Bioprofessionals Program

The flagship career development program of the IBiS Graduate Program is BioProfessionals. The program is co-sponsored by Life Sciences graduate programs and departments at Northwestern University, including DGP, IBiS, NUIN, the Department of Molecular Biosciences, and the Department of Neurobiology.  Events are held on both the Chicago and Evanston campuses, generally in the fall and spring quarters with 1-2 events for each track sponsored each quarter. Programming is coordinated between the two campuses, but often repeats on both campuses either annually or biannually. BioProfessionals is comprised of three tracks of programming:

BioOpportunities: Individual events intended to introduce students to the variety of careers available to Life Sciences PhDs. Alumni and other professionals are invited to campus to talk about their careers in areas such as: biotech/pharmaceuticals, science communication, law/intellectual property, consulting, etc. Events are often co-sponsored by training programs, such as Cellular and Molecular Basis of Disease and Molecular Biophysics, to allow a wider range of careers to be discussed.

BioSurvival Skills: Workshops in this series serve two purposes:

  1. To train successful PhD students through workshops on presentation skills, writing grant applications, etc.
  2. To prepare students for their future job search by introducing them to job hunting resources, resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, networking, etc. 

Pathway to the Professoriate is a forum to discuss issues important for successful academic careers. Discussion topics include choosing a postdoc, applying for faculty positions, interviewing, startup package negotiations, and the tenure process. Different types of academic positions (at community colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, research I universities, etc.) are  discussed to help students identify their ideal academic career path.

Recent Topics


  • Careers in data science
  • Careers in life sciences consulting
  • Careers in science policy

BioSurvival Skills

  • Improving presentation skills
  • Applying for grants
  • Networking and informational interviewing
  • Exploring STEM careers
  • Writing effective CVs/resumes and cover letters

Pathway to the Professoriate

  • Finding a postdoctoral fellowship position
  • Applying for faculty positions
  • Startup package negotiations
  • Insights from a successful job search
  • Lab management, leadership, and mentoring