Fall 2022

The Careers Beyond Academia Series is sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Services and the The Graduate School.

Thurs Aug 11, 11 am

WHAT: Info Session: Science and Engineering Careers at Baebies
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6P5JmGX6S2f17Zs

Baebies Inc is a local diagnostics company in Durham NC. The Baebies mission is to save lives and make lives better for millions of children by bringing new technologies, new tests and new hope to parents and healthcare professionals worldwide. We are leaders in innovative newborn screening and pediatric testing solutions.

Baebies is growing! We have several open positions, and postdocs and PhD students are encouraged to learn more and apply. Join Rainer Ng, PhD, Director of Technology Development, to discuss careers at Baebies.

Weds Aug 31, 1-2:30 pm

WHAT: Managing Your Research Career Using an Individual Development Plan (IDP)
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bvWXruBhI6i0BzU

For better or for worse, your experiences and the training you receive as postdoctoral researchers and graduate students can greatly shape the rest of your career. However, there are strategies and resources that can increase your chances of getting what you came for. During this program, participants will learn how to develop clear and specific goals and objectives, along with a plan for executing them.

Topics include:

  • The importance of setting goals and developing an IDP
  • Introduction to the SMART goals model
  • Resources for crafting and executing your IDP
  • Strategies for establishing expectations and effectively communicating research and career goals with your mentor/PI.

SPEAKERDara Wilson-Grant is the Associate Director at the UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. With over fifteen years experience providing career management education and counseling, Dara’s mission is to help individuals develop a framework for choosing a meaningful and rewarding career path, plus develop the skills necessary for a lifetime of career success.

NOTE: This seminar provides Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) credit. Note that you will not receive credit if you arrive for this event late or leave early. Questions? Email Molly Starback, Director of Duke Postdoctoral Services, at molly.starback@duke.edu, or Hugh Crumley, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, at grad-rcr@duke.edu

Fri Sept 2, 1-1:45 pm

WHAT: What Can I Do with a Graduate Degree? Identifying My Transferable Skills
REGISTER: https://gradschool.duke.edu/student-life/events/what-can-i-do-graduate-degree-identifying-my-transferable-skills-3

This workshop will help you identify the transferable skills you’ve already developed in graduate school or your postdoc experience, brainstorm opportunities to continue growing your skills, and connect with tools to help you plan for further development. Our workshop facilitator is Dr. Melissa Bostrom, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development in the Graduate School.

Fri Sept 9, 1-1:45 pm

WHAT: Research Tools for Exploring Your Career Options
REGISTER: https://gradschool.duke.edu/student-life/events/research-tools-exploring-your-career-options-2

Turn your research acumen to the task of exploring your career options. This workshop will introduce key tools that help you identify potential career alignment opportunities and learn about them in depth. In preparation for this workshop, please register for an account on The Versatile PhD website through Duke’s subscription. Our facilitator will be Dr. Melissa Bostrom, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development in the Graduate School.

Thurs Sept 15, 3-4:30 pm

WHAT: Communicating Your Strengths: A CliftonStrengths Workshop
WHERE: Korman Assembly Room, Perkins Library
REGISTER: https://gradschool.duke.edu/student-life/events/communicating-your-strengths-cliftonstrengths-workshop

How do you describe your five greatest strengths? How can you leverage this information to communicate your capabilities to colleagues and potential employers? Using the CliftonStrengths assessment, this workshop will help you explore a new way to talk about your skills. We will investigate strategies for communicating your strengths to others, the challenges that your strengths might pose for you, and ways you can use information about your strengths to thrive in a team setting. The online CliftonStrengths assessment is offered to all registered participants in this limited-enrollment workshop. Our facilitator is Melissa Bostrom, PhD, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development.

Curious about the value of this workshop? Lucy Chikwetu, PhD student in Electrical & Computer Engineering, reflected on what she learned from a past workshop: “That experience gave me the language that I needed to articulate my strengths and identify how they’ve helped me succeed.”

Seats for this in-person workshop are very limited. Registration opens Thursday, August 25 at 10:00 am and closes Thursday, September 8 at 11:59 pm. All registrants must agree to complete the online assessment by September 12 and to attend the 90-minute workshop on September 15. Registrants who complete the assessment but do not attend the workshop may be asked to reimburse The Graduate School for the cost of the assessment.

Tues Sept 27, 5-6 pm

WHAT: What is Management Consulting? An Introduction with the Members of Duke Advanced-Degree Consulting Club (DACC)
Are you curious about how you can apply your research skills in a consulting career? Join us this workshop offered by the Duke Advanced-Degree Consulting Club (DACC) to learn about careers in management consulting. In addition to hearing an overview of the sector, participants will have the chance to meet in breakout rooms with PhD students and recent graduate alumni from humanities, social sciences, and STEM disciplines who have succeeded in the hiring process with Big Three, boutique, and CRO firms:
– Minjun Chang, PhD candidate in Decision Sciences (Bain)
– Cody David, PhD’22, Religion (McKinsey)
– Trevor Ross, MS student, Quantitative Management (Boutique)
– Yunqi (Lily) Yang, PhD candidate, Mechanical Engineering & Material Science (IQVIA)
– Tong Chen, MD, PhD candidate, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology (Bain)
The Duke Advanced Professional Degree Consulting Club  provides educational opportunities and experience for careers in management consulting. For more information: https://sites.duke.edu/dukeapdconsulting/

