SciPhD: Preparing for Professional Careers

How can you convince hiring managers that you have the skills they value? SciPhD prepares scientists for professional careers through training programs designed to offer resources and hands-on training to identify and develop skills in communication, leadership, negotiation, team building, networking, and project management. Despite the fact that these topics are rarely part of the traditional academic research scientist’s curriculum, there are many activities associated with the academic experience that draw on these skills. In this mini-course, postdocs and graduate students will discover that doing challenging research DOES prepare you for an industry job!

All attendees of the course will receive a free permanent Flamingo license. 

Dates & Location

Dates: Saturday, September 24, 11 AM – 3 PM
Location: In-Person, UChicago Hyde Park Campus
Course Fee: $10

Session Descriptions

The Business of Science

Students will develop their “personal brand” which includes their scientific, business and social identities. Demonstrating expertise in all three of these areas is critical to being competitive professionally.  Focus is on the 24 core skills valued by industry, and how scientists can translate their own experiences and academic accomplishments into business language that addresses these core competencies.

Dissecting a Job

Here, we look at how to extract all the valuable information contained in job ads.  Most job ads have a tremendous amount of information beyond the scientific and technical requirements for the job.  Students will learn how to identify and prepare to respond to these other critical requirements by analyzing the job ad, identifying their own competencies, mapping them to the skills required for that job, then translating that mapped job ad into summary of qualifications to develop a targeted resume.

Building and Using Your Network

In this session, we examine various ways to build, expand, and leverage your professional network, as well as how to prepare an “elevator pitch.” Use your network to validate job descriptions, prepare for effective interviews, and importantly, to get additional intelligence on jobs, their requirements, and how best to connect with the decision-makers who determine who gets hired.

Negotiating With Your Advisor

Students will learn how to develop and use emotional and social intelligence, aka “soft skills,” to negotiate effectively, in particular, via integrative and distributive negotiation.  We will show you how to shift from expert to learner, negotiate terms with an advisor, and land that first job.

Succeeding in Your First 90 Days

In this session, the focus shifts to what comes after you get the job. Studies show that 50% of new hires are let go in the first 18 months on the job. We will discuss how to apply your business, social, and communication skills to be successful, as well as personal goal setting and performance reviews. Doing great science is a business process, and how you work with people does prepare you for a team-centric working environment!


Randall Ribaudo, PhD, Co-founder at Human Workflows, LLC, CEO at

Human Workflows and SciPhD co-founder Dr. Randall Ribaudo has over twenty years of experience as both an academic and an industry scientist. After receiving a Ph.D. in Immunology at the University of Connecticut, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the NIH before becoming a Principal Investigator at the National Cancer Institute. He then made the transition into industry, spending more than five years at Celera Genomics where he was a liaison to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic communities, served as product manager for the mass spectrometry software group, led a task force to define strategic direction and advised on product development for enterprise solutions for information integration. In 2005, Dr. Ribaudo co-founded Human Workflows, which provides consulting services to the biotech and pharmaceutical industries to improve their information integration processes, and then SciPhD, in 2009, which provides professional training to scientists who want to transition to industry careers.


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