Check out the following resources which may be helpful in planning your career:
- Annual Progress Meetings
Careful planning is vital to staying on a successful career pathway. Periodic evaluation and assessment provides crucial information for developing the right career track.
The annual progress meeting encourages postdocs and faculty mentors to meet formally at least once a year to discuss the postdocs’ achievements during the pervious year, the range of skills needed to move into a permanent position, and a general time frame for moving on. The OPA strongly encourages postdocs to complete an individual development plan to guide the meeting. This tool allows candid discussion about the postdocs’ progress, their immediate and long-term career objectives, and ways the faculty mentor can assist in achieving these objectives.
Proposed evaluation process:
It is the postdocs' responsibility to schedule the meeting with their PIs. Some PIs may wish to hold meetings at the same time each year rather than around anniversary dates.
In preparation for the meeting postdocs are urged to conduct a self-evaluation of their performance and skills attained during the past year and consider desirable career options. Postdocs may want to prepare an individual development plan to help identify their professional development needs and career objectives and to serve as a communication tool with their mentors. The individual development plan created by FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) can be downloaded here for your convenience.
During the formal meeting, the postdoc and PI should use the individual development plan to guide the discussion. At the conclusion of the meeting both the PI and postdoc should sign the form where indicated and each should receive a copy to retain for their records. The forms will not be submitted and retained by a central office, but rather should be reviewed during the following year's annual progress report meeting to assess progress toward meeting stated goals.
- On-line Career Development Resources
ScienceCareers.org is dedicated to being the world leader in matching qualified scientists with jobs in industry, academia and government. It is committed to providing all the necessary career resources for scientists as well as effective recruiting solutions for employers. Our mission supports the American Association for the Advancement of Science's commitment to furthering careers in science and technology. Enjoy free access to thousands of articles from Next Wave accessible from the Sciencecareers.org homepage. The site includes an average of over 1,000 job postings updated daily, career advice articles written by the editors of Next Wave, graduate program information, meetings & event information, funding opportunities on GrantsNet, and a Career Forum where scientists can get free advice about career-related issues from veteran advisors.
National Postdoctoral Association
The Natonal Postdoctorial Association posts career development resources on its website.
- Career Development Books
Making the Right Moves - A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty Peter J. Feibelman. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley, c1993. Available free at www.hhmi.org/labmanagement. Hard copy available in the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.
A PhD Is Not Enough: A Guide to Survival in Science
"Despite your graduate education, brainpower and technical prowess, your career in scientific research is far from assured. Permanent positions are scarce, science survival is rarely part of formal graduate training, and a good mentor is hard to find. This exceptional volume explains what stands between you and a fulfilling long-term research career. It offers sound advice on selecting a thesis or postdoctoral advisor, choosing among research jobs in academia, government laboratories and industry, preparing for an employment interview, and defining a research program. This book will help you make your oral presentations effective, your journal articles compelling and your grant proposals successful." Available on Reserve at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical Library [WMC] Reserve: Q 147 F297 1993.
The Academic Job Search Handbook Mary Morris Heiberger and Julia Miller Vick. Publ/dat Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, c2001. This is a comprehensive resource which starts with information on the structure of academic careers, the hiring process, and planning your job search. Included are chapters on interviewing, accepting/rejecting job offers, and additional guidance for special situations such as dual career couples, foreign nationals, etc. Available on Reserve at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical Library [WMC] Reserve: LB 2331.72 H465a 2001.
Academic Scientists at Work Jeremy M. Boss and Susan H. Eckert. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2003. This book provides advice on landing a position in academic research and how to get organized once you've started. The most valuable part of the book may be the Job Comparison Worksheets found in the appendices. These provide a great starting point to stimulate your thoughts about issues that should be the basis of comparison of different positions. Available on Reserve at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical Library [WMC] Reserve: W 88 B745a 2003.
At the Bench: A Laboratory Navigator Kathy Barker Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press 1998.
The first third of this book contains practical suggestions that are geared to the neophyte in the laboratory, but can also serve as valuable reminders to those who are planning their own laboratories. One chapter is devoted to oral and written presentations. The final two thirds of the book describes in detail how to carry out specific laboratory procedures. Available at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical Library LLvl South: QY 25 B255a 2005.
At the Helm: A Laboratory Navigator Kathy Barker Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press 2002.
Running a laboratory requires the use of skills which are not often emphasized in graduate or postdoctoral training. Time management, hiring and retaining lab personnel, development of lab policies, communication, and group dynamics are among the issues confronting new principal investigators. Available at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical Library On Reserve: W 23 B255a 2002.
Guide to Nontraditional Careers in Science Karen Young Kreeger Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis 1999.
This book was written for the purpose of stimulating graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to consider careers outside of academia. Available on Reserve at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical Library [WMC] Reserve: Q 147 K92 1999.
