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Monday, April 24, 2017
4th Annual BEST Symposium May 3 & 4 in G10 Biotech

The BEST symposium will present a wide range of tools, mentors, opportunities and other resources you draw from to make informed decisions about your career.

The program contains panel discussions about careers in Science Communication; Science Policy; Governance, Risk & Compliance; Industry, Entrepreneurship & Management. It also contains a mentor-trainee discussion session to explore ways of engaging your PI with your career project. Lunch will be held in small groups with


Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Chronicle features BEST Program

See for more information.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
BESTie Elvis Cao wins 2017 SigmaXi grad division

BESTie Xiangkun Elvis Cao was chosen by the scientific research honor society SigmaXi as the 2017 Graduate Division winner of the student research showcase for his work in David Erickson's lab on the Feverphone. His communication skills (recognized by the 3MT People's Choice award) earned him the top slot and brought him to the attention of the organizers of the 9th annual Biotechnology Symposium on May 19 & 20 who have invited him to join a panel of expert communicators to discuss the


Thursday, April 13, 2017
ASAP sends busload of students to Science March

For researchers interested in the intersection of science and policy, this trip, organized by graduate students Sabrina Solouki and Charlotte Levy, will give a voice to and engage ASAP members in the policy making process while educating the public about the role of scientific input in advancing society. Timed for Earth Day, April 22, the March for Science is a national non-partisan effort to defend the vital public service role science plays in our communities and our world. Since the


Monday, April 10, 2017
Call for Bloggers

The NIH Extracellular RNA Communication Program is seeking trainee writers for their blog series about novel developments in the field of extracellular RNA communication. This program is looking for trainees interested in scientific communication and outreach careers to serve as writers (see flyer)

If you are interested in this opportunity, please send the following to Rebecca Lenzi and Dena Procaccini by April 24.

Area of Expertise (i.e


Monday, April 10, 2017
Non-Academic Career Symposium

On March 13-15, the Graduate School in partnership with the BEST Program brought 26 doctoral students to Washington D.C. to explore careers in government, attend panels with alumni involved in a range of disciplines and non-academic employment sectors, and participate in various networking events.  BESTies who took part in the symposium are:  Aaron Joiner (BMCB), Michael McCoy & Nashaat Rasheed (Biomedical Engineering), Bo Yang (Mechanical Engineering), Mariely Medina-


Monday, April 10, 2017
OADI Honors Award Nomination Open

Please nominate fellow students, grad mentors, student organizations, staff, faculty, and alumni for this year’s OADI awards.  We have 10 awards and hope to have a large pool of nominations to select from

Nomination submissions due Wednesday, April 19

Description and Nomination Forms:

Undergraduate Student Awards
Undergraduate Student Organization Award
Graduate Mentor and Assistant Awards
Faculty Award (non-OADI)
Staff Award
Alumnus/a Award OADI Honors 2017 


Tuesday, April 04, 2017
AAAS Science and Technology Policy Forum

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of establishing connections and networking as early as possible during your career training. Attending events which will expose you to fields you are considering as possible career opportunities is a great way to start. BESTies Kasey Schalich, and Cassandra Orndorff, Animal Science, received BEST funds to attend the AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy in Washington D.C. on March 27-28 to learn about science policy and make connections. See


Friday, March 31, 2017
BESTies compete in 3MT

February was a busy month for the 35 applicants to the Three Minute Thesis competition at Cornell. Many of them are associated with the BEST Program, and all have worked hard to perfect their TED-style talk to summarize their thesis work "in an engaging form that can be understood by an intelligent audience with no background in the research area. This exercise develops presentation, research and academic communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to


Thursday, March 30, 2017
BEST April Newsletter

Ethan Sanford has published the April BEST Newsletter. Glance at a list of BEST April events highlights and news about our program.

See all past newsletters here.


Monday, March 20, 2017
BESTies complete Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

The BEST Program in partnership with Binghamton University's Watson School of Engineering offered the opportunity to register and complete the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training. Six BESTies took advantage and received their diplomas this Spring:  David Lynch, Materials Science and Engineering; Yifan Cheng, Food Science; Oriana Teran, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology; Mohammad Haft-Javaherian, Biomedical Engineering, Juan Wang and Hansen Xu, Molecular Biology and Genetics.


Thursday, March 16, 2017
Opportunity for graduate student research

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is accepting applications. Applications are due May 16, 2017.

SCGSR prepares graduate students for STEM careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission, by providing graduate thesis research opportunities at DOE laboratories.

The SCGSR program provides supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to pursue part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory in areas


Wednesday, March 15, 2017
NBA 5770 Entrepreneurship in Creative Industries

This new entrepreneurship class starts next week March 22 and meets 2:55-5:40 every Wednesday. (1.5 credits)

Open to graduate students. This course will accommodate postdocs, but please contact the instructor, Mukti Khaire beforehand.

See syllabus for more details.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Do you need career skills? AAAS Can help.

The AAAS Career Development Center bridges professional and academic gaps with flexible, on-demand courses that focus on networking, presenting, proposal writing, policy fundamentals and more. Sign up by May 31, 2017.


Thursday, March 02, 2017
BEST March Newsletter

Read the BEST March Newsletter to learn about events and BEST program highlights and news.

See past newsletters

Thursday, March 02, 2017
Networking for chemical biologists

Thanks to the organizational capabilities of Michael Lynch, we had a very engaging audience today from the Chemistry-Biology Interface training grant group which is led by Professor Hening Lin. Made up of chemists, biologists, and chemical engineers, we all enjoyed hearing elevator pitches about everyone's research and motivation for why to get out of bed every morning to go to the lab.

We practiced networking (with some tips for those of us who are introverts) and decided we'd sit next to


Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Science policy conference broadens BESTies views about this career field

BESTies Robert MacDonald, Environmental Toxicology, and Steve Halaby, Molecular Biology & Genetics, Charlotte Levy, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, and Leah Pagnozzi, Biomedical Engineering, attended the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston on February 15-20.

I have been interested in science policy for some time now, and have participated in several events (i.e. CASE, guest speakers), but this was the first conference geared towards science policy that I have attended. At the AAAS


Tuesday, February 21, 2017
VET School Trainee Bloggers Wanted

Are you a PhD, DVM or postdoc trainee in the vet school?

Develop your science writing skills for your resume/CV and help showcase Cornell vet school research advances, clinical cases and potential applications for improving the health and well-being of animals and people. Great practice for building business, learning ways to communicate your research and... it's fun!

The audience is prospective students and researchers internal and external to the college, and will have a basic


Friday, February 10, 2017
Cornell and P&G working together to build a new model for PhD recruiting

Read the feedback and summary of the BEST P&G on-site visit to Procter & Gamble's headquarters in Cincinnati, OH on January 9/10.  Participation was limited to poster winners from three select fields with whom P&G has historically recruited, plus select BESTies who applied with interest in a career in industry and how they might be a good fit for P&G.

Selected to participate were (pictured l to r) Ornella Nelson (Chemistry & Chemical Biology), Erik


Thursday, February 09, 2017
Host a Policy Maker

ASAP (Advancing Science And Policy)  has begun planning an unprecedented project entitled "Take a Politician to Work Day," in order to forge new ties and relationships with local and state politicians. The goal is to engage with officials and staffers of New York and Ithaca by providing tailored lab tours to showcase all the impressive research occurring on campus. During this event, not only will students get the chance to discuss their research, but we will also get to hear


Wednesday, February 01, 2017
February 2017 Newsletter

Read the the February newsletter to learn about BEST news and upcoming events.

See all past newsletters here.


Wednesday, February 01, 2017
Should I do a postdoc? discussion and feedback valuable for trainees

The BEST Program's goal is to broaden our participants career options, and in collaboration with the Office of Postdoctoral Studies and CU-CIRTL, organized "Should I do a postdoc?" on February 1, 2016.

Attendees at "Should I do a postdoc?" were not disappointed with their time spent at the recent seminar and panel discussion. Michael Roach gave a compelling talk about his research on the topic of career choices recently published in Science. (See


Tuesday, January 31, 2017
BESTie completes Medical Device Quality Assurance Certificate

Funded by the BEST Program, BESTie Mary Clare McCorry, Biomedical Engineering,  completed this certification program.

