdoctoral Fellows Developing Skills for Industry, Nonprofit & Government, Science Communications, or Academia

Developing Skills for Industry, Nonprofit & Government, Science Communications, or Academia

In a series of semester-long courses at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows develop skills specific to four career tracks: for-profit industry, nonprofit companies and government, science communications, and academia.

We also encourage you to gain practical experience as interns with science-writing firms, biotech companies, and technology transfer offices. You may also seek work as an adjunct college or university instructor. Your research mentor supports your career training by allowing you to miss lab time to pursue these opportunities, as internships or adjunct positions may last up to a few months.

For-Profit Industry

Pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and other for-profit companies often hire people with biomedical PhDs. In addition to positions in research and development, you may pursue a nonresearch corporate career in administration, project management, regulatory affairs, technical support, and science communications.

Through NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s industry partnerships with companies including IBM, Regeneron, and Functional Genetics, you learn about a company’s organization, structure, and hiring practices. Our program also teaches you about the nuances of company startups, scientific entrepreneurship, and intellectual property law.

Scientific consulting is another often-overlooked career path for biomedical trainees. NYU Grossman School of Medicine partners with large firms, such as Boston Strategic Partners, and boutique firms specializing in biomedical industries, such as Catenion. You can become familiar with their positions and how to apply.

The Business of Science Course

Because jobs are available in many nonacademic settings, such as industry and nonprofit organizations, it is important to understand the skills necessary for employment in these sectors. Beyond the skills traditionally taught in graduate and postgraduate programs, business and social skills, such as communications, performance management, and team building, are critical in jobs outside academia.

Our Business of Science certificate course introduces the key skills that organizations value in their employees. Based on the SciPhD training program, this course focuses on 24 core competencies sought by industry. You learn how these competencies are related to what you have learned and done as an academic scientist and to demonstrate how science works together with business. The course is taught over five sessions, including three hours on one Monday evening and four eight-hour Sunday sessions.

Drug Development Course

Bringing a new chemical entity, drug, or device to consumers is an expensive, complicated, and time-consuming process. Drug discovery and product development may be led by an industry or academic institution, and many aspects of development focus on meeting requirements mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies.

Led by faculty at NYU Langone’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, this course covers the prerequisites to product approval that researchers need to understand, including preclinical, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, stability, and toxicity trials, as well as clinical trials (phases 1 through 4) and post-marketing surveillance. You also learn about protocol planning, safety monitoring, data and cost analysis, and the drug development process.

Startup Bootcamp

The Startup Bootcamp at the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute introduces NYU and NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and researchers to the basic components of research commercialization through startup ventures. If you have an invention or product idea, or want to learn more about how your work could become the basis for a startup, join this group and explore what’s possible.

Fundamentals of Technology Commercialization Course

This course examines the transformation of scientific and technical knowledge into commercial products and services. Cross-disciplinary teams of students assess various technologies, with a focus on the commercialization process, including licensing and new venture development. Concepts explored range from decisions made by scientists at the research bench through the development, patenting, and licensing of new technologies to the formation of entrepreneurial enterprises.

The course is led by members of NYU’s Technology Opportunities and Ventures, and various guest speakers draw on case studies from NYU Langone’s commercialization experiences in life sciences and devices.

Nonprofit Industry and Government

Scientists play an important role in public safety and public policy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state agencies, and local governments employ people with biomedical PhDs. The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Science and Technology Policy Fellowships, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Presidential Management Fellows Program, and other postgraduate opportunities are popular routes to enter governmental roles.

Graduates with biomedical PhDs are also hired as scientific review employees and program officers for the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, and nonprofit institutions also hire researchers. Principal investigator positions at nonprofits can be similar to those at universities but usually don’t offer tenure. Nonprofits increasingly require that employees in administrative positions who handle biomedical issues have PhDs. They also hire people with scientific backgrounds for advocacy and outreach.

Science Diplomacy Course

Scientists frequently help define U.S. policy on science and technology. They also work internationally to design policies related to global development and to establish scientific partnerships. These activities have been coined “science diplomacy.”

