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Professional Skills for Careers in Biosciences (PSCB)

Professional Skills for Careers in Biosciences (PSCB)

The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) will provide the workshop-based certificate program, Professional Skills for Careers in Biosciences (PSCB), for the second year.

The PSCB workshop series is intended for graduate students and postdocs to develop and enhance their universal job skills, including communication, professionalism, marketing, budgeting, and leadership. Each of the thirteen workshops throughout the year will combine lectures, activities, writing, and presentations to cover topics related to many bioscience career paths, including academia, industry, entrepreneurship, policy, teaching, science writing, and others.

Register here for the PSCB program.

The topics covered will include: career paths in biosciences, fundamentals of science communication, ethics in science and the workplace, building and leading a successful team, communicating with the media, solving problems as a leader, the currency of bioscience and money management, marketing yourself and your science, graphic design, and engaging the community. The course will end with a capstone project that will combine all of the topics within specific career tracks.

Workshops will begin September 2019, and registration will open in August. More information on speakers and a finalized schedule will be available when registration opens. If you have questions, contact IGB Outreach Education Coordinator, Erin Louer, at

Workshop Details:
•    Registration is for 12 workshops (held in 612 at IGB) plus one capstone event (held at I Hotel)
•    Each workshop will meet from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM (lunch provided)
•    Participants must attend 75% of sessions (9 of 12) and the final capstone event for credit. Makeup work may be done for one session, at most.
•    A certificate is offered after completion of the capstone event
•    No homework required

Tentative Workshop Schedule

Fall 2019:
Workshop 1: Thursday, September 19, 2019

  • Introduction to PSCB and Visualizing Career Success - Group Panel 
    • Jessica Brinkworth, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, UIUC, Carolyn Shore, Senior Program Officer, Board of Health Sciences Policy NAS, Joe Peterson, Co-Founder and CTO, SimBioSys, Inc., Michael Funk, Associate Editor, Science Magazine, Jonathan Tietz, Associate, Foley & Lardner LLP, Jim Davis, Computational Biologist, Argonne National Lab, Kawaku Opoku, Associate Technology Manager, UIUC Office of Technology Management, Jenny Kim, EnterpriseWorks

Workshop 2: Thursday, October 3, 2019

  • The Fundamentals of Communication - Thomas Costello, Department of Communication

Workshop 3: Thursday, October 17, 2019

  • Building and Leading a Successful Team, Scott Magnuson, Cheif Scientific Officer and Founder of Paradise Genomics

Workshop 4: Thursday, October 31, 2019

  • Master the Art of Negotiation, Jim Dahl, Professor, Gies College of Business

Workshop 5: Thursday, November 7, 2019

  • Writing a Compelling Resume and CV, Mike Firmand, Assistant Director of Employer Outreach, Graduate College 

Workshop 6: Thursday, November 21, 2019

  • Communicating your Science with a Story, Liz Neeley, Executive Director, Story Collider

Workshop 7: Thursday, December 5, 2019

  • Shaping Policy with Science, Kathie Olsen, Founder and Managing Director of ScienceWorks


Spring 2020:
Workshop 8: Thursday, February 6, 2020  

  • Writing Strategies - Claudia Lutz, IGB Science Writer 

Workshop 9: Thursday, February 20, 2020

  • Interviewing Skills for Academic and Non-Academic Positions - Mike Firmand, Assistant Director of Employer Outreach, UIUC Graduate College 

Workshop 10: Thursday, March 5, 2020

  • Career Spotlight - Patricia Ward, Director of Science Exhibitions and Partnerships, Museum of Science and Industry Chicago 

Workshop 11: Thursday, March 26, 2020

  • Funding in Bioscience - Jonathan Sweedler, James R. Eiszner Family Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Director, UIUC School of Chemical Sciences 

Workshop 12: Thursday, April 2, 2020

  • Marketing Yourself for Career Success in 2020 - Kendall Powell, Science Journalist and Editor

Workshop 13: Thursday, April 18, 2020

  • Mandatory Capstone Event - I Hotel Conference Center 
  • Attendance is necessary to receive the certificate