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

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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Science Alliance


This page is for a past version of From Scientist to CSO. To register for the next workshop, click here.

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 6,500 young scientists from over forty partner organizations located in the New York metropolitan area, nationally, and around the globe.

Registration Pricing

Student/Postdoc Member$600
Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow)$650


October 15 – December 3, 2013





Oct 15, 2013

6–9 PM

The Business of Science

Randall Ribaudo, PhD, Human Workflows
Larry Petcovic, Human Workflows

Oct 19, 2013

10–5 PM

Successful Communications as a Scientist

Randall Ribaudo, PhD, Human Workflows
Larry Petcovic, Human Workflows

Oct 22, 2013

6–9 PM

Effective Leadership Styles

Randall Ribaudo, PhD, Human Workflows
Larry Petcovic, Human Workflows

Oct 29, 2013

6–9 PM

Developing Your People

Randall Ribaudo, PhD, Human Workflows
Larry Petcovic, Human Workflows

Nov 5, 2013

6–9 PM


Joshua Spodek, PhD

Nov 12, 2013

6–9 PM

Practical Project Management for Scientists

Randall Ribaudo, PhD, Human Workflows
Larry Petcovic, Human Workflows

Nov 19, 2013

6–9 PM

Basic Finance for Scientists

Eric Vieira, PhD, City University of New York

Nov 23, 2013

10–5 PM

Building Effective Teams

Randall Ribaudo, PhD, Human Workflows
Larry Petcovic, Human Workflows

Dec 3, 2013

6–9 PM

Path to CSO: Applying What You’ve Learned

Randall Ribaudo, PhD, Human Workflows
Larry Petcovic, Human Workflows



Thomas Magaldi, PhD



Joshua Spodek, PhD, MBA


Former rocket scientist now entrepreneur, leadership coach, and speaker, Joshua Spodek (PhD '00, Astrophysics; MBA '06; both Columbia University) has succeeded at many big things that few people even try.

He studied with Nobel Prize winners and helped build a European Space Agency X-ray satellite to observe supernova remnants, then started a business now operating globally based on several of his patents. He coaches leadership with the Columbia Business School Program on Social Intelligence and taught at New York University and the New School. He earned five Ivy-League diplomas; has shown his art in solo gallery shows and museums and installed large public art in New York and around the world; socializes with Academy Award winners; ran five marathons; and competed at national and global sporting events.

He has been quoted and profiled in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Fortune, CNN, and the major broadcast networks. Esquire Magazine named him "Best and Brightest" in its annual Genius issue.

Larry Petcovic

Human Workflows

Larry Petcovic brings 25 years of rich experience in a variety of industries; publicly and privately held companies, midsize (100MM) and larger (1.5B); in operational and staff positions. His entrepreneurial spirit and startup experience bring a pragmatic approach to his executive coaching techniques and his developing talent as in the SciPhD project of Humanworkflows. Larry is a Founder of 3rd Order Communications LLC and a Co-Founder of SciPhD.

He started his professional career as a Health Physicist and transitioned into the training of science subjects. He then managed all training for Ryland Group and specialized in sales and communications impact. Larry then pursued the GE workout process and directed process improvement programs for Ryland. He transitioned to assignments as VP of Training and VP Customer Service Operations for Chevy Chase Credit Card Operations. In the role of VP Human Resources, he managed a leverage buyout of a manufacturing firm. Throughout these roles, he continued to perform as Chairman of the Compensation Committee of a $100 Million NASDAQ service company for 15 years.

The SciPhD program is the result of the combination of Larry's many years of experience in developing and teaching social communications skills combined with his scientific and human resources industry knowledge and best practices. Larry continues to coach industry executives in high performance teams and is a qualified coach in several 360 and Leadership Effective Analysis type assessments. His work in behavioral competencies is based in his current research in the social neurosciences and social media practices.

Larry holds a BS in Chemistry, an MS from Rutgers University in Environmental Radiation Sciences, an MS from Johns Hopkins University in Behavioral Sciences and doctoral work in Executive Development at George Washington University. He is the creator of several unique team based diagnostic exercises and continues to write and explore the social neurosciences and stochastic decision making in executive communications.

