#MicroSim Job Simulation Library

A job simulation is an exercise that mimics a task typical of work that a scientist might do in a given profession.

This is a time efficient, first step in experiential learning. The goal is to give students a way to “try-on” a job role--enough exposure to ask deeper questions in an informational interview, and to get a sense of potential fit with the job.

Our #MicroSim job simulations are designed to take the student as little as 1-2 hours. We develop #MicroSims in collaboration with employers/scientists working in these roles.

We use #MicroSims as part of UMassMedical School's curriculum for PhD students. Students do the #MicroSim as homework, and then discuss it with professionals in small groups within career-themed learning communities. #MicroSims could also be done by students individually before an informational interview, or as part of an externship.

Download our presentation from the Massachusetts STEM Summit describing job simulations and outlining example #MicroSims.

Also check out InterSECT, a job simulation model developed by Univ California San Francisco/Univ of Washington St. Louis to be a deeper-dive experience. InterSECT exercises are designed to take 4-8 hours, with resources to aid trainees in their completion.

These job simulations were designed for use with PhD-level trainees in the biomedical sciences. We anticipate that job simulations can be adapted and used with students across STEM disciplines and at various educational levels. We are happy to discuss strategies for development and implementation of #MicroSim job simulations in other contexts.


Current #MicroSim Job Simulations Available

Academic & Research Administration

  • Project Management: Preparing a Project Proposal
  • Drafting a White Paper Funding Proposal for a Small Project
  • Student Admissions: Overcoming Barriers to URM Admissions and Retention

Business & Commercial Development

  • Exploring the Implications of a Business Deal: Novartis’ Acquisition of AveXis
  • Understanding Intellectual Property: Material Transfer Agreements

Policy, Legal & Regulatory Affairs

  • Science Policy & Diplomacy: Government Commission Reports
  • Regulatory Affairs: Preparing for a Pre-IND Meeting with the FDA

Research in Academia

  • College Level Teaching: Guest Lecture Lesson Plan Development*
  • Lab Management: Developing a Small Research Project
  • Mentorship Skills: Preparing for Difficult Dialogues
  • Planning for the Unexpected in the Lab or Classroom
  • Who’s Walking Into Your Office?: Making the Most of Meetings
  • Drafting a Manuscript Cover Letter to Journal Editor
  • Lab Management: Writing a Lab Welcome Letter
  • Develop and Budget a Lab Start-up Package

Research in Industry

  • Contract Research Organizations (CRO): Developing a Statement of Work
  • Managing Risk: Contingency Planning
  • Leadership & Hiring: Developing Your Research “Dream Team”

Science Communication & Publishing

  • Medical Writing: Drafting a Clinical Demographics Summary
  • Eye of the Editor: Invited Journal Manuscripts
  • Editorial Decision Making: Manuscript Reviews

Science Education & Outreach

  • Communicating Science to Non-Scientists: Developing a Hands-on Demo or Lightning Talk
  • College Level Teaching: Guest Lecture Lesson Plan Development*
  • Engaging Students in the Classroom: Different Learning and Teaching Styles
  • K-12 Teaching: Exploring Education & Curriculum Standards

* This MicroSim can fit within multiple career categories
† Recently developed simulation, untested


Contact us!  MicroSim Information Request Form

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