Faculty across campus are dedicated to supporting their graduate students and post-docs in helping them develop the skills, training, and experiences to be successful professionals. And while traditional graduate training offers students the chance to learn from their advisors, mentors, and other faculty in their departments. MSU BEST complements this disciplinary training by offering important co-curricular professional development in other professional competencies–such as leadership, teamwork, communication, and wellness–which will equip your students and post-docs with the confidence and skills needed to pursue any number of potential careers when they leave your labs.
The MSU BEST program is not a replacement to any existing graduate program; rather, it is a unique complement to it, and is specifically designed for students and post-docs in biomedical science and engineering fields. We are able to build upon existing strengths to develop new opportunities for BEST trainees to explore diverse career options. We have three goals for BEST:
- Provide parallel mentoring between BEST trainees and faculty
- Help trainees understand biomedical career options and develop essential communication and teamwork skills
- Improve the culture of MSU in supporting training for both academic and alternative career paths.
What are some of the benefits for trainees?
|Short Term||Medium Term||Long Term|
|Openness to Investigating non-academic careers
Openness to new ideas and training.
|Improving self confidence
Openness to the concept of wellness
|Climate change in faculty accepting parallel mentoring
Culture change in support of non-acedemic careers
Improved trainee self confidence
|Greater knowledge of MSU Career Services.||Greater knowledge of what employers want skill-wise
How to work in a team
Knowledge of a career plan
|Greater knowledge of career options for trainees
Knowledge of how to obtain a job
|Self Analysis||How to work in a team
How to develop an IDP
|Improved oral communication (lay public, private sector)
Higher quality resume
|Completing Orientation, Career Success||Completing MSU Best IDP
|Proactive in search career opportunities
Choice of pursuing biomedical career made earlier
|Website for MSU BEST||Completed Internships||Decreased time in postdoctoral fellowship
Expand type of jobs obtained; success in obtaining jobs
Evaluate the diversity of demographics in programs
Improve recruitment of strong students to MSU
Increase retention rate
Decrease time to degree
We are scientists and this is a grand experiment!
The NIH is committed to this grand experiment, and MSU is developing a sophisticated. longitudinal evaluation strategy so that we can discern what interventions were most effective for students. How much engagement in BEST (dosage) makes a difference in how a student thinks about career opportunities, how they engage with professional options, and how BEST does (or does not) have an impact on one’s career. This is truly a grand experiment, and MSU and NIH leaders are committed to following not only the development–but the impact–of the BEST program.
There are seventeen institutions who are contributing to this grand experiment. Together these campuses comprise the BEST Consortium, and we communicate regularly with each other, and with NIH, about our programs, interventions, impact of program dosage, and other ways to evaluate impact.