"I attended this online course to learn more about regulation of medical devices. This course helped me gain a broad understanding of the regulatory process for medical devices. I now feel more confident in using regulatory language, and I think this knowledge will be very useful in my job application and interview process as well as continue to be relevant in


Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Kudos to students in Natural Resources

Cat Sun

A student in Angela Fuller's lab, Cat Sun, was awarded the Best Presentation award at the Department of Natural Resources 2017 Symposium  an entirely student run annual event. She is developing an app "I See Mammals" that is helping to integrate data (both presence and absence) to aid in bear conservation and wildlife practices in general in NY state. It is a great citizen science project!

In addition, Toby Holda (an MS candidate) and Ellen George (PhD student in


Friday, January 20, 2017
Careers in Data Science

Following David Drummond's presentation about the Insight Data Science application process, a Cornell BESTie was awarded an Insight Health Data Science Fellowship. If you are wrestling with the idea of a career in data science, here is an article you might want to read:

Explosion of Big Data Jobs: These Biotechs Are Hiring Huge Numbers of Data Scientists

Aditya Basrur provides a list of nine areas in biotechnology where data scientists are employed. It’s probably just


Tuesday, January 17, 2017
BEST Careers in ...Science Policy - Rocco Casagrande talk

Rocco Casagrande, Cornell alumnus (Tim Huffaker's lab) gave a talk on science policy and its role in government on January 10, 2016. He served as a BEST mentor for Alex Coots who did a BESTernship at Gryphon Scientific in Bethesda. Their work led to recommendations on guidance released just yesterday on a review process for risky virus studies.  Use this link to view the slides of this talk.

This is what participants have to say:

"I learned more about a career topic I was


Sunday, January 08, 2017
ASAP website gets facelift, starts blog

BESTies team up to take the organization founded by Chelsea Gregg to a new level. ASAP (Advancing Science And Policy) new leadership group is:

President: Sabrina Solouki, Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Vice President: Charlotte Levy, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Secretary: Kelson Zaweck, Computational Biology
Communications: Juan Guzman, Biological and Environmental Engineering
E Board: Ismail El Baggari, Physics
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Chris Schaffer

The website got a


Friday, January 06, 2017
The top BESTimonial for 2016

We appreciate hearing how the BEST Program has influenced the career goals for our participants, and we want to share what we received from BESTie Hansen Xu, Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology:

I began exploring the possibility of having a career outside of science after graduation in my third year. After some research, it became apparent that in order to make myself competitive for the job market in the field I wanted to be in, work experience was absolutely necessary since I would


Thursday, December 22, 2016
December-January BEST Newsletter

BESTie, Ethan Sanford, has taken over as the BEST newsletter Editor.  Welcome Ethan!  Read and enjoy the December-January newsletter.

A heartfelt thanks to Victor Aguilar who initiated and wrote our newsletter for a little over a year.  See all past newsletters here.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Cornell postdoc alumna urges scientists to get active in policymaking

Since the election, it appears that science and scientific evidence is at risk of falling by the wayside. That is, unless scientists activate. Cornell's BEST Program is here to help you get the tools you need to be effective at advocating for science.

Cornell postdoc alumna Catharine Young co-created Chris Schaffer's Science Policy Bootcamp course and is now walking the walk. She shared via TED Fellows her take on what we can do right now, starting with contacting your representatives. Her


Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Charles Hamilton shares his experiences as an entrepreneur

Rick Wang, Charles Hamilton and Levon AtoyanThis month's Navigating Your Future: BEST Careers in.. Industry, Entrepreneurship and Management talk featured Charles Hamilton, BEST mentor, who has helped several companies based on Cornell technologies (and started by PhDs) grow and acquire funding in their early stages.

As President of Novomer, he helped them acquire $6.6Million in a series A round of investments led by Physic Ventures and Flagship Ventures. He was at the helm as they grew from 2 employees to over 20. We went on to co-found


Monday, November 21, 2016
2016 TIBBS Career Blitz

Cornell BEST teamed up with BEST colleagues at UNC to provide an opportunity for BESTies to participate in their TIBBS (Training Initiatives in Biomedical Biological Sciences) Career Blitz on Nov. 15 and an ELITE (Enhancing Local Industry Transitions Through Exploration) PPD Site Visit in the morning of Nov. 16. ELITE is a collaborative effort from NIEHS and Duke University to visit local biomedical companies.

The Career Blitz involved over 20 PhD-trained scientists from different career paths


Saturday, November 19, 2016
Entrepreneurship Summit NYC 2106

BESTies, Colin Jermain, Physics, and Ruisheng Wang and Tiffany St. Bernard from Biomedical Engineering, attended the Entrepreneurship Summit 2016  hosted by Entrepreneurship at Cornell on November 4 in New York City. The one day event was filled with opportunities to network, hear speakers and learn! This what our BESTies shared about their experience:

At the Entrepreneurship Summit I had the opportunity to meet people from entrepreneurs to venture capitalists, and these


Thursday, November 17, 2016
Knowledge and skills used in a non-profit setting

A discussion on “Career Paths in Research-driven Non-Profits – An Opportunity for Young Scientists?”

Victoria Miller, CEO and Founding Executive Director of the Trisomy 18 Foundation, gave an impassioned speech about career opportunities for young scientists in Research-driven Non-Profits.

Using the example of her own foundation (, Victoria Miller explained the contrast of cultures between basic research and non-profit science programs. Punctuated with


Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Want to expand your career opportunities? The BEST program can help.

BESTie Melissa Ledet, Comparative Biomedical Sciencesreceived BEST funding and completed the Good Clinical Practices Online Course and Certificate. Read her testimonial and what she got out of the course:

The Good Clinical Practices course is very easy and straightforward, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in regulatory work like clinical trial management. The course requires little time commitment and allows you to submit assignments at your convenience. The downside to


Thursday, November 10, 2016
2016 AIMBE Public Policy Institute

The 2016 AIMBE Public Policy Institute was held in Washington DC on October 24th and 25th. The two-day workshop featured policy and regulatory science experts from government and industry. There were also panelists that recently completed a year-long postdoctoral fellowship at the FDA and currently work in policy in various capacities.

Cornell BESTies and biomedical engineers Frank He and Michael McCoy, both of whom have a strong interest in public policy and science communication, were in


Friday, November 04, 2016
GSK's Kent Göklen shares industry insights

With 21 years at Merck, retiring as Senior Scientific Director of Biopurification Development, and several years in his current role as Director of Downstream Process Development at GlaxoSmithKline Biopharm R&D, alumnus Kent Göklen shared his insights on a career in industry with PhD students interested in a wide array of areas. Attendees were from Biomedical Engineering, Physics, Genetics, Plant Biology, Environmental Engineering, Food Science and beyond.

On careers



Thursday, November 03, 2016
BEST participates in Town-Gown Resource Fair

Cornell's BEST Program was one of many resources showcased at the recent Town-Gown Resource Fair held November 2.

Read the Pawprint article here. See the coverage in the Picture Cornell Slideshow for the week.


Tuesday, November 01, 2016
November BEST Newsletter

We invite you to read this month's news and to peruse the upcoming slate of events.

See all past newsletters here.


Monday, October 31, 2016
Prioritize your skill development time

This Halloween, instead of turning into a ghoul, BEST recommends pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone via exposure to business and management skills, useful in whatever career you will end up in. A good investment of your STEM PhD and postdoc time. We suggest to prioritize your professional development goals on an equal level with your research goals. Incorporate these skills into your individual development plan. They might even help you achieve your research goals faster!



Wednesday, October 26, 2016
BESTie completes MIT certificate course for Big Data and Social Analytics

Jessica Duke (Chemistry and Chemical Biology) received support from the BEST Program to complete this 8-week online course.

Read her review and feedback here. Congratulations Jessica!


Monday, October 24, 2016
BEST Program contributes to Quality of Grad Student Life

The GPCI (Graduate and Professional Community Initiative) was created in 2013 by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly. The GPCI is a framework for strategic discussions to identify and address issues related to graduate and professional student life. The below report (October 2016) is organized by topic areas identified in the 2013 initiative. The report covers:

Advancements in the Quality of Graduate Student Life in Recent Years

Student Center
Sense of Community


Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Apply to Become a AAAS Fellow!

AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) provide scientists, social scientists, engineers, and health/medical professionals a unique opportunity to contribute to federal policymaking in Washington DC . American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Policy fellows gain hands-on policy experience, help develop and execute solutions to address societal challenges, and become a member of a strong and influential network of 3,000+ fellows. Application


Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Why should you step out of your comfort zone?

BESTie Zhengchun Lu (Baker Institute) will tell you why...  Funded by the BEST Program, Zhengchun attended the 2016 BIO International Convention and experienced first hand what it means to be in a non-academic environment with BIO industry leaders and thousands of attendees.

See the BIO 2016 Infographic: 40% C-level attendees; 1800 exhibitors; 192 company presentations; 35,700 one-on-one partnering meetings!

"As the largest meeting of Biotechnology, the 15,000 attendees to


Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Cornell BEST Program


Have you considered a career beyond academia?

Learn what the BEST program is all about, how we are changing the culture, and what BEST trainees, faculty and guest speakers have to say about taking charge of one's career future. Click on the image to see the slide presentation.



Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Product Management Training Program

See more info: Product Management Training Program

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
What is a Data Scientist?

David Drummond, a PhD in Physics, is now Director of Data Engineering at Insight Data Science.  The information session about Careers in Data Science included how he transitioned from his academic field to the field of a Data Scientist.   Students who were present had lots of questions about this exciting and challenging field and how they can apply to the fellowships Insight offers.  If you missed the session, here are the presentation slides

We asked students what


Friday, October 07, 2016
October BEST Newsletter


Tuesday, September 20, 2016
The most important things I learned today

in Navigating Your Future: BEST Careers in...Governance, Risk and Compliance

"I learned about contacts right here on campus that can help me with the next phase of my career exploration."

"I learned the real importance of finding the buzzwords to make your resumé fit - and how to think about my transferrable skills in those words."

"I learned the importance of how you market yourself. We are constantly surrounded by super-smart people. Sometimes it is nice


Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Waiting for perfect

"I have come to believe that the quest for perfect is an empty hunt. There is no such thing as a perfect career, a perfect time to do something or a perfect opportunity. Every career comes with its own dose of hardship, and every opportunity is what you make of it."

Read BESTie Divya Shiroor's last NIH Blog. Divya is a PhD student in Biological and Biomedical Sciences. This is her last entry in a six month journey. Thank you Divya!!


Monday, September 19, 2016
Finding your Scientific Voice participants' take aways and an award!

 What is the most important knowledge or skill you gained?

"How to defeat the curse of knowledge and make my research accessible for the general public by making simple changes in my presentation."
"How to compartmentalize portions of my talk to tell a better story. Beginnings are very important too."
"I learned more about my research by making it concise and clear to the audience."
"Ability to express myself and methods of framing my research story


Thursday, September 15, 2016
Gregg Awarded AIMBE Scholarship

BESTie Chelsea Gregg has been selected for the prestigious American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) award for post-doctoral scholars to combine regulatory and policy expertise at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

AIMBE is an honorific society of the top 2% of medical and biological engineers responsible for medical discovery and innovation. For more details please visit

Excerpts from the Press Release (to read it in full, see


Saturday, September 10, 2016
September BEST Newsletter


Tuesday, September 06, 2016
BEST Summer School with Tokyo Institute of Technology

BEST trainees stretch interdisciplinary skills, cross cultural divides

Three Cornell graduate students participated last week in an international summer school co-organized by the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Cornell's BEST Program. Finding common ground to broaden experiences in scientific training, the two universities joined at the Weill Cornell Medicine campus in NYC to foster cross-cultural communication and teamwork across disciplines. The Tokyo Tech ACLS (Academy of Computational


Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Biological and Biomedical Sciences Symposium connects participants

The 15th annual student run BBS Symposium was a resounding success. This year's theme: "Connect, Collaborate, Create." encouraged participants to use their skills to reach across disciplines and jargon to learn from each other. New sessions included breakfast breakouts to learn about careers, clubs, techniques, and tips for navigating your first year as a PhD student. A dynamic poster session prompted students to use '3 Minute Thesis' skills and a networking lunch ensured great


Friday, August 19, 2016
Slides for Building Professional Relationships available

Slides from the presentation by BEST & ASBMB on "Building Professional Relationships: Pragmatic advice for the human scientist" are now available. This concludes the three part summer series hosted by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) program. 


Tuesday, August 02, 2016
BEST Newsletter August 2016


Read the August Newsletter to news about our program and see upcoming events.

See the archive of all BEST Newsletters here.

Questions or comments about the newsletter, please contact the newsletter editor.


Saturday, July 30, 2016
Is Lean Six Sigma Certification for you?

BESTies Victoria Sorg (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), and Zhengchun Lu (Baker Institute) have earned Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification awarded by Binghamton University's Watson School of Engineering.  Read below what they have to say about their experience, and their advice if you are considering taking this course.

"The Lean Six Sigma management is a commonly used technique to improve process efficiency and reduce waste in manufacturing and


Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Crossing the finish line

 "We as graduate students can do plenty to strive for a healthy work-life balance from the get-go. While graduate school gives us all the training we need to succeed academically, no one teaches us the importance of taking care of ourselves."

Read Divya Shiroor's latest contribution to the NIH BEST blog.  Divya is a BEST Trainee and first year PhD student in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program who was selected among two dozen applicants across the 17


Friday, July 15, 2016
BESTies attend MSL conference

What is an MSL? A medical science liaison.  If you love science communication, this career might be for you. Here's more insight from BESTies Ezen Choo (Molecular Medicine), Jocelyn  Wang (Pharmacology), and Jocelyn Marshall (Biomedical Engineering) who attended the MSL trainee conference in Atlanta.

"The opportunity to attend the first ever Medical Science Liaison Society's Candidate Career Conference was phenomenal. Although I brought a healthy dose of


Wednesday, July 06, 2016
BEST Newsletter July 2016


Read this month's newsletter to see upcoming events in July and news about our program.

See the archive of all BEST Newsletters here.

Questions or comments about the newsletter, please contact the editor.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016
The Career Conundrum

Read the latest NIH BEST blog by BESTie Divya Shiroor and her view on changing career paths.

"What makes this such a hard decision for so many people? For starters, I feel like a majority of us that embark on a Ph.D. begin with the notion of chasing the ultimate dream of a tenured professor in a big research institution. We are often trained with this outlook and it seeps into our psyche. When I was transitioning from veterinarian to researcher, I was doing it with the academic end in mind


Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Slides available from Careers in Industry webinar

The ASBMB-BEST Careers in Industry webinar slides are now available for download at: Attendees from 26 states and three countries were mostly graduate students and postdocs (37% each). 88% rated the webinar as good or excellent, with the most comments indicating they liked the Q&A session and panelists' advice the best.

"The conversational tone made the topics very approachable, and the different perspectives of the people in the discussion were very valuable."


Monday, June 13, 2016
Regeneron Science to Medicine Forum

A new initiative, the Regeneron Science to Medicine Forum, was held for the very first time in 2016 all day on Friday, June 10.

Several BESTies were selected to participate: congratulations to Siddarth Chandrasekaran (Chemistry and Chemical Biology), Madhura Raghavan (Genetics, Genomics and Development), Evgeniya Nazarova (Microbiology and Immunology), and Jianjun Xie (Biomedical Sciences).

Regeneron gets frequent requests from local academic institutions to bring cohorts of graduate


Friday, June 10, 2016
Cornell BEST talk science policy in Washington, D.C.

Select BEST trainees who took Chris Schaffer's Science Policy Bootcamp course traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with federal legislators and advocate for science.

Read the Cornell Chronicle article here. "A group of Cornell graduate students and postdocs with an interest in science policy visited Washington, D.C., June 9 with Chris Schaffer, associate professor of biomedical engineering.

Schaffer, who spent a year on Capitol Hill as an American Association for the Advancement of


Wednesday, June 01, 2016
BEST Newsletter June 2016

Read this month's newsletter to see a summary of upcoming June events and news about our program. In addition, registration has just opened today for the joint ASBMB-BEST summer webinar series. The first one is June 14 and is on Careers in Industry.

See the archive of all BEST Newsletters here. Questions or comments about the newsletter, please contact the editor.



Thursday, May 26, 2016
BESTies to commercialize their research

The six new Commercialization Fellows will bring entrepreneurship and innovation together with engineering to test the business side of science. Read the full Chronicle article at the link below.  

