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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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05/10/17
Negotiations 7. Strategies and Inquiries
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Mature professionals, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 11:23 am

FL and I have been working together for several years,
first during a post-doc, then, a second post-doc and a series
of interesting temporary positions.  While the post docs
were related to her graduate training in advanced biomaterials
and coating technology, the temporary positions were in
a wide variety of disciplines from project management and
accounting, to analytical services, to quality control.

.
FL contacted me from outside the US about negotiating
a higher salary at a 10 year old company where a network
member currently works.  FL was offered a position for six
months, after which there would be a review to determine fitness
for longer term.  The contract specified starting date, supervisor,
and broad assignment responsibilities along with a starting
salary.
.
The initial request involved discussing what can be expressed
to bring up salary and that the salary being offered was 
lower than current pay as a temp.  The position is located in
Toronto, so it is a stretch to correlate ACS salary survey data
results, based on limited data and currency differences (although
I did approximate using estimated analogies.  
.
SALARY INCREMENT IDEAS
First, however, thank the company for the pleasant news that
was received for the generous offer.  It was highly sought and
enthusiastically received.  FL is flexible in scope of the position
and hours of work, however, is there any room for compensation
discussions….wait, don’t fill silence with excuses, let the hiring
manager think and respond.  State what your needs and desires
are before offering up give ups (you never know if your spouse 
might not have separate benefit coverage.).
.
Ask for the firm’s annual report, employee handbook, and a
formal job description
.  After you receive and review them you
will be better able to discuss the offer details.
.
FL sought a $10K improvement.  So we reviewed areas of
possible approaches– spousal health insurance, no relocation
expense, day care needs, hours of work, self improvement plan,
other deferrable benefits.  Since FL’s spouse has family health
care coverage and there are no relocation needs, these could be
offered as “give ups” to measurably increase salary.  FL is flexible
for hours of work and has no immediate day care needs.
.
If salary is not negotiable, ask if a sign-on bonus can be brought
up to compensate for the difference from your current position
and the unique bonus you might forfeit leaving your current 
employer.
.
Have a list of other negotiating wish items– personal computer,
loaded with professional responsibility software, professional
society memberships, special training programs, special 
commuter passes not listed in the employee handbook. 
.
We also shared details of negotiating workshops brought up
in earlier blog entries.
.
INQUIRIES
It is worth asking for details of the firm’s current and recent
past finances that would be listed in the annual report.  That
not being shared, along with number of employees and
ownership of properties where company activities are
conducted.
.
Through Fidelity Investments, we were able to share
financial data on this start up.  It is relevant to see if the
same data is offered.  Going to work for a company is just
like investing in the company and it is important to perform
due diligence in its financial and commercial viability.  Who
owns the company, what is the market value and trend
and are there legal issues of concern.
.
FINALIZING
After critical elements of the position negotiation are resolved
satisfactorily, request that an updated offer letter be sent for
approval.  Since its location is relatively close, it might be
a nice gesture to personally go to the location, sign it in
person and meet other employees with whom you will be 
working.
.
Send thank you notes to all members you meet.  It will
leave a positive impression.
.
ADDED VALUE:  Fidelity Investments has a Canadian affiliate
to support business research 
comments (0)
03/31/17
Where can grad students go for skills not taught in Universities
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, Leadership, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 11:28 am

This is a story about two conversations.  The first is
one with a very accomplished senior grad student.

