For Faculty

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
Affectiveness
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

Knowledge
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

Skills
Self Analysis How to work in a team

How to develop an IDP

Improved oral communication (lay public, private sector)

Higher quality resume

Behavior
Completing Orientation, Career Success Completing MSU Best IDP

Completing Internships

Practicing Wellness

Proactive in search career opportunities

Choice of pursuing biomedical career made earlier

Outcomes
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.