Two of the fellows are active BESTies: Mitchell Ishmael, and Madhur Srivastava.

Congratulate them if you see them!

Read the Graduate School Spotlights on all of the Commercialization Fellows:

Madhur Srivastava:


Thursday, May 26, 2016
Fraternizing with failure

Divya Shiroor's latest NIH BEST blog is an insightful and candid perspective on how to face and deal with failure.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016
BEST Day in Albany

A select group of BESTies traveled to Albany to learn more about state-level policymaking and advocacy. See the event description.

See the summary by Sabrina Solouki and Susi Varvayanis which describes some hits and misses, the long and short on the New York State Department of Health, and some inspiration and power.


Monday, May 23, 2016
BEST Program at the Biotechnology Symposium

The BEST Program was represented this year at the 8th Annual Biotechnology Symposium by Susi Varvayanis, BEST Program Senior Director, and BESTies Kathleen Hefferon (Nutritional Sciences), and Bhavya Sridhar (Comparative Biomedical Sciences).  

Kathleen Hefferon's abstract was chosen in the Biotechnology & Health session for an oral presentation on "Plant-derived Pharmaceuticals for Developing Countries". See list of speakers here.

Bhavya Sridhar was an


Friday, May 20, 2016
BESTie alumnus Darvin Griffin named one of the nation's top engineers

Darvin J. Griffin, PhD 16, Biomedical engineering researcher at Bonassar Research Group, is one of 12 engineers recognized as one of the nation's top young engineers by DiscoverE. See the full feature article in the May 16 issue What's is Hot magazine p. 16, and congratulate him if you see him.


Thursday, May 05, 2016
Invited speaker recruits BESTies to test policymaking waters

As an outcome of Charles Kruzansky's and Zoe Nelson's visit to campus they have created a job offering for you to test the waters in policymaking prior to committing to a career in this area from June 2016 to May 2017, to fill in for Zoe Nelson while she is on maternity leave. Title: STATE RELATIONS ASSOCIATE in University Relations. More info on the position description here

With direction from Associate Vice President, work on various projects:

College Affordability Report


Sunday, May 01, 2016
BEST Newsletter May 2016

Get (more) involved in Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training to become your BEST. Read our May newsletter to see a highlight of upcoming events and deadlines and to read about recent successes. Interested in Science Policy; Science Communication; Industry, Entrepreneurship and Management; Consulting or beyond? Check out the resources found on our website: Join the Cornell_BEST LinkedIn group, follow us on Twitter @Cornell_BEST and start or update your


Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Be Your Own Cartographer

NIH BEST blogger and Cornell BESTie Divya Shiroor shares the value, importance, and reasons why she chose to make an individual development plan long before looking for a job. A first year PhD student in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program, Divya was selected from applicants across the 17 institution BEST consortium to share her experiences 'as they happen' with others early in their graduate career and professional development training. Read her latest blogpost below.



Friday, April 22, 2016
Cornell brings its BEST to national science policy workshop

BESTies Charlotte Levy, ecol. & evol. biol. and Steve Halaby, molecular biol. & genetics, were selected to represent Cornell as one of over 50 institutions nationwide who participated in the AAAS Making our CASE Workshop held in Washington, DC, from April 17-19, 2016. They joined a dozen Cornellians in Washington D.C. for Hill visits the following day (see the "Cornell graduate students march on Washington" Chronicle article here).

The two and a half-day CASE workshop,


Friday, April 22, 2016
Lab Crawl

The Graduate School invited BESTies to host a visit to their lab for a show-and-tell, mini-TEDtalk about their science and research, possible demonstrations and a Q&A. Small groups of grad students were welcomed to this 'Lab Crawl' where two labs were on tour within an hour, followed by further interdisciplinary discussions over food and beverages at the Big Red Barn.

BESTie Dario Mizrachi, a postdoc in the DeLisa Research Group in Chemistry and Biomolecular Engineering led a crawl tour


Wednesday, April 20, 2016
#1 skill, perspective shift, & money: the bottom line in science policy

Three panelists with a passion for science policy shared their perspectives and advice with a broad audience of grad students and postdocs who are interested in learning more about how to incorporate their budding enthusiasm for translating their research to policymakers.

Carrie Wolinetz started out as a zookeeper. Following her passion and a natural career progression, she majored in Animal Science at Cornell as an undergraduate. It wasn't until her stint studying lemurs at the Duke Primate


Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Preparing PhDs for a Range of Career Paths

"...BEST encourages students to work with mentors in a variety of areas and contexts. Not only will students receive the highest standard of technical and research training, but they will benefit from career and professional development, along with experiential opportunities that will make them more attractive to future employers."
See the full article featured in the Spring 2016 Graduate School Newsletter.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Reflections on building a career in pharma (Novartis)

Carlo Nalin has worked in five different areas during his tenure at Novartis, moving from research and discovery to project management, to drug development, to the regulatory side in safety and efficacy, and to executive management. His advice and perspectives on the skills needed along the way were invaluable to a packed audience of grad students and postdocs filled with questions on how they can acquire the experience needed to get their foot in the door to an industrial career.

His slide


Monday, April 11, 2016
Catalyzing the Modernization of Graduate Education

Avery August presents a poster at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Symposium on Catalyzing the Modernization of Graduate Education, entitled "Integrating career development and graduate training at Cornell University: A BEST example."


It is increasingly being recognized that a small proportion of current biomedical graduate students and postdoctoral trainees will find careers as academic scientists. This has emphasized the need to provide trainees


Monday, April 04, 2016
BEST newsletter for April


Thursday, March 31, 2016
Science benefits from early business input

Cornell BEST Trainees Sarah Adeyemo, Andrew Gipson, Colin Jermain, Jin Liang, Paméla Nasr, Lanre Omotayo, Mitch Pender, and Madhur Srivastava contributed to the 2016 Ithaca Pre-Seed Workshop teams. By helping consider the potential commercial applications of the research-based ideas, these graduate students and postdocs are getting a feel for whether they would want to be involved in entrepreneurial efforts in their future careers. In addition, they put into practice broad scientific


Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Improv Workshop is for scientists too!

BESTie Sri Raj, postdoc in Molecular Biology and Genetics, attended the six hour Improv Workshop on March 12. This workshop was the presented by Erica Marx, Cornell Alumni , NYS certified conflict mediator and adjunct faculty at Ithaca College.

"I absolutely recommend the class. There were only a few people there from all different backgrounds, and no one from Cornell BEST, but I really think we can benefit from these types of classes. As scientists we are taught to be critical


Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Blogging about science and career development

A Cornell BEST trainee was selected from among two dozen applicants for the NIH BEST consortium blog. Graduate student Divya Shiroor, first year in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program, kicks it off with her first piece entitled:


The PhD/Postdoc blog series features two scientists at different stages of career development as they explore and plan for their next steps.  Over the course of six months, Lydia Morris and Divya Shiroor&


Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Jocelyn Marshall completes Good Clinical Practices Course

Congratulations to BESTie, Jocelyn Marshall, for completing the Good Clinical Practices Course.

 "I recently completed the online course in Good Clinical Practices offered through Technology Ed. The course was held in 9 modules, each with a brief homework assignment reviewing the material covered in the module as well as a final exam that brought together all the knowledge learned in the course. The course covered the ethical and legal practices for clinical research as well as


Wednesday, March 16, 2016
It is time for PhDs to lean in!

Pamela NasrPamela NasrPhD Candidate at Cornell University (as posted at the BEST LinkedIn Group)

Three years ago, I received an email about a pilot program targeting advanced degree candidates interested in alternative careers. At that point in time, I had no idea what "alternative" entailed, yet I was intrigued. I filled out a survey, and within a few weeks, I was a so-called "BESTie". That was a turning point in my life as a graduate student as I realized the breadth


Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship Trek

The BEST Program and the College of Engineering sponsored students to participate in a Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship Trek organized by Michael Roach, the Clark Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and took place March 6-8 to expose PhDs to various companies and organizations, including university spinouts, incubators/accelerators, venture capitalists, and large innovative firms. The event included a full day of site visits and a


Thursday, March 03, 2016
Read how we are rethinking PhD training

and how they are sculpting their futures in “One BEST Opportunity Leads to Another



Wednesday, March 02, 2016
BEST Newsletter March 2016

BEST Newsletter March 2016 by Victor Aguilar, Ph.D. student in the Cosgrove Laboratory, Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering. The newsletters will be archived here: See the archive of all BEST Newsletters.



Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Networking and Careers in Physics Beyond the Lab

From data management to publishing in physics journals, participants interested in careers and skills beyond the lab learned what it takes to be a successful graduate student in physics, and how to translate their skills to entice future employers to hire them. 

After a brief overview and collective definition of networking and why it might be important to your career, participants rolled up their sleeves to give it a try. The first pairwise introductions were flat and uninformative, e.g.


Friday, February 12, 2016
Tips for BEST careers in Governance, Risk and Compliance

The most recent Careers for PhDs in Governance, Risk and Compliance panel discussion revealed varying perspectives on the way graduate students can use their skills in fields beyond academia. Sharing their personal stories and generous advice, alumnae Eldora Ellison, Director in the Biotech/Chemical and Litigation Practice Groups at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein, Fox and Amy Godert, Associate Director of Cornell's Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), along with Colleen McLinn,


Monday, February 08, 2016
Communicating your passion

The weekend science communication workshop, Comm5660, kicked off with a personal and informative panel discussion by four experienced women who are involved in science education and outreach to the public, science writing for a predominantly alumni audience, freelance writing for the public, and who shared their passion for the field. Michelle Kortenaar, Director of Education, Sciencenter @SciencenterLinda Rayor, Entomology, founder of Insectapalooza @


Friday, February 05, 2016
Boston Entrepreneurial Ecosystem trip

The BEST Program joined the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management for The Boston Entrepreneurial Ecosystem trip which took place January 21 & 22 in the Kendall Square area of Cambridge, home to MIT and dozens of start-ups and leading technology firms in the life sciences, energy, software, IT, nanotechnology, and more.  The tour was co-organized by Michael Roach, the Clark Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Dyson School of Applied Economics and


Tuesday, February 02, 2016
BEST Newsletter February 2016

BEST Newsletter February 2016 will be archived here: See the archive of all BEST Newsletters.



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Time to sign up for interns

Entrepreneurship at Cornell's thriving summer internship program connects students with small to mid-sized employers throughout the U.S. and abroad. The experiences help prepare our next generation of Cornell business leaders, innovators, creators and entrepreneurs. Companies and students can sign up here.

For additional internship opportunities at large biotech and pharmaceutical industry companies, see our webpage with the shortlist that links directly you to


Monday, January 25, 2016
BESTies serve as facilitators and participate in campus-wide RCR Symposium

Responsible Conduct of Research: Plagiarism

The fourth Annual Winter Symposium on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) took place under the faculty leadership of Professor Maurine Linder, Chair, Molecular Medicine, CVM.

"Plagiarism: misrepresenting someone else's creative work (e.g. words, methods, pictures, ideas, or data) as one's own." from: Glossary of Commonly Used Terms in Research Ethics, D.B. Resnik, NIEHS, NIH, May 2015. Based on Shamoo AE and


Monday, January 11, 2016
BEST recommended business & entrepreneurship courses

Forget about trying to wade through the whole course catalogue. Here's a short list of the BEST business and entrepreneurial courses that specifically welcome PhDs and are relevant to scientists and engineers. Choose one of these eight courses to push yourself beyond your comfort zone this spring. Also a great way to enlarge your network with business-minded individuals. Enroll NOW!

  • NBA 5070 Entrepreneurship for Scientists and Engineers (3cr. B. Treat)--Non-Johnson Students ONLY--

Sunday, January 10, 2016
Tembo Takeaway #2 : science and theatre

BESTie Dumi Tembo, postdoctoral scholar in the immunology lab of David Russell, recently participated in the Finding Your Scientific Voice workshop led by Theatre and Performing Arts Professor at Missouri State Melanie Dreyer-Lude and Cornell Physics Professor Itai Cohen.

Read her bottom line recommendations to those who could not participate.


Monday, January 04, 2016
BEST Newsletter January 2016

The BEST newsletter-January 2016 by Victor Aguilar, Ph.D. student in the Cosgrove Laboratory, Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering. See the archive of all BEST Newsletters here.



Friday, December 11, 2015
NIH Common Fund has a Face-to-Face with Avery August

In a Q&A interview with Cornell's BEST Program Principle Investigator, the National Institutes of Health program aims to humanize research, familiarize readers with the breadth of research supported by the Common Fund, and motivate interest in various scientific disciplines.

See for more information.

Thursday, December 10, 2015
Postdoc led business enhanced through NSF funds

Cornell Postdoc and Ecolectro co-founder Gabriel Rodriguez-Calero was awarded a $150,000 Phase I SBIR grant by the National Science Foundation to enable low cost, durable fuel cells through novel material innovation.

The original idea was vetted in a Pre-Seed Workshop held at High Tech Rochester in November 2014, where BEST Program participant Rodriguez-Calero made contacts to round out the business side of his team. Together they were awarded a NEXUS-NY grant to talk to their first


Thursday, December 10, 2015
Tembo Takeaway #1: product design

Bottom-line lessons from Product Design

Dumi Tembo, Postdoctoral Scholar in David Russell's lab, Immunology, recently attended a lecture by Adam Wrigley, Senior Engineer of Frog Design, hosted by the College of Engineering and JGSM. She shares her impression and take-away lessons for those who did not have the chance to listen in.

Read the story here to learn about the importance of the team, observation, questioning, and your network of experts.


Friday, December 04, 2015
Biogen CEO talks of Risk/Reward in Biotechnology

Biogen's CEO and Cornell alumnus George Scangos visited Cornell at the invitation of Alumni Affairs and Development. The talk was moderated by Provost Michael Kotlikoff, former Dean of the Veterinary School. His videotaped talk "Risk/Reward in Biotechnology: Can We Afford to Innovate ?" is now available via CornellCast.

About the video:

Biogen CEO Dr. George A. Scangos ’70 presents an overview of the company's business model, drug development and strategy for future innovation,


Tuesday, December 01, 2015
BEST Newsletter December 2015

The BEST newsletter for December by Victor Aguilar, Ph.D. student in the Cosgrove Laboratory, Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering. See the archive of all BEST Newsletters here.


Monday, November 23, 2015
Cornell BEST Science Policy Bootcamp's Outcome Transcends Generations

Professor Chris Schaffer's Science Policy Bootcamp: From Concept to Conclusion course has a lasting effect on its participants, the community, and the next generation.

Code-4-Kids is but one project emanating from the Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) Program initiated course to address the need for scientists and engineers to become more involved in science policy. Read how Code-4-Kids came about. BEST trainees are rethinking their doctoral training, acquiring new skills,


Wednesday, November 18, 2015
A Day in the Life: Cornell Students Shadow Biogen Employees

“What’s it like to work in industry?” 
“How does a typical day look for you?” 
“How does research at a company differ from academia or industry?” 
“What makes your work interesting and challenging?” 

These were some of the questions asked of Biogen employee Cherié Butts when she served on a panel at Cornell University as part of its BEST (Broadening Experience in Scientific Training) program symposium earlier


Monday, November 16, 2015
Exploring administrative careers in higher education

We heard the personal stories and perspectives of a diverse set of accomplished panelists who have successfully navigated non-faculty academic positions in the Navigating Your Future luncheon to explore administrative careers in higher education. The event was co-sponsored by the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement, the Office of Postdoctoral Studies, Cornell Career Services and the BEST Program. SPEAKERS (r to l):

Andrew GossenSenior Director for Social Media Strategy, Alumni


Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Industry, Entrepreneurship & Management panel shares key tips

A full room of interested graduate students and postdocs from across campus eagerly lapped up insider tips from the perspectives of industry leaders, entrepreneurs and faculty at the BEST Program's panel discussion on Industry, Entrepreneurship and Management this week. What follows are some of the questions fielded from the audience and managed by BEST Advisory Board Member Aaron Joiner, PhD student in Molecular Biology and Genetics.

What does industry look for in an intern? "We love


Sunday, November 01, 2015
BEST Newsletter November 2015

BESTie Victor Aguilar, graduate student in Ben Cosgrove's lab in Biomedical Engineering, has initiated the Cornell BEST newsletter

In an eye-catching and condensed format, the newsletter covers major upcoming events, a trainee spotlight, and a summary of a recent experience facilitated by the BEST Program. We hope you enjoy it and then go to our website to learn more! See the growing archive of all BEST Newsletters here.