How to Succeed in Academics Linda L McCabe, Edward R.B. McCabe. San Diego: Academic Press, 2000. Blueprint for how to build an academic career. Tips are provided on successfully accomplishing common academic functions such as writing abstracts, papers, grant applications and making effective oral and poster presentations. Available on Reserve at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical Library [WMC] Reserve: LB 1778 M113 2000.
Outside the Ivory Tower Margaret Newhouse, PhD Cambridge, MA: Harvard University 1993.
Deciding on a career path requires understanding yourself and the characteristics of a job that are most important to you. The author of this book provides some valuable and creative exercises for self-assessment. Other useful sections are guidelines for informational interviewing and how to organize your job search.
Put Your Science to Work: The Take-Charge Career Guide for Scientists Peter S. Fiske; illustrated by Aaron Louie. Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union, 2001. Roughly the equivalent of "What Color is Your Parachute" for scientists. This is also a very practical guide on career planning starting with the process of self-assessment. The chapters on CVs and resumes are thorough and helpful. Available on Reserve at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical Library [WMC] Reserve - Q 147 F542 2001 and in the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.
Winning the Games Scientists Play Carl J. Sindermann Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus Publishing 2001.
Sindermann breaks down the scientist's work into its component tasks of writing, presenting, attending conferences, chairing sessions, participating in meetings, etc.
Job Search in Academe: Strategic Rhetorics for Faculty Job Candidates Dawn M. Form & Cheryl Reed, Stylus Publishing, 1999. "From identifying sources of information about positions for academic job seekers of all disciplines, to advising on the preparation of effective CV's and portfolios, through guidance on the process of interview to final negotiation of terms, Dawn Formo and Cheryl Reed, two Assistant Professors happily employed in their first choice institutions-provide a savvy guide to the application process." Available on Reserve at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical [WMC] Reserve: LB 2331.72 F726 1999.
Alternative Careers in Science: Leaving the Ivory Tower
Edited by Cythia Robbins-Roth, Academic Press, 1998. Available on Reserve at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical [WMC] Reserve: Q 149.U5 A466 1998.
Now, Discover Your Strengths Marcus Buckingham, Donald O. Clifton, New York: Free Press, c2001."Marcus Buckingham, coauthor of the national bestseller First, Break All the Rules, and Donald O. Clifton, Chair of the Gallup International Research & Education Center, have created a revolutionary program to help readers identify their talents, build them into strengths and enjoy consistent, near-perfect performance. At the heart of the book is the Internet-based StengthsFinder Profile®. Once you know which of the 34 themes, such as Achiever, Activator, Empathy, etc., you lead with, the book will show you how to leverage them for powerful results on three levels: for your own development, for your success as a manager and for the success of your organization." Available on Reserve at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical [WMC] Reserve: HF 5549.5 .M63 B923 2001.
Tomorrow's Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science & Engineering Richard M. Reis; IEEE Education Society, sponsor. New York: IEEE Press, c1997. "Tomorrow's Professor is designed to help you prepare for and find success in academic careers in science and engineering. It looks at the full range of North American 4-year academic instituytions which featureing 30 vignettes and more than 50 individual stories that bring to life the principles and strategics outlined in the book. Tailored for today's graduate students, postdocs, and beginning professors." Available on Reserve at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical [WMC] Reserve: Q 149.U5 R375 1997.
The Chicago Guide to Your Academic Career: A Portable Mentor for Scholars from Graduate School Through Tenure John A. Goldsmith, John Komlos, Penny Schine Gold. University Of Chicago Press; New Ed edition (January 15, 2001).
"Written as an informal conversation among colleagues, the book is packed with inside information - about finding a mentor, avoiding pitfalls when writing a dissertation, negotiating the job listings, and much more. The three authors' distinctive opinions and strategies offer the reader multiple perspectives on typical problems. With rare candor and insight, they talk about such tough issues as departmental politics, dual-career marriages, and sexual harassment. Rounding out the discussion are short essays that offer the "inside track" on financing graduate education, publishing the first book, and leaving academia for the corporate world."
The Perfect Cover Letter Richard H. Beatty. New York: Wiley, c1997. "This book covers all the vital elements of a great cover letter, so you know what to include and how to phrase it. The book includes the nuts and bolts of every type of cover letter, great sample letters, tips on what makes a letter effective and what doesn't, and helpful guidelines on following up and writing the post-interview thank you letter." Available on Reserve at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical [WMC] Reserve: F 5383 B369 1997.
How to Prepare your Curriculum Vitae Acy L. Jackson. Lincolnwood (Chicago), Ill: NTC Learning Works, . This book provides an in-depth explanation of the components of the curriculum vitae as well as step-by-step instructions for condensing your career into a concise biographical sketch that underscores your assets. Available on Reserve at the Samuel J. Woods Cornell Medical [WMC] Reserve: HF 5383 J12 199.