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Education / Graduate Education / Center for Professional Development / Opportunities to Explore / Opportunities to Explore - April 30-May 4, 2018

Opportunities to Explore - April 30-May 4, 2018

April 30-May 4, 2018 | Vol 4, Issue 18 | Trainee News

A newsletter for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees |@UR_SMD_CPD|@TraceyBaas

| CPD & GEPA Events Calendar | URBEST Program Calendar

(*) Designates Onsite Events at URMC or River Campus

OTE Online

Opportunities to Explore is also available online. To view the web version, please visit The web version is optimized for viewing on tablets and smart phones.

This Week

(*) Meet One-On-One with Federal Research & Commercialization Grant providers

Wednesday, May 2 | 8:30 am- 9:30 am | Anderson Room (G-8534), URMC

Attend this session and learn how to schedule a one-on-one meeting with program officers that will be at the NextCorps Accelerator in downtown Rochester on June 18, 2018. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Technology Transfer (STTR) programs have $2.5 Billion in funding for 2018 that must be awarded and are conducting a “Road Tour” to increase the pipeline of potential awardees. Federal and State SBIR/STTR Program Managers will have individual meetings with researchers along with a series of program events to assist technology entrepreneurs and innovation supporters across the United States. The Rochester SBIR Road Tour stop will be hosted by NextCorps, a University of Rochester Affiliate Organization involved in supporting technology-based entrepreneurship. 

Elevate Beyond: A Real World Guide to Standing Out in Any Job Market (Webinar)

Wednesday, May 2 | 8:00 pm- 9:00 pm EDT | Webinar

How do you toot your own horn without appearing pompous in correspondence, documents, and interviews? Jake will share with you strategies, tips, stories, and resources to show how you can share and embellish your accomplishments, awards, and work history to stand out from others who are interviewing for the same position. To learn more about this workshop and other free webinars, please visit

Toastmasters Club Hosts Guest Day

Thursday, May 3 | 7:30 am-9:00 am | Louise Slaughter Conference Room (1-9555), URMC

If speaking in front of a group makes you nervous, or you want to improve your public speaking skills, attend the Toastmasters Club Guest Day.  Refreshments will be served. To learn more about Toastmasters, visit For additional details, email

(*) CPD Sponsored Workshop: Qualifying Exam Preparation and Writing Workshop

Thursday, May 3 | 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm | 2-8513, URMC  

This workshop aims to help students as they prepare to write and defend their Qualifying Exam proposals. The session will feature: Discussion of how to formulate a testable hypothesis and why it is important to articulate the rationale behind your particular question., Demonstrate how to organize and incorporate the literature into your proposal. Writing exercises to put these ideas and tools into practice. PLEASE NOTE: Participants are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets. Register: Attendance is capped at 25 participants. The workshop will be preferentially offered to students preparing for qualifying exams this year. Need accommodations? Contact at least three business days prior to the event.

(*) URBEST Grand Gesture

Friday, May 4 | 9:00 am-11:00 am | Wegman’s Hall (Room 1201, near Peet’s Coffee), River Campus

Deep Work by Cal Newport inspired me to start The Grand Gesture at University of Rochester. By leveraging a radical change to your normal environment, coupled with a significant investment of effort or money, you increase the perceived importance of your deep work. This boost in importance reduces your mind’s instinct to procrastinate and delivers an injection of motivation and energy. Newport references the examples of J.K. Rowling checking into the five-star Balmoral Hotel, Bill Gates working in a cabin, Alan Lightman retreating to a tiny island in Maine, and Peter Shankman booking a round-trip flight to Japan. This is two hours to work on a project that YOU want to work on. First Friday of every month. I think you'll enjoy the experience of working in a room of deep-work minded individuals!

Upcoming Events

(*) UR Postdoctoral Association (PDA) Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, May 9 | 1:00 pm-2:00 pm | 1-8513, URMC

All postdocs are invited to attend and participate in the PDA monthly meetings.

(*) URBEST Career Story: Alison Billroth-MacLurg, PhD

Friday, May 11 | 12:00 pm-2:00 pm | Location, TBD

Alison Billroth-MacLurg will share her Career Story as a Scientific Sales Representative for Cell Separation Products at STEMCELL Technologies. A small group of students and postdocs will be invited to join her for lunch 1:00 - 2:00 pm.

Graduate Student Society (GSS) Brew Tour 2018

Saturday, May 12 | 11:30 am-6:30 pm | Breweries: Genesee, Rohrback, Three Heads, Lock 32

Tickets include: transportation to/from URMC to all breweries, lunch/snacks. This event is 21 and over only (ID required). Tickets on sale in GEPA Office (G-9556). $32 per person, Cash Only.

Graduate Student Society(GSS) Coffee Hour

Wednesday, May 16 | 10:00 am – 11:00 am | Anderson Room (G-8534), URMC

Free coffee, tea, and treats. Enjoy conversation with fellow students or just grab and go!