The second conversation is one of a series with
a department of chemistry chairperson.
.
Ph.D. LACKING NEEDED SOFT SKILLS
Almost Dr. Smith (not his or her real name) wanted
to talk about a situation in which she finds herself.  She
has received several promising offers, only to be rejected
after providing references.  She has learned from a reliable
source that the reference supplied the information that her
writing skills were not up to acceptable standards, whereupon
the offer was pulled.
.
She asked what can she do now?  Learn by various means–
reading for style and formatting, specialized training to write
for specific audiences, and practice, of course are several 
possibilities.  Shouldn’t the grad school provide that for her?
.
The answer is generally, not in today’s climate.
Second conversation, now.
.
PROPOSAL TO CHAIRMAN TO OFFER PRACTICAL
SKILLS TRAINING 
[Bring a solution, when you ask about a big concern you
have.]
When the new chair was installed I went to her with the
concern that many graduates do not have essential writing
skills and other “Soft skills” that we need to be successful.
What are some courses, programs of study, and tutoring
assignments (shadowing, draft writing, editing, reading)
that are offered or can be offered?  We will bring it up to the
dean, was one response.  
.
Another time, post-docs are people without support,
representation or a voice.  What can be done to help their
case?  That is up to the individual PI was the response.  I reflected
on several national labs, medical schools and NIH programs
and received the feedback.  That is not something I can do.
.
I pursued:  Why not?  some of the ideas are nice, but I would
be stepping on people’s [departments] toes and it is imprudent
to do here.
Another reason is that I can not impinge on the time they are
working in the lab.  They have so many distractions and
commitments as it is.  To add another requirement would take 
time from the research work that needs to get done.
.
So, it goes.  Outside speakers emphasize it is important to “get 
out of the lab” and learn extra-curricular skills through different
activities, internships and volunteer roles.  Most students immediately
reflect that their boss would not like them doing that.  Most say
they feel pressure to be in the lab 7×12 getting results.
.
While I receive consistent support for Professional Development
 activities in summer and both semesters, I am only one and
so much more could be done to make a difference.  What we
do is as much or more than is offered in other R1 institutions.
Please send in ideas and concepts working in other institutions.
I look forward to them.
 
2 comments
02/24/17
Career Path Choices. Preferences, Luck and Skill
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:28 am

This week we talked about what is valued and sought for in

individuals when they seek different career paths.  Then we
began a two part discussion of soft  2 [listing in comments],
hard and wise skills that benefit professionals.
We pointed out that much of our life is quite unpredictable
and that what we start out wanting, doing and behaving 
changes throughout our life.  An interesting piece in Quartz
reported on statistical data where in the past we could reflect
on anecdotal instances in changes.
In the short term there remains a consistency in our wanting
doing and behaving, however.  Here we might pose that Luck
and Skill arbitrate on what happens in our careers.
CAREERS  =  LUCK  +  SKILLS
                        LUCK = preparation + opportunity + attitude
                                       + action
                                                         / Hard
                                          SKILLS  -Soft
                                                         \ Wise
We suggested it is useful to set objectives, develop a plan
to achieve them and look for opportunities to be and act
professionally along the way.  Build your committed network,
ask for help, create and learn from “teachable moments”,
continuously learn, and be optimistic.
Two pieces of feedback from our class offered questions–
1- how can I network better?  What should I learn and practice?
[understand your current personal values, behaviors and emotional
make-up;  small talk, understand others’ make-ups and adapt
to achieve win-win outcomes] 
2-  it seems like the skills you list are just things to trick people on.
What is the basis for each item on the list, they wondered.
[real life often is a series of unpredictable events with little time
to think.  Thus our habits will determine our behaviors.  We wish
to figure out what our habits are modify them to be more effective.]
It is hard for some to learn that professional work is strongly
influenced by our cultural, personal and value-based habits.
It is often the case that how you do something is as important as
the outcomes that you achieve.  Sometimes the result is “pure 
luck” but as we know we “create much of our luck”.
1 comment
02/05/17
Linkedin Updates. Dennis Brown Suggestions
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:03 am

 From Dennis Brown:

Ideas 5 and 8 are applicable.  Remember online marketing is
the current state of the art.  Job seekers can use this tool 
for “push Marketing.”
  use of keywords
  involvement in groups
  online presence
  links 
  connection to “hubs
1 comment
01/31/17
Small talk suggestions. Patrick King tips.
Filed under: Interviewing, Networking, Mentoring, First Year on Job
Posted by: site admin @ 4:10 pm

Reading a book that you may wish to get your hands on.

That is if you are interested in improving your “small
talk” skill.
I know I am.  So let me tell you more.  I am visiting several
friends and new acquaintances and am looking at how I can
improve my “connectability.”  We have brought up the critical
nature of this “co-curricular” practice”.
Patrick King wrote “The art of witty banter…” that offers
ideas that are encapsulated in three acronyms for different
circumstances.

HPM                         SBR                          EDR
draws on memory,    focused on topic       focused 
experiences and                                          on exploring
opinions
focused on you
History -                    Specific                     Emotion

Philosophy                Broad                         Details

Metaphor                  Related                       Restatement 

==========================================
H
   reply to comment
using personal experiences on a topic
this reminds me of…
what a coincidence…..

  personal stance on a topic
I always enjoyed….

