Career Pathways Communities


Career Pathways Communities, introduced in Spring 2017 as an intiative of our NIH BEST grant, are peer learning groups themed around the eight career pathways categories. Each Community is joined by a guest professional (i.e., a Ph.D. scientist experienced in one or more careers within the career pathway).

In the Fall 2017 offering, Career Pathways Communities will take on a new format: members of the community will interact with multiple Ph.D. scientists experienced within the pathway, with new activities to structure discussions as well as open-format networking. Communities meet twice; UMMS trainee members can choose to meet more often if desired.

Learning objectives

By the end of the experience you will be able to…

  • Compare attributes of careers within the career pathway
  • Articulate how skills developed in an academic setting translate into the career pathway
  • Identify actions that will enable reaching your career-related goals
  • Reflect on your progress toward goals and seek support where needed

Additional benefits

  • Build connections with a professional in the career pathway
  • Build peer networks that will enable ongoing sharing of resources and experience
  • Support progress toward career-related actions identified in your Individual Development Plan


What are the Communities and when will they take place?

Five Career Pathways Communities were offered in Spring 2017 and another five will be offered in Fall 2017. 

In Fall 2017, all five Communities will meet on Wednesday, November 15 (12:30-4 p.m.) and Friday, December 8 (2:30-5 p.m.). The December 8 meeting will conclude with a cross-Community networking event, the Career Pathways Celebration, open to the broader UMMS community.

Spring 2017
Fall 2017
Research in Academia & Government
Research in Industry
Business & Commercial Development
Academic & Research Administration
Policy, Legal & Regulatory Affairs
Public Health, Medical Testing & Patient Care
Science Education & Outreach
Science Communication & Publishing


Professionals joining Career Pathways Communities in Fall 2017

Research in Academia and Government: 
Dr. Scott Shaffer, Director of Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry, Research Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, UMass Medical School
Dr. David Weaver, Professor, Neurobiology, UMass Medical School (November 15)
Dr. Donald Spratt, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Carl J. and Anna Carlson Endowed Chair, Clark University  (December 8)

Research in Industry:  
Dr. Christian Roy, Senior Scientist, Ohana Biosciences
Dr. Colby Souders, Senior Scientist, Anitbody and Protein Engineering, Kanyos Bio (November 15)

Policy, Legal, and Regulatory Affairs:
Dr. Sneha Gupta, Regulatory Affairs Specialist III, MassBiologics 
Dr. Chris Pickett, Director, Rescuing Biomedical Research (November 15)

Science Education and Outreach:
Dr. Natalie Farny, Assistant Teaching Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Dr. Susan Heilman, Educator, Boston Museum of Science


Elligibility and process for participation

BBS Ph.D. students: BBS Ph.D. students are required to participate in two Career Pathways Communities: one community in Spring of their third year, and a different community in Fall of their fourth year. The time commitment is estimated to be six hours per semester.  To participate: Instructions will be sent by e-mail to indicate your top three preferences for the learning communities in which you would like to participate in Fall 2017.

For postdoctoral scholars and advanced graduate students across graduate programs: Limited spots are available for optional, by-application participation (see below). BBS Ph.D. students in a stage of training earlier than fourth year should not apply. To participate: The application process is now closed for Fall 2017.

In Fall 2017 we anticipate hosting a networking event at the culmination of Career Pathways Communities, which will be open to the broader UMMS campus community: students of all stages and programs, postdocs, faculty, and staff. When available, details will be posted on our Events page.


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