Posts in "Path to Career" Resources

How do I tell my PI?

Kim Petrie
April 21, 2014

Grad students and postdocs are often apprehensive about talking to their faculty adviser about their career interests, especially if their interests lie outside the "traditional" career path of becoming a tenure-track professor at a university. But did you know that only ~15% of biomedical sciences PhDs go on to become tenure-track professors? That's right... 85% of biomedical sciences PhDs ultimately pursue a non-tenure-track faculty career! 

The do's and don'ts of communicating with a prospective academic employer

Kim Petrie
January 22, 2014

An alumnus recently inquired about the appropriate way to follow up on a faculty job application. His question was a common one: "How, and when, do I follow up on my application for an academic faculty position?" Like many applicants, he was trying to walk the fine line between showing genuine interest in the position and being a pest.

Video of November's Science Policy PhD Career Connections is available online

Kim Petrie
December 4, 2013

The BRET Office of Career Development recorded the November session of PhD Career Connections about Science Policy. The video of the presentation by Dr. Kenny Gibbs is now available for viewing online at Dr. Gibbs discussed his transition from PhD to AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow and then NCI Cancer Prevention Fellow.

Postdoctoral opportunities at the NIH

Kim Petrie
December 4, 2013

The NIH Office of Intramurual Training & Education maintains a list of available NIH postdoctoral positions on their website. As in academia, however, not all NIH postdoctoral opportunities are advertised! If you are interested in a particular lab at the NIH, you should reach out directly to the potential postdoctoral mentor even if there is no open postdoctoral position listed on the OITE website.

The next installment of "Beyond the Lab" is now available, featuring Dr. Amy Moore, Director of Research Programs at Georgia Research Alliance

Kim Petrie
November 22, 2013

The next installment of our new "Beyond the Lab" video series is now available online. In this interview, postdoctoral alumnus Dr. Amy Moore describes her career trajectory in research administration. Watch as Amy describes how she identified career options and conducted her job search, and what she does in her job as Director of Research Programs at Georgia Research Alliance.

Just in from LinkedIn: Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunities in Industry

Kim Petrie
November 18, 2013

Did you know that companies often post job or postdoctoral fellowship opportunities via social media outlets like LinkedIn? Here are three recent industry postdoctoral fellowship opportunities posted to the LinkedIn pages of major biotech firms. Click on the job title to visit the company's LinkedIn posting for more information: Research Scientists, Postdoctoral Scientists - Boston Biomedical, Inc.

New Beyond the Lab video series interviews VU PhD alumni about their career path

Kim Petrie
November 11, 2013

Check out our new Beyond the Lab video series showcasing the careers of our PhD and postdoctoral alumni! In Beyond the Lab, the BRET Office of Career Development interviews Vanderbilt PhD and postdoctoral alumni about their career path since leaving VU. Each 10-20 minute video features a different alumnus describing his or her job and providing advice for conducting a job search in that field. We will add new videos each month as they are produced. The first two videos feature alumni Dr.

2013 Career Symposium presentations are now posted online

Kim Petrie
October 23, 2013

If you missed the 2013 BRET Career Symposium, Influencing Human Health with Your PhD Degree, the presentations are now available to view online at You can view the presentations by clicking on the speaker name. The Symposium speakers addressed careers ranging from global health to drug development, and they included: Linda Distlerath, Senior Counselor, Worldwide Health Practice, APCO Worldwide

To Connect or Not To Connect

Kim Petrie
September 16, 2013

This recent blog post from Allison Vaillancourt for the Chronicle of Higher Education outlines some of the pros and cons of being an "open networker" on LinkedIn. For the most part, I agree with Allison's approach. Like Allison, I value "quality" over "quantity." I rarely connect with people I don't know, and this includes current Vanderbilt students and postdocs I haven't met.

The life sciences in East Tennessee

Kim Petrie
August 23, 2013

Whatever the reason, it isn't unusual for our trainees to want to stay in the region after they finish their training at Vanderbilt. This recent article from the Knoxville News Sentinel describes the landscape of life sciences companies in the Knoxville/East Tennessee region. While I may not immediately think, "Life sciences! East Tennessee!" I was surprised by the number of companies that call Knoxville home.