Tools for Researchers - A Career Development Workshop

Stockholm, 6 November 2004

Presented by the Junior Faculty at the Karolinska Institute
and Science's Next Wave

Tools For Researchers: A Career Development Workshop, was the first Swedish outreach event coordinated by the Junior Faculty at the Karolinska Institute and Science's Next Wave. The event, held at the Institute's Nobel Forum on Saturday 6th November 2004, attracted a full house, with 106 delegates taking all available seats.

Speaker Vivianne Malmstrom addresses the audience.

Attendees consisted of PhD students (51%), postdoctoral researchers (28%), senior researchers (12%) and the remainder were undergraduates or medical doctors. Most of the participants were from the Karolinska Insititute. However, the Institute's international nature was reflected in the group of attendees, which far from being a Swedish-only affair, included delegates from many countries.

All attendees received a current copy of Science journal, and our congratulations go out to Mehmet Uzunel, who received a free subscription to Science Print/Digital in the prize draw during lunch.

A truly practical insight into grant writing in Sweden was offered by Ola Hermansson (pictured above), covering the importance of making a tailor made application to your funding body and defining your proposal and project. Next Wave's CareerDoctor, Sara Shinton (see photo below), highlighted the alternative approaches to industry versus academia applications and provided one to one feedback for delegates.

Sara Shinton (right) offers feedback on industry versus academic careers.

Stephen James (pictured right), Director of Biology at Biovitrum, provided an overview of academia-industry collaboration, with specific reference to the Biovitrum KI fund, a unique fund set up for scientists at the Karolinska Institute researching metabolic disease and therapeutic proteins.

Judit Wefer, Vivianne Malmstrom and Johan Franck delineated how young researchers can negotiate the path from their doctorate to an associate professorship - or 'docentur,' a much sought after academic role specific to Sweden.

Stephen James

Navid Malik, a pharmaceutical financial analyst (pictured below), offered a unique view into life in the fast lane as a City high-flier including the trials and tribulations of his journey from academia into finance. Next Wave's, Seema Sharma, spoke about her personal career transition, and offered an overview on Next Wave's resources and the alternatives out there for young scientists.

Navid Malik (left) describes his career transition from science to finance.

Workshop Programme Schedule

09:00 to 09:30 Registration

09:30 to 10:30 Skills Workshop
Concurrent Track Sessions

Session A1:
Academia versus Industry

How do you tailor your resume when applying for academic versus industry research posts? What are the skills these two contrasting employers look for? How do you succeed at an interview in these different roles? Science's Next Wave's own Career Doctor provides participants with the answers to these and other questions. Why not bring your CV for a personalised verdict from a specialist?
Speaker: Sara Shinton, CareerDoctor, Science’s Next Wave

Session B1:
Submitting a Successful Application

Take this unique opportunity to gain some first-hand advice from experienced grant writers about submitting a successful application. Advice will also be available from those who award the grants at the Swedish Research Council. Bring along your questions or even your half-written grant application, for some immediate feedback.
Speaker: Ola Hermansson, Assistant Professor, Dept of Cell and Molecular Biology, Karolinska Inst.

10:30 to 11:00 Refreshment break

11:00 to 12:00 Skills Workshop
Concurrent Track Sessions, continued

Session A2:
Academia versus Industry

Repeat of 09:30 session, see description of session A1

Session B2:
Submitting a Successful Application

Repeat of 09:30 session, see description of session B1

12:00 to 13:30 Lunch

13:30 to 14:30 SESSION C

What are the opportunities and benefits of working in industry? What is expected of you when working in a commercial environment? How can academics set up collaborations with industry researchers or start their own company? Our speakers provide an insight into making the move from academia into a commercial job setting.
Stephen James, Director, Biology, Biovitrum AB

14:30 to 15:30 SESSION D

How do you navigate the path to a successful research career in academia? Whether you need advice about getting through your doctorate, finding your first postdoctoral position or gaining a permanent lectureship, our panel members will be here to offer their expert advice.
Getting Through Your Doctorate, Judit Wefer, PhD, Postdoc Coordinator at Junior Faculty
Getting a Docentur, Johan Franck, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Finding Your Postdoc Position, Vivianne Malmström, PhD, Researcher, Department of Medicine at Karolinska University Hospital

15:30 to 16:00 Refreshment break

16:00 to 17:00 SESSION E
Non-academic careers for scientists

So, you've got your PhD but what if know don't want, or can't find a permanent post in academia. Many doctorate-qualified scientists make the move away from research in academia, either through choice or as a consequence of permanent posts being scarce. Invited experts from fields as diverse as finance and publishing will provide an insight into the plethora of alternative careers on offer.
Stephen Simpson, Associate Editor, Science Magazine
Navid Malik, Pharmaceutical Financial Analyst, William De Broe Stockbroker
Seema Sharma, European Programme Director, Science's Next Wave

The feedback was very positive and indicated that 98% of delegates would attend similar events in the future, and all would recommend the workshop to others.

Speakers Navid Malik (back to camera), Seema Sharma (left), Stephen James, and organizer Johanna Nilsson (right) compare notes after the programme.

Johanna Nilsson, Junior Faculty Coordinator, said: 'We are thrilled at having had the opportunity to arrange such a large event together with Science's Next Wave and would like to do this again. We are very satisfied with the outcome and it has been extremely useful for the junior researchers at the Karolinska.'

We would like to offer our sincere thanks to all the members of the Junior Faculty Office for their hospitality and hosting the event. Our special thanks goes to Johanna Nilsson who was the principal coordinator of the event with Next Wave's Seema Sharma.

Thanks to all who came and we look forward to meeting you at future events! If you would like Next Wave to bring an event to your institution, please contact Seema Sharma

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