The New York University Scientific Training Enhancement Program (NYU-STEP) seeks to improve the career training of postdoctoral and graduate trainees. NYU-STEP will engage them early in actively planning their own careers, assessing their personal values and translating those into individual goals, all while introducing them to the diverse career opportunities that will await them should they decide to leave academic research. In the first phase, trainees will be encourage (or required in some cases) to participate in a career training workshop in the 2nd or 3rd year of graduate school, or at the beginning of their postdocs. This workshop will help trainees generate an individual development plan for their careers, and introduce the four broad career tracks we have developed; For Profit Industry; Government and Non Profit; Communications; and Academia, broadly defined. The program will continue in Phase 2 to help trainees develop professional skills useful for all professionals inside and outside of academia, such as time management, conflict management, communication skills and professionalism. Phase 2 will continue with career specific skills, with a number of courses and seminars available in each. Phase 3 will support all trainees through their job search and support their transition to positions outside of NYU. NYU STEP builds on successful programs developed at NYU but is a significant development in the formalization of career training and developing our trainees as science professionals. NYU STEP will evaluate the knowledge level of the participants about biomedical workforce careers starting at the beginning of Phase 1 and then again at each of the stages and transitions in the program to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and better track the career outcomes for all participants, including the traditionally hard to track postdoctoral employees. NYU step is not intended to significant alter the ultimate career outcomes of trainees, since so few are ending up in tenure track faculty positions already. NYU STEP will encourage trainees to push their careers forward faster, therefore intended outcomes include shorter time to PhD and less time spent in postdoctoral training overall.
The New York University Science Training Enhancement Program (NYU STEP) will improve career training for graduate students and postdoctoral employees. These trainees are essential for nearly every project funded by the NIH, they are the workforce that executes the vision set up in each grant proposal and are therefore critical to the mission of the NIH to improve public health. However, the traditional paradigm of training all of these individuals for academic careers must change to reflect the reality that a majority of scientific trainees funded by the NIH ultimately pursue careers in a wide range of sectors, including for profit industry, government and nonprofit corporations, communications, and academic administration and teaching.