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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 third 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 2020, 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 via Zoom) plus one capstone event
•    Each workshop will meet from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM 
•    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 2020:
Workshop 1: Thursday, September 17, 2020

  • Introduction to PSCB and Visualizing Career Success - Group Panel 
    • - Jennifer Maier, Applications Specialist, Leica 
    • - John Crawford, Data & Assessment Specialist, Madison, WI School District 
    • - Miriam Goldstein, Director for Energy and Environmental Policy, Center for American Progress
    • - Susan Tsang, Consultant and CEO/Founder, Biodiversitas Global 
    • - Chris Holmes, Program Manager, Office of Undergraduate Research 
    • - Alex Harmon-Threatt, Associate Professor, School of Integrative Biology

Workshop 2: Thursday, October 1, 2020

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

Workshop 3: Thursday, October 15, 2020

  • Design Principles for Scientists
    • - Mirhee Lee, Senior Graphic Design Specialist, IGB

Workshop 4: Friday, October 30, 2020

  • Master the Art of Negotiation 
    • - Judith White, Professor, Gies College of Business

Workshop 5: Thursday, November 12, 2020

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

Workshop 6: Thursday, November 19, 2020

  • Career Spotlight
    • - Stephanie DeLuca, Ph.D., Legislative Assistant for Health Care and Disability Policy, Office of Senator Tammy Duckworth

Workshop 7: Thursday, December 3, 2020

  • Career Spotlight 
    • - Kathie Olsen, Founder and Managing Director, ScienceWorks


Spring 2021:
Workshop 8: Thursday, February 4, 2021  

  • Writing Strategies  
    • - Alisa King, Science Writer, IGB

Workshop 9: Thursday, February 18, 2021

  • Charting Your Course as a Leader in STEM 
    • - Dr. Darrell M. Gray II, MD, MPH, FACG, Associate Professor of Medicine, Divison of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (GHN), Ohio State University College of Medicine 

Workshop 10: Thursday, March 4, 2021

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

    Workshop 11: Thursday, March 25, 2021

    • Building and Leading a Successful Team 
      • - Angela Urban, Research Community Planner, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    Workshop 12: Thursday, April 8, 2021

    • Career Spotlight  
      • - Scott Edwards, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology & Curator of Ornithology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University 

    Workshop 13: Saturday, April 17, 2021

    • Mandatory Capstone Event, 10AM-3PM  
    • Attendance is necessary to receive the certificate