Last updated: July 02, 2013
NHGRI's Intramural Training Office challenges young scientists to imagine their future
By Omar McCrimmon
Assistant Public Affairs Specialist
Early career scientists in the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) intramural training program say that their biggest concern is a challenging job market and what lies ahead for them after their time at NHGRI. To address these worries, NHGRI's Intramural Training Office convened faculty and trainees at the Bolger Center in picturesque Potomac, Maryland, for a one-day meeting.
At the annual October retreat, trainees exchanged technical knowledge, fostered a sense of community with other trainees and NHGRI faculty and sought new research collaborations. Trainees shared their research findings with other young scientists at NHGRI while faculty and alumni of the intramural program imparted career development tips.
"I enjoyed the retreat because it provided all the trainees with an opportunity to network with colleagues in a more relaxed setting while also providing insight from previous NHGRI trainees into a wide range of science careers at and away from the bench," said Keisha Findley, Ph.D., a post-doctoral minority health disparities fellow.
Keynote speaker Marc Kuchner, Ph.D., NASA astrophysicist and author of the Marketing Yourself in Science: How to Shine in Tough Times, focused his remarks on using new strategies for finding a job.
"Don't just network, build relationships," Dr. Kuchner advised.
As funding declines, scientists have to become savvier about promoting their work and themselves, he said. Though marketing may seem superficial, it is a critical component of the modern scientific endeavor, not only advancing personal careers but also society's knowledge of science.
"NHGRI trainees were grateful to receive practical career advice from a senior scientist," said Belen Hurle, Ph.D., intramural training program coordinator. "I feel sure that his talk will benefit their career, research and science."
For more information, go to: Intramural Training Office.