Scientific Training Enhancement Program Evaluation
During and after your participation in NYU’s and NYU School of Medicine’s Scientific Training Enhancement Program (NYU-STEP), we ask you for information to help us evaluate how well our program has helped you understand your career options and how effective our career development training has been.
We develop surveys to assess your knowledge of nonacademic jobs for science PhD recipients. In addition to collecting data on prior education, work experience, career stage, race, sex, age, and nationality, we evaluate your attitude about career options as the program starts.
We also survey your perceptions of how nonacademic careers are viewed by peers and supervisors. All survey data, which helps us refine the program and better assist participants, is anonymous. If we decide to publish and share results with other universities, programs, and science stakeholders, we obtain Institutional Review Board approval.
At the start of the program, you complete an attitudinal survey as part of the Individual Development Plan (IDP) course. This survey evaluates your awareness of career outcome statistics for biomedical PhD graduates and assesses your career goals. This gives us a baseline for later comparison.
For each of the four career tracks—for-profit industry, nonprofit industry and government, communications, and academia—we evaluate the knowledge you have when entering the program.
At the end of the IDP course we hold 90-minute focus groups with 3 to 6 participants each to ask similar questions and allow for more impromptu answers. Focus group participants are solicited via email.
At the end of phase one, we conduct anonymous evaluations of the program to assess career awareness. We also conduct follow-up surveys annually, when you have more realistic and informed ideas about PhD career pathways.
The second goal of program evaluation is analyzing data collected in phase one. In exit interviews, we ask you to assess the program and collect contact information so we can follow up.
In an effort to continually refine the content of our courses in communication, professionalism, and leadership, you are asked to fill out evaluation forms, telling us why you’ve chosen to take part in the session and if it met your expectations.
Approximately two years after your participation in NYU‐STEP, we survey you on attitudes, knowledge, and skills obtained in the program. We also ask for an updated résumé so we can track your job placement and find out if our program helped you get hired. Some of the information about current employment may be used to recruit alumni participation in NYU-STEP.
We report annual evaluation data to our steering committee in January to provide feedback about program execution and progress. This information allows the committee to engage with evaluators and program staff about how NYU-STEP might evolve and change over time.