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ASPIRE Modules

The ASPIRE Modules are short, non-credit bearing electives that broaden the training experiences of biomedical sciences trainees. These elective modules provide efficient exposure to topics in four theme areas:

1) Business/Entrepreneurship
2) Communication
3) Clinical Research
4) Teaching

The ASPIRE Modules are optional and open to any biomedical sciences PhD student or postdoctoral fellow who wishes to take them to supplement their research training. Class size may be limited, however, and will vary by module.

Advance registration will be required.  Trainees who register must commit to attending the full module.  Please review the Module FAQs and our Professionalism Policy prior to applying.  If you have any additional questions, please contact


Module FAQs
Professionalism Policy

Spring 2019

Management and Business Principles for Scientists
Joe Rando, MBA, Associate Director, Associate Professor of the Practice of Managerial StudiesWednesdays, January 16-April 17, 2019December 14, 2018

Extended to December 21, 2018
Creating Effective Scientific Talks and Delivering Them With Confidence
Kathy Gould, PhD, Louise B. McGavock Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Associate Dean for Biomedical Sciences3 Mondays, January 21, January 28, and February 4.January 4, 2019
Extended to January 8, 2019
EQ + IQ = Career Success
Kate Stuart, Assistant Director, BRET Office of Career Development6 sessions: Wednesdays, January and FebruaryJanuary 4, 2019
Extended to January 8, 2019
Practical Strategies for Strong Writing
Beth Estes, PhD, Academic Support Coordinator of the Writing Studio at Vanderbilt University3 Tuesdays, January 4, 2019
Extended to January 8, 2019

Fall 2018

Clinical Laboratory Medicine: Applying your Ph.D. to Patient CareJonathan Schmitz, MD, PhD, D(ABMM), Medical Director – Molecular Infectious Diseases Laboratory; and Jennifer Colby, PhD, DABCC, Medical Director – Toxicology and Esoteric Chemistry Laboratories, Associate Medical Director – Clinical Chemistry Laboratory; Ferrin Wheeler, PhD, Medical Director – CytogeneticsStarts January 2019, exact meeting times to be set by traineeOctober 15, 2018
Data Science Essentials
Nashville Software School, BRET Office of Career Development ASPIRE Program, and other partnersSeptember 2018-March 2019August 13, 2018
Biomedical Research and MediaWayne Wood, MLAS, Executive Director of New Media Productions, VUMC News and Public AffairsSeptember 19-November 28, 2018August 24, 2018
Networking PacingAshley E. Brady, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medical Education and Administration, Director of Career Engagement and Strategic Partnerships, ASPIRE Program ManagerSeptember 25-November 20August 24, 2018
Creating Effective Scientific Talks and Delivering Them With ConfidenceKathy Gould, PhD, Louise B. McGavock Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Associate Dean for Biomedical SciencesSeptember 17, September 24, and October 1August 24, 2018
Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (IPPCR)NIH Clinical Center WebcastOctober 2018-June 2019N/A
Technology CommercializationMichael Villalobos, Ph.D., Manager, Biotech Licensing, and Thomas Utley, Ph.D., Licensing Officer, Vanderbilt Center for Technology Transfer and CommercializationSection A: September 25-October 16

Section B: October 16-November 20
August 24, 2018
Practical Strategies for Strong WritingGary Jaeger, Ph.D, Director, and Beth Estes, Academic Support Coordinator of the Writing Studio at Vanderbilt UniversitySeptember 20, September 27, and October 4August 24, 2018