(*) CPD Sponsored Event: Does Your CV/Resume Speak to What the Employer is Seeking in a Job Candidate?

Wednesday, May 16 | 2:00 pm-3:30 pm | Saunders Hall Room 1410, URMC

Presented by Eric Vaughn, M.Ed., Life Sciences Career Coach

What goes into a CV or resume? How are you promoting or branding yourself? Learn how your CV and resume can set you apart from other candidates!

5th Annual Alumni Networking Event hosted by the Rochester Area Career Development Association

Wednesday, May 16 | 6:00 pm-8:00 pm | RIT’s University Gallery

Are you in a job search?  Thinking about a career change?  Want to grow your network?  This event is for you! Connect with fellow alumni from all Rochester area colleges and employer representatives from some of Rochester’s top employers for networking and potential future job contacts. The goal of this event is to provide career advice, tips and suggestions from company participants, and to help you grow your network and make connections for future opportunities. A panel of local recruiters will share insights and advice about job searching and how to put yourself in the best position to succeed, then you’ll have the opportunity to talk with panelists and other alumni participants.  Bonus:  resume drop will be available; bring your resumes to leave with employers.  AND: all attendees will receive a directory with all participant contact information, for follow up and future networking. In a job search, it’s true that, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know”; this event will help you do both!

SPACE IS LIMITED; RSVP REQUIRED: For more information or to register, email Gagan Ahuja, at  When registering via email, please include the following: Full Name, College you graduated from, Major, and Graduation Year.  If you need interpreting services, please include that request in your RSVP as well. AGENDA: 5:30-6:00 - Sign in and informal networking, 6:00-7:00 - Employer panel sharing tips and advice for your job search, 7:00-8:00 - Informal networking, all alumni and employer participants. Refreshments will be provide. PARTICIPATING COMPANIES INCLUDE: Lenel (UTC), Monroe Plan for Medical Care, Rising, Remedy Staffing, JWN Recruiting, Northwestern Mutual, Red Argyle, NESCO, Rochester Software Associates, and more!

Doctoral Degree Commencement Ceremony

Saturday, May 19| 9:00 am- 10:30 am | Eastman Theatre, Eastman School of Music

Congratulations to all School of Medicine PhD candidates who will be graduating on May 19th.

The University of Rochester’s Arts, Science & Engineering and School of Medicine and Dentistry Master’s Degree Ceremony

Saturday, May 19| 12:00 pm- 1:30 pm | Eastman Theatre, Eastman School of Music

Congratulations to all School of Medicine Master Degree candidates who will be graduating on May 19th.

(*) URBEST Career Story Q&A: Sarah Goodwin, PhD

Tuesday, May 22 | 12:00 pm-1:00 pm | Location TBD

Sarah Goodwin, PhD, will discuss her Career Story and how she made the transition to Director of iBiology when it was just getting started. She'll also share opportunities for you to get involved with iBiology and describe how she uses her science communication skills (train-the-trainer at Alan Alda Center for Science Communication) to help train the next generation of scientists and produce open-access science videos.

(*) CIRTL@UR Research Day

Wednesday, May 23 | TBD | River Campus

The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) @ UR will be hosting its annual Research Day and all trainees interested in participating are invited to attend. Kevin Kelly’s LinkedIn profile provides an overview of his work in eLearning. The day’s agenda will include examining teaching through a research lens, optimizing course design, using technology to assess learning in the classroom, using technology to engage diverse learners, and using technology to share course content.  To register for this event, please visit and sign-up at this link. Trainees with an interest in teaching are highly encouraged to attend. For a full overview of the days agenda and workshop descriptions, please contact Dr. Jenny Hadingham at or (585) 276-5998.Trainees with an interest in teaching are highly encouraged to attend.

(*) CPD Sponsored Event: Interview Experience Panel

Wednesday, May 30 | 2:00 pm-3:30 pm | Northeastern Conference Room (1-9525)

Do you have an interview approaching for a postdoc or industry position? Not sure what to expect. Listen to former SMD students and trainees discuss their experience interviewing and what they learned.

See more upcoming events here.

Happening Now (Grant, Travel Award, and Conference Information

Center for Professional Development (CPD) Travel Award (Deadline: May 31, 2018 by 5:00 pm)

The Center of Professional Development (CPD) is sponsoring a CPD Travel Award for PhD students and postdoctoral appointees in the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Each travel award is worth up to $1500 and can be utilized for travel to a conference or for a professional development opportunity relevant to preparation for current or future career endeavors. For more information including eligibility or to apply, please visit If awarded the CPD Travel Award, the travel award must be utilized between July 1, 2018 and June 6, 2019. All receipts for reimbursement will be due June 7, 2019.

