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  2017PPI About 2017 PPI
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The 2017 Postdoctoral Preparation Institute (2017 PPI) is intended to bring together postdoctoral investigators and advanced graduate students who will soon be seeking their first independent positions. A key objective of the 2017 PPI is to provide insights about the various career pathways PhD-trained scientists may consider as they prepare to transition into independent careers in the biomedical research workforce.  The broad landscape of career opportunities includes areas such as science policy, science writing, intellectual property law and patents, industry, consulting and entrepreneurship, academic research/teaching, science education, nonprofit sector and government. 

The 2017 PPI will provide a range of information and resources which postdocs and advanced graduate students will need in order to make a successful transition to independence, including making the right career choice, finding the right institutional fit, applying for a position, succeeding in the job interview and seminar, negotiating a start up package, networking and forming collaborations, and balancing research with many other commitments. The focus of the 2017 PPI is on a diverse range of career options which are available in the biomedical research workforce. The "Reality Ph.D" sessions will highlight the careers of postdoc peers who are thriving and surviving in careers at the bench and beyond.

While the transition to independence is a challenge for all postdocs, young investigators who are members of groups that are identified as underrepresented in the biomedical or behavioral sciences may have an especially difficult time finding and establishing themselves in their first independent positions. For this reason, emphasis will be placed on members of these groups; however, participation in this program is not limited to these groups of individuals.  The 2017 PPI is intended for postdocs and advanced graduate students who are within 12-to-18 months of completing their academic training appointments; however, all trainees are welcome to apply to participate in this interactive 2-day workshop.

NOTE:  All participants will be required to pay a $25.00 reservation/registration fee upon selection. 


Travel awards (up to a maximum of $1,250) will be provided for all eligible applicants (those not receiving federally-funded travel support and also meet the other travel award eligibility criteria) who are selected to participate in the 2017 PPI.  The travel awards are being provided to help defray travel expenses. FASEB MARC Program will prepay lodging expenses for all travel award recipients.  Click here for travel award/registration form.

Advanced graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows who are supported through their mentors' NIH T32, R01 grant or similar grants from federal agencies are eligible to apply and may receive travel funds to attend the 2017 PPI.  All sources of federal funding support must be disclosed with the submitted application packet.


All registered 2017 PPI participants will receive complimentary CV/resume critiques as part of the 2017 PPI.  The CV/resume critiques will be prepared by the 2017 PPI career coaches prior to the start date of the 2017 PPI.  The written critiques will be available for pick-up at the Advance Registration Desk on August 10th beginning at 7:00 am. 

A limited number of one-on-one career counseling sessions with the career coaches will be available during the 2017 PPI on August 10th and 11th.  Sign-up will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Featured Workforce Readiness Presentations

SciPhD “Preparing for Professional Careers”
Being competitive and successful as a professional scientist, regardless of whether in an industry or academic setting requires mastery of scientific, business and social skills. Running an effective laboratory operation is like running a small business, and can benefit from applying best practices that have been developed by industry. In “Preparing for Professional Careers” we will look at how your scientific/technical skills combined with your business skills and social skills together make up the three identities that define your brand. The same competencies that industry requires in order to be successful are equally important in developing and co- existing in a high-performing team in academic settings.
In the first 1.5-hour session we will look at the 24 competencies that industry has identified as critical in being competitive and successful, and how they relate to scientists own past experiences during their graduate and post-graduate education. We will also look at different kinds of jobs that are available both in academia and industry.
In the second 2-hour session we will discuss how to identify business and social competencies in job ads, and how to use that information to develop targeted resumes that emphasize all three identities (scientific, business, social) in the context of what the hiring institution is seeking. We will also discuss how to build an effective network, and how to leverage that network to identify and research jobs, and get your resume on the hiring manager’s desk. Finally we will discuss how to prepare for interviews and effectively apply the business and social skills discussed in the first session to demonstrate why you are a good fit for the position.
     Dr. Randall Ribaudo, CEO Human Workflows, LLC, Co-founder

SciPhD “Essential Communications for Scientists – Tools for Building and Leveraging Your Network”

Establishing and maintaining professional relationships is essential in developing a successful career whether in Academia or Industry. Scientists are perceived as “experts” in both their professional and social settings in almost everything they do. Developing the ability to shift from that “expert” mode to a “learner” mode is a very powerful technique in establishing and strengthening relationships. The ability to adapt your communications mode allows you to stand out and be valued with anyone you meet; whether they are peer scientists, senior executives, the lay public, investors, human resources professionals or any others. Learn to communicate in a way that adds value and is relevant to their organizational role. In this workshop we will explore three communications techniques that specifically focus on adjusting the technical level of your communications, the perceived social context with which you communicate and how to do so in a way that makes you a valued and trusted contact.
     Dr. Randall Ribaudo, CEO Human Workflows, LLC, Co-founder
     Mr. Larry Petcovic, MS, Co-founder, Vice President for Communications

"Beyond the Bench"
     Mr. Joe Tringali, Tringali & Associates, Inc.

"Attitudes in Academic and Employment Achievement"
     Dr. John P. Lombardo, LifeWork Choices
     Dr. Judy Blumenthal

"Next Gen PhDs and Careers"
     Dr. Phil Clifford,
University of Illinois, Chicago

The Art of Negotiation (an interactive workshop to develop or enhance your negotiation skills)
      Dr. Debra BehrensUniversity of California, Berkeley

"Networking and Getting Your Foot in the Door"
     Dr. Jim Sterling, Keck Graduate Institute;  Dr. Krishna Ramaswamy, Dovel Technologies;  Dr. Arundhati Ghosh, AstraZeneca, PLC

"NIH F and K Awards"
     Dr. Henry Khachaturian and Dr. Kay Lund, National Institutes of Health, Office of Extramural Programs

The 2017 Postdoctoral Preparation Institute is funded in part by grants from the
National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.  [T36 GM0008059 and T36 GM0008637]
MARC Travel Awards Announced for the 2014 Postdoctoral Preparation Institute: Career Transitions - See more at:
MARC Travel Awards Announced for the 2014 Postdoctoral Preparation Institute: Career Transitions - See more at:

 Updated:  07/12/17                 

                                              The 2017 Postdoctoral Preparation Institute is managed and organized by: