LINK Training Programs

LINK offers professional development opportunities via ABRCMS, ASMCUE and distance education technologies. Training experiences are created in the context of an interdisciplinary work environment and focus on developing skills for effective communications, relationship and team building, project management, career planning, teaching and mentoring, and ethics – topics that are often ignored or informally addressed in doctoral training programs.


The list below includes professional skills topics organized around six overarching themes for developing science career competencies:


1. Communications

  • Defining and defending ideas (argument)
  • Scientific presentations and publishing
  • Proposal writing
  • Communicating with policymakers, media, and lay audiences


2. Relationships and team building

  • Group and team work
  • Networking and collaborations
  • Negotiations and empowerment
  • Intercultural competencies and emotional intelligence


3. Project management

  • Setting goals and managing expectations
  • Managing time, resources and data
  • Supervising and managing people and teams
  • Balancing personal and professional time


4. Career planning

  • Writing resumes and CVs, interviewing for and negotiating positions
  • Establishing and sustaining a lab
  • Managing employer and employee expectations
  • Balancing independent, collaborative, and interdisciplinary research


5. Teaching and mentoring

  • Institutional missions, programs, and students
  • Course design and assessment
  • Student-centered learning and undergraduate research
  • Effective advising and mentoring


6. Ethics

  • Research ethics
  • Use of human and/or animal subjects
  • Use of data in science and publishing


Once accepted to participate in ABRCMS and/or ASMCUE, NSF mentors commit to the following activities:

  • Immersing themselves in a four-day conference with educators and trainees
  • Discussing their research while highlighting NSF opportunities
  • Participating in conference sessions such as (i) science and education, poster and papers; (ii) networking meals and events; and (iii) LINK-specific orientation and briefings
  • Brainstorming and exploring opportunities to collaborate with and mentor educators, fellows and/or students
  • Working alongside and forming collaborations with mentees (e.g., educators, fellows or students), and if applicable, submitting a proposal for the LINK Mentorship Award
  • Engaging in the LINK community of practice by discussing and brainstorming thoughts, identifying and forming partnerships, and jointly developing proposals to advance knowledge in the interdisciplinary sciences that provides transformative approaches for addressing emerging issues in the molecular, cellular and microbial sciences


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