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From Scientist to CSO: Experiencing the Scientific Method as your Guide to Career Success

From Scientist to CSO: Experiencing the Scientific Method as your Guide to Career Success

Saturday, October 29, 2016 - Saturday, December 10, 2016

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By


Course Description

Enhance your communication, leadership, and teambuilding skills that all employers value by taking SciPhD’s From Scientist to CSO, one of the most popular courses offered at the New York Academy of Sciences. This Professional Development course for scientists and engineers will not only help you develop business and soft skills that are vital for success in all careers, but will teach you how to differentiate yourself from your competitors when applying for jobs.

Last year, 95% of individuals who participated in the course and took the survey stated that they were better prepared to work in teams and lead others as a result of taking From Scientist to CSO. The same percentage of people stated that they would also recommend this course to friends and colleagues who are seeking leadership positions. Of the people who were applying for jobs while taking the course, 90% stated that From Scientist to CSO helped them land an interview or job offer!

After taking From Scientist to CSO, you will be able to:

  • Understand the business processes that drive science in industry and how your own experiences enhance your qualifications
  • Understand how business processes follow the principles of the scientific method
  • Define your real employment value in terms of your scientific, business, and social identities
  • Learn the many career paths where the PhD can be an advantage–from bench scientist to technical writer to investment analyst
  • Research a job ad and the company to identify the critical scientific, business, and social skills they are looking for
  • Develop a targeted resume that demonstrates why you are qualified for the job
  • Build your high quality network to enable you to gain intelligence and get your resume on the hiring manager’s desk
  • Experience the communications skills that enable you to build strong relationships, productively interact with people regardless of their personalities, and elevate you as a team player
  • Understand the essentials of strategic project management and how to apply your business and social skills to be a contributing project team member
  • Experience the basic styles of leadership and how you integrate into a company to be an effective team member
  • Experience team improvement methods that advance your workgroup to be more like a high performing team
  • Draw on everything you’ve learned, experience the application of communications, leadership, and business process in managing a company, buying and selling assets and making successful business decisions

Full Course Description

With the shift in the available jobs moving beyond academia to industry, non-profit organizations, and other non-academic settings, understanding the skills necessary to compete and succeed in these settings is critical.  Traditional graduate and post-graduate programs focus primarily on developing scientist’s technical identity by training scientists to think analytically, but often neglect to develop their business and social identities. Communications, performance management, and team building are critical skills in order to be competitive in all careers. This certificate program introduces the key competencies that are valued by hiring organizations for entry-level positions, and essential for career success.  Based on the SciPhD training program, this course focuses on 24 essential core competencies valued by industry and business, relates those competencies to activities and behaviors commonly experienced by academic scientists through the scientific method, and demonstrates how those competencies work together to form the operational competencies that are essential in business.  These transition business competencies can also be applied by academic and government scientists in running their laboratories.

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

Creating the Vision
  • Strategic
  • Technical Scientific
  • Innovative
  • Risk Management
  • Champion/Energy
  • Structuring
  • Control
  • Tactical
  • Delegation
  • Technical Literacy
  • Style Flexibility
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Social Intelligence

Developing People
  • Collaboration
  • Enabling
  • Empathy
  • Rapport

Achieving Results
  • Production
  • Focus
  • Competition

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

Despite the fact that these topics are rarely part of the traditional academic research scientist's curriculum, there are many activities associated with the academic experience that draw on these skills.  One of the most effective and unique features of this program is how the instructors relate these “business” concepts to common research activities as a bridge to a deeper understanding of how their own experiences can strengthen their competitiveness for industry positions.  The course also provides a self-assessment tool that introduces the students to each of the 24 competencies, has them rank their own skill level, and has them 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.

This course is offered over four full day sessions, held at the Academy on Saturdays from October to December. In order to receive a certificate of completion, students must attend 80% of the classes of the course.


