Biotech Career Development Program
FFMI BCDP course-Brad audience

Fast Forward Medical Innovation

We offer a look at careers outside of the traditional academic tenure-track faculty position.

This structured, cohort-based career development program for STEM graduate students and postdocs guides participants through self-reflection, skill-building, and career exploration strategies in advance of seeking full-time employment or an internship/externship.

Throughout the program, participants engage in a series of workshops, seminars, panel discussions, and self-guided research opportunities to explore career options and prepare for an experiential learning opportunity with an on-campus unit, small business startup, large corporation, non-profit organization, governmental agency, law firm, or any additional non-academic entity. We also host an in-person networking event to put into practice many of the topics addressed in the sessions in a fun, low-stakes environment.   

Participants will attend one session every week (each 1.5 hours in length, generally) during the 12-week program. The weekly sessions will include a mix of panel discussions focused on different career sectors and skill building seminars and workshops. All of the sessions will run Thursdays 3:30pm - 5:00pm EST in a fully virtual setting.

Participation is by application only. We accept applications from graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.), postdoctoral fellows, and early-career researchers in STEM disciplines at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor campus.

Apply Here (full application cycle below)

The Biotech Career Development Program is provided by FFMI, Rackham Graduate School, and the UMMS Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. For questions, please contact Jon Servoss at [email protected].

Fast Forward Medical Innovation offers a comprehensive collection of educational programs and training tailored for busy faculty, students, clinicians, and researchers across the University of Michigan, and across the state, region, and nation.

Programs & Courses
Program Overview

Phase I: Career Exploration & Skill Building

Skill Building Seminars

Bi-weekly seminars are broken into two main focuses: career exploration skills and career launching skills. Career exploration skills include self-reflection, goal setting, and understanding the career landscape. Career launching skills consist of written and verbal communication skills, networking, and professional branding.

Career Exploration Panels

Examples of career sectors that have been represented in the past.

University Administration, Staff, and Support

  • Innovation Partnerships
  • Research Administration
  • FFMI Business Development
  • Research Commercialization
  • Clinical Trial Management
  • Research Analyst

Consultant /Nonprofit and Government/Other

  • Management
  • FDA Regulatory
  • USPTO
  • IP Law
  • Science Policy

Small Biotech Startups

  • CEO/COO/CSO
  • Research & Development
  • Business Development

Large Corporations

  • Research and Development
  • Medical Science liaison
  • Product Manager
  • Application Scientist
  • Clinical Trial Management

 

Phase II: Experiential Learning

Phase II is a self-driven, practical application of the skills and knowledge developed in Phase I. The BCDP Steering Committee will provide guidance and curated resources to help participants prepare for experiential learning opportunities (internships, externships, immersion) and job applications. Resources will include on-campus workshops, internship funding, individual career coaching, and other learning opportunities.

Additional Information
Program Expectations
  • Participants are required to attend all of Phase I – career exploration panels and skill building seminars – totaling four events per month.
  • As a result, Phase II is strongly encouraged, but not required for successful completion of the program.  Participants are required to write a reflection document and deliver a presentation on their participation in the program.
  • As a result, Phase II is encouraged, but not required for successful completion of the program.  Participants are required to write a reflection document and deliver a presentation on their participation in the program.
  • Participants will receive a certificate of completion.

Cost – There is no cost to participate in the program

Application Cycle Timeline

Wednesday, March 13 at 12:00 PM: Open house and application launch (Zoom - registration/link coming soon)

Monday, April 8 by 5:00 PM: Application deadline

Friday, April 19: Acceptance notifications will be sent

Friday, April 26: Program participation confirmation deadline 

Monday, May 6: Kickoff (time/location coming soon)

Apply Here

Seminar Schedule

The next course schedule will be posted when it is available.

Alumni Experiences

170+ Alumni Participants from 40 programs/departments, including…

  • 5 masters students
  • 111 doctoral students
  • 50 postdocs
  • 7 early career research scientists

Professional Activities of Participants

  • miLEAD Consulting Group
  • Michigan Graduate Consulting Club
  • Wolverine Venture Fund
  • Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund
  • FFMI Fellows Program

Job Titles of Past Participants

  • Clinical Data Analyst (industry)
  • Research Specialist (academic)
  • Research Scientist (industry)
  • 2 Engineers (industry)
  • Sales Associate (industry)
  • Technical Specialist (law firm)
  • Senior Program Manager (foundation)
  • Clinical Marketing Specialist (industry)
FFMI-Jackee-Sanchez-alum
Spotlight On
BCDP Graduate, Jackee Sanchez, Ph.D.

Learn how the Biotech Career Development Program provided Jackee Sanchez, Ph.D., a graduate of the U-M pharmacology program, with professional skills training and guided career exploration beyond the traditional academic tenure-track faculty route.

“I got an idea of the top three or four careers that I wanted to explore further by hearing from other professionals through the program,” said Sanchez. “I then forged connections with people in those positions and it led to the next steps in my career, landing me where I am today at AstraZeneca.” READ FULL ARTICLE.

FFMI-BCDP careers graphic

“I didn’t know what careers were out there! And the ones I did know about, I didn’t know what they looked like. I am really excited to have taken this course because it helped me identify what I want in a career and how to pursue it.”

BCDP graduate

“Assignments created accountability and certainly helped my progress, the structured access to relevant information is hard to find elsewhere.”

BCDP graduate

“The program provided me with goals and deadlines for my career development.”

BCDP graduate

“All the resources I learned about. Even if it is not what I am interested in I can share this information with a friend or colleague. All the information I gathered I think will help me be a more competitive candidate when I am applying for a job or at least I will know where to reach out to ask for help and feedback during that process.”

BCDP graduate
Meet the Team
Biotech Career Development Program Steering Committee
Maggie Gardner-FFMI BCDP committee Maggie Gardner, PhD
Program Lead for STEM Professional Development
Rackham Graduate School
FFMI-Jon Servoss headshot Jon Servoss, EdD
FFMI Director of Commercialization Education
Fast Forward Medical Innovation
FFMI-Kaylee Steen headshot Kaylee Steen, PhD
Associate Director of Professional Development and Trainee Support
Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
FFMI Ioannis Vasileios Chremos Ioannis Vasileios Chremos, PhD
Program Manager for Career and Professional Development, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, University of Michigan Medical School
FFMI-Katherine Schultz headshot Katherine Schultz
Commercialization Education Program Coordinator
Fast Forward Medical Innovation
Questions?
Contact Us
North Campus Research Complex (NCRC)
Building 520, 3rd Floor
2800 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800
Phone: 734-615-5060
About Us
Fast Forward Medical Innovation is a unit of the Medical School Office of Research, where our mission is to foster an environment of innovation and efficiency that serves the Michigan Medicine research community and supports biomedical science from insight to impact.