Vol 5. Issue 8 / March 7, 2005

New Alumni Database Helps Students and Postdocs Reach Out

By Mika Ono

As part of an effort to enhance the graduate student and postdoctoral experience at The Scripps Research Institute, the Counseling and Postdoctoral Services Department has launched an alumni database.

“There is such a pool of talented people who have been students or postdocs at Scripps Research,” says Program Assistant Ryan Wheeler. “We want them to be able to get in touch with one another.”

About 200 Ph.D.s have graduated from the Scripps Research doctoral program, The Kellogg School of Science and Technology, since its inception in 1989. In addition, the institute has been training postdoctoral fellows for decades. These individuals have gone on to careers in both academics and industry in locations around the world.

“The most difficult part about the project has been finding the alumni to tell them about the new database,” says Wheeler. “I’m grateful to the Scripps Research administrative assistants, department managers, and graduate office staff who helped us track down some of these people.”

The new alumni database, conceived as a career contact tool, is a free service run on an “opt-in” basis—individuals must register to be included. Those who want to use the service are required to register before they are permitted access. Both current and former students and postdocs have begun to sign up, and more are joining every day. Scripps Research staff members are also eligible. To visit the database, go to: http://alumni.scripps.edu.

The database was built with technical support from Research Computing’s Pouya Bozorgmehr and an outside consultant. Wheeler notes that he looks forward to feedback from database users. “We welcome any suggestions,” he says.

Other recent career initiatives for Scripps Research postdocs and graduate students have included an annual job fair in which industry representatives come to campus, a database of resumes to be viewed by potential employers, and a list of current job openings on the Postdoctoral Services web site.

In addition, a series of seminars has addressed topics such as grant writing, interviewing, and making effective presentations.  The popular workshop, “Guidelines for a Successful Postdoctoral Experience,” with Cell Biology chair Sandra Schmid, will be offered again on Wednesday, April 27 from 1 to 2:30 PM in the Beckman Building’s Keck Amphitheater.

In conjunction with the Society of Fellows, Counseling and Postdoctoral Services has also introduced a postdoc happy hour held about once a quarter for new arrivals to the La Jolla campus. “This gives new postdocs a way to meet people outside of their lab,” says Wheeler. “They can also become acquainted with the resources the institute has to offer.”

To stay current on the postdoctoral issues on the national scene, Wheeler and Jan Hill, director of Counseling and Postdoctoral Services, will attend a two-day conference in San Diego this month sponsored by the National Postdoctoral Association, an organization founded in 2003 to provide a national voice for postdoctoral scholars.

For more information on Scripps Research postdoctoral services or the alumni database see http://www.scripps.edu/services/postdocs/ or contact Wheeler, x4-9740.


Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu



The new Scripps Research alumni database is available at http://alumni.scripps.edu