Career and Professional Development

Negotiation and Other Challenges Women Face in the Job Market

February 21, 2018

Join WiSE for a lunch discussion of issues pertinent to women on the job hunt with Dr. Molly Goldwasser. Dr. Goldwasser is the Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Duke. Examples of discussion topics include negotiating fair pay and dealing with uncomfortable questions while interviewing.

Career Exploration Workshop with the Career Center

February 12, 2018

WiSE is partnering with the Duke Career Center to host a workshop for graduate students and postdocs who are interested in careers outside of academia and industry. Come learn about alternative career paths and enjoy discussion and snacks!

“Women in Industry” Panel

October 24, 2017

Join us for our third annual “Women in Industry” Panel about transitioning from academia to industry! This event will feature an open discussion (Q&A) between the audience and a panel of successful business leaders and scientists.


  • Ami Kabadi, Founding Scientist, Element Genomics
  • Brittany Davis, Scientist in Medical Affairs, BD
  • Louise Giffin, Research Scientist, Heat Biologics
  • Sarah Gemberling, Regulatory Affairs Scientist, Duke University School of Medicine

Negotiate WiSEly

February 16, 2017

Dr. Molly Goldwasser, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, will lead a workshop on building negotiation skills. We will cover the basics and talk about specific issues facing women in the academic job market. Wine, cheese, and non-alcoholic beverages will be served.

“Women in Industry” Panel

October 26, 2016

WiSE is hosting our second annual “Women in Industry” Panel about finding success as a female scientist in industry positions. The event features an open discussion (Q&A) between the audience and a panel of successful business leaders and scientists. Sponsored by Capital One.


  • Jibby Ayo-Ani, Software Engineer, Capital One
  • Liz Turpin, Consultant, Applied LifeSciences & Systems
  • Sandi Wong, Scientist, Locus Biosciences

Developing a Broader Impact: How to Communicate Your Science to the Public

April 4, 2011

Find the cool in your research and practice techniques to communicate science to the public. Through interactive exercises, fun games, and creative writing, you will leave this workshop with an “elevator speech,” ways to hook your audience and opportunities for outreach in your community. Trish Lemm is a scientist and educator at the Museum of Life and Science. Joy Javits is a communications coach with In the Public Eye, Effective Communication. This workshop is co-sponsored by WiSE, Sigma Xi, and the Graduate School.

Writing about Science for the Public

February 25, 2011

Whether you’re thinking about writing a short piece for a newsletter or website, launching a blog, or going into science writing full-time, this workshop is for you. Karl Leif Bates, Duke’s Director of Research Communications, will cover the basics of science writing – how to engage a lay audience, gain experience, bolster your CV, and network with other science writers.

Secrets of the Science Job Market: How Employment Works in a Down Economy

October 7, 2010

Whether you are in the job market now considering your options, or facing this process in the next year or two, this is a workshop you will not want to miss. Join Dave Jensen, AAAS monthly columnist and career discussion forum moderator, as he shares the secrets of the job market from his 25 years of experience in scientific careers. There are five different ways to approach the job market, whether it be through ads, the internet, headhunters, job fairs or networking, and Dave will help you optimize each one of those for your own personal benefit. Remarkably, some of the most popular ways of looking for work today, such as applying at online company websites, are actually the least effective uses of your time when job searching.

Dave will discuss the differences between the culture of academia and that of industry, and why so many success factors are in common while at the same time so many “rules” of career development are completely different. Approaching your career development in an industry job with the mindset of an academic can be a shortcut to disaster (and this is true the other way around as well). In this seminar, you will leave with a completely different viewpoint of what it is to be a job applicant — you’ll strive to be, instead, a candidate for a position. There’s a huge difference between an applicant and a candidate, and your speaker will ensure you have the tools to move to the candidate position much faster in the job search process.

Speaker Bio:

Dave Jensen is the Managing Director of Kincannon & Reed Global Executive Search, which is a firm founded more than 30 years ago for life sciences executive recruiting. He is the founder of CareerTrax Inc., a leading biosciences consulting firm, and prior to CTI he was the founder and CEO of Search Masters International, which was sold to Kelly Scientific in 2001. In addition to his recruiting work, Jensen is co-founder of a startup biotech company, ProActive BioProducts Inc. His monthly column “Managing Your Career” runs in each issue of Contract Pharma where Jensen is the Contributing Editor. He has published nearly 300 papers on management and personal development topics in addition to authoring a popular Internet column, “Tooling Up,” which appears each month at Dave is the founder and moderator of the AAAS Science Careers Discussion Forum, a career tips and techniques discussion located at

Life After the Post-Doc

April 21, 2010

This event will be a panel discussion led by women scientists from the Research Triangle area who have been highly successful in academia.


