The Rutgers University iJOBS Program, funded by the National Institutes of Health, exposes life science PhD students and postdocs to a range of non-academic career options and empowers them to pursue their career goals. In 2014 Rutgers became 1 of only 17 schools in the country to be awarded an NIH BEST grant and iJOBS programming has now expanded to all campuses of Rutgers as well as Princeton, Rowan, NJ Institute of Technology and Stevens Institute of Technology. iJOBS maintains research as the primary trainee focus, while offering programming to broaden trainee's perspectives, experiences and knowledge to facilitate pursuit of academic and non-academic careers.
Phase 1, which is open to everyone, includes career panels, site visits to partnering companies, case studies, and workshops such as SciPhD covering communication, teamwork, leadership, finance, and project management skills. Many of these skills as well as awareness of the pharmaceutical industry are also critical to academic positions so all trainees benefit regardless of career aspirations. Phase 2 is application-based and allows trainees to shadow a professional in their area of interest as part of an externship organized by iJOBS. Trainees can also register for a non-science course relevant to that field to expand their skill set. Finally, trainees are assigned a professional mentor to advise them and help them create an Individual Development Plan. Phase 3 facilitates the job application process and Phase 4 allows alumni of iJOBS to contribute back to the program.
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