Top Ten Blog Posts of 2015

December 14, 2015

Image of a blue sign reading "Top 10" and a red calendar reading "2015"In case you missed them, here are some of the most popular blog posts from this past year. These are quick, informative reads which can help pass the time during holiday travel.

1. Job Search Paralysis
If you are feeling unmotivated by your job search or are constantly procrastinating items on your career development to-do list, then this post is a must read. It looks at the seven types of inner critics. Maybe you will recognize which particular type applies to you and how it could be impacting your job search psyche.

2. 4 Powerful Questions
Looking to recharge some aspect of your career and/or life? This post reviews a career development theory, John Krumboltz’s Happenstance Learning Theory. Unlike a lot of theories, this one has great real-life applications, including very powerful questions to ask yourself.

3. MCAT Meltdown – Dealing with Test Anxiety
Tips on how to manage anxiety not only during your test preparation, but on the actual test day as well. If you are prone to anxiety, especially text anxiety, then this is a must read post.

4. PhD in Depression?
This post reviews data from UC Berkeley which found almost half of STEM PhDs are depressed. Graduate school can be an especially vulnerable time for individuals; however, some effective coping mechanisms are addressed in this post.

5. MD/PhD: Is it Right for You?
How can you decide if an MD/PhD program is right for you? This blog reviews information presented at NIH’s Graduate & Professional School Fair about what an MD/PhD programs entails and how you can figure out if that is the right option for you.

6. Yawnfest: Don’t Be a Boring Interviewee
Tips on how to stand out for the right reasons in your next interview, including ideas on how to manage your interview anxiety.

7. Maximizers – Doing Better but Feeling Worse
Career decisions can be very difficult. This blog post looks at two basic decision-making styles – maximizers and satisficers. Take a quiz to find out which one you are and how this could be impacting your career choices.

8. Guide to Cover Letters and Guide to Resumes and Curricula Vitae
Bookmark these two posts so that you can reference them in the future. These guides give you an overview of resumes, CVs and cover letters. Also included are sample of effective resumes, CVs and cover letters so you have a better idea of how to correctly format your job search documents.

9. Is Grit the Key to Success?
In all of Dr. Duckworth’s research, one characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success – grit. Why is it important and how gritty are you compared to others? Read this blog post to find out more.

10. The Power of Thank You
Gratitude can increase your sense of well-being and it can also play an important role in your professional trajectory. Personal anecdotes are shared about how thank you notes have transformed careers as well as an activity on how you can learn to cultivate gratitude.

We hope you enjoyed this year-end recap of some of your favorite blog posts from 2015. In 2016, be sure to start following the OITE Career Blog so you don’t miss any future posts. If you want to be emailed copies of new posts, sign up here.


Career Options Series: Science Policy

December 10, 2015

OITE’s Career Options Series will give you a snapshot overview of different career paths. The goal of this series is to help you explore a variety of different options by connecting you to new resources. A large part of making a good career decision is done by gathering information about that field. We encourage you to follow up this online research by conducting informational interviews with individuals in each field. You can check out our first career option guide on Public Health here.


What is Science Policy?Image of two green street signs with the word "science" on one and "policy" on the other
Science Policy falls under two areas: Policy for Science and Science for Policy. Policy for Science looks at developing and determining STEM education and R&D funding priorities and directions as well as establishing guidelines and regulations on the practice and conduct of science. Whereas, Science for Policy looks at informing and enhancing the development, decision-making, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and resulting programs and regulations.
– From the resource: AAAS S&T Policy Fellowships at http://fellowships.aaas.org/

Sample Job Titles
(Senior) Science Policy Analyst; Public Health Analyst; Director of Science Policy; Public Affairs Director; Program Officer; Health Science Policy Analyst; Public Health Analyst; Scientific Program Analyst; Science and Technology Policy Analyst; Policy Analyst Manager; Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs; Advocate, Administrator; Health Policy Advisor; Scientific Program Analyst; Policy Specialist; Government Relations Manager; Director, Research Programs Advocacy; etc.

