Thursday, April 9, 2009


Welcome to Carolina Bioscience - a career exploration resource for life science PhDs on and off UNC campus.

In my role as Associate Director of Biomedical Graduate Training Initiatives at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine I see an insatiable desire on the part of PhD students to gather as much information as they can about all possible career paths that are available to them. This appetite, especially for information on nontraditional career paths, is only heightened by the current shortage of tenure track academic positions. The goal of this blog is to highlight traditional and alternative career paths by posting interactive interviews with PhD scientists who have successfully transitioned into a wide range of science careers.

So, what exactly is an interactive interview? I'll interview successful PhD scientists and post an overview of the interview including what their job entails, how they got to where they are, what they like about their position, and what advice they have for graduate students or postdocs interested in that particular career. Once the overview is posted, blog readers can post questions for the interviewee for a few days. When that period is over, the interviewee will respond to the questions. The overview, reader questions, and answers to those questions will remain in the blog archive.

The first interactive interview with Dr. Jan McColm, Managing Editor of a peer reviewed scientific journal, will be posted on April 20th. Future interviews will highlight PhD scientists who are tenure track research professors, undergraduate teaching professors, industry researchers, patents lawyers, grant managers, science writers, science policy makers, venture capitalist consultants, and many more such professionals. If you have suggestions of what you'd like to see please email me at

1 comment:

  1. Hi Patrick,

    I think this is a really great idea. I'd really like to see information about:

    (1) People who have spent time in industry and academia within one career.
    (2) The transition from postdoc to faculty/investigator. When is it time to switch? How much experience is enough?
    (3) When and how can it be appropriate to barter for improved salary in the world of postdoc pay?
    (4) Investigator perspectives on bringing in postdocs who have trained in a different or overlapping area.

    Thank you,