Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST): Career Choices
Trainee focused materials describing 9 categories of careers open to trainees, including: science education and outreach; academia; government and non-profit; science communication and publishing; industry research; and business and commercialization. Each category includes a synopsis of the field; an alumni spotlight; sample job titles; and professional organizations. The BEST Consortium will continue to develop a taxonomy of the multitude of careers open to biomedical scientists.
Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST)
An NIH-funded consortium designed to explore way of improving biomedical career development, particularly to prepare PhD and postdocs for a broader range of careers in the biomedical sciences. The BEST Model enhances scientific training and research with four additional components: career development, mentorship (faculty, peer, alumni); experiential learning; and professional development. This site provides lessons learned by the 17 institutions within the BEST initiative.
Specific interventions include:
Peer Career Exploration Groups
Experiential Learning Opportunities
Career Development Cohorts
Professional Skills Courses– includes sample syllabi for courses in:
Training Grant Timeline
From the University of Florida’s Training Grant Toolkit, a recommended 6 months’ timeline prior to submission.
Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative
BUILD awards consist of linked grants issued to undergraduate institutions to implement and study innovative approaches to engaging and retaining students from diverse backgrounds in biomedical research, potentially helping them on the pathway to become future contributors to the NIH-funded research enterprise. BUILD Institutions are listed here, with links to their programs, where you may find ideas that could be implemented in your program or at Wake Forest.
Diversity Best Practices: Postdoctoral Fellows
A summary of best practices for outreach, recruitment, retention, and success of diverse postdoctoral fellows. 2013. Princeton University Trustee Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity.
Diversity Programs & Resources
National Postdoctoral Association. Strategies for increasing the diversity of both underrepresented faculty, staff, and students, including postdoctoral fellows in STEM fields in areas of recruitment, retention, and preparation for the next phase of their career. Also provides information about diversity postdoctoral fellowships and opportunities.
Enhancing Diversity in Training Programs
From the NIH NIGMS, strategies and resources for recruitment and retention of students and fellows from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Information includes foundational practices of the program; targeted recruitment activities. Unique tools include: Interactive maps of where existing funded institutional training grants exist, by program, target audience, etc., to identify potential applicants for your program.
This website is dedicated to the minority postdoctoral experience in STEM fields. While targeting postdoctoral fellows themselves, there are a number of good resources and tools featured, as well as articles which describe the perspectives and needs of the underrepresented minorities, which can be used to strengthen your efforts to recruit and retain diverse postdoctoral fellows.
NIH Office of Scientific Workforce Diversity
Major categories of content include the science of diversity; building evidence for what works in addressing diversity issues; sociocultural factors which must be addressed to improve workforce diversity; and strategies for sustaining diversity in the scientific workforce. Includes a free, downloadable interactive toolkit which can be used to help institutions advance their own faculty diversity and inclusion. Toolkit includes evidence-based activities for fostering an inclusive culture in major categories of: expanding diversity of the candidate pool; proactive outreach to diverse talent; mitigating bias in search processes, and developing/sustaining mentoring relationships and sponsorship.
Unconscious Bias Training: Project Implicit
Non-profit organization and international collaboration of researchers interested in implicit social cognition – those thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. Website provides a variety of Implicit Association Tests (IATs) that people can take to assess/identify their unconscious biases.
A collaborative website to share information about options (methods and processes) and approaches to evaluation, including many innovative approaches not commonly used in research education programs.
Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training: Tracking Participation and Evaluating Outcomes
Includes ideas for data collection tools, data dashboards, student generated databases, and qualitative case studies.
Developing and Evaluating the Training Curriculum
Power Point presentation from a 2017 workshop on Training Grant Applications at the University of Florida. Provides a framework to guide the writing of the evaluation section and quick fixes to common problems with evaluation plans.
Logic Model Development Guide
An overview and step-by-step guide to developing logic models for program evaluation. Resources/input and activities describe your planned work; whereas Outputs, Outcomes, and Impact describe your intended results. The Logic Model allows you to follow the chain of reasoning to connect what you will do with what you hope to accomplish. Useful for those who are new to the use of logic models. W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
Logic Model Guide
An overview of logic models as a planning and evaluation tool to visually present the inputs, strategies, outputs, outcomes, and impacts that contribute to the success of a program. A sample logic model for a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Student Research Training Program is provided.
