The Postdoc Academy with Sarah Chobot Hokanson, PhD

The Postdoc Academy with Sarah Chobot Hokanson, PhD
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Graduating with a PhD is an unbelievable accomplishment. It is the culmination of many years of sweat, tears, hard work, and dedication. And for many who have finally received their PhD diploma, the next step is to get into a Postdoctoral Fellowship program. The transition can be difficult, so where can postdocs turn to in order for them to transition smoothly from graduate school to their next big adventure? The Postdoc Academy is designed just for that. 

Dr. Sarah Chobot Hokanson is Assistant Provost, Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs at the Boston University School of Medicine where she provides services and programming for all postdoctoral scholars at Boston University. Previously, Dr. Hokanson was US Deputy Director of Science and Innovation at the British Consulate-General in Boston. 

Dr. Hokanson has received an Executive Education Certificate for the Entrepreneurship Development Program from MIT Sloan School of Management. She also completed an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellowship at Cornell University in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Boston University and has earned her Ph.D. degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of When Science Speaks

[1:04] Mark introduces Dr. Sarah Chobot Hokanson

[2:58] The Launch of the Postdoc Academy

[3:48] The first course, ‘Succeeding as a Postdoc’, is open for registration now

[4:22] Benefits that students receive from joining the Postdoc Academy

[7:00] Highlights of the first course

[9:59] Plans for upcoming courses

Connect with Dr. Sarah Chobot Hokanson

Dr. Sarah Chobot Hokanson’s first episode on When Science Speaks

Sarah on LinkedIn

Sarah on Twitter

The transition from graduate student to postdoc

Becoming a postdoc is a major challenge and a change. While it’s important to begin the process with focus and attention, but the whole experience isn’t meant to last forever. That’s why it’s important to also give as much value to career planning and on your goals and plans once the Fellowship has been completed. The question is, how do you do this in the most effective way possible? Postdoc Academy was built to address that and the many other questions that come with the decision to pursue Postdoctoral Fellowship.

When transitions, new experiences, and planning for the future all happen simultaneously, it can be exhilarating. Postdoctoral candidates are often busy with many activities which is why the course designed by Postdoc Academy is flexible. The goal of the entire course is to provide transferable skills to postdocs in a wide variety of career paths through a comprehensive program. The course takes place over six weeks, with one week modules, but the weekly sections need not be completed until the six weeks have all been duly accomplished since the priority is the schedule and other study commitments of postdoc candidates. The cost of the course is also flexible with paid tracks available that will award certification and credentials. 

Succeeding as a postdoc

Leveling up from graduate school to a postdoctorate fellowship program is a major change. Not only will your expectations but so too will your routines. So what can you expect when you sign up with Postdoc Academy? What topics will be covered and learnings and benefits can you get from joining their course? Most importantly, how much will it cost to participate in a course?

The first course is called “Succeeding as a postdoc”, and is organized into four modules. It is focused on the transition between being a graduate student and career planning. The first module is a general overview and forming a career plan. The next module focuses on how to implement a career plan. Because stress can be a challenge for many postdocs, the third module is about resilience and stress management. The fourth and final module fulfills the Academy’s commitment to diversity and is about working in intercultural environments. 

Learn more about Dr. Sarah Chobot Hokanson and Postdoc Academy on this week’s episode of When Science Speaks.

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