  • Dr. Nancy Monteiro-Rivere, Professor, Investigative Dermatology and Toxicology North Carolina State University
  • Dr. Sharon Campbell, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Dr. Shweta Trivedi, Teaching Assistant Professor & VetPAC Coordinator Department of Animal Sciences North Carolina State University
  • Dr. Ayana Arce, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics Duke University

“From Research to Business” by Melda Uzbil, Duke-Coulter Translational Partners Grant Program Director

April 6, 2010

Science can be more than just science. To improve the quality of human life, scientific discoveries must be translated into practical applications. Current researchers need to understand and evaluate the commercial potential of their research innovations and seek for opportunities to translate research into business plan.  Melda Uzbil, Duke-Coulter Translational Partners Grant Program Director, will talk to us about the resources on campus and from outside that researchers can use to find IP protection as well as business development. In a fresh new angel, she will explain technology, product development, marketing, finance, regulatory requirements and reimbursement.

Salary Negotiation Workshop

March 19, 2010

This workshop for junior and senior women will give you the knowledge and skills that you need to negotiate fair and realistic salaries and benefits in today’s market. Light dinner provided. Sponsored by the Graduate and Professional Women’s Network.

Successful Grant Writing for Graduate Students

February 16, 2010

Graduate school training in such topics as how to write a successful grant proposal is often scarce or none, thus many students do not fully appreciate how important these skills are to their future careers

Graduate and Profession Women’s Network welcomes all advanced graduate students to attend a presentation by Dr. Ashutosh Chilkoti on grant writing: where to find them, how to write them, and how to get them accepted. Dr. Chilkoti is the Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Director for Graduate Program and Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems. He has been successful in obtaining peer-reviewed funding and served on a number of national and international reviewing bodies for many years. There will be plenty of time for a Q&A following the presentation. Come with your questions!

Negotiation Strategies for the Scientist – workshop by Dave Jensen, columnist for AAAS Science Careers and Contract Pharma Magazine

October 5, 2009

Working up a job offer is always difficult when you are attempting this tricky negotiation for the first time, whether it is for an industrial position or for a tenure-track appointment in academia. In this presentation, biotech industry columnist (AAAS Science Careers, Contract Pharma Magazine) Dave Jensen will discuss how important it is to understand all of the issues surrounding that prospective job offer, from both sides of the fence. By putting yourself in the shoes of your potential employer, you’ll be able to see exactly how issues like time, budget and personality fit into the equation. In an exercise showing how one applicant moves through the process, Jensen will guide each audience member to see clearly where each of the possible stumbling blocks are; the speaker will help you maximize your job offers to suit your needs. There are lots of take home lessons provided in this 90 minute workshop, including fifteen tips for better negotiations at home and at work.

30-second impression & effective networking with Sharon Hill

April 30, 2009

Due to popular demand, we are bringing back etiquette trainer extraordinaire Sharon Hill for an hour-long seminar on how to make a positive first impression, and how to network effectively – just in time for the summer conference season! Dinner will be served, so please RSVP.

Abstract Writing Do’s and Don’ts

December 4, 2008

How do you write a concise, clear, and convincing abstract? Ann Motten (Duke, Dept. of Chemistry) guides us through the art of abstract writing. We’ll learn the major components of successful abstracts, then workshop our way through several examples. We’ll also have a chance to critique our own abstracts, and tips will be given for good format, style, and organization. For added impact, submit your abstract early by Tuesday, Dec 2, 5pm, and have Dr. Motten use it as one of the examples!

Shaping the world, one job at a time: An altruistic/alternative career panel

March 21, 2008

Are you looking for non-academia jobs that are outside of the box? Do you seek career choices that help to better the world by helping others? Come explore altruistic alternatives including non-profit research, teaching, and science policy as ways to achieve your goal of a meaningful career. Lunch provided upon RSVP. RSVP online. Panelists include:

Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom: K-12 education

Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom was trained as a neuropharmacologist and has devoted her basic science research to understanding the mechanisms of neuroprotection after neuronal injury. Additionally, she has had a long-standing interest in science education. She developed a research program at Duke University that applies science-based research to K-12 curriculum and professional development (RISE).

Bora Zivkovic: Science career online

Bora Zivkovic is the Online Community Coordinator at the Public Library of Science ONE (PLoS ONE). He got this job because someone posted it on the comment section of his blog. His job is to try to motivate you to comment on the papers at PLoS, and his scientific specialty is chronobiology (circadian rhythms and photoperiodism).

Anne Casper: Liberal arts college science education Anne Casper is currently a post-doc in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Duke, and is a SPIRE program fellow at UNC Chapel Hill. The mission of SPIRE is to provide multi-dimensional professional development for science researchers and educators to succeed in academic careers, to bring engaging teaching methods into the classroom, and to increase diversity in science professions.

