Office of Scientific Career Development

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.

Professional Development Workshops

We focus on professional development topics including research skill development, communication skills, project management and interpersonal networking. 

Ivory Tower Quest Series


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. 


  • Two Panel discussions on putting an application packet together and the interview process are available on streaming video.
  • Sample application packets from postdoctoral alumni now holding faculty positions.

First Friday Series


First Friday is a series of seminars that educate our postdocs and graduate students to non-academic science-related careers. The format for First Friday events ranges from presentations from one individual to presentations from a panel of individuals.

Previous First Friday topics include:

  • Science Education Outreach Careers
  • From Pipettes to Patents (Patent Law)
  • Science Writing
  • The ABCs of Biotech Careers:  Academics, Biotechnology, and Corporate Science
  • Technology Transfer Office-Related Careers
  • Careers in Project Management
  • Consulting Careers

Exploration Program for Industry Careers


Exploration Program for Industry Careers (EPIC) is focused on preparing postdocs and graduate students for careers in the biotech industry via a series of workshops and site visits to local biotech companies. View the Student/Postdoc Avisory Committee page for more information.

Career Counseling for Current and New Scientists

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.

Free Affiliate Membership in the National Postdoctoral Association


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.

Multifamily Tax Exemption (MTFE) Program


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 the urban centers, the MFTE program ensures affordability as the community grows.

As of 2017, Seattle’s Area Median Income (AMI) is currently $67,200. 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.

Professional Development


The Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Burroughs Wellcome Fund have several resources available  including: Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty, second edition. The second edition of this popular collection of practical advice from seasoned biomedical investigators has been updated with material from the 2005 BWF-HHMI course in scientific management. The book covers a range of issues of concern to beginning academic scientists: obtaining a job, time management, mentoring students, getting funding, publishing, and more. The second edition also contains three new chapters on laboratory leadership, project management, and teaching and course design.

The American Society for Cell Biology has career webinars available online and several Career Advice books for life scientists. They also have information on Non-Traditional Careers for scientists

NIH Training Workshop Videocasts

AAAS Science Career Webinars

The Institute for Translational Health Sciences has Career Development presentations that Hutch postdocs and graduate students can attend and a Self-Directed Online Learning Center with videos of past presentations.

International Scientists


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.

English as a Second Language (ESL)


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.

Contact Amber Ismael

Last Modified, June 20, 2019