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How to Use the New ASPIRE Stamp Icons

Posted by on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 in Announcements, Upcoming BRET Office of Career Development Events .

In order to better assist biomedical graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in making decisions about which of the ASPIRE programs and offerings are most beneficial to them at their current stage of training, we are now “stamping” session titles by training stage: early, mid-late, or all. These stamps apply to both grad students and postdocs. Of course, you are welcome to attend whichever sessions are of interest, even if it is marked for a different stage, but the guide will help you decide which sessions are most relevant to you right now.

Graduate studentsYear 1/2Year 3+All years
Postdoctoral fellowsFirst half of training periodSecond half of training periodAll years

A note for graduate students, especially about ASPIRE modules: even though some modules are marked “all,” we do not recommend grad students participate in modules when they are doing lab rotations. For most biomedical sciences students, this means during the first year of grad school. During rotations, grad students should focus on learning as much about prospective labs as possible, and rotation mentors expect students’ full attention during the short few weeks rotating students are in the lab. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for students who are encouraged by their faculty mentor or program director to take the “Practical Strategies for Strong Writing.”

In general, activities marked as “mid-late” involve a greater time commitment, such as a project or travel. We do not accept pre-qualifying exam state grad students into such activities. Postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to apply for “mid-late” modules after they have established themselves in their postdoc lab, usually at least six months after starting their position.

Most events will be marked with a single stamp, but you will notice that we mark the PhD Career Stories series as both “Early” and “All.” This is because we encourage you to explore career options as early as possible in your training but we also know that:

  1. Students’ and postdocs’ career interests evolve over time; you may discover a new interest later in your training and you should continue coming to PhD Career Stories to explore new interests.
  2. PhD Career Stories provides excellent opportunities to learn about careers as well as make new connections with alumni; we encourage you to attend all PhD Career Stories sessions that align with your career interests so you can build your network in your field of interest.
  3. The same career can look very different in different companies or different industries. Attending multiple PhD Career Stories on the same topic will help you develop an understanding of these differences.



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