Fall 2020


Tues Aug 4, 2-2:30 pm

WHAT: Information Session: Career Community -Government, NGOs, and Nonprofit Focus
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6DttdhsZFMXF9DT

Are you exploring career options in government, nonprofit,and NGOs? Find the support of graduate student and postdoc colleagues with similar interests as well as structured resources through a Career Community. Learn how to maximize your use of sites like LinkedIn, discover the best career research tools Duke offers, strengthen your communication skills, and make contacts who can help you succeed as a candidate. Join this information session to learn about the new Career Community initiative, with a focus on jobs in government, NGOs, and nonprofit.

More about the Career Community: Between the kickoff meeting on Sept 1 (at 2 pm) and final session Oct 27 (at 2 pm), you commit to hold four biweekly meetings with members of your career community to share information and build accountability for your progress. We anticipate groups of3-5 participants. Your group will undertake one of the following activities to build your skills and network:

  • Organize 2 public virtual events featuring guest speakers
  • Conduct 3 informational interviews and write them up to be shared online
  • Hold a skill development workshop with a guest speaker (either Duke or non-Duke) open to the graduate student and postdoc community
  • Organize a virtual site visit to an employer in the government, nonprofit, or NGO sector
  • Organize a virtual networking event
  • Write a blog post for the Career Center blog
  • Create a podcast episode for the Career Center

Groups will be formed at the kickoff meeting, depending on the number of successful applicants and their sectors of interest. Applications are due Mon Aug 17 by 11:59 pm ET.

Fri Aug 21, 2-2:45 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

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.

Tues Aug 25, 4-4:45 pm

WHAT: Preparing for Virtual Career Fairs and Employer Events

Career Fairs and employer events are great ways to explore opportunities, practice communication skills and network with recruiters and hiring managers. This fall all of our employer events will be online and preparation for this format will be helpful in order to have a successful experience.  This workshop will focus on the strategies and tools you can incorporate in order to prepare for these events and stand out as a candidate.

Weds Sept 9, 10-10:45 am

WHAT: Virtual and Phone Interview Tips

Internship and job interviews are an opportunity to tell your story while clearly conveying your skills and interest for a specific position and organization. Since interviews this fall will either be conducted online or via phone,  this workshop will help you learn useful strategies to prepare strong responses to some of the most common behavioral-style interview questions.

Weds Sept 16, 4-4:45 pm

WHAT: Transforming Your CV to a Resume

Non-academic employers typically request that applicants provide a focused 1-2 page resume instead of a more comprehensive CV.  What are the essential accomplishments to include in a resume? How do you identify the relevant qualifications that highlight the best of what you have to offer? In this workshop you’ll learn how to convert your CV into a focused, tailored resume that creates a compelling depiction of your significant skills and experiences.

Thurs Sept 17, 3-4:30 pm

WHAT: Developing Your Personal Leadership Brand
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0e331N0BoVdllpb 

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 L. Grody (class of 1981) spent 26 years at Procter & Gamble in Sales, Marketing, and General Management across the globe. His last assignment prior to retiring was as Director for Global Strategic Alliances, which entailed working with other companies and governments on co-technology and co-marketing deals. He’s been teaching in the Markets & Management Studies program at Duke University since 2008.

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel

Weds Sept 23, 11 am – 12 pm

WHAT: What is Management Consulting? An Introduction with the Members of APD Consulting Club
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cAxWRyfx1EKFy0l

Are you curious about how you can apply your research skills in a consulting career? Join us for this workshop offered in collaboration with the APD Consulting Club (Advanced Professional Degree Consulting Club) to learn about careers in consulting for graduate students and postdocs and to practice a mini-case interview.

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel

Tues Sept 24, 10-11:30 am

WHAT: Managing Your Research Career Using an Individual Development Plan (IDP)
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall-2020-IDP

For better or for worse, your experiences and the training you receive as graduate students and postdoctoral researchers 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 covered 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.

Speaker: Dara Wilson-Grant is the Associate Director at the UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and a National Certified Career 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.

Mon Sept 28, 8-8:45 pm

WHAT: Your Confident LinkedIn Profile

Advice about optimizing your LinkedIn profile is readily available online. Attend this session to make sense of the advice for your specific field and goals, take advantage of recent product changes, and get feedback from other attendees.

