Setting Your Sites on an Industry Career

Love for research is one thing, but knowing the right research environment that suits your personality and research goals may be the factor that makes you successful in securing an industry position and accomplishing your goals as a successful scientist. Dr. Bryan Clay touched on major differences between research in industry and academia in his 2017 Mentoring Symposium talk entitled, “Selecting a Good Lab for Postdoctoral or Research Experience in Industry.” Unlike academia, the main research goal in industry is to bring a product to market; as a result, the timeline is critical and usually quick, research is conducted in teams, and teams are more specialized and diverse in order to achieve that goal. How can you find positions in industry? There are various platforms that trainees can utilize in searching for industry positions. Platforms like company websites, Biospace, Medzilla, Indeed, LinkedIn, networking events, industry postdocs, and internships are  all useful resources for securing an industry position. When applying for industry positions, it is important to start early, typically 6 months or more before your desired start date. Also, you should be open to relocating, tailor your resume, and highlight research experiences that fit the position that you are applying for. Finally, network, network, and network! In addition, before applying for that industry position it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages between small biotech and big pharmaceutical companies. Small biotech companies usually have less resources, but you may have more influence and gain more experience working in biotech companies. Because resources are limited, research teams may not be as diverse as in big pharmaceutical companies, hence scientists in small biotech companies may participate in all aspects of the project. Overall, own your career and do what fulfills you. To listen to the presentation in its entirety, click on the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6kTHTdLmq8

Ijeoma Obi is a PhD Candidate at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Section of Cardio-Renal Physiology and Medicine. Her research project focuses on the effects of early life stress on renal inflammation and blood pressure regulation.

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