Friday, October 23, 2015
Today’s BEST PhD Students Are Tomorrow’s Workforce

The Cornell BEST Program is featured in the MedTech 2015 Bio/Med Industry Report.  BEST Advisory member Kenneth Yancey,, highlight how the program enhances opportunities for BEST trainees:  

"The BEST program gives trainees the opportunity to seek mentorship, ask questions, and determine what skills they need to become competitive candidates in the future.  Companies gain a pipeline of pre-trained and experienced potential recruits, who can also bring fresh


Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Public Voices bring to light diverse viewpoints

Scientists should look for ways to use their knowledge to make a tangible impact on the world

"As scientists, we need to think about how our work impacts society. We need to be able to engage with society more," said Prof. Avery August, immunology, chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the College of Veterinary Sciences. Avery August participated as a Cornell Public Voices Fellow and was recently interviewed by the Cornell Daily Sun. He said writing op-eds "


Friday, October 02, 2015
BEST Consortium publishes a new paradigm for PhD training

In this report, we describe the state of the U.S. biomedical workforce and development of the BEST award, variations of programmatic approaches to assist with program design without BEST funding, and novel approaches to engage faculty in career development programs. To test the effectiveness of these BEST programs, external evaluators will assess their outcomes not only over the 5 yr grant period but also for an additional 10 yr beyond award completion.

Link to the abstract in The FASEB Journal


Thursday, October 01, 2015
GE Global Research recruiting

More than 80 masters and PhD level students came to the GE Global Research recruiting talk on September 8th, and even more had the opportunity to interact with representatives from GE Global Research during the Career Fair days.  For those who missed it, here is the presentation about the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, NY. All the slides for public viewing were included in this posting.


Friday, September 25, 2015
GREAT/GRAND Professional Development Meeting takeaway lessons

Sharing some highlights of the meeting sessions, 'as if you were there but in much less time'.  About the GREAT Group  About GRAND  About BEST

2015 GREAT Group and GRAND Professional Development Meeting held Sept. 9-12 was a success. Read all the highlights

Communicating: Recognizing and Telling a Good Story

  • Find commonality with your audience and connect with them on a personal level.
  • Make the audience the hero or center of your story.
  • Create

Thursday, September 17, 2015
Cornell-Cancer Resource Center establish a certificate program

As announced at the recent Cornell-Cancer Resource Center (CU-CRCFL) Wednesday seminar, we have received a curriculum development grant through the Engaged Cornell initiative to offer a ‘Certificate of Engagement in Public Communication of Science and Technology’  This curriculum is designed to give PhD students doing cancer research guidance and training in how to effectively interact with cancer patients and survivors in our local community and how to communicate


Wednesday, September 09, 2015
Business as a Second Language course gets the nod to grow

Robert Karpman and the BEST Program created the Business as a Second Language: from Molecules to Moolah course in partnership with Entrepreneurship@Cornell to address the needs of PhDs and postdocs to learn business and management life skills. It was recently highlighted (see page 16 of the link below) in the inaugural BME Newsletter celebrating the $50M gift that enabled the creation of the new MEINIG SCHOOL OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING.

The "knowledge gained in this class is


Tuesday, September 01, 2015
Cornell President Garrett on Graduate Student support, funding, and BEST

(From the Cornell Daily Sun, by Phoebe Keller)

President Garrett Expands Graduate Student Support, Funding

In her first address to the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly in McGraw Hall Monday, President Elizabeth Garrett announced several initiatives to promote graduate student diversity, create new graduate student housing, provide workers' compensation to injured graduate and professional students and increase funding to graduate students. Garrett’s initiatives include


Tuesday, September 01, 2015
Eurofins CSO shares urgent advice for industry job seekers

Eurofins Microbiology Laboratories, Inc.'s Chief Scientific Officer Douglas Marshall (LinkedIn profilespent time over lunch before his scientific seminar to the Food Science Department sharing with graduate students, postdocs and undergrads a brief history of the company, his own career story, some of the career opportunities, and a hefty dose of personal advice.

"They don't teach you how to be an entrepreneur when you get your Ph.D.," referring to his own experience


Friday, August 28, 2015
Summer Success Symposium presentations available


Monday, August 24, 2015
Lessons to navigate your future

The synopsis below is shared by Stephanie Hilz, BEST Program participant and Ph.D. candidate in Molecular Biology & Genetics about the 2015 BBS Symposium: "Engage your future in science" chaired by David Gludish and Evgeniya Nazarova. The symposium committee that helped organize the event included Karen Barnard, Heather Callaway, Jennifer Fricke, Erika Gruber, Rebecca Harman, Melissa McDowell, Matthew Pennington, Tam Tran, Jocelyn Wang and Angela Yan.

"A biosciences


Friday, August 21, 2015
Enroll in Business Management Fundamentals

The BEST Program "Business as a Second Language" offering has evolved from a 7 week mini-course to a full-fledged course now entitled "Business Management Fundamentals" BME 5960. It will meet 8:40-9:55am Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the fall semester for 3 credits. It is open to PhDs and postdocs in any STEM field and is not strictly for biomedical engineers. Enroll in class number 18892. Entrepreneur Robert Karpman, MD MBA is the instructor, and will bring his vast


Thursday, August 13, 2015
Interested in using science to inform public policy?

Consider taking BME 4440, Science Policy Bootcamp: Concept to Conclusion

Instructor: Prof. Chris B. Schaffer (Biomedical Engineering) 

Offered: Fall, 2015 (3cr.) TR 1:45-2:40pm

As scientific and technological discoveries continue to change our world and society at a rapid pace, it has become imperative that our policymaking approach be informed by science. From energy policy to climate change, from health care to bioterrorism, from science education to technology innovation it has become


Tuesday, August 11, 2015
NBA 5690 (Management Consulting Essentials)

Shared by BESTie Pamela Nasr (CGCC):  

Take the opportunity to explore management consulting classes offered across campus! One class is NBA 5690, which serves as a great introduction to the consulting process.

NBA 5690 (Management Consulting Essentials), 1.5 credits, Fall 2015 Meets twice a week, first half

This half-semester course will help students learn about consulting and the skills required to be a successful consultant using a combination of lectures, case work, individual


Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Making the Most of BEST

Opportunities aren't found, they're made.  BEST Advisory Board Member Alex Coots' key point summarizes what he has learned as a participant in the BEST Program at Cornell. Alex published his thoughts in an article "Making the Most of BEST," highlighted in the AtlantaBEST Magazine, 4th issue.

Here's what he wrote:


Saturday, August 01, 2015
Osteoarthritis treatment on the horizon of two Cornell grad students

Grad students Kirk Samaroo & Mingchee Tan of Dynamic Boundaries won $1k for their first place pitch at Life Changing Labs. The People's Choice award went to Belle Apps. Excellent presentations by all the teams, including Maidbot, Craftcloud, UPursuit, and Navo made the decision very difficult for the judges. Tompkins Weekly highlights all the teams in "Nurturing New Careers at CU" by Eric Banford.

With help from the entrepreneurial mentors at Life Changing Labs


Friday, July 31, 2015
Phase 2 NEXUS-NY accelerates Cornell technology

Cornell BEST trainee Gabriel Rodriguez Calero, following his involvement in early evaluation of his technology in the Pre-Seed Workshop, wondered where he could get help to further develop his idea while continuing his part-time postdoctoral research, co-advised by Geoffrey Coates and Hector Abruna at Cornell. 

Using connections developed in the Pre-Seed Workshop, Rodriguez Calero formed a team and applied to the NEXUS-NY program, now in its second year of operation. NEXUS-NY is a clean


Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Reflecting on ComSciCon-Cornell, a regional workshop for upstate New York.

BESTies Kristin Hook and Robert MacDonald organized the ComSciCon Cornell 2015 which took in May. Read their thoughts about the experience and consider organizing the workshop for 2016.



See for more information.

Thursday, July 16, 2015
Summer incubator helps grads with business development

Cornell BESTie Wisler Charles is taking the next step to flesh out his business idea by interning part-time at Life Changing Labs. The summer incubator program allows him to get first-hand experience from others who will help him learn what it will take to get his immune system-based video game off the ground.