Tues Sept 29, 8-8:45 pm

WHAT: Networking Strategies During a Global Pandemic

We all know that networking is essential for your career and professional development. But how exactly should you approach this process during a global pandemic? This workshop will highlight useful strategies and tools for networking right now during COVID-19.

Tues Oct 6, 12-12:45 pm

WHAT: Career Planning at Any Stage

Sometimes the hardest part of career planning is knowing where to start. Your personal and professional goals along with where you are in the process can determine what actions are most appropriate. Learn how to design an effective method for exploring, evaluating and deciding on the next steps in your career. Whether you are a first-year student or a postdoc, this workshop can help you!

Weds Oct 7, 12-1 pm

WHAT: What to Look for When Searching for a Postdoc Position: A Perspective from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0ezMWGtH0b5eYFn

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, located in Memphis TN, is one of the world’s  premier research and treatment centers for pediatric cancer and catastrophic childhood diseases. Scientists and clinicians work together on a daily basis to translate laboratory discoveries into clinical trials and new therapies for patients.

St. Jude has openings for postdoctoral fellows in diverse basic and translational research areas including cancer biology, cell &developmental biology, chemistry, bioinformatics, global & public health,immunology, gene & cell therapy, infectious diseases, applied math,structural biology, neuroscience, and epidemiology.

The presentation by Dr. Linda Harris, Director of Postdoctoral Talent Acquisition, will give general information regarding what to look for when searching for a postdoc position, in addition to providing information specific to St. Jude. Whether you are close to graduating with your PhD, or early in your degree, it is never too soon to think about your next career step. Check out st jude.org/postdoc for more information

You may schedule a 30 minute one-on-one meeting with Dr. Harris on either Oct 7 or 8 from 2-5 pm through https://www.pencilit.io/harris/30mins. She encourages you to take advantage of this informal interview. Should you decide to apply for a postdoc position at St. Jude, Dr. Harris will be able to provide her impression of you to the faculty.

Thurs Oct 8, 4-5 pm

WHAT: Exploring Non-Clinical Careers in Healthcare & Life Sciences

This virtual career panel features Duke alumni working in non-clinical healthcare and life science roles. Join us to learn more about career paths, organizations, job roles, industry trends and essential skills needed. This event is open to Duke undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs and alumni up to 5 years post-graduation.

  • Tanaya Amar, MEM (’18), Product Development & Analytics at CVS Health
  • Matt Epland, PhD (Physics ’19), Data Scientist at Komodo Health
  • Tammeka Evans, MS (Program II ’03), Director of Global Public Health and Innovation at ViiV Healthcare
  • Vivek Upadhyay, MD (BA ’10), Fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Carolyn Nohejl, MBA (’10), MS (BME, ’10), X-Verily Life Sciences

Thurs Oct 15, 10-11 am

WHAT: Networking: A Tool for Exploring Careers & Building Professional Relationships
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall-2020-Networking  

Networking is one of the most effective approaches to getting your career on the fast track. Yet, for a variety of reasons (eg, shyness, fear of “schmoozing”), we often fail to make networking an active part of our job search – even though it’s the way most people get their jobs! In this workshop, you will learn the keys to tactful networking along with easy-to-use strategies for face-to-face conversations, making email connections, and the appropriate use of social media.

Speaker: Dara Wilson-Grant is Associate Director of the UNC-Chapel Hill 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.

Thurs Oct 22, 3-4:30 pm

WHAT: Developing Business & Professional Skills

Business skills are necessary in most work settings and in a variety of roles. Learn what skills are commonly sought by employers and why these skills are relevant. You will also leave with strategies for further developing these skills. This is part one of a two-part series.  This session will focus on: Business Strategy, Teamwork, and Time Management/Delegation.


  • Christine Peijinn Chai, PhD, Software Engineer, Microsoft
  • Will Evans, AM, Publisher & Executive Director, Deep Vellum Publishing
  • Alyson Wilson, PhD, Associate Vice Chancellor, NC State University

Fri Oct 23, 10-10:45 am

WHAT: Shift Happens: How to Build Flexible Career Plans in Uncertain Times

Now, more than ever, career planning should involve preparing for multiple possibilities. So how do you  prepare for your dream job but also devise plans B and C to keep multiple options open? This session will help you begin the process of exploring career options, identifying transferable skills, and determining a plan for organizing and taking next steps.

