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Nature editorial recognizes novel GSBS career development program

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

May 26, 2016

The innovative career development program for biomedical sciences doctoral students at UMass Medical School received recognition in the scientific press. The May 2016 issue of the international journal Nature cited the benefits of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences’ career development program in its editorial reacting to the new federal law impacting overtime pay for postdoctoral scientists.

“Graduate students should be encouraged to prepare earlier for careers outside academia. For example, the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester has gone beyond the standard ‘alternative’ career seminars and made career preparation a mandatory part of the curriculum,” the editorial board wrote. “Students initially grumbled at being asked to spend more time away from the laboratory. By the end of the programme, 92 percent of them said they are glad that they did.”

Funded by a National Institutes of Health Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) grant, the GSBS career development curriculum is designed to guide students and postdocs, beginning early and continuing throughout their studies, as they create and implement a strategic plan for building the skills and experience needed to reach their career objectives. The curriculum is just one of many resources available to GSBS students and postdocs through the Center for Biomedical Career Development.

“We want to empower students to make career decisions early in their training, so that they can take strategic, time-efficient actions to prepare for those careers,” said Cynthia Fuhrmann, PhD.

Dr. Fuhrmann, assistant professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, assistant dean of professional and career development for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and co-principal investigator for the BEST grant, was contacted by a researcher for the editorial.

Read the full editorial “Crunch Time” here.

Related links on UMassMedNow:
Fuhrmann discusses career development for PhDs in May issue of The Scientist
Matthews and Fuhrmann working to reform biomedical research training, career paths
NIH grant integrates career planning with scientific training
UMMS tech tool helps scientists navigate career path

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