Randall Ribaudo, PhD

Human Workflows

Human Workflows and SciPhD co-founder Dr. Randall Ribaudo has over twenty years of experience in the Scientific Research and biotechnology field and has successfully made the transition from academia to industry. Dr. Ribaudo co-founded Human Workflows after more than five years at Celera Genomics. During his time at Celera, Dr. Ribaudo has acted as a liaison between Celera and the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic communities, served as product manager responsible for developing support products for the Proteomics Groups mass spectrometry software, led the iScience Task Force to define strategic directions for sister company Applied Biosystems, advised on product development for the Celera Discovery System and enterprise solutions for information integration, and worked as a Manager of Strategic Solutions in the Informatics business.

Prior to Celera, Dr. Ribaudo worked at the biotechnology and bioinformatics company Molecular Applications Group. Dr. Ribaudo was responsible for presenting the revolutionary capabilities of MAG's products to representatives in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic communities.

Dr. Ribaudo also has extensive experience in the academic biological life sciences arena as well. After receiving a Ph.D. in Immunology at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Ribaudo joined the Laboratory of Immunology, NIAID at the National Institutes of Health where he studied the molecular basis of antigen presentation. Dr. Ribaudo then accepted a position in the National Cancer Institute in the Laboratory of Immune Cell Biology as a Principal Investigator where he developed his own research program studying the immune response to viruses and tumors, leading a team of postdoctoral fellows, technicians, and University and High School students. His work at the National Cancer Institute led to the development of a novel technology to develop vaccines against tumors and viruses. Dr. Ribaudo holds patents for this technology which are now being further developed by private companies.

All of this experience has provided Dr. Ribaudo with tremendous insight into the rapidly exploding technological capabilities in areas of discovery research, information and data management, as well as a detailed understanding of the skills and competencies required for scientists to be successful in industry careers.

Eric Vieira, PhD

City University of New York

Eric is no stranger to NYC's vibrant science community and technology commercialization. He received his PhD in Developmental Genetics from NYU in 2003 and went on to launch the New York Academy of Science's Science Alliance program. Under his direction, he organized numerous career development seminars and workshops, including NYC's first course on science entrepreneurship. In 2005, Dr. Vieira moved from NYAS to the finance world where he began a successful career as a biotechnology equity analyst. It was during this time that Eric began to appreciate the operational challenges facing the technology industry as it tried to keep pass with the ever increasing complexity of science and innovation, and the industry's need for a highly-skilled workforce. Dr. Vieira moved back to Academia in 2008 to rejoin the front line of scientific discovery and innovation and to assist in the development of those technologies for the advancement of society. Eric was most recently an Assistant Director in the Office of Technology & Business Development of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Currently, Dr. Vieira is the Director of Special Research Programs for the City University of New York and oversees the Professional Science Masters (PSM) initiative at CUNY, the Postdoctoral Development program system-wide, and manages the CUNY Designs for UNICEF Challenge. In addition, Eric is the Director in Manhattan for the Fundamentals of the Bioscience Industry Course, a program of the Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University (SUNY), and lectures on the business side of science and innovation. In 2012, Dr. Vieira became the Bioscience Practice Leader of the Bio & Health Tech Entrepreneurship Lab NYC, an initiative of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, which supports the growth and development of life science start-ups in NYC.

Class Summaries

October 15, 2013

Session 1: The Business of Science

Designing scientific projects, planning the work, assembling and leading a team to execute that work, monitoring progress, reporting the results and iterating that process is the hallmark of the scientific method. Whether this process is performed in industry, academia, or government settings, there are essential business best practices that maximize performance and success. The desire of many academic institutions to apply their research efforts more directly to impacting treatment of human disease through translational research increases the importance of mastering these business and social skills.

Students will be introduced to 24 core business and social competencies that are valued by industry for entry level positions, and that will help get the most out of their research team regardless of whether they pursue a career in industry, academia or government. We will look at the significant breadth of job types that can lead to a CSO position in the future and the core competencies necessary to excel in these positions. Students will also learn to use an online self-assessment instrument to determine their own abilities in each of these areas and how to identify the specific combinations of skills necessary for specific kinds of jobs. Based on the results of the self-assessment, students will learn how to relate their own scientific and life experiences to those critical competencies and turn perceived liabilities into a competitive advantage by expressing these experiences in appropriate business language in developing a targeted resume. Students will also be introduced to how these business and social skills can be leveraged to expand their networks, and enhance their performance during the interview process.

