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Webinar Career

Nontraditional Careers: Opportunities Away From the Bench

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Recorded 28 April 2009


Increasingly, Ph.D.-level scientists are becoming aware of other career opportunities beyond bench research. Not only are scientists interested in pursuing nonresearch based careers, but the discord between the number of graduate students and postdocs, and the availability of tenure-track faculty positions means that these are no longer “alternative” career options. What sorts of opportunities can scientists pursue? What sorts of skills do they need to develop in order to succeed in nonresearch jobs? How can they find these sorts of positions?

This webinar will look at the various career options open to scientists across different sectors, strategies you can use to find positions, and the future of the scientific work force in nontraditional careers. Join us to learn more about exciting and rewarding careers outside of academic/industry research. 

For more information and articles on non-traditional careers:

Speaker bios

Lori Conlan, Ph.D.

Director, Office for Postdoctoral Services, National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Lori M. Conlan is trained as a biochemist, receiving her B.S. in biochemistry from Michigan State University and her Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from Texas A&M University. She worked for several years as a postdoc at the Wadsworth Center, NYS Department of Health, before transitioning from the lab to focus on career issues for the next generation of scientists. Lori started as the director of the Science Alliance, an international career-development program for graduate students and postdocs sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences. She now is at NIH in the Office of Intramural Training & Education, assisting the 4,000 NIH postdocs in their personal career choices. Lori is the director of two NIH offices, the Office of Postdoctoral Services and the Career Services Center. She speaks at universities and institutions around the nation on career development topics for young scientists.

Pearl Freier

Cambridge BioPartners
Cambridge, MA

Pearl Freier is president of Cambridge BioPartners, an executive search and recruiting consulting firm serving the biopharmaceutical and medical technology industries. Pearl's recruiting methodologies have made her a national authority on recruiting and career strategies in the life sciences. She has appeared in publications including Science, Nature, Bio-ITWorld, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and the Boston Business Journal and has delivered presentations for universities and scientific associations throughout North America. Pearl is also an active member of the Boston technology community and serves on the executive board of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge and sits on advisory boards for the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council and Harvard Medical School and is a member of BIO’s Education and Outreach Committee.

Marion Müller, Ph.D.

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG North America)
Washington, DC

Dr. Müller is the director of the DFG's North America Office. She has previously been: director of the DFG's Berlin Office; special assistant to the DFG's president and secretary general; DFG programme manager (Arts and Humanities Department: Literature); teacher of German at Magdalen College School Oxford; lecturer in classics and English and coordinator of the collaborative research centre on literature and anthropology, both at Konstanz University. Marion did her studies in English literature and language, as well as Latin, at the Universities of Bonn and Konstanz (state exam and Magister Artium, 1992). She was a research associate at the Centre for British Studies, Humboldt University Berlin, and holds a Master of Studies in Research Methods (University of Oxford, 1996) and a D.Phil. (University of Oxford, 1999). She also held a postdoctoral fellowship at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford. She is a Fellow of the 21st Century Trust.

Richard Weibl

Director, Center for Careers in Science and Technology
Washington, DC

Ric Weibl is director of the Center for Careers in Science and Technology at the American Association for the Advancement of Science ( He works with AAAS career development programs to strengthen their offerings and to create new opportunities to support the career aspirations and development needs of future and current scientists. Ric joined AAAS in 2005 following a tour of service in the US Peace Corps as an education and community development volunteer based in the North West Province of South Africa. Before the Peace Corps, he served as US editor for Science’s Next Wave ( and as editor of Next Wave’s Postdoc Network (now the National Postdoctoral Association @ From November 1996 to June 2001, he was manager of the national Preparing Future Faculty ( program and Director of Programs, Education and Institutional Initiatives at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. He has served in research and administrative positions at Antioch College, The Ohio State University, Marquette University, Longwood College, and The University of Georgia. 

Brianna Blaser, Ph.D.

Outreach Project Director
Washington, DC

Brianna Blaser is the Project Director of the Outreach Program for Science Careers where she organizes career and professional development workshops for graduate students, postdocs, and early-career scientists. Brianna earned her Ph.D. in Women’s Studies at the University of Washington in 2008. Her dissertation, More Than Just Lab Partners: Women Scientists and Engineers Married to and Partnered with Other Scientists and Engineers, examined how women scientists’ relationships with other scientists affect both their professional and personal lives. While at the University of Washington, Brianna was a research assistant at the Center for Workforce Development where she organized professional development activities for graduate students in science and engineering. Brianna earned her B.S. in Mathematics and Psychology with a minor in Gender Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. She has held internships with the Association for Women in Science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. 

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