Nirupama Sista: Science career in public policy/nonprofits

Nirupama Sista is the Associate Director of Science Facilitation at Family Health International (FHI). FHI is among the largest and most established nonprofit organizations active in international public health with a mission to improve lives worldwide through research, education, and services in family health.

Subhashini Chandrasekharan: Career in science policy

Subhashini Chandrasekharan is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Center for Public Genomics within IGSP�s Center for Genome Ethics, Law, and Policy (GELP). GELP was created to foster ethically responsible and socially beneficial uses of genome science, while addressing the complex ethical, legal, social and policy impacts of the Genome Revolution.

Stop faking it: How to feel as bright and capable as everyone seems to think you are — overcoming the “Imposter Syndrome” with Dr. Valerie Young

February 13, 2008

Are you crushed by even constructive criticism, taking it as evidence of your ineptness? Do you often dismiss your accomplishments as a “fluke” or “no big deal?” Like you, we wanted to know why so many intelligent, capable people suffer from the so-called Impostor Syndrome and, most importantly, what it takes to overcome it. You’ll learn: what the so-called Impostor Syndrome is and how it operates in every day life; how race, class and gender can and do contribute to feelings of fraudulence (hint: it’s not “all in your head”); how to stop the perfectionism, procrastination, and chronic self-doubt standing between you and your goals; key gender differences as they relate to the all important topics of competence, failure, and success. Plus, you’ll be guided through a proven 7-step process designed to give you additional insight into your own self-limiting philosophies and patterns. You’ll actually leave the session with a personalized plan for change. Finally, you’ll hear more than theory. You’ll walk away with practical strategies for interrupting the Impostor Syndrome that you can start using immediately. We are happy to welcome Dr. Valerie Young as our Distinguished Speaker of 2008. Our event co-sponsors are: The Office of Postdoctoral Services, Duke Medical School, Duke School of Nursing, the Graduate and Professional Women’s Network, Graduate Student Career Services, the Department of Biology, the University Program in Genetics and Genomics, the Center For Integrated Education Research and Development, the Bouchet Society, the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, the Graduate and Professional Student Council, and Graduate Student Affairs.

Starting Out Strong: An Assertiveness Workshop with Kacie Wallace

January 23, 2008

Want to start out the year strong by knowing how to be more assertive in both your work and personal life? Feel like you do not know how to make requests without coming across as being too pushy or weak? Kacie Wallace (J.D., L.L.M.) is a professor at NC Central School of Law and an adjunct professor at Duke. She successfully conducted the “Ladylike Negotiation” workshop for Duke GPWN last year and is our first speaker of the year. Make it a part of your new year’s resolution to become the more poised version of you, and let it be a way for you to define success!

Pump Up Your Professionalism with Sharon Hill

November 9, 2007

Come to a fun, interactive and intimate session led by Certified Etiquette Trainer (CET) Ms. Sharon Hill. Learn essential networking skills such as the power of a handshake, the magic of eye contact, and the secrets of small talk. Sharon spent more than 20 years as a development and marketing manager at IBM. She was elected Chairman of the Raleigh/RTP Black Diversity Network Group, a position she held for five years at IBM’s largest site. As a Toastmasters International award winner, Sharon now is the president of Sharon Hill International, through which she teaches seminars focusing on American business etiquette, effective speaking techniques, and preparing students for corporate America and others. This interactive workshop will be followed by a book signing / sale of Sharon’s recent books: 35 Tips for Students to Succeed in Corporate America, and Wild Woman’s Guide to Etiquette: Saving the World One Handshake at a Time. Limited to Duke affiliated participants only.

Lunch with Prof. Margaret Murnane

November 6, 2007

Prof Murnane is a fellow of JILA (formerly the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics) and a faculty member in the Departments of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado (Boulder, CO). She has been invited to Duke for the inaugural Hertha Sponer Presidential Lectureship on Nov 6th at 4PM in Griffith Theatre. WiSE is lucky to chat with this successful woman over an informal lunch. Space is limited for this luncheon, so please RSVP.

Pitch Your Idea with Joseph Holmes

September 26, 2007

Come to this workshop facilitated by Mr. Joseph Holmes to refine your networking and communication skills. We’ll learn how to quickly and effectively convey our projects, ideas, and selves to others, be they scientists, journalists, or friends around the dinner table. The interactive workshop will start with a short effective speaking lesson, followed by speed networking practice in rotating pairs, and will close with a casual dinner. Mr. Holmes is the CEO of Acuity Edge, a management consulting firm dedicated to providing the highest quality of strategic-level service for corporate, university, government, and venture capital clients. He enjoys the interface between technology and business as found in university tech transfer, corporate IP management, and new entrepreneurial ventures. Mr. Holmes is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Master of Engineering Management (MEM) program at Duke University.