“The course helped me understand how to translate the skills I have from my research and make it applicable to industry, especially for non-research positions.  I used these skills in applying for the position I'm currently being considered and expecting an offer for. I now have a better understanding of interpersonal communication and the forces that govern it.  I've always thought of myself as a good communicator, but Larry and Randy showed me important nuances that made me even better.  It helped me understand the road-blocks to effectively communicating with and developing a student I had been supervising!”

“It helped me to develop the soft skills better on a broad scale, facilitate interactions in the academic environment, raise awareness when interacting with people from industry, finance, etc., improve managerial skills on the day-to-day basis and especially become savvier when negotiating things, applying for a job, getting the resume in tiptop cutting edge format”

“Both Randy and Larry were super-approachable and available for individual discussions after class. The venue was beautiful–even though I was tired at the end of the day, I looked forward to going to class. -For me, taking the course coincided with my academic job search and the interview process. The course really kept me in the mindset of transitioning to becoming a faculty member. Soon after the course ended, I got my first offer! Thanks to the course content, I now feel prepared to manage my own lab.”

“The Scientist to CSO course has helped me broaden my horizons. As scientists, we tend to spend almost all our time in our little cocoons. The Scientist to CSO course introduced me to several important and broadly relevant concepts in the management of both people and projects and I have found these ideas extremely beneficial in my current activities as a research scientist in industry.”

“What I learned in the CSO course was very helpful during [my job] selection process (especially everything related to communication), and I hope it will help me to keep my job for a very very long time.”

“Thank you very much for the opportunity to take this great course at the New York Academy of Sciences! I enjoyed taking these classes with you [Tom Magaldi], Larry and Randy! I attribute the success of my key [job] interview in large part to speaking with Randy three days before meeting with my [hiring] manager, as well as the overall class content.”

“The class gives you the frameworks that help understand where scientists fit within business realms, and gives one the vocabulary to describe things one already does in a business-friendly way. This class, unlike anything offered by university career services, helps to understand how, as a PhD, one is seen by the business people. It gives students both the knowledge about the business world and the confidence to go for it. I would highly recommend the class.”

Course Instructors

Larry Petcovic

Human Workflows

Randall Ribaudo, PhD

Human Workflows


Yaihara Fortis, PhD

The New York Academy of Sciences

Registration Pricing

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


Saturday, October 29, 2016 • 10 AM – 6 PM

Session Titles:
  • Business of Science
  • Six Leadership Styles
  • Successful Communications as a Scientist Part 1

Saturday, November 5, 2016 • 10 AM – 6 PM

Session Titles:
  • Successful Communications as a Scientist Part 2
  • Developing Your People
  • Applied Communications and Networking

Saturday, November 19, 2016 • 10 AM – 6:30 PM

Session Titles:
  • Building Effective Teams
  • Negotiating with your Advisor
  • VIP Networking Reception with Alumni

Saturday, December 10th, 2016 • 10 AM – 6 PM

Session Titles:
  • Financial Literacy
  • Practical Project Management for Scientists
  • Wrap up, Graduation, and Celebration

Course Instructors

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.

Networking Guest Reception

Daniel Ciznadija, PhD

Analytics and Outcomes Research at Champions Oncology, Inc

Dan DeDora,PhD

Morgan Stanley

Marcella Flores, MPH, PhD

amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Marcella Flores received her PhD from Columbia University in the department of Microbiology studying viral immune responses. She continued postdoctoral training at the Institute Cure in Paris studying pathogen sensing and at Columbia University studying suppression of the interferon response. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences. In 2015, Dr. Flores founded The Reagent Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to redistrubing donated lab equipment and materials to scientists and STEM educators in need, where she serves as President and CEO. Dr. Flores is also currently Associate Director of Research at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, a nonprofit funding biomedical research towards a cure for HIV. Dr. Flores completed the Scientist to CSO course at the New York Academy of Sciences in 2013.