M
   metaphor
there was a famous quote ….
this allows for a subtle change of topic
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

S
  ask to go deeper, more specific

B
  ask to springboard into subtopics

R
  explore into tangential topics
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

E
   It seems to me you feel ….  You are…. Other people’s emotions

D
   define the details
what were they wearing…
how was the weather…. How did you deal with it…

R
   employ 5 Ws to complete a restatement
is this what you mean?….

comments (0)
01/25/17
Entrepreneurs. Nonobvious trends and CCA Cooperatives
Filed under: Networking, Mentoring, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:12 am

One of the requests from one of the new students is “how
to get involved in entrepreneurial ventures.”  It got me to
thinking about things we could bring up.

Two interesting concepts that we can point out is Nonobvious
2017 and Cooperatives for entrepreneurs.
Rohit Bhargava gives thoughtful tips on 
finding nonobvious 

trends
before they take off.  This is something that should 
interest entrepreneurs.  He suggests ideas for trend curators:
 - be curious:  ask why, continuously be in learning mode
 - be observant of the small details of organization
 - attend to various ideas and hold back from fixating
 - pause and think through things;  avoid jumping to results
 - be elegant in expressing things

Riding on a flightI learned about CCA Global Partners which

has a remarkable corporate mission and business model to help
entrepreneurs.  The web site boasts more than ten divisions
of fields they enhance by bringing folks together involved
in related enterprises.
Sometimes seeing what works in one field helps progress
in your area.
 
comments (0)
08/21/16
Listening.
Filed under: Networking, Mentoring, Leadership, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 6:43 pm

R.Nicholls and L. Stevens presented a case that listening
is an underappreciated and poorly instructed skill that
has many barriers.  

It is time to put it out front and center on this blog as a
skill all professionals need to pay attention to.  Just how
do we do that?

Also, it is incumbent on our educational system to
engage students in regular exercises that will be an asset
in all endeavors.
.
Nicholls and Stevens write about a University of
Minnesota approach that improves outcomes.  Notable
are four activities of the listener: 

  Engagement to have an idea what is coming and “think 
ahead”
to conclusions and generating a summary statement
  Internal reflection about evidence, logic and 
interfering features
– emotions, background, completeness
  Active listening to bridge all information, data and 
circumstances
pointing out what might not fit even at
intermediate points
  “Listening between the lines” to assess emotions,
nonverbals, and speaker editing and emphasis.

The authors provide some appropriate cases and
suggestions some of which may apply in your situation.

Then, Zenger and Folkman reveal what you and I
think what we should do and that those things are not
enough to be a great leader-listener.  As the key
requirement for being a leader is listening to others —
Key among them:

 - deliberate on the substance of the message
 - be alert to and observe all communication elements
 - awareness of cultural, physical and behavioral biases and
barriers
 - acknowledge and support deeply held features
 - respect in not trying to hijack the initiative of the
speaker.
comments (0)
05/16/16
Can Job Security be decided by an Algorithm?
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:54 am

Can job security be relegated to  rely on algorithms?

My short answer is probably not, because it makes assumptions
to achieve an outcome in a reasonable amount of time.

Our careers make many shifts, turns, abrupt endings, transitions
and shifts at many unexpected times.  Why are they so
unpredictable?  For one thing, they are human endeavors
that result in and from mistakes or put another way less
than optimal outcomes.

I viewed Derek Lowe’s blog “The Algorithms are coming,”
in which he discusses and Angewandte Chemie article about
developing optimum and projected synthetic organic chemistry
paths to making synthetic target molecules with computer
algorithms.

As we decide it is a more efficient habit to employ algorithms
in our life, it is appropriate to ask such a question in relation to
important outcomes like dealing with job security. 

An algorithm is a set of commands or instruction steps designed
to achieve a suitable outcome or optimization, like page-rank,
min-max, and many others.  Algorithms have been in vogue
for centuries.  We observe many situations where robots, laser
optical devices and machines are making tasks minimizing human
intervention and judgment.  In fact, many “aggregators” use
algorithms to match up job descriptor keywords to display
positions a job seeker might apply for.

