The accepted, and well-worn, career path for biomedical doctoral recipients has included a stop (or two) in a postdoctoral position. This pathway is still necessary for those pursuing careers in academia, but it is far less clear that it is necessary for those pursuing non-academic careers. Even if 70 percent of new doctoral recipients do pursue a postdoc, it is not at all clear that they have made that decision with clear forethought or consideration of whether the lab they choose is the right one for their chosen career path. Too often, graduate students make this critical career choice without knowing the full ramifications of their decision, or how it can open new doors. This webinar will explore the different types of postdocs, provide advice on how to choose what lab is best for you, and how to enter a postdoctoral position with a clear plan on how to move on to the ultimate career you will pursue. The postdoc is not the end of your career planning process, it is the beginning, and this webinar will help attendees understand that this is a time of great opportunity, but also great risk if proper care is not put into this decision.
Keith Micoli, Ph.D., is the assistant dean for postdoctoral affairs at New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center where he pursues his passion for providing young scientists with the resources they need to develop their own careers and encouraging them to take responsibility for their own success. He received his Bachelor of Arts in biology/neurobiology from New College of Florida in 1993, and his doctoral degree in cellular and molecular pathology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2001. He continued at UAB as a postdoc, additionally serving as a research associate and Instructor in the Department of Pathology and an adjunct assistant professor of biology at Samford University.
Micoli's interest in postdoctoral training at a national level was developed by volunteering with the NPA, where he was chair of the Policy Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and a member of the Outreach, Membership, Finance, and Meeting Committees. He served on the NPA Board of Directors, including serving as Board chair from 2004-2006 and 2014-2016. During his initial tenure as chair, the NPA successfully worked with the NIH to start the K99/R00 grant mechanism and helped the NIH and the NSF develop a unified definition of a postdoc.
In 2008, he left academic research to join the NYU School of Medicine as the postdoctoral program director, where he has worked to develop numerous programs to foster postdoc training, including a grant writing course and a lab management series. He is the primary investigator of NYU’s Science Training Enhancement Program (STEP), funded by the NIH Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training program. The NYU STEP program organized over 185 courses and workshops during the five-year funding period, with over 6,000 graduate students and postdocs participating in those events. Beyond these direct career development offerings, NYU STEP organized dozens of events co-hosted by internal and external partners, including site visits to Regeneron and Elsevier.
Since 2009, Micoli has also organized What Can You Be with a PhD?, a career symposium that brings together over 1,200 graduate students and postdocs from New York City for two days of talks and workshops. What Can You Be with a PhD? featured nearly 100 speakers in 2017, covering 25 different career areas, and the 2019 event is set for late October.