Thursday, January 26, 2017

Positioning Yourself for Success with Melanie Sinche

Melanie Sinche, NCC, from Jackson Labs and author of Next Gen, PhD joined us to show where PhDs are going and what they did to get their dream jobs!




After the PhD/Postdoc: Positioning Yourself for Success with Melanie Sinche, NCC  (Jackson Labs) and Author of "Next Gen PhD"

  • Jackson Labs is hiring at their Farmington, CT location!
    • 60 positions open for people with experience in:
      • Genetics
      • Genomics
      • Computational biologists
      • Software engineering
      • IT
  • Where have PhDs in the Sciences have ended up?
    • Melanie performed a survey looking at PhDs who graduated between 2004 and 2014.
    • Many respondents happy with their jobs after academia and wanted to become part of the survey.
    • According to the survey (n > 4K people):
      • 68% have one postdoc
      • 27% 2 postdocs
      • 4% 3 postdocs
    • What can you do about yourself:
      • Career assessment
      • Correct gaps in education/training
      • Job search
    • Evaluate your interests:
      • What gets you excited?
      • What really drives you?
    • How important PhDs think some skills are required for a job can change between how important they would be at the current job.
  • Values:
    • Work-life balance?
    • Salary?
    • Work stability?
    • Work independence?
    • There's really no wrong answer
    • In the survey: "Intellectual challenge" was the predominant criteria for PhDs to accept a job.
  • What jobs are out there and how to get them?
    • In her survey sample:
      • 22% are in tenure-track faculty positions (that's high!)
      • 13% are in non-tenure track faculty positions (seems about right)
    • According to recent NSF data: 14% go into tenure-track faculty
    • According to AAUP data (took into account every faculty position in the US): 68% into non-tenure tracks (adjuncts, contingent faculty) - eliminating tenure-track lines
      • A lot of people do teaching at night and have a day job.
  • A lot of PhDs are staying in jobs within universities - 49% - they like the university vibe
  • Within education - most of them end up in research institutions, followed by (in order from high to low) liberal arts colleges, community colleges, medical schools
    • Example: Jim Gould, PhD - Director, Office for Postdoctoral Fellows at Harvard Medical School
    • Jobs:
      • Academic Advisor
      • Director, Core Facility
      • Biostatistician
      • Grants Administrator
      • Data Analyst
      • Laboratory Manager
      • Technology Transfer Specialist
      • Associate Dean
      • Research Scientist
  • Within government - in order from high to low: federal government, state government
    • Positions:
      • Field Application Specialist
      • Astrophysict
      • Epidemiologist
      • Grants Administrator
      • Chemist
      • Watershed Ecologist
      • Staff Scientist
      • Biologist
      • Consultant
      • Policy Analyst
      • Program Officer
  • Within biotech/pharma - in order from high to low: biotech, pharma, medical devices and diagnostics
    • Example: Manisha Sinha, PhD - Scientist in Drug Development at Biogen Idec
      • Got her job by attending seminars, campus workshops and networking
    • Positions:
      • Vice President, R&D
      • Regulatory Affairs Specialist
      • Product Development
      • Medical Writer
      • Data Scientist
      • Marketing Specialist
      • Computational Biologist
      • Medical Science Liaison
      • Team Leader
      • Technical Support Specialist
  • Within the non-profit sector - in order from high to low: research foundation, professional societies, intergovernmental/nongov't organizations, educational services, non-profit research, museums and botanical gardens
    • Example: Raluca Ellis, PhD - works as director of The Franklin Institute (climate change)
      • Got her job by taking extra coursework, volunteering for the Cambridge Science Festival, Museum of Science in Boston, etc.
    • Positions:
      • Editor
      • Senior Scientist
      • Statistician
      • Project Manager
      • Science Writer
      • Engineer
      • Museum Educator
      • Executive Director of Education
  • How do PhDs get the extra experience?
    • Networking
    • Self-teaching
    • Collaborations
    • Coursework
    • Professional programs
  • Melanie's favorite job titles' according to the survey:
    • Coordinator of Freshwater Turtle and Tortoise Conservation
    • Volcanologist
    • Aerospace Physiologist
    • Nanofossil Biostratigrapher
    • Virtual Lab Manager
    • Video Game Designer
    • many more!
  • What do people do on their day-to-day, according to the survey?
    • 40% basic research
    • 36% teaching
    • 34% applied research
  • Was a PhD required for the job, according to the survey?
    • 80% said it was required/preferred for their current position!
    • PhDs in high demand!
  • How do you find a job?
    • Talk to your career counselor or postdoc adviser
    • Network
    • Join professional associations
    • Do informational interviews - meet people in person
    • Save enough time to plan
  • Who are the happiest? PhDs outside of the tenure-track
  • Melanie planning to set up a follow up study/survey
  • Feel free to connect with Melanie Sinche through LinkedIn!

3 comments:

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  2. I was an assistant in the laboratory of Boston College and parallel to science I was fascinated by directing the movie. As it turned out and what came as a surprise to me, film making is really my vocation. Pity for my parents, because they saw a chemist who wasn't a talented person but who was supposed to present his life as a sacrifice to the altar of science ... Haha, I didn't live up to expectations. But I had to agree to the circumstances to do research work with using editors write my research paper , sleepless nights, many hours of laboratory with a microscope, but I did this job! I was complete it! It was my duty, despite the fact that now I definitely hate chemistry) Two years later I managed to start a project to create a short film with Spanish writers, and now I think I'm living right!

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