Biotech Career Exploration Program

Program Description

Biotech Career Exploration is a structured program to educate, train, and provide career exposure to many aspects of biotechnology outside of the traditional academic tenure-track faculty position.

Throughout the program, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists from life science programs will engage in a series of workshops, seminars, and panel discussions to explore career options and prepare for an experiential learning opportunity with an on-campus unit, small business startup, large corporation, non-profit organization, governmental agency, law firm, or any additional non-academic entity.  

Program Objectives:

  • Provide a structured and collaborative skill development and experiential learning placement program for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists from life science programs.
  • Offer non-academic employers access to trained students, fellows, and early-career scientists and serve as a single point of contact for workforce recruitment and development in the life sciences.

Program Participants:

  • Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists seeking job readiness education and training in anticipation of a non-academic career path.

Participant Objectives:

  • Identify and explore non-academic career options based on your interest.
  • Develop desirable employment skills based on specific competencies.

Program Overview

Phase I: Career Exploration and Skill Building

Themed career panels, workshops, and seminars will provide participants with a greater understanding of non-academic career options and core skills required to be successful.  In addition, participants will meet regularly as a cohort to share experiences and outline a potential experiential learning opportunity (Phase II).

Career Exploration Panels

University Administration, Staff, and Support – Thursday, March 29, 2018 from 9:30 -10:30 am

  • Technology Transfer 
  • Research Administration 
  • FFMI Business Development 
  • Research Commercialization 
  • Clinical Trial Management
  • Research Analyst

Consultant /Nonprofit and Government/Other – Friday, April 20, 2018 from 9:30 -10:30 am

  • Management 
  • FDA Regulatory 
  • USPTO 
  • IP Law 
  • Science Policy 

Small Biotech Startups – Thursday, May 10, 2018 from 9:30 -10:30 am

  • Research & Development 
  • Business Development

Large Corporations – Friday, June 15, 2018 from 9:30 -10:30 am

  • Research and Development
  • Medical Science liaison
  • Product Manager 
  • Application Scientist 
  • Clinical Trial Management 

Experiential Learning & Skill Building Seminars

A monthly seminar to outline an experiential learning opportunity and gain critical skills

Communication (Oral & Written)

Time & Project Management

Leadership & Teamwork

Commercial Acumen

Self-branding & Promotion

Phase II: Experiential Learning

Participants will have an opportunity for extended learning and additional skill building through experiential learning.  At the conclusion of Phase I, participants can choose to pursue an experience that best fits their desired career trajectory and current academic obligations based on available placement opportunities.

Additional Information

Program Expectations

– Participants are required to attend all of Phase I – a monthly career exploration panel and skill building seminar – totaling two events per month.

– Participants will be provided with several opportunities for experiential learning during Phase II that vary based on the availability and expectations of the host site.It is up to the individual participant to select the desired learning experience and work directly with the host site on final onboarding details.

– As a result, Phase II is encouraged, but not required for successful completion of the program.Participants are required to write a reflection document and deliver a presentation on their participation in the program.

– Participants will receive a certificate of completion.


  • There is no cost to participate in the program

Deadline to Apply

  • February 19, 2018


Ready to apply? Complete the application by clicking “Apply Here”


The Biotech Career Exploration program is provided by FFMI, MICHR, and the UMMS Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. For questions, please contact Jon Servoss at


Fast Forward Medical Innovation                                                                   

February 20, 2018