Science & SciLifeLab Prizes for Young Scientists

Applications due July 15, 2018

This prize is awarded to a young scientist for outstanding life science research who has been awarded a doctoral degree in the previous two years (2016 or 2017). Entrants’ thesis research must have been within one of the following categories: Cell and Molecular Biology, Genomics and Proteomics, Ecology and Environment, Translational Medicine. The winner is awarded $30,000 and his or her essay is published in the journal Science. The Grand Prize essay and that of the Runner-up are also published on Science Online. More information is available via this link.

Course Information

Week-Long Summer Biotech Course for Graduate Students/Postdocs

The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) are offering a week-long course to help you leverage your PhD skill set in the biotech industry.  Held in Claremont, CA, July 9-14, 2018, it will include case studies, networking, and a team project. Deadline to apply: April 30. Don’t miss this great opportunity—spots are still available! Apply Now.

Scientists Teaching Science Online Course

Monday, June 4, 2018-August 12, 2018

Are you interested in teaching, but your students doze off during your lectures? Do you find yourself wondering if there’s a better way to teach science than just lecturing with slides and illustrations? How can you tell if your students really understand the information or have memorized vocabulary terms? Take the online course “Scientists Teaching Science” to learn about active learning, creating course objectives and test items, and finding ways to improve your teaching and assessment techniques for students of all ages. You'll discover the latest research-based techniques used by model instructors around the world.  The asynchronous course is available 24/7 on any web-enabled device. Unlike other online courses, one-on-one engagement, personal review of written assignments, and personalized advice on teaching is guaranteed! There are also scheduled discussions where you can meet with the instructor -- an award-winning science educator and author -- via webinar.  The time needed to complete all readings and activities is about 3 hours a week. All participants who complete the course requirements will be eligible for a personal letter of recommendation from the instructor, plus a certificate of completion from the New York Academy of Sciences.  There is a fee to participate in this course and is paid through the online registration. For more information, please visit this link.

Externship Opportunity - Application Due on April 30th​

Eli Lilly Externship Opportunity in Clinical and Translational Sciences

Scholars, trainees, and investigators who are supported by the CTSA Program are invited to apply for an NCATS externship in clinical and translational sciences at Eli Lilly and Company. The externship aims to enhance translational scientists’ skill sets and competencies in clinical trial design, clinical pharmacology, toxicology, regulatory affairs and other areas critical to the drug development process.

Participants will work on intensive, hands-on projects that will expose them to translational science processes and approaches that are relevant to identifying and developing novel diagnostics and therapeutics.

Applications are due by April 30, 2018. Announcements will be made by early June with a target start date of July 9, 2018. Please direct all inquiries to Joan Nagel, M.D., M.P.H., NCATS or call 301-827-2512.

Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity

TRIUMPH (Translational Research in Multi-Disciplinary Program) Postdoctoral Fellowship provides training in clinical and translational research. The immediate goal of this program is to recruit talented and productive Ph.Ds. from top graduate programs to provide continued training in clinical and/or translational cancer research through didactic course work, clinical rotations, and unique, interdisciplinary mentorships. A long-term goal of this program is to produce translational scientists who can be teamed with suitable physician scientists to PI a translational research laboratory.

This is a three-year training program. First year postdoctoral fellows participate in a series of didactic clinical course work offered at the MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School (GSBS), MD Anderson Cancer Center, or the UTHealth McGovern School of Medicine and strategically matched clinical rotations, while pursuing research in a basic or translational research laboratory. Second and third year fellows are co-mentored by a basic science/translational scientist mentor and a physician/clinical scientist mentor on clinical/translational research projects. The TRIUMPH postdoc will earn a certificate upon successful completion of the program.

To learn more about the eligibility requirements for the TRIUMPH Postdoctoral Fellowship and to apply, please visit this link.

Relevant Reads

ZEN and The Art of Making a Living

A practical Guide to Creative Career Design. The first part of this book helps readers to identify the work that they really want to do, while the second provides practical, active steps to finding or creating that work. Visit the CPD’s Lending Library catalog to see this and other titles of interest. To borrow a book, stop by our office in G-9627 or email us with your request.

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating Your Job Offer

It takes some practice, but if you know and understand the basics, you can become much better at it, advices Gaia Vasiliver-Shamis. Read 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating Your Job Offer

Building Relationships with State Legislators as an Early Career Scientist

By Brian Aguado. There is no doubt America is divided on some issues, but bridges can be built through listening and storytelling with the goal of executing effective change. I joined Project Bridge Colorado to represent University of Colorado Boulder and think of creative ways for scientists to communicate their research to the public, including state legislators. One of Project Bridge Colorado’s first big ideas was to organize a poster session called “Capitol Investment: The Impact of Research Science in Colorado,” which was held at the Colorado State Capitol on January 19, 2018. Our goal was to give postdoctoral scholars the opportunity to convey their research and its broader impacts in a lay-friendly manner directly to CO state legislators and aides. Read Building Relationships with State Legislators as an Early Career Scientist

Visit for a calendar of all our events.  Review the Opportunities to Explore archive.

Center for Professional Development | | (585) 275-4522 |

Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training | | (585) 276-7348 |