Managing a Research Lab

April 6, 2007

Think you are ready for academia? Back by popular demand, this session with Dr. Farshid Guilak will better prepare you for managing people, funds and politics, in addition to managing research. Dr. Guilak, who is highly recommended for giving impressive presentations on this topic, is Director of the Orthopaedic Bioengineering Laboratory in the Department of Surgery at Duke Medical Center.

Exploring Alternative Careers

March 23, 2007

Leaving the ivory tower? Think about your options and explore the possibilities with this panel on alternative careers for science and engineering graduates. The panelists include: Amy Collinsworth, Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, now works in tech transfer at Duke; Sherry Carty, Ph.D. in Biochemistry, now works as an intellectual property consultant; Susan Dakin, Ph.D. in Zoology, now works as an independent consultant in scientific and technical writing; and Freda Porter, Ph.D. in Mathematics and Computer Science, President and CEO of Porter Scientific, Pembroke, NC.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Workshop

March 2, 2007

For this workshop, you will take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator online beforehand. The workshop, led by Dr. Virginia Steinmetz of the Career Center, will discuss your MBTI results and what they may tell you about your career.

2007 Distinguished Speaker: Dr. Angela Johnson

Unintended Consequences: How Science Professors Unintentionally Discourage Women of Color

February 23, 2007

Black, Latina and American Indian women are under-represented in the sciences. In this talk, Dr. Angela Johnson explores how the culture of science is closely aligned with the cultural skills of white middle class men, and discusses some of the teaching practices and cultural values which served to benefit white students and male students at the expense of women. The talk ends with a discussion of the potential for these practices and values to change in order for science departments to be more accessible to women students of color.

Dr. Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Educational Studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, with an emphasis in Educational Foundations. An A.B. in Physics from Bryn Mawr College, Dr. Johnson taught physics in predominantly non-white high school and college settings for fourteen years before pursuing a doctorate in educational anthropology. Her areas of specialization include women of color who study science in predominantly white institutions, effective teaching in diverse settings, and retaining students of color in higher education. This event is co-sponsored by the Bouchet Society. During her visit to Duke, Dr. Johnson is also meeting with Parents@Duke for a discussion on adoption and parenting of children of color.

Resume Workshop

February 19, 2007

Learn how to polish your resume with Dr. Virginia Steinmetz, Director of Graduate Student Career Services. Share tips and discuss with peers and mentors. At the end of this workshop, the MBTI will be introduced and participants given instructions on how to take the test online before the next event.

Enhancing Personal Innovation and Problem Solving

February 9, 2007

Improve your problem solving skills at this workshop with Dr. Natalie Wisniewski. Dr. Wisniewski graduated from Duke in 2001 with a Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering. While at Duke, she did an internship with McKinsey and later worked for the global consulting company as a consultant for 2 years. While at McKinsey, Dr. Wisniewski had the opportunity to work as a consultant around the country. She then decided to leave McKinsey and founded her own consulting company, Medical Device Consultancy, which has its headquarters in San Francisco. Her clientele includes Boston Scientific, start-up companies, and venture capital firms around the country.

Face to Face: Dean Jo Rae Wright to Speak to International S&E Women

February 2, 2007

This session is designed for first- and second-year international women in science and engineering fields to meet the new Graduate School Dean, Dr. Jo Rae Wright. Learn about the graduate school and its resources that can help you succeed. This is also a good opportunity to ask questions, share stories, give comments, or raise concerns. A cell biologist and physiologist, Dr. Wright has developed programs that help graduate students give professional presentations, interact with mentors and pursue careers. This event is cosponsored with English for International Students (EIS) program.

Assertiveness and Self-Confidence Development

November 10, 2006

Assertiveness and self-confidence play a key role in being able to perform effectively in the workplace. Come to this workshop presented by Dr. Helen Pak-Harvey and discover how to enhance self confidence, self esteem, and self belief. Learn how to overcome confidence killers in your interpersonal communication. Develop critical skills to deal with difficult people and challenging situations.

Dr. Pak-Harvey is a Duke alum and holds a PhD degree in chemistry and an MBA degree. She is currently a Consulting Sales Executive with IBM’s Healthcare and Life Sciences Organization. She also serves on the Duke Club of the Triangle.

Leadership Development

September 22, 2006

Build your confidence and leadership abilities! Meet the new dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Jo Rae Wright, and learn about how to develop your leadership skills. A cell biologist and physiologist, Dr. Wright has previously served as vice dean of basic science at the Duke University School of Medicine. She has developed programs that help graduate students give professional presentations, interact with mentors and pursue careers. An expert in lung disease, Dr. Wright has focused her research on how pulmonary epithelial and immune cells prevent infection and inflammation and promote normal breathing within the lung.