The Program Outline

The MSU BEST Program

The MSU BEST Program is focused on helping each individual trainee to develop the necessary skills to forge a professional path which suits his or her interest, skills, and professional goals. It is not a career training program: it is a co-curricular professional development program which provides professional skills development to complement the deep disciplinary training our graduate students and post-docs receive in their home labs. We seek to empower students and build their self-efficacy in pursuing a variety of careers at the end of their training.

The foundation of the program is on four pillars:


Year One: Spheres of Success

Program OutlineYear 1 is focused on building working with BEST trainees to develop new skills and competencies students need to build a strong professional foundation for any career. Each fall we hold an orientation for trainees entering into the program where we introduce BEST trainees to  opportunities and resources that will support this career and professional development.

We then help students map out the requirements to complete the BEST process, and find the resources that will support them along the way. That includes exploring campus resources–workshops, seminars, talks by guest speakers, connections with MSU alumni, and others. BEST program staff tailor the experience with the student, to create an individualized plan that complements their disciplinary training and trajectory.

We tap into the significant and varied resources of Michigan State University and its leadership and expertise to offer dynamic training to BEST Trainees. We also partner with local professionals to encourage them to share their experiences, network with our trainees, and engage with the BEST program in different ways.

Year 2: Expanding the Sphere

Year 2 Program OutlineAfter completing the BEST Career Development plan, trainees complete the MyIDP process, and discuss its results with their mentors. This conversation is intended to help trainees identify targeted externship experiences.

BEST builds upon a large network of MSU alumni, research associates, area employers, and others to provide “real world” opportunities for BEST Trainees to explore multiple facets of biomedical science and engineering. These experiences are designed to help students hone their professional skills, make substantive contributions to the externship provider, and explore diverse professions which utilize the deep content knowledge of Ph.D.-level scientists and engineers.


If you represent a company or organization interested in partnering with or serving as an experience provider for BEST Trainees and Mentors, we encourage you to contact us at MSUBEST@msu.edu.