At the end of this session, students should be able to identify the top three objectives they want to achieve by the end of the course.

October 19, 2013

Session 2: Successful Communications as a Scientist

Recent PhD graduates learn and adapt communication skills mostly experientially in an academic and research environment. They learn from peers, teachers, bosses and from their social life. The result is communication skills that are content and small group oriented (mostly other science people).

Successfully working in industry requires a much higher communication skill level with an orientation beyond content and focused on building relationships with diverse functional groups (e.g. marketing, finance, legal), style groups (e.g. Introvert, Extrovert, Judging, Intuitive) and socially identifiable groups (e.g. green, capitalist, academic, shareholders). These higher level skills must be deployed in both an advocate and non-advocate social orientation. Science communications should always be both personal and global, advocate and non-advocate, content and relationship oriented.

In this 8 hour experience, participant behavior will accomplish the following:

  1. Using the content, affective and social components of a communication message, deliver a scientific findings statement in an advocacy and then non-advocacy style.
  2. Construct a scientific message for each class of public audience communication styles to include: Introvert, Extrovert, Sensing, Intuitive, Logical, Affective, Judging and Perceptive.
  3. Defuse and reframe an attack on one's science credibility using the skills of Active Listening, Emotional Intelligence, Social Reframing and Communication Calculus.
  4. Using scientific findings, expand a typical research result statement to be provided for the following audiences and outcomes:
    1. a technical audience to understand
    2. a public audience with an affective acceptance criteria (why should I care)
    3. a social media audience with the outcome of their willing advocacy (e.g. retweet) of your finding
    4. a doubtful audience to begin a fostering and trusting relationship
  5. Apply newly learned communications skills in following scenarios:
    1. Networking
    2. Interviewing

October 22, 2013

Session 3: Effective Leadership Styles

Most established academic scientists have spent their entire careers in academia. As a result, newly graduating science professionals learn about and experience leadership styles that are common within an academic setting. They learn from peers, teachers, and their Principal Investigators. In industry, there are generally six leadership styles that drive culture, management and leadership that are not common to academic settings. Thus, newly graduating PhDs have a very limited understanding of these six leadership styles and how they can be effectively used in their first year in a company.

The vast majority of failed employments in the first year of professionals are less about technical competence and more about aligning work practices with cultural and executive leadership expectations. The quicker the new professional can "read the culture", the quicker they are valued for their technical competency AND their social integration with the TEAM.

In this 3 hour experience, participant behavior will accomplish the following:

  1. Identify leadership behaviors that relate to one or more of the 6 primary leadership types.
  2. Rank the capacity of the participant to integrate with each of the 6 leadership types.
  3. Demonstrate behaviors that the participant could perform that would align with the preferred leadership style of an institution.

October 29, 2013

Session 4: Developing Your People

The pedagogical environment of academia works well in a knowledge based culture. In industry, the emphasis is on putting knowledge to work and the success measure is performance. These performance measures are increasingly being linked to building the capacity of work team members to constantly improve skills and competencies. New professionals in industry must be prepared to both drive their own continued professional development AND drive the continued development of all people who they manage, supervise or lead, or with whom they share work goals.

This session will focus on helping the participant learn and implement one of the most accepted and utilized performance management methods used to develop people in industry. The Situational Leadership Theory (SLT) of Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard will serve as a practical model to learn and apply methods to help other people succeed.

In this 3 hour experience, participant behavior will accomplish the following:

  1. Experience the 4 stages of developing oneself to a performance level.
  2. Evaluate an unnamed coworkers' performance using the SLT model.
  3. Design and implement a development plan for a coworker to move them to the next stage of the SLT model.
  4. Provide an experiential example for use on a resume that would demonstrate the ability to enable others to succeed in a work environment.

