News Release

Monday, May 18, 2009

National Institutes of Health Hosts Career Symposium for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Trainees

The National Institutes of Health, hosted its second career symposium on May 19, 2009 in the Natcher Conference Center. The event, organized by the Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE), for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees included presentations from more than 80 speakers about a variety of careers for scientists. More than 1,000 participants were registered to attend, including guests from many local universities.

The NIH Career Symposium provides an opportunity for young scientists to learn about the career opportunities available to them and to explore factors that lead to career success.

"In our global economy PhD-level scientists work in many areas of the public and private sector — in jobs that were not even conceived of when I was a graduate student 20 years ago." said Sharon Milgram, Ph.D., director of the OITE. "The goal of this symposium is to help this next generation of scientists to contribute to — and compete successfully for — science jobs of the new millennium."

Panel sessions focused on careers in science writing, teaching in a variety of settings, grants administration, public policy, and both research-intensive careers and careers away from the bench in all sectors. Workshops addressed professional skills including negotiating, interviewing for international fellows, work/life balance, and leadership.

Scientific experts provided insights into their diverse career paths. The event’s keynote speaker was Dr. Toni Hoover, senior vice president at Pfizer Global Research and Development and director of the Groton/New London Laboratories. Dr. Francis S. Collins, former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, provided concluding remarks.

The Office of the Director, the central office at NIH, is responsible for setting policy for NIH, which includes 27 Institutes and Centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all NIH components. The Office of the Director also includes program offices which are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH. Additional information is available at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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