The Office of Scientific Career Development (OSCD) assists Fred Hutch graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical fellows to help them identify and achieve their career goals and help them to develop aspects of the core competencies of a successful scientist.
OSCD offers professional development training and resources, career counseling for scientists, and resources for international students.
We are inaugural members of the Coalition for Next Generation Life Sciences (CNLS), a national effort to provide data on outcomes of scientific training to help those who are considering a career in the biomedical sciences make an informed decision, including:
The National Postdoctoral Association six core competencies:
A recent article, Research Culture: Actionable recommendations from trainees to improve science training (Davis, et al. eLife 2020), outlined seven actionable, trainee-informed changes that academic institutions can implement to improve the trainee experience. Here we highlight those recommendations and how the Hutch and the Office of Scientific Career development are addressing these needs.
1. Supplemental Mentorship: Building a Mentoring Network workshop, career- and professional development-focused peer mentoring groups, Hutch United Mentoring Network
2. Peer Support: career-focused peer mentoring groups, peer review groups, SPAC peer social groups
3. Mentor Training: Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research and FLI Fundamentals training for faculty
4. Exit Surveys: Coalition for Next Generation Life Sciences graduate and postdoc outcomes
5. Clear Guidelines & Timelines: Survival Guide for all incoming graduate students and postdocs, Individual Development Plans (IDPs), 5 year postdoc limit
6. Standard &Transparent Salary & Benefits: NIH minimum salary scale, health benefits, postdoc childcare subsidy program
7. Career & Professional Development Resources: Ivory Tower Quest Program for faculty-track, Exploration Program for Industry Careers (EPIC) for industry-track, Grant Training Program, Mentorship Series, SPAC Conference and Course scholarships
We focus on professional development topics including research skill development, communication skills, project management and interpersonal networking.
The Ivory Tower Quest Series focuses on finding tenure track faculty positions. The series presents panels and talks on composing an application packet, interviewing skills, and negotiating a start-up package. We also provide a venue to give a practice chalk talk with faculty in attendance.
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 potential PhD career paths, including biotech industry careers.
The 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 Fred Hutch, EPIC features site visits to biotech companies in the area, 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.
A core component of the EPIC Program is to visit local biotech companies. Here's what a site visit looks like.
All current Fred Hutch graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical fellows are eligible to apply for this program.
Current trainees can find further details on our CenterNet website.
Our K & F award grant training programs offer guidance and feedback when applying for funding.
The Dr. Barbara L. Berg Scientific Career Transition Program provides career development and mentoring opportunities for Ph.D. scientists at Fred Hutch considering transitions to vital roles outside of the laboratory. Each awardee is matched with a primary mentor who is a leader in critical areas such as strategic planning, project management, science education, communications, philanthropy, business development and finance. Funding will offset the cost of training in one or more of these areas. Fred Hutch employees can learn more about the program on CenterNet.
The program pays tribute to Berg's legacy at the Hutch, where she served in a variety of administrative and leadership roles over nearly 20 years. The program launched in 2021 with the support of generous donations, including from Berg’s friends, family and former colleagues.
Dr. Karen Peterson, Director of the Office of Scientific Career Development, is available to current and former Hutch scientists to talk about career choices and options.
She can help you work through what you want to do next, connect you with people who have successfully made a transition into the type of position you want, review your application packet (CV/resume and cover letter), and help you think about how to best negotiate a job offer.
Karen is the author of the Nature Guide to Life Science Careers and has been offering career counseling and information to postdoctoral fellows and graduate students for over 20 years. In addition, she started as a postdoc at the Hutch and made a career transition away from the lab bench and into science education and administration.
Hutch graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have access to a number of opportunities and resources at Fred Hutch and in the Seattle area.
New to Seattle
Utilize the Workforce Development Council of Settle-King County's self-sufficiency calculator to calculate what salary you will need for a family of a certain size.
Also, be aware of the Washington Department of Labor minimum exempt salaries implementation schedule for planning purposes.
Affordable Housing Resources
The MFTE Program provides a tax exemption on new multifamily buildings in exchange for setting aside 20-25% of the homes as income- and rent-restricted. By supporting mixed-income residential development in urban centers, the MFTE program ensures affordability as the community grows.
As of 2019, Seattle’s Area Median Income (AMI) is currently $76,000. To calculate your %AMI divide your salary by Seattle’s AMI. This percentage will help determine what your rent limit is. View a table of income and rent limits.
If you are interested in applying for income/rent restricted units through the MFTE program, read the Renter’s Guide to Seattle’s Multifamily Tax Exemption and Incentive Zoning Programs.
The following is a list of non-profit organizations who offer affordable housing. Each organization has its own application process – contact each one to learn more.
Moving to Seattle from another country? Below is a compilation of resources for Fred Hutch International Scientists. Some on located on CenterNet, the Fred Hutch intranet, and required a HutchNet ID to log in.
Below is a list of resources for those whose first language is not English. There are a variety of courses and tutoring options available to practice and strengthen your English skills. You can apply for a SPAC Course Scholarship to help offset the cost of these courses/tutoring sessions.
Fred Hutch is a Sustaining Member of the NPA. All Fred Hutch graduate students and postdocs receive free affiliate membership in the NPA. Information can be found on OSCD CenterNet page for those that have a HutchNet ID.