• Science Alliance
  • Science Alliance
  • Course Offerings

    Below are some of the recurring programs we offer annually or biennially. We also host a number of other events that are continually added throughout the year — check our Events and Publications page for the most current listing.

    From Scientist to CSO: A Leadership Prep Course for Scientists in Business, Academia, Government and Research Institutes

    With the shift in available jobs moving away from academia and the need to “do more with less” dollars, understanding the skills necessary to compete and succeed in a business or industry setting is critical. While universities are effectively training scientists to solve problems and think analytically, they often neglect to develop the communication, performance management and team building skills that are essential for both careers in business and industry and for leading a productive and efficient academic research team. This program addresses three stages of a young scientist career: getting ready for a competitive job market, discovering and using ALL of your talent to secure a desired job position, and, successfully perform as a team member and leader for the first 18 months in a new position and culture.

    From Scientist to CSO is designed with a focus on students, postdocs, and other technical professionals making the transition and seeking preparation for leadership and management positions in any organization. Based on the SciPhD training program, From Scientist to CSO introduces the 24 core business competencies essential for the initial career success outside of academia. These transition business competencies can also be applied by academic and government scientists to improve the way in which they run their laboratories. This course provides training in the following key areas: Team Leadership, Performance Management, Communications, Project Management, Process Improvement and Finance.

    One of the most effective and unique features of this program is how the instructors relate these business competencies to the Scientific Method and associated research activities and behaviors commonly experienced by academic scientists. This approach helps students gain an awareness and deeper understanding of how their own experiences can strengthen their competitiveness for industry positions. The course also provides a self-assessment tool that introduces students to each of the 24 competencies, has them rank their own skill level, and develop “experience statements” from their own career that supports their rankings. A detailed report generated by the assessment tool then maps the student's capabilities to those that are critical to different kinds of jobs in different industries. The instructors will then show how to use this information to develop powerful targeted resumes, and prepare for effective interviews.

    The 24 competencies at the heart of this course fall into six categories:

    Creating the Vision
    Technical Scientific
    Risk Management


    Technical Literacy
    Style Flexibility
    Emotional Intelligence
    Social Intelligence

    Developing People

    Achieving Results

    Financial Acumen
    Return on Investment
    Internal Rate of Return
    Determining Performance Metrics
    Managing the Balance Sheet

    This 40 hour course is offered over nine sessions, meeting 7 Tuesday evenings and 2 full days on Saturday from October to December. In order to receive a certificate of completion, students must attend 80% of the classes.

    From Scientist to CSO is being presented by the Science Alliance program of the New York Academy of Sciences. Science Alliance provides career education, development, and training for graduate students and postdocs in the sciences and serves 8,000 young scientists from over forty partner organizations located in the New York metropolitan area, nationally, and around the globe.

    Making the Leap: A Non-Academic Career Planning and Job Search Boot Camp

    Making the Leap is a 2-day career boot camp designed to help demystify the nonacademic job search process and teach young scientists how to explore different career paths, determine which ones are a good fit, and successfully prepare and apply for potential jobs. This event is targeted to students and postdocs in the sciences planning to enter the job market within the next year; other scientific career changers are also welcome to attend.

    The program features the following workshops:

     • Career Planning and Self-Assessments
     • Planning for Success
     • PhD Workforce Outlook Panel
     • Talking Your Way into a Great Job
     • The Scientist's Conundrum: CV, Resume or Something In-Between?
     • Jumping Off the Ivory Tower: Preparing for Interviews Outside Academe
     • Evaluating and Negotiating Job Offers: Demystifying the Process

    Some of the excellent feedback we've received includes:

    It made the seemingly daunting task of finding my way into careers outside academia less overwhelming. I am very thankful!

    Information is applicable to a wide range of people/career stages. Useful if staying in academic field, too. Will help me to mentor those around me. Truly excellent. I will recommend it to others.

    I thought it was well done and achieved the goals it set out to accomplish.

    Information we would not get fast in such a competent way. I love it I will definitely recommend the course to others. Thank you!

    Almost all information was helpful and applicable to my future job search. Thank you!

    The workshop gave a great overview of many aspects of the job search process. It was wonderful to cover so many topics, and understand how they relate to each other. Thank you for organizing this!

    This 2-day program of back-to-back career development workshops is offered once per year in the Fall.

    From Idea to IPO: The Technology Venture Course

    From Idea to IPO is a 12-week course that, since 2004, has taught nearly 500 young innovators in the NYC metropolitan area the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship. Specifically designed for PhD students, postdocs, and other science professionals, it teaches you how to take the right idea from the laboratory to the marketplace, starting with identifying the commercial opportunity of an idea or invention to gathering the financial resources and talent to start a company.