Weds Nov 4,  1-2 pm

WHAT: Exploring Careers in Education Technology
REGISTER:  https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4NhSWfnqK3HR0s5

Education technology is a growing field of communicators, technologists, and educators working to facilitate and improve learning. If you’re interested in teaching, curriculum design, consulting with faculty, leveraging technology in the classroom, or just hoping to apply the skills you’ve developed in your graduate program, come join a group of three Duke alums as they speak about their careers in Ed Tech.

Paul Edwards, MD, Associate Director of Career Development and Coaching, STEM,St. Olaf College
Laura Fogle, MEd, Assistant Director of the Media and Education Technology ResourceCenter, North Carolina State University
Paul Durst, PhD, Assistant Director, STEM Education, Council on Science and Technology, Princeton University

Weds Nov 4, 6-7:30 pm

WHAT:  Career Panel: Women in Science Beyond Academia
REGISTER: https://forms.gle/LJ9qLnaGRx2oKxtJ9

Duke University Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) presents a Women in Science Virtual Career Panel and Discussion. Four panelists will discuss the opportunities for women in their fields and how they transitioned from academia to their positions. Our panelists’ interests span multiple fields including data science, ecology, science communication, science writing, government relations, strategy consulting, and biotech research. We are excited to hear about these women’s experiences through the panel and will also offer break out discussion sections to allow you to ask more tailored questions about the fields you are interested in.


Tiffany G. Wilson, PhD ’17 (Civil & Environmental Engineering), Data Scientist at CleanChoice Energy
Dr. Wilson is an environmental engineer by training who has transitioned from research in physical science to startup data analytics. As a data scientist, she works with colleagues to create useful analytics tools that generate value through greater understanding of data.

Jennifer Lynn McCulley, PhD ’10 (Molecular Cancer Biology), PMP, Health Communications Project Manager and Senior Science Writer
Dr. McCulley is an experienced project manager, senior science writer/editor, and health communications consultant. She is trained in project management, scientific/policy writing and editing, digital and traditional communication tactics, program evaluation, health education, stakeholder engagement, and strategic program analysis.

Alison Appling, PhD ’12 (Ecology), Data Scientist at United States Geological Survey
Dr. Appling is an ecologist and data scientist interested in how natural processes and human activities jointly influence our environment. She creates cutting-edge analytics tools, generating highly readable, reproducible analyses, such as R packages that help researchers estimate ecosystem processes (photosynthesis, respiration, and river solute loads) more accurately and efficiently.

Sarah Ronnebaum, PhD ’08 (Pharmacology), Senior Scientist at Pharmerit
Dr. Ronnebaum is a strategy consultant and researcher for private and government health-related organizations. She collaborates with cross-functional teams, ensures delivery of high-quality products, and maintains networks of key opinion leaders to discuss emerging clinical and scientific information.

Thurs Nov 5, 12-12:45 pm

WHAT: Negotiating Job Offers with Confidence

In this workshop you will learn how to evaluate and negotiate components of a job offer. You will also practice how to identify your value, conduct market research to benchmark salary/benefits and role-play scenarios using effective responses and strategies. This workshop is useful for those targeting any type of industry, including academia.

Thurs Nov 12, 3:45 – 5 pm

WHAT:  Broadening Academic Horizons: Working at the Intersection of Higher Education and Nonprofit

Join a conversation with Duke alumnae Carolyn Stefanco, PhD ’87 (History), Senior Vice President of Lindauer Global, and Aude Dieudé, PhD ’13 (Romance Studies), Swiss National Program Portfolio Manager, about their journeys into nonprofit and higher education management. After registration, you will receive a Zoom invitation to the moderated discussion and open Q&A session.

Tues Nov 17, 11 am – 12 pm

WHAT: Careers in Medical/Scientific Writing with Whitsell Innovations
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_a2AJRHCd0g1A1iB

Still love science, but wondering what to do if the bench isn’t for you? Are you looking for a writing career? Prefer to work from home?

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 11 US states. Rebekah Fleming, PhD, Medical Writer and Consultant (and former Duke 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. She 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 Fleming will also discuss the WI Internship Program (https://www.whitsellinnovations.com/careers/). Now in its 11th year, this opportunity is an 18-month, part-time, paid internship available to researchers who are interested in a career in medical writing.