NRSA Training Grant Tables
Overview of the tables required for training grants with explanation of what reviewers are looking for and how the will use the data and how to summarize data from the tables into the relevant areas of the Research Training Program Plan. See slides 22-35 in the University of Florida’s “T Team Training Grant Resources” PowerPoint presentation.
American Association for the Advancement of Science/Science Careers: My IDP
A free, interactive, online career planning tool to assist graduate students and postdocs in a process of self-assessment, career exploration, and setting short and long-term career goals. Includes exercises to examine skills, interests, and values; prediction tool to match choices with one or more of 20 career paths; tools for setting strategic goals; reminder systems to keep on track; and varied articles and resources.
Individual Development Plan for Scripps Research Graduate Students
Clearly delineated goals for each year of graduate school. Includes sections for self-assessment and mentor assessment of core competencies. Includes goal setting for time management, a unique feature among IDPs.
University of Alabama at Birmingham: Information for Faculty about Individual Development Plans (IDPs)
FAQs about what the NIH expects from PIs regarding IDPs for trainees. Provides suggested language to include in RPPRs, applications, and renewals. Some UAB specific resources are listed, but the general ideas presented are valuable.
University of California – San Francisco
FAQ for Faculty, Students and Postdocs: Using an Individual Development Plan (IDP)
Site includes general FAQs re: IDPs and two other items of special interest:
Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research: Training Materials for Mentor and Mentee Training
The CIMER evolved from the NRMN, this site provides the complete mentor and mentee training curricula for download. The NRMN Mentor Training Curriculum is an evidence-based curriculum and is the basis upon which the CTSI Mentor Academy was built; however, we expanded an 8-hour curriculum to 20 hours.
National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN)
A national consortium of biomedical professionals and institutions collaborating to provide all trainees across the biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences with evidence-based mentorship and professional development programming. Includes curricula for both research mentor and research mentee training; also provides access to virtual mentors from other institutions, coaching groups for grant proposal writing, and other services beneficial to mentees. NRMN goals include enhancement of diversity of NIH-funded research workforce.
University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) Accelerate: Mentor Training Program (MTP)
Includes training curriculum materials, tools, checklists, case scenarios, and resources for the following seminar topics: Mentorship from the Beginning; Mentoring Models and Mentor Selection; Aligning Goals and Expectations; Communicating Effectively with Mentees; Dealing with Mentoring Challenges; and Mentoring across Differences.
Fellowship Instructions for NIH and Other PHS Agencies (Updated 3/24/2017)
Individual Fellowships – F Awards
Institutional Training Grants – T Awards
Other Training-related Programs – D Awards, R25 Awards, Diversity Supplements, Loan Repayment Program
Research Career Development Awards – K Awards
Best Practices for Recruiting Underrepresented Graduate and Professional Students
Although a document produced by the University of Minnesota, it contains a variety of tips, tools, and recruitment process strategies that may be adapted for other programs and institutions.
Best Practices in Graduate Student Recruitment
A report of marketing and recruiting practices used with graduate students at a number of large public universities. Hanover Research, 2014.
RCR Casebook: Stories about Researchers Worth Discussing
A compilation of case studies, role plays, and reflection questions to enhance RCR training in NIH’s nine subject matter recommendations. Resources enable students to develop ethical problem-solving skills, sense-making skills, and increased ethical sensitivity. An Instructor’s Manual is also provided.
The Lab: Avoiding Research Misconduct
The Office of Research Integrity’s research misconduct simulation via interactive movie. Viewers can choose to be one of 4 characters working in a research laboratory and make decisions about research integrity that can have long-term consequences. Site provides misconduct case summaries that can be used for additional discussions.
NIH Principles and Guidelines for Reporting Preclinical Research
A consensus of the principles to facilitate enhanced rigor and reproducibility in scientific publishing in four areas: rigorous statistical analysis, transparency in reporting, data and material sharing, and consideration of refutation.
NIH Rigor and Reproducibility in NIH Applications: Resource Chart
A graphic representation of relevant areas of focus, what each one means, and where it should be reflected in an NIH grant application.