BESTie Alberto Purwada is part of the Resources Team at Life Changing Labs.

Read Kathy Hovis' Cornell Chronicle article via the link below.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Cornell alumni magazine highlights BEST outcome

BEST program paves way for PhDs to explore new career options

 “Graduate students have control of their own destinies,” Charles said. “But most of them focus on what’s been done by our predecessors. It’s a linear way of thinking that if you do this, this, and this, it’s going to be fine. It doesn’t work that way anymore.” -- Wisler Charles

"I think the BEST program is important for building those skill sets they need." --


Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Cornell BESTies reimagine the postdoc experience

Postdocs Reimagined

As part of their NEXTGEN VOICES series, Science asked young scientists if the idea of the postdoc position is obsolete. If so, what should replace it, and if not, how can it be improved? From over 300 submissions, two Cornell BEST Program participants’ responses were selected for their ideas, published in the July 3rd issue. Other BEST awardee institutions NYU, UCSF, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz, UC Davis, and Vanderbilt also had published responses. Read


Friday, June 19, 2015
Code-4-Kids helps elementary school students get a leg up

Code-4-Kids is a BEST Program outcome emanating from Chris Schaffer's Science Policy Bootcamp course.

Read how it came about, and click on the link below to read the Ithaca Journal article.

See for more information.

Monday, June 15, 2015
Individual Development Plans are useful and empowering for trainees and PIs

Share with your mentor the message that your IDP is not just more paperwork, but can increase productivity. See this excellent article in Molecular Cell.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015
BEST travel award allows postdoc to immerse in a new culture

"The meeting was fabulous. Never had I encountered such a diverse group of highly knowledgeable people who specialized in agricultural biotechnology. Not only were there people from academia, but many came from industry, government and non-for-profit groups. We had environmental people, entomologists, sociologists, and business folks. I left the meeting with a far more sophisticated view of what the challenges are and what roads are to be taken forward."

Kathleen Hefferon, a postdoc


Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Biotechnology Symposium at BNL includes tours of NSLS-II

The 2015 Biotechnology Symposium at Brookhaven National Lab featured Cornell grad student speaker Ken Yancey and tours of the most advanced synchrotron in the world. A kickoff on day one by Ken White, Manager of the Office of Educational Programs at Brookhaven National Lab; and Bryan Allinson, Vice President for Innovation and Partnerships for the Research Foundation for SUNY, set the tone for a variety of engaging presentations on novel approaches for water quality improvement,


Monday, April 20, 2015
Deepening Understanding through Science Communication

Cornell BESTies Sheila Saia and Ben Brown-Steiner published in the AtlantaBEST magazine on how communication experiences help understanding of science. This publication highlights the experiences and outcomes of BEST participants across the 17 institution consortium.

See for more information.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Bringing your entrepreneurial idea to reality

Bringing Your Idea to Reality: Funding Your Aha Moment, a panel discussion sponsored by the BEST Program and Arts and Sciences, featured speakers Alison Gerlach, Sacha Ross, and Tim Novikoff at the Entrepreneurship@ Cornell Celebration event. Read a summary of the take-home messages here.


Wednesday, April 08, 2015
BEST Advisory Board honored for exemplary service

The six members of the Cornell BEST Advisory Board were honored April 7, 2015 for their dedication, exemplary service, and for shaping the Cornell University BEST Program.

From left: Kristine Kolkman Champion, Neurobiology; Tiffany St. Bernard, Biomedical Engineering; R. Alex Coots, Nutritional Sciences; Lena Bartell, Applied Engineering & Physics; Kenneth Yancey, Biological and Environmental Engineering; and Wisler Charles, Biological and Biomedical Sciences.

Avery August,


Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Annual Report of the BEST Program highlights early successes

We are pleased to share our 2015 annual report with our participants and supporters!


Wednesday, April 01, 2015
Video of careers in industry, entrepreneurship and management panel

If you missed it-here's the video of the panel discussion with BJ Bormann, Chris Thomas, David Putnam and Stephen Smith as they share their perspectives and advice for PhDs interested in going into industry, entrepreneurship and management. Moderated by BESTies Tiffany St. Bernard and Kenneth Yancey.

See for more information.

Friday, March 27, 2015
Consulting internships on-campus

BEST participant-run graduate consulting club seeks your application by April 19 to be engaged as a summer consultant!

CGCC’s Consulting Engagement Division (CED) is now recruiting part-time student consultants for the 2015 summer engagement projects! We are specifically looking for bright, motivated and dedicated non-MBA graduate students. If you are interested in pursuing a consulting career and would like to enhance your business skills through an on-campus internship, we would like to


Thursday, March 26, 2015
TTI podcast-Science and Creativity with Chris Schaffer

Listen to this Tabletop Inventing podcast featuring Chris Schaffer where he discusses science, creativity and what it means to be educated. Chris also underscores the reason that scientific information holds a privileged place in society, due to the rigorous process by which it is constantly reviewed, questioned and tested to stand the test of time, in contrast to other ways we gather information that guide decision-making such as gut feeling, religious belief, etc.

“The growth


Sunday, March 22, 2015
GPSA provides tax filing guidance for grads

April 15th is the deadline for filing your taxes, and many grad and professional students trying to figure out what to do.  Since grads are paid a variety of ways, filing can be a confusing process.  Here’s a short cheat sheet that highlights the important forms needed and some of the resources available to answer tax related questions.

Your first stop should be the workday site that provides your W-2, showing taxed wages


Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Pathways to a PhD features BESTie Gabriel Rodriguez-Calero

BEST participant Gabriel Rodríguez Calero is featured in this nice piece describing the various career pathways and some challenges overcome by trainees at Cornell.

written by Kathy Hovis

Follow the link below to read the article.

See for more information.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
BEST trainees author Times Union article

Dairy Farms Can Help Energy Woes,

by grad students Catherine Spirito, Ismail El Baggari, Zhen Han and Shih-Chi Hsu. 

An outcome of the BEST Program Science Policy track, this op-ed urges New York legislators to support anaerobic digestion on dairy farms.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015
ASCB awards BEST PI Avery August with EE Just lecture

The American Society for Cell Biology honors Cornell immunologist Avery August with award in memory of Ernest Everett Just (1883-1941), one of the first African-Americans to earn a doctorate in biology.

Read the Cornell Chronicle article here: August Overcomes Odds, Receives EE Just Lecture Award

And read his compelling personal story: "People's instinctive travels and the paths to science"


Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Get Industry Experience at Smaller, Entrepreneurial Companies

Small and Medium Sized Businesses can Hire Interns at Cornell

Summer Internships provide entrepreneurial students with opportunities to gain essential experience in small to mid-sized businesses located throughout the US and abroad.

During the internship, each Cornell student brings the latest in entrepreneurial thinking from their classroom and applies it to their assignment. The business assignments are designed as hands-on experiences that will expose the intern to small business operation


Friday, December 12, 2014
BEST partners with CU-CIRTL to help postdocs communicate research

Presenting with Confidence

Using theatrical techniques, trainees learned to hone their presentation skills through exercises, practice and peer input. Facilitated by Melanie Dreyer-Lude, Professor of Acting and Directing at Missouri State, this workshop was one of three individual events to respectively engage women engineering graduate students, postdocs in MBG, and faculty across campus to improve communication skills. 

Select postdoctoral scholars in the department of Molecular Biology


Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Panelists share career advice for industry and entrepreneurship

"I once knew a man who could win any chess game using only two pieces. Can you guess which ones? None of us comes pre-equipped to achieve such a feat, which requires a meticulous calculus of anticipation and adaptation. A likeminded economy of resources benefits the industry leader, whose own playing field, while vast on the whole, is winnable yet by effective command. Cornell’s BEST..." Read the full article written by Tyran Grillo

See the flyer for the event. Click here


Saturday, November 08, 2014
High Tech Rochester Pre-Seed Workshop hosts Cornell team

Cornell postdoc Gabriel Rodriguez-Calero is one idea champion among 13 teams accepted from over 30 applicants to High-Tech Rochester's latest Pre-Seed Workshop. Ranging from MEng-led UofR students to experienced ex-Kodak executives, each innovator is capitalizing on the collective expertise of over 100 participants who are helping research and analyze the commercial potential of each high-tech idea. At the end of the two day session, enough intelligence will be gathered to answer the question


Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Register for Business as a Second Language 2nd offering

Starting after Fall Break! BME 5950

ENROLL NOW! If you were not able to make the first session, here is another chance to enroll in this minicourse to get you up to speed prior to jumping in to a Johnson Graduate School of Management (JGSM) class.

