2019 Biotech Mini-Course

Location: Washington, DC 

Friday, December 6, 2019
8:00 am-5:00 pm


The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) will offer a one-day course for graduate students and postdocs on Friday, December 6, 2019, the day before the ASCB/EMBO Meeting. The course will help basic scientists become more competitive for jobs in biotech, pharma, and industry. The course will be held in Washington, DC. Applications will open later in the year.



8:00 am-12:00 pm—Introduction to Bioscience Business

The morning session will introduce students to bioscience industry dynamics and commercialization processes. Students will learn about processes by which scientific discoveries are translated into bioscience ventures, as well as common business strategies within the industry. The session will be highly interactive, combining short introductory lectures with discussions of bioscience industry cases. The case discussions will draw upon MBA-style case analysis using Harvard Business School teaching cases. We will also at times break the class into smaller groups to focus on short problem-solving exercises.

Presenter: Steve Casper, PhD, Dean of the School of Applied Life Sciences; Henry E. Riggs Professor of Management KGI

12:00-2:00 pm

Networking lunch with representatives from local biotech companies (light lunch provided).


2:00 pm-5:00 pm—The Business of Science—Combining Your Scientific, Business, and Social Skills to Make You “Business-Ready” and Competitive for a Professional Career

What Can I Be with a PhD? Learn the different career paths available and the kinds of institutions that value PhDs.

Developing Your Career Plan. Apply “What you can be with a PhD” to re-evaluate career choices and learn to build and leverage your network to identify critical skills.

Researching Job Requirements. Teams will research job descriptions for real positions you desire to identify critical technical business and social skills and relate those to your own accomplishments. Developing Targeted Resumes. Develop a targeted resume that matches your technical business and social skill accomplishments to job-specific requirements.

Preparing for Interviews. Research your company, your job, and the interviewers. Prepare for the tough questions. Learn to shift from “expert” to “learner” and apply effective communications.

Presenters: Randall Ribaudo, PhD, and Larry Petcovic, co-founders, SciPhD (a company that specializes in helping scientists prepare for professional careers)



Registration for the mini-course is capped at 100 attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is $125, which includes tuition, curriculum material, and the networking lunch. If you register and are unable to attend, please notify us by November 16 and we will refund all but a $20 cancellation fee. Unfortunately, we cannot refund registration fees after November 16. Note: You do not need to register for the 2019 ASCB/EMBO Meeting to attend this one-day course.

 If you have any questions, please contact Thea Clarke at tclarke@ascb.org.