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Vol. LIX, No. 12
June 15, 2007
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NIAID Hosts First Annual Retreat for Postdoctoral Fellows

  Dr. Kathryn Zoon (c), director of the Division of Intramural Research, NIAID, talks with fellows during a reception at the retreat.  
  Dr. Kathryn Zoon (c), director of the Division of Intramural Research, NIAID, talks with fellows during a reception at the retreat.  
To enhance training for its postdoctoral fellows, NIAID recently hosted its first annual fellows retreat. The day-long event brought together fellows to share experiences, explore career paths and create collaborations. Sponsored by the Office of Training and Special Emphasis Programs, it signals a new effort to foster career growth and development.

The retreat "marks the beginning of an expansion of services for our postdocs," said Dr. Wendy Fibison, OTSEP associate director. "We are mapping out a strategic plan based on feedback from the postdocs that ensures a more fully focused program that looks beyond just their scientific needs. The annual retreat is a first step in the plan to provide our fellows with the tools and skills necessary to help them transition from training to a long-term career and ensure their success as biomedical research leaders."

Topics included career planning and grants information. The morning panel, Making Career Choices, featured former NIAID trainees now leading successful careers in academia, patents and law, industry and government. Attendees also learned strategies and tips on how to compete successfully for extramural fellowships and educational grants from a variety of institute experts during the Grants: Funding During and After Training panel.

Dr. Kathryn Zoon, director of the Division of Intramural Research, told the fellows, "We are here to help you as you move forward in your career path." Dr. Steven Holland, chief of the Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Hugh Auchincloss, principal deputy NIAID director, gave an update on the clinical, translational and basic research agenda and trends in job opportunities.

In addition to the retreat, OTSEP plans to unveil a new orientation program for fellows entering the intramural program.

According to Zoon, the first retreat was "a good first step in creating a more broadly focused training program for the postdoctoral fellows." Said one postdoc, "There was a very positive message about career prospects and choices available to NIH postdocs-very uplifting." NIH Record Icon

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