November 5, 2013

Session 5: An Introduction to Negotiation by and for Scientists

Negotiation is a fundamental skill pervasive to business and all give-and-take human relations. This class will show the creative, relationship-building side of negotiation that is neither hard nor soft but principled. Attendees will learn theory and practice to enable them to approach situations calling for negotiation with calmness and knowing how to prepare effectively. Theory includes distributive (dividing the pie), integrative (expanding the pie), positional, and principled negotiating styles; the concept of a best alternative to a negotiated agreement; and the importance of preparation. Practice includes guidelines to negotiate with principles, without giving in or estranging, how to prepare effectively, how to expand the pie for improved relations and outcomes, awareness of hardball techniques, and how to find more resources.

The instructor will also illustrate the value of negotiating skills in his transformation from an academic scientist to business leader, as well as how you can improve your own negotiation skills, no matter what your current level of experience.

November 12, 2013

Session 6: Practical Project Management for Scientists

Students will learn the three cornerstones of project management: "time", "cost" and "objectives", and how to manage those three critical entities using combinations of the 24 core competencies introduced in the first session. Students will learn the importance of tactical planning, communications, negotiation, and control in being an effective project manager. Students will become familiar with the tools and language of project management so that they can more effectively fit into cross-matrixed teams, and in some cases even assume the role of project manager. Examples drawn from familiar scientific experiences will be used to demonstrate the various aspects of effective project management, the benefits of it being used properly, and the consequences when it is not. Upon completion you will be able to:

  1. look at any project and immediately determine who is your customer (you can only have one!)
  2. identify the critical objectives
  3. develop a project plan to meet those objectives.

November 19, 2013

Session 7: Basic Finance for Scientists

The overall objective of this class is to learn the basics of finance from a manager's perspective. By the end, you should be able to understand the difference between the income statement and a balance sheet, recognize how money (capital) is being put to work by your organization and whether it is having a positive impact, and how to forecast your company's financial future. Students will be introduced to such fundamental principles as: Return-on-Investment (ROI), the Time Value of Money, Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return, Depreciation and Amortization.

November 23, 2013

Session 8: Building Effective Teams

The new PhD graduate entering the industrial or any workforce can accelerate their career by demonstrating their ability as an attentive team member AND by demonstrating their capacity to LEAD a small team. Previous academic experience with teams (if any) will be the starting point to launch this set of six (6) additional front line tools to help make team performance more efficient and effective.

Successfully working in industry requires flexible and adaptive behaviors that can pull from a variety of proven performance management tools. Based on the participant's previous experiences with teamwork, six (6) new team management tools will be integrated into the natural leadership style of the participant that will enable the participant to both play a more comprehensive team member role as well as take responsibility as a team leader of a small group. These same six (6) tools can be applied to an academic/research environment.

In this 6 hour experience, participant behavior will accomplish the following:

  1. Rank the 6 tools in preference to a participant's natural leadership style and likelihood of deployment
  2. Apply each of the 6 tools to a current work opportunity as a team member and/or as a leader
  3. Select 3 of these 6 tools which will be the participant's key deployable first line enhancement opportunities: Social Reframing, Continuous Improvement, 4 C's, 360 Calculus, SWAT and Decision Mapping.
  4. Provide an experiential example for use on a resume that would demonstrate the ability to enable a small team to improve efficiency and/or effectiveness as a team member and/or as a team leader.

December 3, 2013

Session 9: Path to CSO: Applying What You've Learned

In this final 3-hour session we will demonstrate how to build an effective network by leveraging your professional and social contacts along a path to becoming a CSO. We will model the use of your network along with the business and social skills learned throughout this course to develop and execute a targeted interview strategy. We'll also review key learning points from each session and how they all tie together to enhance your performance whether in academia, government, research or industry. Each participant will leave this course with new knowledge in developing his or her short and long-term career plans. In this final session we will accomplish the following:

  1. Identify at least 3 key resources for building your business and social networks
  2. Practice new communication and personality techniques in phone and onsite interviews.
  3. Establish a career plan that maps your goals for the next 5-7 years
  4. Work in small teams applying your new skills to solve a REAL problem

Travel & Lodging

Our Location

The New York Academy of Sciences

7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street, 40th floor
New York, NY 10007-2157

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The New York Academy of Sciences is a member of the Club Quarters network, which offers significant savings on hotel reservations to member organizations. Located opposite Memorial Plaza on the south side of the World Trade Center, Club Quarters, World Trade Center is just a short walk to the Academy.

Use Club Quarters Reservation Password NYAS to reserve your discounted accommodations online.

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