Dan Li, PhD

Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Dan Li is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and her work focuses mainly on pathogenic mechanisms of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Dan received her PhD from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in 2014, where she investigated the drug candidates that could potentially prevent heart disease. Dan Li worked shortly as a technical sales manager in a startup biotech company right after finishing her PhD training. Her love for medical research eventually drove her to return to the academia. She joined the Feinstein in July 2015, and has been working on immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases. Dan was one of the early students of our CSO course in 2011.

Nidaa Marsh, PhD

International Meetings and Science (IMsci)

Nidaa Marsh uses her strengths as a scientific writer, communicator and strategist to propel medical education initiatives forward to address pharmaceutical client needs in the US and abroad. She is a Senior Scientific Associate at International Meetings and Science (IMsci) in Stamford, CT, where she provides scientific and strategic support for multiple accounts, focusing on vaccine-preventable diseases. Prior to joining IMsci, Nidaa worked in academic research, with a focus on the role of ion channels in various therapeutic areas including epilepsy, anesthesia, drug and alcohol addiction, and neuronal degeneration. Before transitioning to medical education, Nidaa was a post-doctoral fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY, received her PhD from the George Washington University in Washington, DC, and her BS in Biopsychology from Wagner College in Staten Island, NY. She completed the SciPhD course "From Scientist to CSO" in 2013.

Lindsay McCraken, PhD

U.S. Trust

Anar Murphy, PhD

John Wiley And Sons

Paula van de Nes, MSE, PhD

Concentric Health Experience

Paula provides the agency and its clients with medical, scientific, and strategic expertise. Her healthcare advertising and marketing experience spans several therapeutic categories, including oncology, mental health, and immunology, at various stages of the product lifecycle. Most recently, she successfully launched ZYKADIA for ALK-positive NSCLC for which she helped develop a marketing strategy based on Phase I clinical data, and a portfolio of biosimilars for which she helped develop a hybrid branded-generic marketing strategy.

Paula received a doctorate in molecular neuroscience and master's degree in life science engineering. Prior to embarking on a career in healthcare advertising and marketing, she was an adjunct professor and taught Anatomy and Physiology at CUNY. Over the years, she has enjoyed disseminating medical and scientific concepts to audiences of all ages and walks of life.

Shuang Wu, PhD

Sino-American Pharmaceutical Professionals Association

Session Descriptions

Day 1: Saturday October 29, 2016

Session I: 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 the SciPhD 24 core business and social competencies that are valued by industry for entry level positions, and that will help them 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 leadership positions 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.

At the end of this session, students should be able to analyze a job ad, map the essential scientific, business and social skills to their own experiences and express those skills in a compelling targeted resume. This process serves to differentiate the candidate from their competition.

Session 2: Six 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 primarily from, faculty, and their principal investigators. We will focus on six leadership styles that drive culture, management and leadership that are common to professional settings. 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 leadership style, the quicker they are valued for their technical competency AND their social integration with the TEAM.

In this 3 hour session, participants will accomplish the following:

  1. Identify leadership behaviors that relate to one or more of the 6 primary leadership styles

  2. Rank the comfort level of the participant to integrate with each of the 6 leadership styles

  3. Demonstrate behaviors that the participant could perform that would align with the preferred leadership style of an institution

Session 3a: Successful Communications as a Scientist Part 1

Recent PhD graduates learn and adapt communication skills mostly experientially in an academic and research environment. They learn from peers, faculty, their PI and from their social experiences. The result is a communications focus that is typically content and “science group” oriented.

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. non-profit, capitalist, academic, shareholders). Science communications should always be both personal and global, advocate and non-advocate, content and relationship oriented.

In this session, 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. Learn to communicate effectively with individuals of different technical background and experience.

  3. Construct a scientific message for each class of public audience communication styles to include: Introvert, Extrovert, Sensing, Intuitive, Logical, Affective, Judging and Perceptive.

