Student/Postdoc Advisory Committee

Exploration Program for Industry Careers

Postdoctoral fellows and graduate students often have little exposure to career paths outside of academia. SPAC and the Office of Career Development address this issue by offering events to educate about all potential PhD career paths, including biotech industry careers.

The new Exploration Program for Industry Careers (EPIC) takes this one step further for those curious about careers in Industry. In addition to career workshops and events at the FHCRC, EPIC features site visits to area biotech companies, providing an in-depth look at industry careers. The program also gives participants networking opportunities, which can help in setting up collaborations and in current and future job searches.

Based on successful programs in Massachusetts and California (See Nature Biotechnology 28, 625-6; 2010, Nature 478, 277; 2011, Nature 480, 576; 2011), the goals of EPIC are to allow participants to make informed choices about future career options, and provide them with the tools they will need to be successful as they enter the job market. Programs like EPIC have many benefits to both postdoc/student participants and companies, including:

Benefits for Student/Postdocs:

Insight into corporate culture

Networking experience

Career guidance

Potential opportunities for collaborations

Exposure to a variety of career paths within industry

Benefits for Companies

Attract top area scientists to your company

Identify opportunities for collaborations

Meet future colleagues

Establish relationships with local academic labs

About EPIC's pilot year:

The 2012-2013 academic year was the pilot year for the program. In total EPIC held 3 workshops (topics included: resumes, networking, and negotiation), visited 4 local companies (NanoString Technologies, Amgen, Adaptive Biotechnologies, and Zymogenetics) and hosted a networking mixer at the FHCRC with biotech professionals. We received positive feedback from both the FHCRC program participants and the companies that we visited. We are working on bringing more companies into the program this year.

Site Visit Sample Agenda:

1:00-1:45   Welcome and Overview of Company, Tour

1:45-4:00 Career Presentations - 20 minute Q&A sessions with employees in different roles

4:00-5:00 Networking Mixer - max 1 to 3 ratio of employees to students/postdocs (most visits last year were closer to 1:2 or even 1:1)



Announcement 1/6/2015:

The EPIC application period is open for 2015. The deadline is January 23. The application instructions are available via the download link below for your reference. Note that all current FHCRC graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical fellows are eligible to apply for this program. 

Please direct questions about the program or application process to Karen Peterson at

* Application Instructions
This link will download a pdf of the 2015 EPIC application instructions.



FHCRC Postdocs/students: More information on how to apply for this program will be posted here and advertised to the FHCRC postdoc/student listserv. If you are not on that mailing list and are a FHCRC postdoc or graduate student please contact Karen Peterson (

Companies: If you are a company interested in being part of EPIC, please contact Karen Peterson at