The 2016 Scientists Exploring non-Academic caReer CHoices (SEARCH) Symposium, to be held on April 2nd in Lawrence, Kansas, is a collaborative effort between the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) and the Molecular Biosciences (MB) Graduate Student Organizations (GSOs) at the University of Kansas. This collaboration was born from a common desire of students in both departments to learn about the career opportunities for PhDs outside of traditional academia.
There are three goals of the SEARCH Symposium:
1) Inform trainees of the diversity of science careers by hosting scientists in occupations including policy, biotechnology/industry, science writing, data science, and government/law.
2) Prepare trainees for non-academic careers by discussing professional skills that students can develop while in graduate school or during postdoctoral training.
3) Foster connections between trainees and local scientists through a career fair featuring companies seeking advanced-degree job applicants.
To accomplish these goals, the combined GSOs have raised funds to invite over a dozen scientists to speak as part of an all-day symposium at KU at no charge to the participants. While the 2016 Symposium will focus on careers available to those with advanced degrees in Molecular Biology or Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, many careers options can be applied to all science fields, such as health/science policy, patent law, government/independent research, and science writing. Students and post-doctoral researchers from any science-related field are welcome! As the Symposium grows, we have a vision to include more departments.