Developing Professional Skills for Any Career

Scientific Training Enhancement Program Developing Professional Skills for Any Career
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Scientific Training Enhancement Program Developing Professional Skills for Any Career

Entering the workforce requires more than just the technical skills learned as a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow. As part of NYU School of Medicine and NYU’s Scientific Training Enhancement Program (NYU-STEP), you develop universal job skills, including communication, professionalism, leadership, and creativity. 

Each semester, you identify at least one skill you’d like to enhance, based on the demands of positions you are likely to pursue in your career. Along the way, we collect data on these skill-building exercises, invite your feedback, and share it at the end of the training. 

Communication Skills

Communicating scientific ideas concisely and precisely is not just limited to peer-reviewed papers. Media outlets often seek scientists who can explain complex subjects to the public. Most graduates in the sciences typically learn only technical writing and grant writing skills, and so our program expands training to include skills such as writing op-eds or articles for mainstream publication, public speaking, storytelling, and more.

NYU Science Communication Workshops

The NYU Science Communication Workshops, created in partnership with NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and science writer Stephen S. Hall, teach you to communicate scientific research to broad audiences. The recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in 2012, Mr. Hall regularly contributes to magazines including The New York Times Magazine, Discover, and The New Yorker and has written several books on science reporting. The workshop is administered through the journalism institute’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program.

Each workshop can accommodate 36 participants and is offered twice a year. A workshop consists of a three-hour session, one evening a week for four weeks. You complete three writing assignments. The workshops cover persuasive op-ed writing, narrative reporting, simplifying scientific concepts, eliminating jargon without sacrificing accuracy, and more. An advanced workshop for students who do especially well in the introductory workshop is offered each semester.

Other science communication workshops focus on written, oral, and online communication. The oral presentations workshop, given quarterly, prepares you to give 10- to 60-minute presentations with visual aids. In it, you prepare a 10-minute video-recorded presentation that is critiqued by the group.

A workshop on communicating to nonexpert audiences advises you on presenting complex concepts to lay audiences. In three sessions, you listen to a lecture on developing a compelling narrative, give two-minute and five-minute introductions of your research topic, take part in group activities, and complete a written summary of work.

The writing skills workshop introduces the concepts of rhetorical positioning and reader-oriented writing. This half-day workshop, which builds on previous sessions, helps you understand the writing process by allowing you to write and get feedback. It is a prerequisite to our full-semester course on writing for scientific and nonscientific audiences. The course and the workshop are led by applied linguist Janet Kayfetz, PhD.

Professional Communication Skills Workshop

Led by Mary Mitchell, an expert on business and personal etiquette, this course teaches business etiquette, networking, and interview skills. You watch a 90-minute webinar developed by Ms. Mitchell and the University of Pennsylvania postdoctoral affairs office on the basics of interviewing, common business behavior mistakes, cross-cultural awareness, attire, and related topics.

Other workshops cover networking, conversational skills, and meet-and-greet etiquette. You can take part in confidential one-on-one coaching sessions on communicating well, picking the right attire, grooming, and any other concerns you might have. In recorded coaching sessions, you can discuss how to best present yourself in interviews or other business settings.

Negotiating Skills Workshop

This interactive seminar covers the tools and skills needed to negotiate effectively, both personally and professionally. The workshop uses simulation and discussion to teach negotiation techniques and lets participants practice with each other.

It is taught by Eric Max, Esq., who teaches mediation at NYU School of Law and negotiation at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Professionalism

We host an extensive series of lectures and workshops to help you understand your role as a professional scientist.

Time Management Workshop

Time management is a highly desired skill in the classroom and the workplace. The Office of Development and Learning at NYU School of Medicine designs and delivers a series of 3 90-minute workshops on time management.

The workshops teach you how to understand time traps and identify aspects of your day you can control and those you can’t. You learn the time management steps of deciding, prioritizing, planning, following through, practicing daily, short-and long-term scheduling, managing interruptions, conducting meetings, delegating, and communicating effectively—orally, electronically, and in writing.

The first session is an introduction to time management. The second session focuses on prioritizing goals, scheduling, and managing interruptions. The last session covers efficient communications, holding effective meetings, and delegating.

Myers–Briggs Type Indicator Workshop

The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), a questionnaire designed to categorize a person’s decision-making style, allows you to better understand yourself and others.

Our popular MBTI® workshop introduces important concepts, such as problem-solving models, interacting with differing personality types, and working in diverse groups.

Conflict Management Workshop

An ability to deal with conflict is a critical skill in any field. Our three-session conflict management workshop teaches you that conflict can be positive if managed properly. The workshop can also prepare you to better cope with stress.

You complete an assessment of individual conflict styles using the Thomas–Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. We then go over assessment results, use case studies, and role play. These exercises can help you develop more effective conflict management styles, become more collaborative, and know what styles work best in various situations.

Leadership Skills

In any field, scientists must be able to build inclusive, diverse teams that foster sensitivity.

Achieving Excellence in Diversity Workshop

In this course, you learn strategies for fostering diverse perspectives, identifying personal biases, and promoting cross-cultural communication.

In 3 60-minute sessions, you define diversity and inclusion in the context of changing demographics, develop value propositions specific to varying circumstances, identify personal biases and ways to reduce them, and explore ways to use diversity and inclusion to achieve excellence.

Creativity

Creative skills can be developed. Although individuals differ in creative potential, our workshops enhance the possibility for each participant.

Maximizing Your Creativity Workshop

The six-session workshop brings together teams from diverse scientific backgrounds to learn creative problem-solving skills. This workshop provides a safe environment for participants to test new ideas, foster communication, and learn to let go of internal assumptions. Teams research a real-world problem and give presentations at the end.