Motivating INformed Decisions (MIND), UC San Francisco’s newest career exploration program, is about to embark on its inaugural year! MIND will give basic and biomedical grad students and postdocs the skills they need to effectively explore the diversity of careers available to PhD scientists.
In this pilot year, 40 trainees from across UCSF will participate in lectures, workshops, peer teams, and experiential learning, as they consider where they want their futures to take them. With full funding through an NIH BEST grant, the MIND Program will accommodate many more trainees as it develops over the next three years. In the long-term, MIND aims to change the culture of biomedical training so that students and postdocs are better prepared to move into a wide range of rewarding careers that address the biggest challenges facing the world today.
The MIND program cannot directly involve all grad students and postdocs, but UCSF trainees who are not officially enrolled may still help shape the various career and professional development programs on campus. In August 2014, the MIND Program sent out a survey designed to understand the interests, needs and concerns that arise for trainees at UCSF as they consider their career goals. The survey investigates whether UCSF’s programs – in particular MIND – are moving in the right direction, shaping career and professional development at UCSF. For now, the program is inviting survey responses from first and second-year postdocs, as well as graduate students who passed their qualifying exams during the last academic year.
Throughout the year, the MIND program will be sharing resources, information and study results that will improve the training experience for all graduate students and postdocs at UCSF, both inside and outside the lab.
Story contributed by Liz Silva, manager of the MIND Program.