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 2020 Virtual NIH Career Symposium

The coronavirus pandemic has upset both our personal and professional lives. Let's take a break and think about careers instead. Please plan to join us for the 13th Annual NIH Career Symposium - an entirely virtual event - and take some time to focus on your career. Whether you have chosen your path or are looking for the perfect career, we hope you can gather information to position yourself to be a competitive candidate in any career path that you choose.

This year, attending the Career Symposium is easier than ever! All the content is available online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 8 you will be able to learn about the highlights (and low-points) of different careers, how to make yourself a competitive candidate, and how to navigate your transition into a job. Sessions will be both live and recorded, presenting panels and interviews, and everything will be archived. You can return to the content anytime to explore a new career or refresh your memory on a topic.

Start your event with a welcome from the OITE and comments from Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the NIH.

Then choose your own career adventure:
Please note: You must register to get access the live event! To register for the live event panels, please visit

LIVE PANELS on May 8, then archived on the OITE YouTube Page:

  • Opening Welcome from the OITE & “Hello” from Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the NIH
  • Faculty Careers: An Introduction to Academia
    • Dimitra Bourboulia, PhD, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Assistant Professor
    • David Sharlin, PhD, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Associate Professor
    • Kerry Smith, PhD, Clemson University, Professor and Director of EPIC
    • Tracie Delgado, PhD, Seattle Pacific University, Associate Professor
  • Industry Research and Development Careers  
    • Dennise A. De Jesús Díaz, PhD, Remedy Plan Therapeutics, VP Scientific Operations
    • Samantha Yost, PhD, ReGenEx Bio, Scientist-Research and Early Development
    • Catherine Nezich, PhD, Biogen, Scientist II
  • Science Administration Careers
    • Maile Henson, PhD Duke School of Medicine, Research Development Associate
    • Shakira Nelson, PhD, AACR, Sr. Scientific Program Administrator
    • Kristen Kindrachuk, PhD, University of Manitoba, Research Facilitator and, Business Development Officer
    • Chris Case, PhD, Leidos, Program Manager
  • Industry: Non-bench Careers
    • Brenna Brady, PhD, Lead Researcher, Outcomes Research, Life Sciences,Value Based Care, IBM Watson Health
    • Kimberly Shafer-Weaver, PhD, Scientific Director, Global Medical Afffairs Merck & Co, Inc
    • Martha Sklavos, PhD, Senior Strategic Project Manager, U.S. Oncology Medical Affairs, Heme Franchise
    • Karol Szczepanek, PhD. Medical Science Liaison, AstraZeneca    


Faculty Careers at Teaching-intensive Schools
Science Education and Outreach Careers
Science Communication Careers
Science Policy Careers 
Government Careers    
Industry Careers: Successfully Transitioning into Your First Job  
Research-intensive Careers (Non-industry)
Tech Transfer and Business Development Careers       
Careers in Curriculum Development 
Starting a Career in Industry     
Faculty Careers at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution
Faculty Careers: US and Abroad



The OITE website and YouTube page also contain a myriad of career resources. Here are some highlights:

Creating Your Job Search Documents:

Guide to Résumés and Curricula Vitae
Guide to Cover Letters 
OITE Youtube Video: Résumés and over Letters External Link 
OITE YouTube Video: CVs and Résumés: What Is the Difference? External Link
Blog Posts on Job Search Documents 


Building Your Network

OITE YouTube Video: Establishing and Maintaining Networks  External Link
Guide to Informational Interviews 
How to Network  
Creating Your Networking Map
Using Your Networking Map
The 3 Most Important Factors of a Job Search: Networking, Networking, and Networking  
Five Most Common Networking Excuses


OITE YouTube Video: Interviewing Tips External Link
Interview Decisions Made in 3-Minutes 
Handling Telephone Communication during Interview Season  
Behavioral Interviewing for Scientists  
Are You Ready for Video Interviews?  
Interviewing with Confidence  
Answering the Weakness Interview Question  
Yawnfest: Don’t Be a Boring Interviewee 
Illegal* Interview Questions – What They Are and How to Handle Them  
Interviewing Advice from the Hiring Partners’ Perspectives

Negotiating Your Job Offer:

Before Accepting a Job Offer 
Learn to Negotiate before Your Interview 
In Industry, It’s About More Than Just Salary  
The ABC’s of Negotiating

Faculty Careers:

OITE YouTube Video: Applying and Interviewing External Link
Basic Overview: The US Academic System
Getting a Faculty Job & Getting a Faculty Job – Revisited 
Writing the Research Statement  
Writing the Teaching Statement  
Academic Job Search: Telephone Interviews  
Academic Searches: Handling Dual Career Hires  
Preparing to Negotiate an Academic Job Offer

Industry Careers:

OITE YouTube Video: An Overview of Industry Careers External Link
OITE YouTube Video: Understanding How Businesses Are Arranged External Link
OITE YouTube Video: Finding your Perfect Postdoc External Link
First Week on the Job in Industry 
Where Do I Begin? Industry Careers for Scientists  
Science Careers in Industry: Top Ten Myths 
FROM THE ARCHIVE – Industry vs. Academia: Which Is Right for You?  
In Industry, It’s About More Than Just Salary (info on stock options)  
Preparing to Negotiate Non-academic Job Offers

Career Options:

OITE YouTube Video: Government Jobs for Biomedical Scientists External Link
Blog posts on career options: Interviews with Alumni 
Check out the Newsletters from past NIH Career Symposiums

Taking Care of Yourself:

OITE YouTube Video: Resiliency During the job search External Link
More videos and resources on the OITE website can be found at:

Please follow our website, YouTube page, and Twitter account (@NIH_OITE) to keep up with new career content. The OITE wishes you the best as you move towards the right career for you.