Reflections Newsletter

Issue 27, October 2023

This newsletter is typically distributed the last Thursday of the month and contains a variety of resources, links, and reflections on graduate-level career & professional development, higher education, and an occasional detour into neuroscience topics, the area I formally trained in as a graduate student and postdoc.

Missed the inaugural newsletter from January 2021?

Read it here


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Reflections Blog: October 2023 



In a modern world full of distraction, true commitment and dedication to a cause is hard to both find and sustain. Whether we dedicate more time to self improvement or helping others, we must commit and realize small, everyday actions often produce big results. The work is not easy but consistency in our actions and prolonged engagement in a craft, activity, or organization are often the prerequisites to success and fulfillment.  

Worthy Reads

Expand Your Postdoc Possibilities

In this post from my colleague, Brian Rybarczyk, Associate Dean at the University of North Carolina's Graduate School and I, we share thoughts on finding a postdoctoral position and using it strategically in one's career development. 

Postdoc career optimism rebounds after COVID in global Nature survey

Nature conducted a global survey of postdoctoral researchers in academia and industry in the Summer of 2023. This piece shares their first set of results looking at current postdocs' well-being and career outlook, and comparing it to a postdoc survey the publication ran in 2020.


From goal to outcome: Analyzing the progression of biomedical sciences PhD careers in a longitudinal study using an expanded taxonomy

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine's Office of Biomedical Research Education and Training recently published this important work looking at biomedical Ph.D. career progression and outcomes. Specifically, they linked students' career goal at doctoral defense to whether they did a postdoc, the duration of time between doctoral defense and the first non-training position, the career area of the first non-training position, and the career area of their job at 10 years after graduation. Finally, they followed individual careers for 10 years after graduation to characterize movement between different career areas over time. 

Programs Worth Promoting


iBiology Videos, Courses, & Resources

The work from iBiology and the Science Communication Lab​ is amazing and needs increased awareness among graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and those who support them.

A few of their online courses include:

If you are a faculty or staff member who is interested in facilitating some of these courses for your trainees, iBiology provides FREE facilitator resources for many of their programs. 

There are also tons of resources available to educators at all levels and videos on a wide range of topics, from research talks to career exploration topics. Their series of videos on professional development topics (mentoring, career planning, & collaboration) for scientists are especially good. 

Explore iBiology Content

National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) Programming & Resources

The NPA's SmartSkills program returns in 2023 featuring webinars on a variety of topics related to postdocs' career and professional development and well-being.

NPA International Equity Summit​: Thursday, Nov. 9th, 1-4 PM ET

Through a series of interactive online discussions led by the NPA, the summit seeks to identify barriers – and find paths forward – in the greater postdoctoral community that significantly and/or disproportionately impact international scholars.

And check out the NPA's Resource Library​ for more guides and resources including a guide to the postdoc timeline, mentoring, and more.

Revisiting Past Blog Posts 

Our digital age allows for passivity and distance between ourselves and the messy, complex world. Addressing societal problems, however, requires action and commitment - to be rather than to seem. 

Read More

Volunteering in a non-profit organization is crucial to helping them achieve their missions and fosters a greater sense of belonging and meaning within ourselves. 

Read More

Belief is a powerful thing. Having the right mindset and attitude toward our environment and circumstances affects outcomes in real and tangible ways. 

Read More

More to Explore - Resources for Trainees & Those Supporting Them

Explore Job Search & Funding Resources On My Website

For Further Reading & Exploration

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Carpe Careers Column
National Science Foundation Data
Career & Professional Development Research

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