The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded a five-year grant to Keith J. Micoli, PhD, postdoctoral program director, NYU School of Medicine, Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, and Carol Shoshkes Reiss, PhD, professor, Departments of Biology and Neural Science at NYU, to enhance the training of biomedical graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to prepare them for a wide range of careers.
We believe that creating a comprehensive training infrastructure and a defined career planning and exploration pathway will result in a more efficient, effective, and satisfying training experience, said Dr. Micoli. We will transform the nature of scientific training at NYU from a one-size-fits-all approach into a tailored program that can be broadly applicable across institutions nationally.
The grant, totaling just under $2 million, is among the first given under NIH's Broadening Experience in Scientific Training (BEST) awards program. It will fund the new NYU Scientific Training Enhancement Program (NYU?STEP), a partnership between NYU School of Medicine and NYU. The program will help prepare approximately 1,100 trainees, including postdoctoral scholars and PhD students, in the sciences for careers that extend beyond university campuses and into the for-profit industry, government, communication, and non-profit corporations.
NIH recognizes that there are many ways in which biomedical PhD graduates can meaningfully contribute to the biomedical research enterprise, said NIH Director Francis S. Collins. The future of biomedical research depends upon a sustainable and robust workforce, in which talented, well-trained scientists are best prepared to make significant contributions in academia, industry, government, business, and other venues.
NYU-STEP's program will include a career-training workshop, which will be designed to help graduate students and postdoctoral fellows design an individual career-development plan early in their training. This will be supplemented by professional-development training to instill time management, conflict management, and communication skills. Skills specific to each of the four career tracks will also be offered to participants of the program. Finally, NYU-STEP will support both graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in job searches and in transitioning to positions outside of NYU.
This multi-disciplinary approach draws on the greatest strengths of our individual schools and departments, providing a comprehensive professional training program, said Dr. Reiss. It brings together a wide range of resources, with significant contributions from both institutions, as well as local, regional, and national partner organizations.