There will be an increasing marketing of career path algorithms
to lead you making your choice.  It is a very complicated
series of decisions that has a very long lead time, building
up of experience in some cases, developing soft and
wise skills and assessing your own desires and needs,
which often cannot be put into a search tool keyword list.

I found McHenry Community College has a nice list of
suggestions offering that it is not just a concern when in
a job seeking mode, but throughout our career as things
change.  An algorithm will not do this.

 

comments (0)
05/04/16
Professional Behavior. Cultural fit, Productive Habits and Pausing
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, First Year on Job, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:19 am

Approaching a job search and change feels like a change in mental
frame of mind, yet it should be little different than our routine.

Since what we think and how we behave comes down to routine
actions in response to a cue to achieve an outcome, certain habits
should be our professional pattern.  However, in different circumstances
and millieus, it might be different.  Thus, we need to figure out our
professional presence in these settings to be productive.

Some elements of our professional presence are expressed in
Charles Duhigg’s latest book.  Duhigg writes about
 a motivation (in particular “the five whys”)
 b teams and group norms that matter most
 c managing our focus (understanding reactive thinking and cognitive
tunneling)
 d stretch and proximal goal setting (plan with probability, not certainty)
 e decision making (using Bayesian psychology and probabilities)
 f innovation (using scaffolding and choice combinations)
 

Much of this we learn after the fact and some we do not ever
recognize.  If a job is not a good fit, we can feel less confident and
it seems like an act.  Trust can be missing with co-workers. 

Much has been discussed about what to look for in our careers.
Anna Hunter described it well when she mentioned the cultural
fit of us into an organization is the highest indicator of satisfaction.
The fit, she indicates, is a feeling (emotional), matches our interests
and values, involves tasks and interactions that serve our skill set

to continually grow and improve.

What tasks engage and excite you?
With whom did you work with and how were you related to them,
relationship-wise? [SUPERVISOR-PROFESSIONAL,
PEER-PEER]  What was the nature of your role?

Early in your career it may be helpful to experience different situations
and perform a pause moment to think about the experience both during
and reflecting afterwards on its bigger picture.
Pausing will help you prioritize the cultural aspects

When we are involved in the interviewing continuum, which happens
earlier now than in the past, we would seek out directions rather than
destinations and explore what we need to make progress.  Many positions
are not advertised and we need to match our intentions which we need to
put into words and demonstrate in competences and potential.

comments (0)
02/27/16
Watch-Outs. 94. Personal Presence, Job Search Tips, Academic SEO
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Networking, Mature professionals, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:06 am
Our world is emerging, evolving yet some things remain
as good habits in our job search.  This entry shares 
sites describing impressions and trends in how we appear
and what we wear is received by recruiters and interviewers.
We also uncovered an entry while targeted at academic
career track takes its key concepts from business development
and branding.
The third entry is a frank advertisement about the things
people with advanced technical degrees should be doing to
find opportunities and openings.  So often they display the
“prisoners’ dilemma” working for a faculty member exclusively
depending upon him or her to figure out what career path they
should choose and when and how to pursue that path.  It does
not work that way, as it is really your prime responsibility.  No
one tells you that.            
DRESSING FOR SUCCESS –> SUCCESS
SOURCE:  WSJ 2-21-16 “Why Dressing for Success Leads to
Success” 
There is an unconscious, nonverbal communication that
people offer in the clothing we wear for different circumstances.
You need to be aware of this as you enter the job market and
continue throughout your career.  Many of the comments
reinforce the importance of quality clothing and good grooming.

ACADEMIC SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

SOURCE  The Academic Triangle Blog
This article offers using marketing principles to increase your
search rank on Internet search engines.
-  Google scholar profile
-  Google +, Researchgate  ,Academia.edu
-  use of keywords in titles and abstracts
-  author a thoughtful blog
-  affiliate with panels, group discussions, and committed networks

FIND OPPORTUNITIES–> COMMITTED NETWORKS,
REFERRALS

SOURCE:  Cheeky Scientist
You must get out of the laboratory to find your next position,
as foreign as that world and experience may seem to you.
This cheeky scientist entry frankly spells out the realities for you
in the highly competitive, different “human” world of impressions,
relationships, and being in the right place at the right time. 

