Career Development

Researchers working together in. lab

A PhD in biomedical sciences can lead to exciting careers in academic research, research in the biotechnology industry, research at federal laboratories, as well as positions in science teaching, science communications, and science policy. See the career outcomes of our biomedical PhD graduates. Many essential skills are built through required courses in science writing, ethics and grantsmanship and an annual career panel. The Science and Professional Development workshops are offered monthly and focus on Individual Development Plans, setting SMART goals, fellowship preparation, and other topics. 

Take an active role in exploring your career and building skills for success.
Exploring Scientific Careers

Individual development plan

Many fellowships suggest that candidates complete and update an Individual Development Plan, described here. A useful approach is to use MyIDP which links to AAAS Science Careers.

This helpful article explores career development as it pertains to each sub-set of the academic pathway.


GW Biomedical Science PhD programs provide financial support to allow you to focus on your research, and do not require you to serve as a teaching assistant. Some students and postdocs wish to gain some teaching experience while at GW. Occasionally, there are teaching assistant opportunities available in the Biology & Chemistry department. The TSAP 6000 course “teaching in the sciences and professions” is a blended online and in-person course to develop teaching skills for those in research. 

Science Communication

Elevator pitch/ 3 minute thesis. Learn and hone ways to talk about your work to technical (national meeting?) and public (outreach?) audiences. It takes practice to eliminate jargon, get attention and state relevance. Here’s a good blog with resources.

Toastmasters. Attend the GW chapter of Toastmasters International and refine your communication skills.

Science Career Networks

  • GW SOBS. The Student Organization for Biomedical Scientists
  • GW COMPASS. Join the student-led, STEM networking group
  • Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. Recognizes and promotes scholarly achievement in students from underrepresented backgrounds. 
  • GW Postdoc Association
  • GW Career Center. The GW Career Center offers numerous workshops available to graduate students, and posted in an RSS feed. Take the time to join Handshake and explore the job postings and information.

Career Panels

Every year, we invite 6-8 visitors to a career panel where they describe their biomedical sciences PhD careers. Additional opportunities are offered by the GW Career Center, the GW Postdoc Association and others.