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Career and Leadership Skills for Success in Science and Engineering

This program offers workshops and seminars on a variety of topics to help prepare graduate students and postdocs for their professional futures. Career- and leadership-related topics highlighted in this program are varied and aim to help prepare our junior researchers for the diversity of career goals they hold.

Spring 2016 Programs

Pizza and beverages will be provided for each lunch-time session unless noted. To be sure the speaker has the full time allotted, please arrive a little before the start time to get settled with your lunch.

Friday, January 22, 2016, noon - 1 PM
Reading Room, Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter

Innovation: the intersection of technology and the zeitgeist
A view from a Research Fellow in a consumer product company

Russel M. Walters, PhD
Research Associate Director, Fellow
Johnson & Johnson

This session will share the career path and new skills gained by a research fellow in a personal products company. Dr. Walters, a University of Pennsylvania Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department alumnus, will give an evolutionary perspective on technology change and the development and launching of new products for consumers.

Thursday, February 18, 2016, noon – 1 pm
Reading Room, Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter

This session is co-sponsored by the Institute for Biomedical Informatics

Give me the money: Communicating science to non-academic bosses and funders

Marc Rigas, PhD
Managing Director, Penn Institute for Biomedical Informatics

Many Ph.D. scientists go on to non-academic careers in private industry, government, or non-profit foundations. Those who do stay in academic careers must constantly sell their ideas to people at Federal agencies that fund research. These audiences are often knowledgeable and may have a scientific background, but their motivations and interests will be different than academic colleagues from your discipline. In this short session, we will begin to think about how you craft your message about complex research or scientific topics so that others will support what you want to do in your professional career. Dr. Rigas will share insights drawn from his experience as a researcher and from 13 years in research program administration at NIH, NSF and at Penn.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016, noon-1 pm
Singh Center for Nanotechnology, Room 035

Communicating Science to the Public

Evan Lerner
Science News Officer, University of Pennsylvania

Public polls repeatedly show that "scientist" ranks amongst the professions most worthy of respect, so how can we reconcile that fact with the misunderstanding and distrust that seem so pervasive within the scientific issues of the day? More important, how can we remedy this situation? As scientists, you've been trained to communicate your work in a very specific way to a very specific audience: your peers and colleagues. In this talk, you'll learn about ways to translate that kind of communication into language and concepts non-scientists will better understand and appreciate.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
, noon-1 pm
Wednesday, May 4, noon - 1 pm (room TBA)

Team Dynamics and Multicultural Communication

Alan M. Barstow, PhD
Director and Senior Scholar, Organizational Dynamics Programs
University of Pennsylvania

Science and technology today is performed in a global context – from collaborating with international partners to working intimately at the bench with researchers from different countries. How do teams function best when they consist of members from a diversity of nations, backgrounds and/or cultures? How can you have the most impact when you join a professional environment in a foreign culture or country?  How can you make your team more productive when you host professionals from other cultures?  This session will discuss the intersection of team dynamics and multicultural communication and provide tools for understanding and navigating these environments.


Nano/Bio Interface Center @ The University of Pennsylvania
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