Most jobs are not advertised and many emails and uploaded
documents are not read or at least responded to. Committed
networks and referrals are key.  Take all opportunities to
differentiate yourself.
comments (0)
02/02/16
Trends in Technical Careers. Resistance to therapies, Crowdfunding research, Teams and innovation
Filed under: Networking, First Year on Job, Leadership, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:42 pm

Amazing new insights about working in the world of science and
technology poured out of a meeting last week while I was working
on other things.

They are so thoughtful and inspiring it is worth sharing them
and making the case that smaller (boutique) societies have
incredible value
.  What they aim to do is look for the unmet
needs of the larger, very topic oriented (silos of sub-disciplines).
They seek out the intersections of fields and the forefronts of
research
often outside of the realm of the larger industrial
organizations.

On reflection, three outstanding findings are shared in this
contribution about SlAS2016:  insights into resistance to
drug therapies of diseases
(cancers and ’superbugs’), crowdfunding
research, and tackling high risk, never performed team projects
with unknown outcomes.

Drug Resistance
Shana Kelley of UToronto reported chip based microfluidic
devices using electrochemical assays
to identify the bacteria
to know the proper therapies to apply.  Each year it is
estimated that 2 million  US cases of antibiotic resistant
infections, which can be caused by over use of prescription
drugs or employing the wrong agent for the infection.

An assay of redox active molecules that measures the levels
of metabolically active bacteria it the telling step in the device.
Anecdotally, having a tool like this available 90 years ago might
have saved Calvin Coolidge’s younger son.

Michael Gottesmann of NCI spoke about drug resistance found
during cancer treatment that involve at least four different
mechanisms:  target mutation, genetic mutation, cell type
changes and alterations of physiology (of blood or organs).
Cell models do not model in vivo gene expression.  calls for
coordinated treatment regimens of multiple mechanisms.

Crowdfunding
K Tom Pickard presented the case for a different research
sponsorship model that uses — “be viable or vanish”.   He cited
how this is becoming a viable approach to deal with shortfalls
in resources and seek out other sources that can have a
purposeful, entrepreneurial or doing the right thing motivation.

His primary focus is autism and he reported on use of
twitter, social media and kickstarter/ experiment.com .

Teamwork to achieve high risk goals
Adam Steitzner amazed the audience with the story of landing the
Mars Rover on the surface of Gale Crater  to answer the question
of whether there was/is life on Mars… 100 million miles away.
-   Separate people from ideas
-   Lunch with Enrico
       Get to know and like all the people you work with
-   Plan to change plans
-   Many times the answers we seek are in the questions
        Challenge all assumptions

comments (0)
01/13/16
Exploring a Position at Company. Mentors, Preparation for contact
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Networking, Mentoring, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:49 am

A colleague recently contacted me about applying for a
research position in his field of interest of brain imaging.

It is a small company with a limited amount of
of public information.  He asked about who to address
in the cover letter and details about virus-protection
software that blocks link-containing documents.

He also wanted to explore why it was critical to join
and become an active member of a professional society.

USING MENTORS AND THE LONG TAIL
My first thoughts directed me to explore the company
in LinkedIn after studying the company website.  It is
important to go beyond the website in looking for details
about any position.  So a google search looking at many
pages beyond the high frequency first page is important
to use.  This is also known as the search distribution
long-tail
coined by Chris Anderson.

In Linkedin, I found a second degree connection to the
CEO and founder which led me to an information loaded
profile which I then shared with him.
I learned the company was a start-up, had recent funding
and had advertised the position he had interest in.  So,
I forwarded a suggestion to contact the CEO by Inmail
and ask to engage in a short conversation about the
position
Before doing this he should prepare thoroughly
by having stories to tell about how he uniquely qualifies
for the position, by using information at hand about
salary ranges for the position in that area of the country,
and by having critical questions outlined for him to ask.
This is a common information interview.

Listen carefully to keywords he uses that can be
incorporated into the cover letter and resume.

If salary comes up in the discussion, reveal what your
research has provided.  Then ask, how much is budgeted
for the position, rather than saying how much you wish.
Defer that discussion until you have an offer, know
what the job entails and get a sense that you like the
culture and they like you.

So, contact a person in the company before uploading
documents.  This way it is not a “cold contact” application
without assessing keywords to use and a person to
address and follow up with.

