According to a 2012 report issued by the Biomedical Workforce Working Group under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 20% of PhD graduates pursue academic positions, while 80% pursue alternative career options. Nevertheless, the model for training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows is primarily geared toward academic style research training and has changed little over the last few decades.

In response to these findings, the NIH launched a grant program, the NIH Director's Biomedical Research Workforce Innovation Award: Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST). As the NIH states, BEST awards are intended to support "bold and innovative approaches to broaden graduate and postdoctoral training, such that training programs reflect the range of career options that trainees ultimately may pursue...This program will establish a new paradigm for graduate and postdoctoral training."

A team of dedicated faculty and staff at Rutgers University successfully competed for an NIH BEST award and, as a result, established the Rutgers iJOBS (Interdisciplinary Job Opportunities for Biomedical Scientists) program in 2014. Our mission is to better prepare PhD students and postdoctoral fellows in the biomedical science areas to enter the workforce, with a particular emphasis on job opportunities outside of traditional academic venues.

Team That Brings iJOBS to You:


Martin L. Yarmush, MD, PhD, is the Paul and Mary Monroe Professor of Science and Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers, the Director of the Center for Innovative Ventures of Emerging Technologies (CIVET) at Rutgers, and the Founding Director of the Center for Engineering in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Over the last 30 years, Dr. Yarmush has published >400 refereed journal articles, >40 patents and patent applications, has mentored >45 graduate students and >90 postdoctoral fellows. More than 70 of his former fellows have gone on to successful careers in academia both here and abroad, >50 have gone on to become leaders in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, and at least 10 others have chosen consulting, medical writing, or law-oriented paths. In 2007, Dr. Yarmush founded Rutgers’ Center for Innovative Ventures of Emerging Technologies (CIVET); an academic center that develops and coordinates programs and activities to support innovative and broad translation of science and engineering toward the creation and commercialization of intellectual property (IP) and vital technology. CIVET has formed very strong and broad linkages within the tri-state (NY-NJ-PA) biomedical industrial sector which directly serve the goals of the iJOBS program.
James Millonig, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Cell Biology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) and a member of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine. He is also Senior Associate Dean of the Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at RWJMS, Assistant Dean for Medical Scientist Training and Director of the joint MD/PhD program at Rutgers-RWJMS and Princeton University. Dr. Millonig is world-renowned for his research on autism, and is the director of the NJ Center for Autism Excellence. His work has led to numerous prestigious awards, including Basil O’Connor Starter Research Award, NARSAD Young Investigator Award and most recently, a Thomas A Edison Patent Award for medical diagnostics. He has served as mentor to numerous graduate students, many of whom have pursued post-doctoral fellowships at prestigious institutions, (e.g. Harvard Medical School, NCI, Columbia University), and then have become leaders in the pharmaceutical, biotech and consulting industries. He is an acclaimed teacher as well, member of the Master Educators' Guild, and has won several teaching awards including “Foundation of UMDNJ Excellence in Teaching Award” and “Educator of the Year”.


Susan Engelhardt, MS, is the Executive Director of the Center for Innovative Ventures of Emerging Technologies (CIVET) at Rutgers, where she spearheads the development of programs that help faculty and students bring innovations to the market and develop their skills as innovators. Central to her work is establishment of pathways for industrial:academic partnerships. Recent programmatic endeavors include co-development of an experiential course teaching the art of innovation and entrepreneurship to Rutgers undergraduate, graduate and medical students as well as establishment of a practical immersion program for undergraduate seniors majoring in biomedical engineering, an inspiration for the proposed iJOBS professional externship program. Susan brings to CIVET over 20 years of experience in engineering, process design, and business relationship management cross-industry. . She is responsible for organizing the shadowing and mentor hosts for Phase 2 trainees.
Janet Alder, PhD, is Assisstant Dean of Graduate Academic and Student Affairs in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. In this role, she facilitated implementation of Individual Development Plans for all graduate students, curricular changes, and restructuring of some of the graduate programs. She represents Rutgers biomedical science programs at recruiting events nationally and serves as the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences representative on the Rutgers Senate where she participates in the Research and Graduate and Professional Education Committee. She also serves as co-director of an NIH funded summer program for undergraduate neuroscience research that exposes participants to career options available to them as graduates of advanced degree programs. Dr. Alder is also an Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Cell Biology and her research focuses on animal models of traumatic brain injury and mood disorders to determine the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these diseases.  She is responsible for Phase 1 progamming and organizing classes for Phase 2 trainees. 
Carol Lutz, PhD, is the Assistant Dean at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at NJMS.  She serves as the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences representative on the Rutgers Senate where she participates in the Research and Graduate and Professional Education Committee.  Dr. Lutz’s research focuses on the regulation of gene expression, RNA processing, 3’ end formation and micro RNA.  Dr.  Lutz acts as the Newark liaison for iJOBS. 


  Kristen Labazzo, PhD, MBAis a Research Professor in Biomedical Engineering, and Director of the Medical Device Development Center.  Dr. Labazzo previously held a number of positions at Celegene Cellular Therapies.   Dr. Labazzo earned a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry from Caldwell College, and a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University, concentrating on biomaterials and tissue engineering.  She has an Executive MBA from Rutgers University. She also worked as Corporate Relations Manager at Liberty Science Center.  Dr. Labazzo assists with corporate relations for iJOBS. 
  Tim Maguire, PhD, is a Research Professor in Biomedical Engineering, and Director of Business Development for CIVET, where he works to establish novel tools, processes, and industrial-academic collaborations to foster translational research at Rutgers University. Additionally, Tim co-leads the Innovative Research and Therapy Foundation, a non-profit organization providing funding for early stage technologies. Dr. Maguire assists with website and electronic communications for iJOBS, and statistical assement of program outcomes. 
  Sunita Chaudhary, PhD, is Director of Research Education at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and in this role has extensive experience developing and implementing multidisciplinary training programs, courses, seminar series and continuing education programs. Sunita is currently running training programs in translational cancer research, for under-represented minority high school, undergraduate students and teachers. Dr. Chaudhary is responsible for the evaluation of the iJOBS program at both the NIH and local level.