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URBEST Internship Primer

URBEST Internship Primer

News Article by Tracey Baas, URBEST Executive Director

Almost two years ago, I wrote an article called URBEST Internship Myths. I’d like to think it helped a number of trainees maneuver through setting up their internships. I also know that a number of people are still confused about how to think about URBEST internships, either because they are new to the URBEST Program, their department had a recent turnover of a key program coordinator or director who had previously worked with a URBEST intern (i.e. institutional memory loss), or maybe I haven’t put enough words into print yet. To rectify that situation, I give you The Primer.

Give Postdocs Some Slack to Interact!

Give Postdocs Some Slack to Interact!

By Anthony M. Franchini, MLS(ASCP)CM Ph.D., out-going SMD co-chair; Melissa Polonenko, Ph.D., AUD(C), UR PDA Communications Representative; and Monica Javidnia, Ph.D., incoming SMD co-chair

In total, UR has just over 210 postdocs, approximately 140 of whom work in the School of Medicine and Dentistry throughout the basic research and clinical departments on campus. But how many of these postdocs know of each other or interact in any meaningful way? The inherent nature of a postdoc complicates this matter immediately: postdocs arrive every month in small numbers, and are expected to dive right into their research in order to create their respective career paths to independence. The average length of a postdoc appointment sits between one and two years, the length of most master’s degree programs. Speaking from our collective experience, this usually leaves little time for social events, on-campus service, or down time. The UR Postdoctoral Association began to wonder: how can we foster and expand interaction between postdocs without cutting into their research time?  

Being Brave – How Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone Can Increase Developmental Opportunities and Improve Team Performance

Being Brave – How Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone Can Increase Developmental Opportunities and Improve Team Performance

By Ken Sims, MS, PhD Candidate in Translational Biomedical Science

“Be brave. Someone has to take advantage of this opportunity. Someone will receive the award, get the nomination, complete the internship, or participate in the workshop. Why not you?”

I have heard different versions of this paraphrased message multiple times over during my participation in the URBEST program. It is still as thought-provoking and inspiring to me today as the first time I heard it a few years ago. Most importantly, though, it is true.

Offsite Internship Experience at Estee Lauder Companies Inc.

Offsite Internship Experience at Estee Lauder Companies Inc.

By Hong Zhu, PhD Candidate in Biochemistry

I am a biochemistry PhD student by day and a TEAM (technical entrepreneur and management) master student by night, since most of the business classes takes place in the evening. With my PI’s consent and support, I sought an internship opportunity that could engage my interests in both science and business. Last semester, I had the opportunity to participate in an offsite internship for the Basic Science Research and Advanced Technologies group in Estee Lauder Companies Inc (ELC). I met Kurt Schilling, Senior Vice President of Basic Science Research and Advanced Technologies for ELC in a networking event organized by URBEST. Since I was the first graduate student intern in the group he leads, we had several phone conversations to pin down the details of this internship. We talked about what this internship could entail in order to achieve his group’s aims as well as my aims. Based on our discussion, Kurt proposed a project in which I would be able to put both my science training and business training into practice, which I happily accepted.

Don’t Take No for an Answer

Don’t Take No for an Answer

By Amy Hein, PhD, Director of Scientific Workforce at Ripple Effect

As early as grade school, I can remember being fascinated by how the brain works. Mental health disorders ran in my family, and role models like Jane Goodall only drew me further to the field of psychology (and later, a very well-trained border collie named Napper). By high school, I was certain I wanted a career in biomedical research and even did an internship in an addiction lab. My future looked crystal clear. But, as they say, the best laid plans often go awry…