COVER LETTER AND DOCUMENTS
There are three clear objectives that a cover letter provides–
explains gaps, shows a clear match for you in the position
and provides your thinking about your career movement
into the position.

Documents we upload can be blocked if they have
links in the cloud by software.  So, either delink the
documents, in Word, or use .txt format without links.

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES
People in professional fields use societies to continue
to learn important elements in their field through meetings
and publications, to share what we learn with other
professionals and to be part of the professionals
advocating for the growth and importance of the field.

We all should be members of professional technical
societies.

Good luck! ended the reply, where
LUCK = preparation + attitude + opportunity
+ action

1 comment
12/20/15
End of the Year Career Management. Linkedin, Branding
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Networking, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 11:59 am

Top Line Issues:  Linkedin, Branding, Job search management

A.  Linkedin:  Kat Moon
-Summaries, Headline, and photo need to be strong and professional
   graduate assistant is not good
   goofy photo is a turn-off
   past history bio will not convince recruiters to contact you
-Content that describes your skills needs to be relevant for new situations
   course history is like a book you have read and half forgotten
   proper use of verb tense, past and present for current experience, stands
out to recruiters
   descriptive action verbs for accomplishments, relevant skill
endorsements
need to be prioritized

B.  What few words can you use to describe your most relevant skills,
applicable knowledge and abilities/contact network?  Your Brand.
-Practice how you display and perform it.
-Be aware of unique features of your being-  voice, smile, etc
-Show that you care and care about yourself and others.

C.  Career Management is full of unanticipated opportunities, luck
and sometimes what you plan.
-Develop pertinent new skills
-Express your appreciation of others

comments (0)
10/22/15
Grant Writing for SBIRs/STTRs
Filed under: Networking, Mature professionals, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 2:25 pm

A collaborator on several projects recently shared some proposal
writing links when we were networking recently.  We had a
conversation a couple of years ago about proposal content.

N. Wagner, this time, shared letter writing for SBIT/STTRs which
is the federal governments seed funding arm for technology
development by small business who collaborate with research
institutions in Phase I and Phase II, bridging the gap between basic
science and innovation commercialization.

Now,
although called Letters of Support, these letters are really “Letters
of Commitment”! They are IOUs from your team members to the company.
It’s important to note that they are always addressed to the Principal
Investigator (PI) on the project or the Business Official at the company
– not to NIH. Let’s take a look at some of these letters and what goes
into them. - See more at:
http://www.bbcetc.com/not-just-letters-of-support-for-your-sbirsttr-proposal-letters-of-commitment/#sthash.OcmGCvuL.dpuf
Letters of Support are commitment letters addressed to the
Project leader, not to the funding organization, from
  key senior or technical people to join the company
  subcontractors -  on subcontractor letter headed paper.
  special consultants supporting the project
  commercial partners
  • A Letter from a Senior/Key person
    (including the PI) needs to be included if the person your company is
    planning to hire is currently employed elsewhere, but plans to join the
    company at the time of award. The letter will state that they will be
    employed at the applicant company at the time of award, and include
    their anticipated time commitment and role on the project.
  • Letters from Subcontractors need to mention clearly
    who at the sub-contracting organization is working on the project,
    clarify their role and time commitment on the project and the budget for
    the sub-contract. These letters must be on the sub-contracting
    organization’s letterhead. 
  • Letters from Consultants must specify their time
    commitment, the specific guidance they are providing on the project, and
    the compensation they are being offered by the applicant company. 
  • Letters from Commercialization Partners are
    typically part of a Phase II proposal. They are provided by potential
    investors, distributors, strategic partners, prospective customers,
    potential licensees, etc. Such letters must be “tangible,” i.e., they
    must demonstrate a market need and clear commercial path for the product
    being developed and the company’s ability to attract the right
    resources to carry though to successful commercialization. 
  • - See
    more at:
    http://www.bbcetc.com/not-just-letters-of-support-for-your-sbirsttr-proposal-letters-of-commitment/#sthash.OcmGCvuL.dpuf

    They focus on the commercial potential, market, adoption
    by users or willingness to collaborate or offer funding
    support when the grant is awarded.  The most powerful letters
    are from opinion leaders, industry partners and venture capitalists.