Here's what the first crop of participants had to say:

"BME 5950 gave me a broad spectrum overview of key topics in business. Although the length of the course precludes it's ability to delve into depth in any specific topic, the


Monday, October 06, 2014
BESTie selected for GE Global Research Innovate

BESTie Marie Godla, 2nd year graduate student in Biomedical Engineering, was nominated by Cornell University to participate in an Annual Networking Event at GE Global Research center, the world headquarters for all of GE’s ongoing research efforts.  The center employs over 1,800 technologists who strive to uncover technological breakthroughs that will change the landscape for the GE businesses and improve the lives of GE’s customers around the world. 


Monday, September 22, 2014
BEST Advisory Board wows NIH officials at first site visit

BEST Advisory Board Members, (l to r): R. Alex Coots, Division of Nutritional Sciences; Tiffany St. Bernard, Biomedical Engineering; Ken Yancey, Biological and Environmental Engineering; Lena Bartell, Applied Engineering & Physics; Wisler Charles, Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Not pictured: Kristine Kolkman Champion, Neurobiology.


Monday, September 22, 2014
Cornell Brings its BEST to Science Communications Panel

by Tyran Grillo Read the full article

credit: Michael P. Carroll

Impressions of attendees:

     "1. Importantly, the panel gave hope to the grad students who weren't quite sure they wanted [to] have careers in academics.  2. The speakers made it clear how important our roles are as science communicators. 3. Many of the insights given to the audience by the speakers gave subtle steps necessary to progress into careers in science communication."--Wisler Charles, Ph.D. candidate, Biomedical


Sunday, September 21, 2014
Allowable activities for grad students and postdocs

From NIH BEST Program Leader, Patricia Labosky:

I'm writing to share some relatively recent info on allowable activities for postdocs and grad students. We have this link on our web site (left side near the bottom) under "Allowable Student and Postdoc Activities"

This link sends you to a PDF of questions asked of the OMB (Office of Management and Budget). If you page down to section .400-2 (page 19) you will find the following text:

.400-2 Dual Role of Students and Post-Doctoral


Monday, September 15, 2014
MedTech releases Bio/Med Industry Report 2014

BioMed Breakthroughs: Advancing New Yorks' Innovation Economy

In partnership with Battelle’s Technology Partnership Practice and KJT Group, who independently conducted the quantitative and qualitative analysis, MedTech released its inaugural issue of Bio/Med Breakthroughs, which provides a comprehensive snapshot of the industry’s economic impact and growth potential in New York with a primary focus on Upstate New York. This first Bio/Med Industry Report highlights the contribution


Monday, September 08, 2014
BEST Program trainee and communication mentor coauthor article

From catchy soil-pun headline to by-line, BEST Program trainee Ashley Campbell is practicing research communication first hand by adding to her repertoire a Cornell Chronicle article covering a recent soil health workshop. With diminishing assistance from her BEST Program mentor, Merry Buckley, education and outreach program coordinator for the Baker Institute for Animal Health, Campbell conducted interviews and wrote drafts, incorporating workshop director modifications for the


Friday, August 29, 2014
BEST Co-PI Schaffer will engage students in 'Learning Where You Live'

As a new Faculty-in-Residence, Schaffer will promote intellectual engagement in students’ daily lives through one-on-one, informal mentoring to discuss potential career paths. He will also bring in guest speakers to serve as role models. As part of Learning Where You Live Schaffer will teach courses to promote lifelong learning and to explain that science is a creative and collaborative process of discovery. Part of the experience will include shadowing a postdoc or


Monday, August 25, 2014
Business as a Second Language course to provide management life skills

In response to BEST survey/applications we have developed this course to address your business management life skills. Please tell all your colleagues about this opportunity, see info below. We expect this will be an important pre-requisite for you to get the most out of any future business classes taken at the Johnson Graduate School of Management or future industry/business “BESTernships”.

BME 5950: Business as a second language: From molecules to moolah!

Instructor:  Robert


Friday, August 22, 2014
Course on science policy

If you haven’t already taken Chris Schaffer’s class “Science Policy Bootcamp: from concept to conclusion” now is the time to enroll. If you already have, please let your colleagues know about it and pass on this announcement. Info below:

BME 4440: Science Policy Bootcamp

Prof. Chris B. Schaffer; Tu, Th, 1:25 - 2:40, Phillips 307

Email Prof. Schaffer at for permission to enroll

As scientific and technological discoveries continue to change


Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Several opportunities to look at the business side of science

Commercializing University Technology

How do scientists take their research to the marketplace? How do scientists and entrepreneurs find and create market opportunities? Commercializing University Science and High Technology (NBA 6520 2cr. meets Sept 19, 20, 26, 27 @8am-3pm) will tackle these issues and apply our learning to projects drawn from Cornell labs and local high-tech firms. This course is designed to help students identify, evaluate, and obtain control over technology opportunities.


Thursday, August 07, 2014
Start or revisit your IDP

Beginning in October 2014, graduate students and postdocs funded by the NIH will have to include a section in the annual report to describe how individual development plans (IDPs) are used to identify and promote their career goals.

Why not get ahead now and start or refine YOUR IDP? Go here:

See for more information.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
BEST Program mentor and trainee share authorship


BEST program gives Ph.D.s insights into nonacademic jobs...By Merry R. Buckley and Ashley N. Campbell Cornell Chronicle The Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) program, which offers career resources about non-academic jobs, is now available to all Cornell Ph.D. students and postdocs.

About 100 Cornell Ph.D. students and postdocs curious about jobs outside the academic world have enrolled so far in Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST), a


Thursday, May 29, 2014
BESTernship offered to help acquire industry team experience

Employers tell us they seek individuals who can work cooperatively on real teams. Here is an amazing opportunity for a hands-on experience with an industry led real-life problem that will be solved (by you!) in working teams assembled from across the country and crossing the disciplines. Solutions may involve prototyping, non-traditional market research, UI design, business intelligence and more...

Based on input from the BEST application, you have indicated to us you would really like to


Thursday, May 15, 2014
NYBIO panel highlights NY BEST programs

BEST = Let’s Change the Culture Together 



According to an NIH study, only 23% of PhDs trained in the life sciences become tenure track academic scientists. Despite this fact, the PhD training model remains focused almost exclusively on academic careers. It’s time to rethink how we train today’s


Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Program Helps Researchers Find Non-Academic Careers

Cornell kicked off its new Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training program — which is aimed to help postdoctoral scholars in the sciences pursue careers outside academia — Tuesday with a panel and networking event in the Biotechnology Building.

The BEST program is funded by a five year, $1.8 million National Institutes of Health award and geared towards postdoctoral scholars and graduate students studying biomedical sciences, according to Prof. John Parker, veterinary


Thursday, March 13, 2014
Cornell Chronicle Highlights BEST Program

BEST Program will train PhDs for nonacademic careers

Only 23 percent of biomedical science Ph.D.s get academic tenure track positions, and just 43 percent end up in academic research jobs, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

To address this disconnect between available positions and how Ph.D.s in biomedical fields are trained, the NIH has funded 10 universities, including Cornell, to start Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) pilot programs. Eight additional


Monday, February 24, 2014
NIH Program Trains Scientists for Nontraditional Careers

Science Careers: The Job Market by Luda Shtessel

A love of science can inspire a career in research, but it is not enough to deliver the goods: Only about 15% of biomedical Ph.D. researchers ever secure a tenure-track position. The rest end up—often after a long, uncertain transition—in a very wide range of careers. In 2012, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) committed to doing more to help this other 85% by (among other initiatives) providing some training for Ph.D.


Thursday, January 23, 2014
BEST grant ensures paths less travelled will be explored

A new program will give graduate students and post-doctoral scholars at Cornell University new opportunities for exploring both traditional and nontraditional career options. The Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) program will provide information, internships, and other resources to prepare students for careers in industry, government, and communication in addition to traditional academic careers, according to Cornell officials.

The Cornell BEST program has received a [$1.8]