The Training Page


Developing Your Career

Ever met someone who is a forensic scientist, journal editor, patent officer, or grants administrator and wonder whether you could ever transition into one of those positions even though you’ve been doing bench work for years? Or are you interested in following the traditional academic route but wonder how you might go about doing that? Wonder no more: The Career Development Subcommittee can provide you with all kinds of information on career opportunities available to postdocs.

NIH hosts a multitude of fellows including more than 3,600 postdocs in research and clinical fields. FelCom’s Career Development Subcommittee is dedicated to providing postdocs with the tools they need to make a successful transition into their next career. The committee also organizes a yearlong seminar series to help postdocs explore career options.

Whether you are interested in pursuing positions in academia, industry, administration, or alternative careers, the Career Development Subcommittee is a one-stop shop for you. In 2013, the subcommittee has already hosted three seminars—one on careers in industry; a second on careers in government; and a third on careers in core facilities and service companies.

Each seminar includes experts who give short introductions about their backgrounds, describe what attracted them to their fields, and explain how they got their jobs. Postdocs can ask questions and then interact with each other and the experts at a social-networking event afterwards.

These seminars provide a wealth of information about traditional and not-so-traditional careers as well as ones you may not have known existed. Many postdocs have benefited from these seminars and gone on to make well-informed decisions about their next career move.

FelCom encourages you to visit the Career Development Subcommittee Web page (see below) for information on past and upcoming seminars. Check the Web site for details on the “Careers in Technology Transfer” seminar, scheduled for June 17. Keep an eye out for informational e-mails about upcoming events, too.

For more information, visit and


Getting Ready for the Summer Students

Summer is fast approaching, and the Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE) is ready to welcome the incoming NIH summer students. For many scientists, summer research programs bring back fond memories: They represent a time of scientific exploration, intellectual challenge, and personal growth that, in many cases, cements decisions to pursue careers in science. Every summer, the NIH hosts hundreds of enthusiastic students from high schools, community colleges, and four-year universities as well as from professional and graduate schools.

OITE helps summer students and their mentors make the most out of their experience at NIH. Besides having strong scientific credentials, to be successful, scientists must develop strong communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills. OITE encourages all trainees, including summer students, to develop professional competencies that are crucial for succeeding in all types of scientific careers.

Throughout the summer, OITE offers science skill- and career-development workshops; the workshops complement the training activities offered by each institute or center. Some workshops focus on enhancing skills such as reading a scientific paper, creating dynamic posters, and delivering oral presentations. Others provide tools for career exploration and prepare students for applying to professional or graduate school.

Summer students who are stepping into the lab for the first time or have little previous research experience should consider the Science Skills Boot Camp, a daylong workshop that provides an introduction to the research culture at NIH and to important scientific communication and laboratory skills.

In addition, summer students may attend journal club sessions—led by postdoctoral fellows and graduate students—that cover a broad range of topics and promote scientific reading and critical-thinking skills. Finally, students will present posters that showcase their work at Summer Poster Day on Thursday, August 8.

For more information
Events and resources for summer trainees:
Resources for mentors and supervisors:
Summer Internship Program application process:
OITE programs and information: