- Petrie KA, Carnahan RH, Brown AM, Gould KL. Providing Experiential Business and Management Training for Biomedical Research Trainees. CBE life sciences education. 16(3). PMID: 28798213 [PubMed].
Many biomedical PhD trainees lack exposure to business principles, which limits their competitiveness and effectiveness in academic and industry careers. To fill this training gap, we developed Business and Management Principles for Scientists, a semester-long program that combined didactic exposure to business fundamentals with practical team-based projects aimed at solving real business problems encountered by institutional shared--resource core facilities. The program also included a retreat featuring presentations by and networking with local life science entrepreneurs and final team presentations to expert judges. Quantitative and qualitative metrics were used to evaluate the program's impact on trainees. A pretest-posttest approach was used to assess trainees' baseline knowledge and mastery of module concepts, and each individual's pretest and posttest responses were compared. The mean score improved by more than 17 percentage points. Trainees also took an online survey to provide feedback about the module. Nearly all participants agreed or strongly agreed that the module was a valuable use of their time and will help guide their career decisions and that project work helped drive home module concepts. More than 75% of trainees reported discussing the module with their research advisors, and all of these participants reported supportive or neutral responses. Collectively, the trainee feedback about the module, improvement in test scores, and trainee perception of advisor support suggest that this short module is an effective method of providing scientists with efficient and meaningful exposure to business concepts.