Fridays and Wednesdays in October

WHAT: Fall 2022 Duke Accelerate to Industry Program for Humanities and Social Sciences PhDs
REGISTER: Graduate students register in Handshake. Postdocs email Ängela Bonner, Assistant Director, Duke Career Center, at angela.bonner@duke.edu

The Duke Accelerate to Industry (A2i) Program is focused on helping Humanities and Social Science PhD students and postdocs find, apply for, and secure employment outside of academia. The Fall 2022 program includes:

  1. 4 job search workshops will help you develop materials and skills to pursue a career outside of academia: Job Search, Converting CV to Resume, Interviewing, and Offer Letter and Negotiation. All workshops are on Zoom, Fridays in October from 12-1 pm: Oct 7, 14, 21, 28.
  2. Coffee chats provide an opportunity to build community with other graduate students and postdocs, led by a humanities/social science PhD with experience in career development. All coffee chats will be at Conference Rm005, lower level of the Broadhead Center, Wednesdays in October from 12-1 pm: Oct 5, 12, 19, 26.

The A2i Fall 2022 Series is sponsored by the Duke Career Center and the A2i Initiative. For more information: https://careerhub.students.duke.edu/resources/a2i-accelerate-to-industry/

Thurs Oct 6, 1-2:30 pm

WHAT: Developing Your Personal Leadership Brand
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bgE0AL18MObjGHY

If you start out on a journey without a destination or a map, don’t be surprised if you end up in places you didn’t want to be.  In this workshop, you will learn how to determine your destination and create your map by defining your purpose, values and principles through development of a Leadership Brand.  Besides providing you with a “life compass,” this will differentiate you from others and allow you to present yourself in a consistent manner to everyone with whom you interact and lead.  Learn why you need a Leadership Brand and what it can do for you.

Speaker: Duke alumnus George Grody (class of 1981) spent 26 years at Procter & Gamble in Sales, Marketing, and General Management across the globe. As Director for Global Strategic Alliances, he worked with other companies and governments on co-technology and co-marketing deals. He’s been teaching in the Duke Markets & Management Studies Program since 2008.

Thurs Oct 13, 10-11 am

WHAT: How to Avoid Self-Sabotage and Win at Salary Negotiations

Let’s face it, for most of us, the negotiation process is one of the most stressful parts of the job search. Not long after the initial excitement of receiving an offer comes panic followed by dread.

– Do I negotiate for more money and risk seeming pushy or ungrateful?
– Will I lose this opportunity if I negotiate for too much?
– What should I ask for?

If one or more of these thoughts swirl through your head when you think about salary negotiations, you are not alone! This workshop is a step-by-step guide to navigating the negotiation process, especially when it comes to managing your emotions.

Speaker: Dara Wilson-Grant is Associate Director of the UNC Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and a Licensed Professional Counselor. With over fifteen years experience providing career education and counseling, Dara’s mission is to help individuals develop a framework for choosing a meaningful and rewarding career path, plus develop the skills necessary for a lifetime of career success.

Tues Oct 18, 11-11:30 am

WHAT: Alum Zoom: Five Career Questions with Patricia Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Editor, Wiley
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9KYOZPuC8leG0Ci 

As part of a series of short, focused career conversations with former Duke PhD students and postdocs, we’ll feature Patricia Johnson, Ph.D.’22 (Chemistry), Assistant Editor for Wiley. In her role, Patricia manages the peer-review process for submitted articles as part of the materials science and physics team at Wiley. Her efforts are focused on Advanced Functional Materials, Journal of Polymer Science, and Macromolecular Rapid Communications. She brings her passion for science communication to her editing work.

5 Questions:
  1. Can you tell us about your background?
  2. How did you get your job?
  3. What’s a typical day like at your organization?
  4. What can postdocs and students who would like to work in this field (or explore it further) do to prepare?
  5. What is the employment outlook for this field?

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel

Tues Oct 25, 1-4 pm

WHAT: Innovative Careers for PhDs: Careers Beyond Academia
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_09hkUe6wg8LhMkS 

The career landscape for PhDs has changed dramatically—the majority of PhD holders now pursue non-academic careers. What are these careers, and how do you position yourself to be competitive for one? Join us to explore opportunities in startups, private industry, and beyond. The session will include a keynote by Amit Bagga, Ph.D.’98 (Computer Science), Comcast SVP of Entertainment and AI Technology, and breakout sessions with alumni and other PhD-qualified professionals who have been successful in innovative careers. Breakouts will include Physical Sciences & Engineering, Life Sciences, and Humanities & Social Sciences professionals.