Sample Work Settings
The majority (more than half) of these jobs are in non-profits followed by government, academia and then industry.

Sample Employers
American Institutes for Research
Department of Health and Human Services
Friends of Cancer Research
National Science Foundation
*Plus, many more! Do a “Science Policy” search on indeed.com to get a sense of employers who are hiring in this field.

Science Policy work involves:
• Assessing scientific data
• Writing briefs/memos (for internal audiences and external audiences like Congress)
• Communicating science to the general public, scientific audiences, lawmakers
• Coordinating volunteers, committee members, scientists
• Program management of seminars, coalitions, etc.

Key Skills
– Broad knowledge of science
– Knowledge of science policy
– People skills
– Communication, both written and verbal
– Analytical
– Project/Time Management

How to get started
Fellowships e.g., AAAS Science & Technology Fellowship
Internships e.g., science societies (generally unpaid)
Details e.g., NIH institutes; 1 day/week
Networking e.g., With speakers at NIH global health seminars
Volunteering e.g., Meet-ups like DC Science Policy Happy Hour Group
Additional education/degrees: Enroll in science and technology policy classes (GW and JHU offer a few)

Professional Organizations
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Chemical Society – Science Policy
Network of School of Public Policy, Affairs & Administration

Additional Resources
OITE’s How To Series: Science Policy
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Blog
Office of Science Policy at NIH

Coming up in the Career Options Series, we will be highlighting the field of Tech Transfer.


#Jobsearch — Using Twitter to Find Jobs

December 2, 2015

Image of a blue Twitter bird logo looking over a job ads section in the newspaperWhere do you go to look for jobs or networking opportunities online? Most people automatically think of great sites like LinkedIn or Indeed; however, a growing number of people are turning to Twitter. Twitter is now being heralded as the best job search tool you probably aren’t using.

How can you harness the power of this social media powerhouse? Well, we aren’t encouraging you to tweet out a 140-character version of your resume, but we are encouraging you to become more familiar with site functions which can be very helpful when job searching.

Use Built-in Search Tools

Type keywords into the search bar to source job openings. You can type in a location plus the word “hiring” to get a broad overview of positions in your desired area.

However, an even better way to look is to search using hashtags. Hashtags quickly help you find available opportunities; even better, they alert you to companies and/or people who are tweeting using that hashtag. Remember the importance of using career and industry specific hashtags as well. Some popular hashtags to use in your job search include:

#sciencecareers
#stemjobs
#sciencejobs
#PhDJobs
#SciencePhD
#Hiring
#NowHiring
#Jobs
#Careers
#TweetMyJobs
#JobPosting
#ITJobs
#TechJobs
#Freelance

Start Following
If you have specific companies/organizations you are interested in, then you should start following their main account. On top of this, try to follow other people in your field of interest whether that includes industry leaders, publications, job forums or even recruiters. This can also be a great way to stay in the loop regarding recent news or business developments, which might alert you to possible job openings.

Stay Organized
Most Twitter users use it for both personal and professional purposes. If it helps, you can create new lists in which to add people. These lists can be either public or private and you can add as many users to them as you like. Clicking on a list gives you a quick snapshot of tweets from just those added individuals and companies. This can be a great way to help organize the often chaotic and continuously updated feed in the Twittersphere.  

To add or remove people from your lists:

  1. Click the gear icon drop down menu on a user’s profile.
  2. Select Add or remove from lists. …
  3. A pop-up will appear displaying your created lists. …
  4. To check to see if the user you wanted to add was successfully included in that list, navigate to the Lists tab on your profile page.

While it won’t entirely replace all of your standbys, Twitter can be a great addition to your online job/networking search. This website compiled over four-hundred twitter feeds of job opening organized by countries around the world. Give it a scan to get some new ideas. And, while you’re logged in to Twitter, feel free to start following us at @NIH_OITE.