In this course, local, national, and international experts in science diplomacy give you a clear picture of the concept, including its sectors, participating agencies, challenges, and potential for action. You also learn about career options in the field and how you can act as a science diplomat. During the course, you design a science diplomacy project and devise implementation strategies.

Science Policy Course

Support for science policy requires trained individuals who can recommend policies to lawmakers, granting agencies, and other influential groups, as well as teach. The Science Policy course outlines the skills needed to succeed in this career path. Our instructors provide practical experience in writing science policy.

Science Communications

Scientists need to be effective communicators, and those who can articulate complex scientific ideas are highly sought. Scientists who can explain basic research to medical professionals and industry executives may be good candidates for a career in medical writing. Continuing medical education, in which scientists develop curricula for medical professionals, is another possible career path. Scientists are also employed as freelance science writers or in science journalism.

Medical Communication Course

Our Medical Communication course is intended for those who are curious about a nonacademic career path after graduate or postdoctoral work. This course helps you decide if that is where your interests lie, especially after participating in a medical communication assignment.

Academic Writing Course

Our Academic Writing course teaches you how to prepare research papers, conference proposals, conference posters, book chapters, technical reports, and dissertations. Class discussion focuses on the role of rhetorical positioning in the development of a clear, interesting, and rigorous scientific research paper. We discuss the significance of narrowing the problem, the construction of logical arguments, the reporting and interpretation of data, reader-oriented writing, genre, precision, tone, and strategies for redrafting and editing.

You also refine your critical reading skills as you offer feedback to colleagues. You receive detailed feedback on your writing in class and in one-on-one consultation. During all editing activities, attention is given to the structure and logic of the author’s argument, the use of detail, transitions, word choice, and flow.

Confident Communicators of Science Course

Being an effective communicator and an engaging presenter is an essential skill for all scientists. Although smartphones give most people access to the latest news, it can still be difficult for scientists to engage audiences. In this course, we explore how to develop impactful stories in part by understanding the unique needs of an audience.


The professional and communication skills we confer are also relevant to a career as a tenured faculty researcher, although this is not a focal point of the program.

The number of tenure-track research jobs is much smaller than the number of recent graduates with biomedical PhDs. There are, however, several careers in academic settings that utilize the same skills. For example, we provide postdocs and graduate students with specialized teaching skills and experience that go beyond PhD training.

Increasing opportunities exist within academia to pursue commercialization of intellectual property. Scientists can also fill positions in university administration, including postdoctoral or graduate program director and science outreach officer.

Fundamentals of Teaching Course

Much of graduate education focuses on conducting research, with little emphasis placed on teaching and pedagogy. Since you’re often expected to demonstrate good teaching skills and have a teaching portfolio for job applications and obtaining tenure, we offer a course in the fundamentals of teaching that covers teaching scientific content, as well as designing and implementing courses in college- and postgraduate-level education.

Topics include cognitive hierarchies; adult learning; course, lesson, and syllabus design; teaching portfolio creation; lecture hall strategies; active learning strategies; and formative and summative assessment. You implement many of the theories taught and develop a course syllabus, a one-class lesson plan, and a 15-minute teachable unit. Afterward, you are encouraged to apply for available teaching positions at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

Scientists Training as Academic Researchers Course

This short course introduces the academic career path, beginning with applying for jobs, after which negotiations, setting up and running a laboratory, obtaining funding, and working with people in your laboratory are addressed. Each of the six one-hour sessions covers one topic.

The course prepares you to interview for a principal investigator position at an academic institution and helps you hone the skills required to be an independent investigator. The course is complemented by four optional, but recommended, practical sessions throughout the year.

Grant Writing Course

This course, open only to postdoctoral fellows, covers aspects of grant writing, including selecting funding mechanisms, writing grant sections, and understanding administrative policies. This is a hands-on course, and participants need to have identified a funding mechanism they would like to pursue during the course.