Training Programs and Resources

 

The School of Graduate Studies offers a workshop in Effective Research Mentoring of Undergraduates  

 

This workshop led by Drs. Janet Alder, Evelyn Erenrich, and Xenia Morin use techniques and case studies from the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) to teach PhD students and Postdoctoral Fellows tools and skills to better mentor undergraduate students in a laboratory setting.  Attendees also reflect upon approaches they would use to mentor trainees and employees when they are running a lab or research group in the future. 

 

Attendees will be able to:

1) Define what mentoring is and the different kinds of mentoring

2) Discuss practical ways to mentor an undergraduate

3) Actively analyze case studies

4) Develop follow-up plan of action

Topics and interactive case studies include discussion of the following principles of mentoring:

 

Communication

Managing student projects

Contract for undergrads

Aligning expectations

Fostering independence

Addressing equity and inclusion

Assessing understanding

Promoting professional development and motivation

Dealing with anxiety

 

We have also created a Badge in Mentoring Research Undergraduates that graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who have interest in continuing to learn about mentoring

undergraduates can earn. Participants must complete all of the assignments posted on the Canvas site with a grade of 80% or higher. The badge can be put on your CV and LinkedIn.   

In addition to attending the initial workshop, the assignments to achieve the badge fall under the follow categories:

    • developing a mentoring contract

    • additional case study discussion

    • developing  your own case study

    • mentoring reflection

 


Skills Courses, Resources and Workshops:

Computational Courses

Students in the biomedical science programs in SGS have the opportunity to take computational classes regardless of their specific discipline. This aligns with the goal of the NIH that each graduate program provides training opportunities in addition to their technical courses that equip trainees with quantitative/computational approaches. Towards that end, SGS offers several options: 

1) DataCarpentry Genomics Workshop winter break

This is a 2 day bootcamp. Data Carpentry workshops are for any researcher who has data they want to analyze, and no prior computational experience is required. This hands-on workshop teaches basic concepts, skills and tools for working more effectively with data.  The focuses of this workshop will be working with genomics data, and data management & analysis for genomics research. They will cover metadata organization in spreadsheets, data organization, connecting to and using cloud computing, the command line for sequence quality control and bioinformatics workflows.  For information about the workshop, click here

2) Computational Genomics 16:761:505 (3 credits) Fall

The main focus of this course is to learn R programming and apply it towards analysis of genomic datasets. In this course, we will focus on basics of programming, data wrangling, creating user-defined functions, and exploratory graphical data analysis. The primary data sets considered will contain genome sequences, genome annotations, RNA-seq and/or other expression data from multiple model organisms. For a syllabus of the class,click here

3) Bioinformatics 16:765:585 (3 credits) Fall

This course is designed to introduce experimental biologists to bioinformatics concepts, principles, and techniques within the framework of basic shell scripting and web-based databases/tools. Prior to starting class, students are expected to know how to work in a command-line environment and have a basic understanding of programming/scripting. The course includes a brief introduction to working with UNIX/LINUX systems, writing Python scripts, and automating/using existing applications for the analysis of large datasets. All work will be done in a live development environment. For a syllabus of the class, click here

4) Python Methodologies 16:137:552 (hybrid online and in person) (3 credits)  Fall, Spring and Summer 

This course acts as an introduction to computer programming with the Python programming language.  The basics of imperative programming will be covered as well as selected areas of computer science, object oriented programming and data structures.  Computer programming is about problem solving so we will begin to think about how to solve problems in discrete steps like computers do.  After the beginning of the course, when we have our sea legs, we will begin to introduce ideas from Data Science and use what we have learned about computer programming and problem solving in this area. For a syllabus of the class, click here

5) Summer Workshop Basic Python Programming for the Sciences

Description: This course will teach basic Python programming using the Jupyter notebook platform.  Skills learned in this course will include use of variables, multiple data types, functions, conditional statements, math and Boolean operations, programming with loops, and input/output.

Structure: Each 3-hour class will consist of two sessions separated by a short break, for a total of 8 sessions. Each session will be a short instruction period including live-coding demonstrations followed by in-lab programming.  Homework will be provided for additional practice between classes.

Outcome: Upon completion students will be able to perform simple processing of datafiles such as parsing, filtering, and extracting subsets of data, merging data from multiple files, and processing and analyzing data that is generated in the lab, downloaded from databases, or obtained from a collaborator.  

Workshop Materials: Course materials will be provided by the instructor and will consist of presentation materials and materials freely available on Python instructional websites.

Schedule: This course will meet for eight 90-minute sessions over four days in the summer. Registration for the workshop will be by EventBrite link sent via email in the spring. 

