Thursday, September 22, 2016

Postdoc Appreciation Week: Financial Planning with Fidelity Investments

We were joined by Dan Shea from Fidelity Investments to learn more about budgeting and financial planning!




Postdoc Appreciation Week: Speed Networking & Career Panel

Learn about PhDs and Tufts alum that have successfully transitioned into careers in Industry! 

Future of Research Seminar

We were joined by Gary McDowell, Executive Director of Future of Research (and the second Tufts PDA president!) who discussed what The Future of Research is and the changing landscape of research and postdoctoral issues, including the FLSA act. 


Thursday, September 8, 2016

[Job Listings] Associate Project Manager opening at Bracket Global

[Job Listings] Associate Project Manager opening at Bracket Global

Check out this job posting from our friends at Bracket (formerly Clintara). Great for people who love project management and data analysis!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Postdoc Appreciation Week: Speed Networking & Career Panel

Speed Networking & Career Panel


Come and meet a variety of PhDs and Tufts alums that have successful careers in Industry! Ask questions and network with those who have successfully made the transition out of Academia!

Tuesday, September 20th
5:30-7:30 PM
Sackler 114
145 Harrison Avenue, Boston MA




Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mentoring Resource: Resources for Academics

Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty, Second Edition 
Based on workshops co-sponsored by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and HHMI, this book is a collection of practical advice and experiences from seasoned biomedical investigators and includes chapters on laboratory leadership, getting funded, project management, and teaching and course design.

Chapter 1: Obtaining and Negotiating a Faculty Position
  • The Job Search
  • The Job Application
  • The Job Interview
  • Negotiating Your Position
  • Resources
Chapter 2: Understanding University Structure and Planning for Tenure
  • Organization of a “Typical” University
  • Organization of a “Typical” Academic Health Center
  • People You Should Get to Know
  • Faculty Governing Bodies and Committees
  • Support Facilities and Services
  • Responsibilities Beyond the Laboratory
  • The Scientific Investigator and the Outside World
  • Planning for Promotion and Tenure
  • Resources
Chapter 3: Laboratory Leadership in Science
  • Your Role as a Laboratory Leader
  • Creating Your Vision as a Leader
  • Developing Your Leadership Style
  • Building and Sustaining an Effective Team
  • Resources
  • Appendix 1: The Four Preferences That Make Up Your Personality Type
  • Appendix 2: Performance Review Form
  • Appendix 3: Performance Feedback Checklist for Managers
Chapter 4: Staffing Your Laboratory
  • Getting Started
  • Recruiting Applicants
  • Screening Applicants
  • Interviewing Applicants
  • Evaluating Applicants
  • Making the Offer
  • Asking Staff to Leave
  • Resources
  • Appendix: Telephone Interview Outline
Chapter 6: Time Management
  • Strategies for Planning Your Activities
  • Managing Your Time Day to Day
  • Special Issues
  • Resources
Chapter 7: Project Management
  • What is Project Management?
  • Getting Started
  • Tracking the Work and the Resources
  • Project Management Software
  • Controlling the Project
  • Resources
  • Appendix: Project Management—A Real-life Example
Chapter 8: Data Management and Laboratory Notebooks
  • Day-to-Day Record Keeping: The Laboratory Notebook
  • Tracking and Storing Information
  • Finding the Right Data Management System for You
  • Resources
Chapter 9: Getting Funded
  • Understanding the NIH Funding Process
  • Preparing a Strong Grant Application
  • A Bit About Budgets
  • Submitting Your Application
  • The National Science Foundation
  • Resources
Chapter 10: Getting Published and Increasing Your Visibility
  • A Brief Overview of Scientific Publishing
  • Planning for Publication
  • Getting Your Paper Published
  • Increasing Your Visibility
  • Resources
Chapter 11: Understanding Technology Transfer
  • University Technology Transfer Offices
  • The Technology Transfer Process
  • The Legal Terms and Agreements
  • Sponsorship and Consultation
  • Conflicts of Commitment and Interest
  • Resources
Chapter 12: Setting Up Collaborations
  • The Varieties of Collaborations
  • Should You Collaborate
  • Setting Up a Collaboration
  • The Ingredients of a Successful Collaboration
  • Special Challenges for the Beginning Investigator
  • International Collaborations
  • When a Collaboration is Not Working
  • Resources
Chapter 13: Teaching and Course Design
  • Why Teach Well
  • Becoming an Effective Teacher
  • Planning to Teach a Course
  • The Principles of Active Learning
  • Active Learning at a Medical School
  • Assessing Student Learning
  • Course Design
  • Teaching Others to Teach
  • Professional Considerations
  • Resources
  • Appendix 1: Examples of Active Assessments for Large Lectures
  • Appendix 2: Bloom’s Taxonomy
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Mentoring Resource: Resources for Industry track

Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Hires, Second Edition 
Based on workshops co-sponsored by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and HHMI, this book is a collection of practical advice and experiences from seasoned biomedical investigators and includes chapters on laboratory leadershi, project management, and collaborations.

Chapter 3: Laboratory Leadership in Science
  • Your Role as a Laboratory Leader
  • Creating Your Vision as a Leader
  • Developing Your Leadership Style
  • Building and Sustaining an Effective Team
  • Resources
  • Appendix 1: The Four Preferences That Make Up Your Personality Type
  • Appendix 2: Performance Review Form
  • Appendix 3: Performance Feedback Checklist for Managers
Chapter 6: Time Management
  • Strategies for Planning Your Activities
  • Managing Your Time Day to Day
  • Special Issues
  • Resources
Chapter 7: Project Management
  • What is Project Management?
  • Getting Started
  • Tracking the Work and the Resources
  • Project Management Software
  • Controlling the Project
  • Resources
  • Appendix: Project Management—A Real-life Example
Chapter 12: Setting Up Collaborations
  • The Varieties of Collaborations
  • Should You Collaborate
  • Setting Up a Collaboration
  • The Ingredients of a Successful Collaboration
  • Special Challenges for the Beginning Investigator
  • International Collaborations
  • When a Collaboration is Not Working
  • Resources
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Mentoring Resource: Developing your Network

Networking & Using An Elevator Pitch

The key to finding your next job, whether it is in industry or academia is networking!
Discussion Topics:
  • Strategies for networking
    • How to introduce yourself
    • How to do informational interviews
    • How to follow up with people
  • Strategies for a good elevator pitch
Resources:
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Mentoring Resource: Determining your strengths and career interests

Congratulations, you’re now part way through your scientific training and at this point you likely have an idea on the direction you want to take your career.  Whether you want to follow an Academic path or going into Industry, it’s always a great idea to assess your strengths and weaknesses as well as your interests and try to determine if your chosen career path meshes well with your personality.
Below are several tools that you can use to help you learn about your personality and interests.  Each tool will help you determine

Meyers Briggs Assessment

“It’s so incredible to finally be understood.”
Take this Personality Test and get a ‘freakishly accurate’ description of who you are and why you do things the way you do.
  1.  Takes less than 12 minutes.
  2. Answer honestly, even if you don’t like the answer.
  3. Try not to leave any “neutral” answers.

Disc assessment

This free DISC personality test lets you determine your DISC type and personality profile quickly. Find out how the DISC factors, Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance predict your behavior towards others and the everyday things you do.
This online DISC assessment is designed to test personality by calculating your personal DISC profile based on your everyday typical behavior. Simply fill out the inventory like you would with other online personality tests. It’s quick and without any obligations. Every year millions of people take DISC personality tests!

Using a Decision Matrix
A decision-making matrix is a great tool to compare alternative paths using criteria that are most important to you. This decision-making method is credited to Benjamin Franklin, who called it “Moral or Prudential Algebra” in personal letters in 1772. I adapted his method to decision-making about career paths or job options.  Download a copy here.