Day 2: Saturday November 5, 2016

Session 3b: Successful Communications as a Scientist Part 2

We will continue our in-depth experiential learning of advanced communications by focusing on applying the skills of Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence:

    1. Defuse and reframe an attack on one’s science credibility using the skills of Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence.

    2. Develop an elevator pitch to a variety of audiences including:

      • a technical audience

      • a public audience with no specific science knowledge

      • a doubtful audience to begin a fostering and trusting relationship

    3. Apply newly learned communications skills in following scenarios:

      • Networking

      • Validating job ads

      • Interviewing

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 where the measure of success is performance. New professionals in industry must be prepared to drive their own continued professional development AND drive the continued development of all people who they manage, supervise or lead.

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 session, participant behavior will accomplish the following:

  1. Experience the 4 stages of developing oneself to a high performing level

  2. Design and implement a development plan for a coworker to bring them through the four stages of learning to become reliable and independent performers.

  3. Provide an experiential example for use on a resume that would demonstrate the ability to enable others to succeed in a work environment.

Session 5: Applied Communications and Networking

In this session we will demonstrate how to build an effective network by leveraging your professional and social contacts along a path to becoming a CSO. You will learn to build your network in person, as well as online. We will develop and enhance our LinkedIn Profile so that you are a better target for hiring companies. 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. Learn to leverage your network to validate job requirements

  3. Leverage your network to get your resume on the hiring manager’s desk

  4. Practice new communication and personality techniques in phone and onsite interviews.

  5. Learn how to research the VIPs who will be attending the Networking Reception the following session so that you can engage them and make connections.

Day 3: Saturday November 19, 2016

Session 6: Building Effective Teams

The new PhD graduate entering any professional 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. Apply each of the 6 tools to a current work opportunity as a team member and/or as a leader

  2. Select 3 of these 6 tools which will be the participant’s key deployable first line enhancement opportunities: Process Mapping and Value Added Analysis, Benchmarking, Continuous Improvement, Brainstorming, Priority Matrix, and SWOT Analysis.

  3. 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.

Session 7: Networking Reception with CSO Alumni

Following the Building Effective Teams workshop, course participants will have the opportunity to meet and network with Alumni of the CSO course who are now working in exciting careers. They will have the opportunity to apply their newfound communications skills and elevator pitches from the previous sessions to initiate conversations and build relationships. These Alumni will discuss how the SciPhD CSO course helped them land their current position and how the course has allowed them succeed in the first few months on the job.

Day 4: Saturday December 10, 2016

Session 8: Finance and Negotiating your Total Compensation Package

In this 3 hour session we will discuss basic concepts of business finance that will benefit you as a professional. This will focus on understanding how money is put to work in your organization. Through our “learn by doing” approach, students will experience running a multi-million dollar company, negotiating with investors and banks, establishing partnerships with other companies and navigating mergers and acquisitions. We will also discuss and experience how to apply the communications and leadership skills that you have learned in order to be effective at negotiating with team members, as well as when considering job offers, and negotiating benefits that include salary, stock options, performance review timetables, and career advancement opportunities.

Session 9: Strategic 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. In this experiential learning session students will form project teams based on the previous session’s team performance activities and experience 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 function in 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 participants will be able to:

  1. Look at any project and immediately determine who is their customer (you can only have one!)

  2. Identify the critical objectives.

  3. Define goals, assumptions, success criteria, milestones and deliverables

  4. Apply communications, leadership and delegation skills from previous sessions in an experiential learning exercise

Behavioral-Based Interview Process

Throughout the program, students will experience the behavioral-based interview process and have the opportunity to apply their new knowledge in mock interview settings. By the end of the program, students should be well prepared for the real interview process and be competent and demonstrating their value to the hiring organization.

Travel & Lodging

Our Location

The New York Academy of Sciences

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

Directions to the Academy

Hotels Near 7 World Trade Center

Recommended partner hotel

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140 Washington Street
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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.

Other nearby hotels

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