    From Idea to IPO is divided into two modules:

    1. Opportunity Recognition and Evaluation: technology innovation ecosystems, going from idea to opportunity, creating a business model, and entrepreneurial marketing

    2. Pursuit of Opportunity: tech transfer and patent protection, finance and accounting basics, venture financing, legal and accounting issues, building the startup team, and scientist as CEO

    The course is taught through a combination of lectures, case studies, and team projects. Guest speakers, judges, and team mentors include entrepreneurs as well as members of the tech transfer, law, accounting, and finance communities. In order to receive a certificate of completion, students must attend 80% of the classes and contribute to a team project that will require giving two short in-class presentations on an "Opportunity Analysis Plan" and an "Opportunity Execution Plan."

    From Idea to IPO is a 12 session course that meets once per week in the evening for 3 hours and is offered every Spring at the Academy.

    What Can You Be With A PhD?

    Supported by a New York City regional consortium of colleges and universities and recognized as a nationally preeminent career convention, What Can You Be With A PhD? is a unique opportunity to connect the private and public sector, industry and academe with the rising generation of scientists and engineers who will become tomorrow's leaders and innovators.

    The event fosters early career exploration and planning through exhibitors, industry representatives, symposia focusing on opportunities and trends in career sectors, and networking. The overall program features exhibitors and symposia in the following tracks:

     • Academic, private and government research and administrative careers
     • Biomedical, physical science and technology-based industry careers
     • Financial, legal and corporate careers
     • Careers in publishing and communications
     • Entrepreneurship

    This two-day, multi-function event is hosted at NYU's Langone Medical Center every other Fall. The next occurrence is scheduled for Fall 2013.

    Journey Through Science Career Day

    Each year, up to 50 exceptional students and early career scientists (MS, PhD, postdoc) are selected for a unique opportunity to interact with PepsiCo's R&D leadership, learn about their efforts to develop products rooted in science-based nutrition, and get an exclusive glimpse of how science has shaped their careers. Additionally, each participant is asked to present a poster on their research to highlight and share their own activities and interests with PepsiCo. This event is sponsored by PepsiCo and is hosted at the Academy every December. Applications are solicited starting in May and are due in mid-September. For more information, visit

    Risky Business: A Pharmaceutical Industry Strategy Workshop

    Pharmaceutical companies make some of the biggest gambles of any industry: multi-million, even multi-billion dollar investments on a new drug. These investments can take more than a decade to play out. Scientific and technical barriers produce a high failure rate: Only one in ten new Phase I drugs make it to the market.

    It appears obvious that partnering through business development and licensing (BD&L) can reduce the risks. However, key employees in R&D, BD&L, finance, sales & marketing, manufacturing and other areas often have a limited appreciation of how these risks actually strike or how to reduce them.

    What is Risky Business All About? This course gives professionals from inside and outside the pharmaceutical industry- including students and postdocs- a much better understanding of how the R&D and BD&L processes operate. Participants get involved in a board game that has been developed specifically to mimic the pharmaceutical industry. The game enables players to absorb the complexities of R&D and BD&L easily and quickly!

    How the Game is Played Each participant takes on the role of a pharmaceutical executive. The game gives them the experience of a multi-year drug development process, the creation of corporate strategies, management of the R&D pipeline, and the execution of partnering strategies. During the game, seven turns are played. In each turn, teams receive funds and Phase I projects and invest in their projects or infrastructure. They can negotiate and arrange deals with other teams. Each team completes its turn by paying for R&D projects, infrastructure investments and deals, where applicable. Rolling the dice determines the success or failure of each R&D project. The team with the highest company value in the final turn wins.

    The game lasts five hours and includes short presentations on topics such as:

    • How does pharma R&D really work?
    • How are R&D projects and deals evaluated?
    • What are industry benchmarks of key R&D parameters like success rates, costs and duration per development phase?

    Participants experience project successes and failures, and watch licensing deals produce value or write-offs. They therefore see the benefits and risks of going it alone vs. partnering in development, manufacturing, and marketing and sales. Risky Business is simultaneously a fun experience and a challenging team exercise, one that deepens strategic thinking and understanding across all functions and levels in pharmaceutical companies.

    Partnerships with New York Women in STEM and the Minority Graduate Student Network

    The Academy aims to promote dynamic careers in STEM for all scientists. Science Alliance offers programming in collaboration with NYWiSTEM and the Minority Graduate Student Network to advance the careers of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.