For this tool to be useful, the following conditions must be true:
  • You have already engaged in sufficient career exploration that you know what factors are important to you in a career or job.
  • You have narrowed your options to a small number of possible choices.
If you are at an earlier stage of career development so that you do not yet know what you want, it would be better to postpone using this tool until you have gained more clarity. This tool is better designed for late stage decision-making.
Here are instructions to use this method:
1. First, decide what you want in your next career path. For illustration, I’ll use the example, of Mary, an elementary school science teacher who is considering going back to school to pursue a health care career.
Mary knows that she wants these factors in her career:
  • She wants to work in the health care field.
  • She desires to earn $75K/year if she works full-time.
  • She would like a high status job. She compares all health care jobs against what she perceives as the most prestigious role in a hospital: physician. (Note how subjective this factor is…that happens sometimes with decision-making but since Mary is trying to optimize her happiness, it is OK that we are using Mary’s subjective rating about how much status a profession has.)
  • Because she has limited savings and she is concerned about student loans, she does not want to be training for more than five years.
  • She wants to be fairly confident that when she completes training, she will be able to land a job, so she wants there to be high demand for the career she chooses.
  • She wants the flexibility of working part-time if she decides to do so.
(For examples of the types of things that people value in their careers, here is a checklist of work values.)

Mentoring Resource: What do I want to be when I grow up?

There are a myriad of careers open to PhD scientists – making a decision as to what your next career move will, be can be daunting and scary! One strategy is to be as informed as possible and see how your personality, interests and priorities fit with your job opportunities.
Suggested discussions:
  • My IDP assessment – this can help identify your strengths and priorities (free, but registration required)
  • How to identify skills you may need and bridge the gap
  • How to go about doing informational interviews (see resources below)
Resources:
– From start to finish: a guide to informational interviewing (NatureJobs Blog)
– Networking and Informational Interviewing (pdf) (Tufts University)
Five example emails that make following up with people easy! (The Muse)
How to work out what you want to be when you grow up (Adage of Ania)

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Mentoring Resource: Learning to Manage People

While doing great research is critical to progress in your scientific career, learning how to manage your interactions with your peers, PI, collaborators and others will also help build your network and your reputation and in the longterm, may be more important in your career advancement.
  • Conflict resolution: how would you resolve certain situations?

    What is conflict resolution?

    Conflict, arguments, and change are natural parts of our lives, as well as the lives of every agency, organization, and nation.
    Conflict resolution is a way for two or more parties to find a peaceful solution to a disagreement among them. The disagreement may be personal, financial, political, or emotional.
    When a dispute arises, often the best course of action is negotiation to resolve the disagreement.
    The goals of negotiation are:
    • To produce a solution that all parties can agree to
    • To work as quickly as possible to find this solution
    • To improve, not hurt, the relationship between the groups in conflict
How to best “lead” people
How to set boundaries with your time when you are training someone

Mentoring Resource: Best Practices for Good Time Management

The key to time management is to 1. Prioritize what needs to be done, 2. Allocate yourself the right amount of time and 3. Reduce distractions and procrastination.
Suggested Discussion Topics:
  • Strategies to prioritize what needs to be done
  • Strategies on allocating time
    • Pomodoro Method where you break down goals into tasks and then split your time into intervals with regular breaks.
  • How to stay organized and on top of pressing demands
  • Using technology to help get you organized: Create digital to-do lists and calendar items.
Suggested Resources:
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Mentoring Resource: Managing Work/Life Balance


Questions to consider:
  1. What is your work day hours like?
  2. What are your expectations for yourself?
  3. Who sets your parameters (i.e. your working hours) and why are you setting them the way you are.
  4. What are your priorities?
  5. Are you managing your time correctly?
Online resources to use:
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