Session 1: Intro to Jupyter Notebook, Basic Unix Commands

Session 2: Variables, Data Types I

Session 3: Data Types II, Conditional Expressions

Session 4: Loops, Complex Code Structure

Session 5: Input/Output

Session 6: String Formulation

Session 7: Writing Functions

Session 8: Putting It All Together

 


Interdisciplinary Job Opportunities for Biomedical Scientists (iJOBs)
The goal of the Rutgers University’s iJOBS Program (interdisciplinary Job Opportunities for Biomedical Scientists) is to expose biomedical PhD students and postdoctoral fellows to the large variety of non-academic career options as well as give them skills useful for academic careers. iJOBS is funded by a grant from the NIH Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training initiative and was established in January 2015 to serve the graduate students and postdocs at both the New Brunswick/Piscataway and Newark Rutgers campuses. There are 4 phases of the iJOBS program. Phase 1, iNQUIRE, is open to anyone who wants to participate and consists of experiential job simulations and career panels covering a range of career paths including, among others, Science & Health Policy, Intellectual Property, Research in Industry and Government, Clinical Trials & Regulatory Affairs, Health & Science Data Analysis, Venture Capital, Finance and Equity Research, Medical Affairs, Science Writing, Science Education, Non Profit, Consulting, Contract Research, and Science Publishing. Trainees also can participate in site visits to industrial partners, networking sessions with professionals, and workshops. SciPhD is an intensive workshop offered over four weekend days focused on enhancing communication, leadership, teamwork, business, negotiation and project management skills. In Phase 2, iNITIATE, ~20 trainees/year formally commit to the iJOBS program and apply to take part in intensive training and coursework for their career track of choice. Industrial partners host unpaid shadowing/externships to allow for real world exposure (total of 72 hours over the course of a semester for observational purposes only) and Individual Development Plans (IDPs) and a mentor pod guide trainee progress. Within Phase 3, iMPLEMENT, trainees prepare for job search and placement. Resume and application packages are honed and interview skills perfected with one-on-one iJOBS coaching. Focused career fairs showcase suitable career opportunities and provide industrial partners access to these professionally competent candidates. Upon successful career placement, iJOBS program alumni are encouraged to share their wisdom with new iJOBS trainees in Phase 4, iNSTRUCT, as they serve as mentors, event hosts and shadow partners. Click here to learn more about iJOBS

Communication Courses

Doctoral students in science disciplines spend countless hours learning how to conduct cutting-edge research, but comparatively little time learning to communicate the nature and significance of their science to people outside their field. To narrow this disparity we created an unusual course titled Communicating Science for doctoral science trainees at Rutgers University. Originally funded by a Burroughs Welcome grant as a pilot course, SGS now offers the course annual.  Our goal is to help students develop an advanced ability to communicate their research clearly and accurately and to emphasize its value and significance to diverse audiences. Course design includes classroom instruction supplemented with improvisation, video recordings, and ample opportunity for students to practice and receive immediate, constructive feedback in a supportive environment.  A multidisciplinary faculty with expertise in science, education, communication, and theater arts teach this course.  The improvisation sections are taken from techniques taught at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.  Students also complete a Capstone project in which they work with a professional in the academic or private sector to explore a possible career aspiration. Assessment is based on class participation, critique and feedback on oral and poster presentations, and written abstracts about their research. Course number -  16:718:560 Click here for course syllabus.

Scientific Writing Course
Rapid advances in methods, analyses and modeling complicate the task faced by researchers across disciplines who must produce clear and coherent scholarly articles that communicate complex material accurately and effectively. This course, Scientific Writing, will focus on learning to write and edit at the level appropriate to the student’s scientific field. 16:186:602:01
Click here to learn more about the course Scientific Writing for the 21st Century

 

Graduate Writing Courses
These small-size and hands-on courses cover different topics including prose style, academic style, writing grants and proposals,writing for publication, and writing for the dissertation. Students must be nominated by their graduate program director for these courses. 
Click here to read the course descriptions


Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Science and Technology
Practical framework for identification and commercialization of technology-intensive commercial opportunities; need/opportunity analysis, competitive analysis, legal protection, marketing, financing, resourcing, and communication of the venture. 16:125:618
Click here to learn more about the Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Science and Technology class

 

Grant Writing Basics: Advanced Topics in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Guidance and practice in writing a biological research grant proposal. Topics include funding agencies, types of grants, forms, budgets, proposal format, and the review process.  Students will be required to write and critique research proposals. Preparation for the writing of the research proposal required as part of the oral preliminary exam. 16:681:601

Advanced Studies in Neuroscience or Psychology to write an NRSA F31 Grant Proposal

The purpose of the course is to facilitate each student's submission of an F31 application for the December. deadline. You should have at least a year (preferably 2-3 years) of graduate training remaining.  Most important, your proposal will need preliminary data so that  reviewers can evaluate the quality of your

proposed training in research. 16:830:504


Statistics Classes
Statistical analyses are important in every area of science and these classes are designed to help both the beginner and the advanced student
Click here to see classes on Rigor and Reproducibility that satisfy NIH requirements.