  • Liz Crisenbery, A.M.’16, Ph.D.’20 (Music), Service Delivery Operations Manager, Bandwidth Inc.
  • Kristin Johnson, A.M.’15, Ph.D.’16 (Psychology), Director of Customer Insights, Fidelity Investments
  • Joyce Kurpiers, Ph.D.’09 (Music), Alumni Program Manager, Center for Creative Leadership
  • Scott Muir, Ph.D.’18 (Religion), Director of Undergraduate Initiatives, National Humanities Alliance
  • Andrew George, Ph.D.’18 (Biology), Civic Science Fellow, Sigma Xi
  • Suparna Kanjilal, Ph.D.’06 (Biochemistry), Senior Patent Agent, Syngenta
  • Heather Vincent, Ph.D. (Duke postdoc alumna), Senior Manager Business Operations, Torque Bio
  • Joel Greenberg, A.M.’08, Ph.D.’12 (Physics), CEO, President and Co-Founder, Quadridox and Associate Research Professor, Duke
  • Zehra Parlak, Ph.D. (Duke postdoc alumna), Founder and CEO, QATCH Technologies
  • Wout Salenbien, Ph.D.’18 (Earth and Ocean Sciences), Innovation Analyst, RTI Innovation Advisors

Tues Nov 1, 11 am – 12 pm

WHAT: Locus Biosciences Info Session: What We Look For in PhD Job Candidates

Please join Ashley Trama, PhD, MBA, Senior Director of R&D Program Management at local biotech company Locus Biosciences for an info session discussing what Locus looks for in resumes and cover letters, the interview process, and salary offers/negotiation. Don’t miss this opportunity to get the ‘inside scoop’ from an exciting local biotech employer!

Speaker: Ashley Trama, PhD, MBA, received her PhD from Duke Immunology in 2014 and her MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 2018 with a certificate in Healthcare Management through the Weekend Executive MBA program. Ashley joined Locus Biosciences in 2019, and currently leads the company’s Project Management Office, which is responsible for delivering all of Locus’ asset development programs and platform projects. She is also the Program Lead on Locus’ partnership with Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Prior to her current role, Ashley was Sr. Director of Technical Operations where she managed the qualification and validation of Locus’ new cGMP manufacturing facility, and additional capital projects. Prior to joining Locus, Ashley worked at the Duke Human Vaccine institute, where she managed a protein expression laboratory and operated as the Assistant Director of Program Management.

Tues Nov 8, 11-11:30 am

WHAT: Alum Zoom with Molly Hannigan, PhD, Senior Scientist, Torque Bio
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1HudipmVAeyDb9Q

As part of a series of short, focused career conversations with former Duke PhD students and postdocs, we’ll feature Molly Hannigan, PhD, Senior Scientist at Torque Bio and former Duke Postdoc in Cell Biology. Torque Bio, Inc. is a local biotechnology startup leveraging the power of RNA biology for the treatment of disease. In her role as Senior Scientist, Molly works with a talented team to design, develop, and test new therapeutic constructs; analyze high-throughput data and effectively communicate the results to a broad audience; and supervises lab management and operations.

5 Questions:

1. Can you tell us about your background?
2. How did you get your job?
3. What’s a typical day like at your organization?
4. What can postdocs and students who would like to work in this field (or explore it further) do to prepare?
5. What is the employment outlook for this field?

Wed Nov 9, 12-1:30 pm

WHAT: CV to Résumé Multi-industry Workshop Hosted by Women in Science and Engineering
WHERE: The Edge Workshop Room, Bostock Library (room 127)
REGISTER: https://forms.gle/NGFvLbnVR7F3BakV8

In this workshop, attendees will learn generalized and industry-specific best practices for converting their CV into a résumé. For a portion of the session, attendees will form interactive breakout groups to dig deeper into résumés specific to their employment sector of interest.  Please bring a charged laptop for the breakout portion. Having access to your current CV and/or résumé is recommended but not required. Registration is required. Those who register by Monday, November 7 can enjoy a free lunch.

Thurs Dec 1, 11 am -12 pm

WHAT: Whitsell Innovations Medical Writing Internship Session: “The Scope of Medical Communications: Opportunities for Scientist Writers & the WI Internship Program”
REGISTER: Email internship@whitsellinnovations.com to register and receive the meeting link

Wondering what to do if the bench isn’t for you? Medical/Scientific Writing is one of the fastest-growing careers for PhDs in the sciences – would you like a PAID, part-time internship to introduce you to this field? If so, please join us to learn about potential careers and a paid internship in medical and scientific communication.

Whitsell Innovations (https://www.whitsellinnovations.com/) is a certified woman-owned, full-service medical and scientific writing company headquartered in Chapel Hill NC with writers in 27 US states. Laura Bisogno, PhD (former Duke graduate student and postdoc) will speak on “The Scope of Medical Communications.” The presentation will provide an overview of careers for PhDs who are interested in combining their scientific acumen and writing skills. Dr. Bisogno will address medical writing for pharmaceutical, biotech, and device companies, including the documentation required for submissions to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during the pre-clinical and clinical development process. She will also address how industry clients use medical writers to share clinical data in manuscripts, training materials, and presentations.

Dr. Bisogno will also discuss the WI Internship Program (https://www.whitsellinnovations.com/careers/). This opportunity is an 18-month, part-time, paid internship available to researchers who are interested in a career in medical writing.