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Beyond the Laboratory

Beyond the Laboratory:  Forging Paths for the Next Generation of Scientists

The Biomedical Science Graduate Programs at West Virginia University provide excellent scientific and professional preparation for our students.  We are quite proud of their success in their careers.  While it may seem that graduate study only prepares you for a career in academics, at least half of our graduates use their training for careers in industry, government, and other roles in the private sector.  “Beyond the Laboratory” is our program to provide the best possible training for our students so that they can make informed career decisions and be better prepared for the variety of career opportunities that are available to them.
What is the “Beyond the Laboratory” program?  It is a series of seminars, workshops, and field experiences that can introduce students to non-academic careers.  The program takes advantage of many existing programs at WVU and has designed new field experiences with industries and WVU centers.
What it is NOT is a dilution of the time spent in the laboratory or of the rigors of scientific training.  Our students who have been successful in non-academic careers achieved this because of their strengths in understanding the scientific approach, their ability to critically read the scientific literature, and their skills in oral and written communication.
How to get started:
Exploring career choices starts with the individual development plan (IDP).  Most of you took this survey when you first arrived and should be updating it annually.  Based on what you learned about your interests, go to seminars and informational sessions that can help you explore these interests.  Many can be found in the links available by clicking the appropriate box in the figure.  Students desiring a more in depth experience can apply for a field experiences.  Please note that access to these is limited to students making excellent progress in their dissertation research and that have a demonstrated interest in the area of the experience.  The application is available at the link below.

Step 1 - Use your Individual Development Plan


Step 2 - Refine your interests by attending seminar and informational programs

LIINC: Linking innovation, industry and commerce is a program focusing on developing scientific research for industrial applications

Graduate Academy: offers workshops in grant writing, teaching, communication skills, postdoctoral opportunities and more

GSO: The Graduate Student Organization provides seminars as well as full day symposia that explore career opportunities. Attend these events or better yet, become involved and organize a speaker or program.


Step 3 - Apply to attend a field Experience or course

STEM Entrepreneurship Essentials: A 3 day course offered by the College of Business and Economics

Precision Therapeutics, Inc.: A 1 day field experience at this Pittsburgh based biotechnology company

Protea Biosystems, Inc.: A 1 day field experience at this Morgantown biotechnology company

CPRC: The Clinical and Pharmacological Research Center offers a 5-day introduction to bioequivalence testing for generic pharmaceuticals


Step 4 - Revisit your IDP to ensure you are developing the skills needed to achieve your career goal


Field experiences
Scholarship support to attend the STEM Entrepreneurship Essentials course