The key elements of the program are described below. You may also want to click here to view the presentation from the iJOBS informational forums.
The traditional career path for PhDs has changed. Historically a straight line to academia, most newly minted fellows will pursue other options, but choosing a scientific vocation can involve challenging and unanticipated decisions, often with no guide to follow.
The goal of our program is to help PhDs discover these non-academic areas of opportunity and to provide the required training so that they are better prepared to work in the professional environment. This training is accomplished through a mix of formal academic instruction, workshops, interaction with successful professionals in the chosen fields and professional mentoring.
We have developed programming for a myriad of potential jobs for PhDs in the biomedical and life sciences. These careers are depicted below, under Program Tracks.
Partnership with scientific professionals is a key component of our program’s success and we are fortunate to be located in “New Jersey’s Cure Corridor,” with access to over 3000 life science and biopharmaceutical establishments, 350 biotech companies, and 17 of the 20 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
To date, we have hosted programming focused on a number of career tracks and the list keeps growing in concert with trainee interest and increasing awareness of the vast options for PhDs in the workforce. Go to Past Events to learn more about each of these career paths.
Science & Health Policy
Research in Industry and Government
Clinical Trials & Regulatory Affairs
Contract Research Organizations
Health & Science Data Analysis
Finance and Equity Research
Entrepreneurial Science and Start Ups
Science Writing and Communications
Science Education and Outreach
Non-faculty Positions at Universities
Venture Capital and Business Development
Rutgers iJOBS participants follow a phased program:
Progression through the program is planned as step-wise, hence the phased design. Although peppered throughout with seminars, workshops and events focused on career exploration, best practices and professional networking, each program phase brings the participant closer to his/her goal of successful career placement.
Phase 1 (iNQUIRE) programming is intended to lay the foundation for professional preparedness and provide insight into available non-academic career choices. Career panels and networking events allow trainees to interact with professionals and be exposed to a number of different career tracts. Through the 35 hour SciPhD workshop, participants will learn the business, management and communication skills essential to career success. Trainees can also attend industrial site visits,as a group to meet PhD level employees and view the workplace in person. Finally, they can obtain hands-on understanding of careers through case studies.
Phase 1 program events are open to life science pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows at Rutgers as well as trainees at Princeton, Rowan, NJ Institute of Technology and Stevens Institute of Technology, although capacity is limited for some activities. Registration is required for each event through the EventBrite link that opens 4 weeks prior to the event at 12pm (click here to see all upcoming and past events. Programming is very flexible such that most events are a stand-alone activity and a trainee can sign up for as many or as few events as they wish.
Phase 2 (iNITIATE) brings with it focus on a specific career path as well as more commitment to the program. Participants formally apply to the iJOBS program at this phase so that they can benefit from additional services. Trainees accepted to Phase 2 are matched to a professional in their area of interest to shadow in an unpaid, part time externship for up to 72 hours spread out over a semester. Trainees are also allowed to register for a course in an area that will increase their skill set beyond science such as business, law, policy, regulatory affairs etc… Finally, Phase 2 trainees are matched to a professional mentor who will guide them through an Individual Development Plan and be an ongoing advisor.
Phase 2 applications require at least 12 hours prior Phase 1 activities, a personal statement, permission from your PI, and a letter of recommendation from your PI or another faculty member with whom you have a long-standing relationship. Applications are open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Graduate students must be in good academic standing (GPA > 3.0) and have completed the proposition qualifier. Postdocs can apply at any stage. Applications open each spring in April and programming begins the following September. Completion of Phase 1 and 2 components allows a trainee to obtain an Attestation of Completion Certificate from iJOBS.
Please note that iJOBS does not organize or promote full-time internships. Instead, we offer externships/shadowing in Phase 2. iJOBS administration strongly suggests that if a trainee does want an internship that they talk to their faculty PI and get their permission BEFORE applying to the internship. Furthermore, students should be close to completing their degree/thesis prior to applying for an internship.
Phase 3 (iMPLEMENT) is intended to serve as a bridge between career focus and career placement, with preparation for the job search and employment for trainees who have been through Phase 2. The Rutgers iJOBS program has partnered with the Dropout Club and with regional employment programs such as BioNJ to offer a full suite of services to our participants. Individualized resume and cover letter preparation as well as interview practice and job searching tools are provided.
Phase 4 (iNSTRUCT) is when iJOBS alumni are invited to give back to the program by becoming an industrial partner/mentor or friend to the program.