NIH Rigor and Reproducibility Training Modules
NIH developed four video modules with accompanying discussion materials that focus on integral components of reproducibility and rigor in the research endeavor, such as bias, blinding, and exclusion criteria.
Module 1: Lack of Transparency
Module 2: Blinding and Randomization
Module 3: Biological and Technical Replicates
Module 4: Sample Size, Outliers, and Exclusion Criteria
Rigor, Transparency and Reproducibility
Power point presentation from the clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Incorporating Rigor, Reproducibility, and Transparency into Aging Projects and Papers A webinar addressing common statistical and logical errors that affect communication and causal inference in biomedical research; unique challenges scientists face when studying longevity, disease progression, and other aspects of aging-related research; suggestions on how to avoid such errors; and resources to improve research quality and reporting.
Duke CTSI Presenting Clinical and Translational Science (PCATS)
Four videos on principles and techniques for developing and delivering effective scientific presentations: telling your story, creating slides, presenting data, and giving your presentation.
Northwestern University’s CLIMB
Slide sets, handouts, videos for oral and poster presentations
Recommended Books and Articles
Booth WC, Colomb GG, Williams JM, Bizup J and WT Fitzgerald. The Craft of Research: 4th edition. The University of Chicago Press. 2016. ISBN: 9780226239736. This book provides an overview of how to determine a research question and how to make and write the argument to support the research. May be more appropriate for graduate students.
Gopen GD and Swan JA. The science of scientific writing. American Scientist, 1990. This classic article reviews the rhetorical principles for clarity of communicating complex scientific issues. It addresses readers’ expectations for the structure of writing which, if not met, make it more difficult to comprehend the writing.
Gopen, GD. The sense of structure: writing from the reader’s perspective. Pearson. 2004. ISBN:9780205296323 (Carpenter Library: WZ 345 G659s 2004)
Gopen, GD. Expectations: teaching writing from the reader’s perspective. Pearson. 2004. ISBN:9780205296170 (Carpenter Library: WZ 345 G659e 2004)
Williams, JM and J Bizup: Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, 12th edition. Pearson. 2017. ISBN: 9780134123578 (Carpenter Library, 11 the edition available: WZ 345 W724s 2014)
[NOTE: Pearson Publisher allows educators to review or request a copy of their books; some books have accompanying instructor resources.]
Tufte ER. The visual display of quantitative information, 2nd edition. 2001. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press. ISBN: 9780961392147. (Carpenter Library: QA 90 T914v 2001). A classic reference on presenting quantitative/statistical data effectively through graphics, tables, and charts.
CTSI Education Program Database
Search keywords for WRITING
These are online videos.
Duke Thompson Writing Program
Resources for academic writing from a variety of disciplines, including medicine and the biomedical sciences.
Partial list below:
Resources for Students
Scientific Writing for Scientists
Scientific Writing Resource (Includes a series of lessons on Subjects/Actions, Cohesion/Emphasis, and Simplicity)
Revising Your Manuscript in 7 Steps
Scientific Writing Examples (Bad examples that you can practice fixing with the rules learned in the lessons above)
Northwestern University’s Collaborative Learning and Integrated Mentoring in the Biosciences
YouTube channel with well-done videos on varied aspects of writing
Click on the VIDEOS tab. Partial list below:
Burroughs Wellcome Fund: Thriving in an Era of Team Science
Insight and advice on how to survive and thrive in collaborative science through a series of case studies.
Collaboration and Team Science: A Field Guide
Developed by the National Cancer Institute (2010). Provides best practices for collaboration among scientists and researchers, includes literature review, tools, self-assessment tools, case studies, and learning activities that could be used with trainees. NIH Publication No. 10-7660.
Science of Team Science
Maintained by the Northwestern University CTSA – see team science resources for training program, tools, and other resources.
This is a series of five online modules, developed by COALESCE, the CTSA Online Assistance for Leveraging the Science of Collaborative Effort. Content includes: Introduction; The Science of Team Science; Team Science Research Process in Behavioral Science; Teams Science Research Process in Basic Biomedical Science; and Team Science Research Process in Clinical Medical Science.
Team Science Toolkit
An interactive website to help you support, conduct, and study team-based research.