 

Training in Mentorship Program
The Graduate Mentoring Fellows Program is a year-long program to provide participants with the opportunity to study the functions involved in serving as a good mentor and to work with undergraduates as a mentor for one academic year. 16:186:601/603
Click here to see Training in Mentorship program

GradFund for Graduate Student External Support
GradFund Central is a School of Graduate Studies resource for applying for external merit-based grants and fellowships as a graduate student.  There are resources for helping students write and apply for external funding. 
Click here to view the GradFund website

Rutgers Academy for Scholarship and Learning (RASTL)
The Rutgers Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (RASTL) project provides advanced graduate students with the opportunity to meet monthly with faculty and administrators to review issues related to undergraduate instruction and contemporary higher education.
Click here to view the RASTL website

Teaching Assistant Project (TAP)
TAP is a multi-tiered initiative designed to promote excellence in undergraduate and graduate education at Rutgers, New Brunswick, through the professional development of the graduate student teaching staff. TAP is, by necessity, a flexible endeavor, working to meet the changing needs of teaching assistants. The fundamental components upon which this project is built include the annual orientation, certificate programs and special issues seminars, web-based publications, and discipline-specific training.
Click here to visit the TAP website

BIO Links Program
BIO Links is a teaching K-12 outreach program which allows graduate students and postdocs the opportunity to volunteer in local public schools.  BIO Links volunteers are paired with a science teacher from a local school and make a commitment to visit one class per week for nine weeks. Some past volunteers have decided to continue visiting the classrooms well beyond the nine week commitment.
Contact Dr. Martha Soto for more information sotomc@rwjms.rutgers.edu
Click here to view the Bio Links website

Rutgers Pre-doc Leadership Development Institute (PLDA)
Each year, the PLDA welcomes a select group of Rutgers doctoral students from a broad array of disciplines to its one-year program. Traditional discipline-based doctoral education is devoted to preparing students for careers in scholarship and teaching, but often these future faculty members complete their degree with little preparation for academic and administrative leadership roles in their institutions.  A critical need exists for individuals who also understand the structure and dynamics of colleges and universities, know the challenges these institutions face, and possess the interpersonal and organizational knowledge, competencies and aspirations to provide effective and ethical leadership in addressing the critical issues confronting higher education.
Click here to visit the PLDA website

Internships at the Technology Transfer Office
Along with discovery-based research, Rutgers increasingly engages in commercialization of research through the transfer of new technologies to industry, contributing to the economic development of New Jersey and the nation. Internships in this office expose the student to the process of tech transfer.
Click here to learn more about the internship

Eagleton Institute of Politics Fellowship Program
The Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University offers interdisciplinary fellowships that provide select Rutgers graduate students the opportunity to further their understanding of government, public affairs, and the practice of politics, and connect the fellowship experience to their chosen fields of study. Eagleton fellows work toward their graduate degrees without interruption; the one-year fellowships are designed to complement academic study. During the fall, Fellows enroll in a weekly, three-credit seminar in applied politics. In the spring, Fellows also register for three credits of independent study to work with faculty members in their schools or disciplines, making the connection between their field of academic study and hands-on practical experience in government and politics.
Click here to learn more about the Eagleton Fellowship Program

 

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs 

Graduate students are invited to the career development events organized by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA).  Committed to advancing the University’s mission to conduct cutting-edge research and advanced training, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs supports postdoctoral researchers and their faculty mentors by providing a central hub for professional development opportunities, knowledge sharing, and community building.  Every month we host activities—all dedicated to helping postdocs make the most of their time at Rutgers and prepare them for the next stage of their career.
Click here to learn more about the OPA and their upcoming events.

PhD Career Guide
Developed by one of our graduate students, the PhD Career Guide endeavors to bring to light the many career options available to PhDs, and more importantly, the information necessary to decide which career path would be most rewarding given their particular set of professional interests and career goals. 
Click here to see the PhD Career guide site

Science Careers Online
Science Careers is the careers component of Science that scientists rely on for career information and job postings. Both Science and Science Careers are produced by AAAS, the world’s largest nonprofit membership association for science-related professionals.
Click Here to view the Science Careers Web site

New York Academy of Sciences
Graduate students get free membership to the New York Academy of Sciences. You will receive an email with your membership information. Many programs, webinars and workshops are offered for graduate students and postdocs to enhance career development.
Click here to learn more about Science Alliance.

The National Academies
Provides reports on career trends, employment information and science policy information.
Click Here to browse the National Academies Web site

Professional Science Master's Program

The Master of Business & Science degree (MBS) is part of the national Professional Science Master’s degree program, designed to provide academically rigorous, job focused  graduate education that can help you launch – or accelerate – your career in a science or engineering industry. It combines a Master’s of Science with hands-on learning, business courses and networking opportunities in a flexible format customized to your career goals. Click here to learn more about the degrees offered.

 

 

 

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