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Professional Development Grant Recipients: 2015 Funding Year

Award announcement

African and African American Studies

This proposal seeks funding for two one-time seminars emphasizing interdisciplinary teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences. Led by invited speakers, these events will offer graduate students the opportunity to reflect upon and share strategies for effective and engaging interdisciplinary work and its application both inside and outside the academy. Topics may include teaching across disciplines, marketability of interdisciplinary work, the role of interdisciplinarity in the modern university, and methodological approaches.

Biology

The Department of Biology will create a new series of career development workshops in spring 2015 for its Ph.D. students. The Biology Department Ph.D. Career BootCamp Workshop Series will cover a wide range of topics, such as time management, science communication, job application, work/life balance, and women in science. The series will be assessed for possible consideration as a requirement in later years.

Computational Biology & Bioinformatics

The CBB program will sponsor a monthly Quantitative Biology Career Development Speaker Series for graduate students training in quantitative biology areas. Each month, the program will invite speakers in quantitative biology-related careers from the biotech/pharmaceutical industry, government/nonprofit research institutes, and consulting/contract research firms to share their background, career experience, and career advice with graduate students. After the seminar, there will be refreshments and informal networking opportunities for graduate students to discuss career planning with speakers.

Duke Global Health Institute

The DGHI’s proposal includes three categories:

  • A series of three workshops covering global-health job search, research funding, and elevator speeches
  • Up to seven events to facilitate networking with DGHI faculty, staff, and students, as well as researchers from local global health organizations

Immunology and Pharmacology and Cancer Biology

Two proposals—one from the immunology program and the other from the pharmacology and cancer biology program—will be funded together because of their similarities. The two programs will collaborate on inviting alumni from a variety of science careers to provide professional advice and perspective to current doctoral students and to facilitate networking.

Nursing

The proposed seminar series will prepare all current nursing Ph.D. students with tools they can use as they progress through their program, allowing them to optimize and strategize their leadership and career opportunities. National leaders in nursing, as well as nurses in nonacademic careers and early academic positions, will speak on their areas of expertise in face-to-face or livestreamed webinars to all current Ph.D. students approximately every two weeks during the 2015 spring semester.

Sociology

The sociology department will present a three-part lunch series featuring a panel of social scientists in academic areas in which women are traditionally underrepresented. Each panel discussion will focus on one topic in which women need specific advice:

  • Managing work/life balance throughout graduate school and the career trajectory
  • Finding mentors and engaging in networking in and out of academia
  • Successful research presentation and teaching styles

The panel members, who will include faculty as well as women in positions outside the academy, will discuss their specific experiences with these issues, and graduate students will be able to pose questions to the panel anonymously and non-anonymously.

University Program in Genetics and Genomics

Last year, the UPGG retreat committee invited UPGG alumni to lead panels discussing their varied career paths. Their insight was invaluable as the traditional path in science is no longer commonplace. The 2015 UPGG retreat committee will continue this new tradition and expand its usefulness by inviting UPGG alumni from a broader range of careers and experiences. The professional development grant will supplement the committee’s normal budget to help cover alumni travel costs.