    4 kinds of letters of support

    Now,
    although called Letters of Support, these letters are really “Letters
    of Commitment”! They are IOUs from your team members to the company.
    It’s important to note that they are always addressed to the Principal
    Investigator (PI) on the project or the Business Official at the company
    – not to NIH. Let’s take a look at some of these letters and what goes
    into them. - See more at:
    http://www.bbcetc.com/not-just-letters-of-support-for-your-sbirsttr-proposal-letters-of-commitment/#sthash.OcmGCvuL.dpuf
    comments (0)
    09/16/15
    Trends in Technical Careers. CRISPR, The Economist ‘Briefs’, Negotiations
    Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Job Offer (Situations), Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
    Posted by: site admin @ 8:24 am

    Let me tell you about a recent exchange with a job seeker.
    He asked, ‘hey what do you think of hirelifesciences?’   To
    which my response was, ‘Sorry, that is not one I have worked
    with.  When I visited it I noticed it lists companies and
    locations, but I did not see how people are compensated,
    how recent the listings are and the business relationship
    to client companies (is it part of a society, for example).’

    I went on to describe websites listed in the blog left column
    and indicated that most jobs are not advertised.  They are
    found through networking and direct contact with people.

    EMERGING FIELD
    I recently heard about a field that may have large impact–CRISPR.
    Take a look at a short video worth our learning about.  Related
    information for job seekers is a business article on firms
    involved in this business
    .  Did you notice how the idea connections
    were made– not through a google search or a screening of lists
    of positions, but through making business-technology-career
    connections.

    STORYTELLING
    Have you seen the series of unsolved scientific mysteries in
    The Economist?  Each of the six reveal factoids connected to
    a lead story in fascinating stories.  Here are the first four
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/08/economist-explains-10
    BEGINNING OF LIFE
    http://www.economist.com/news/science-brief/21660968-our-second-brief-scientific-mysteries-we-ask-whether-world-might-make-more-sense
    MORE THAN ONE UNIVERSE?
    http://www.economist.com/news/science-brief/21661575-third-our-briefs-scientific-mysteries-we-ask-just-what-it-makes-up-95
    DARK MATTER/ COMPOSITION OF UNIVERSE
    http://www.economist.com/news/science-brief/21662484-fourth-our-series-articles-scientific-mysteries-we-ask-why-mere-542m
    CAUSE OF “LIFE EMERGENCE”

    Their challenge is to paint an interesting landscape to a
    broad readership.  One, these should be interesting topics to us.
    Two, there is something to learn in how the stories are told and
    illustrated.  Third, if there is some way to connect our work to
    these articles it provides a nice context to our work.

    NEGOTIATIONS
    Negotiation Process was the topic of last week’s seminar.
    Interesting possible items that might be considered were:
    school loan repayment (Federal positions offer this) and “fair and
    reasonable compensation” when a new position has higher deductible
    insurances or rates.  See Barb Safani.  It is critical to consider the
    “overall” compensation package and implications of bonuses and
    incentives on taxes.

    If you are asked to sign documents, you could inquire if they
    will compensate you for having your lawyer review it for you.

    2 comments
    09/06/15
    Watch-Outs. 87. Asking for referrals,Detective mindset, Salaries, Patent Reform
    Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Leadership, Observ. Trends
    Posted by: site admin @ 12:52 pm

    Recently several requests for connections to people have come.
    It is interesting that some seek referrals far afield from STEM
    in areas, like Medical Science Liaison and Patents and law. 
    The relationship the requester has and the shared feeling
    of reciprocity, of willingness to give back generously, must be
    communicated both in the request and in the following reply.
    Comments on one’s wording are shared.

    A strong post from B. Sucher is linked offering that we
    be a “detective” when seeking career opportunities.  This goes
    for people fully in the job market as well as for professionals
    in their current position who sense some uncertainty in
    future directions.

    One common thread in our capitalist society is wondering
    how much salary compensation different positions offer. 
    A web resource guide is linked to assist you.

    Since federal legislators have missed opportunities to deal with
    inequities and huge increases in patent infringement claims,
    many states are creating measures to limit “patent trolling”
    and other legal bottlenecks.  It is worth keeping a finger on
    the pulse of these to be able to understand some questions to
    ask should you be involved in a related case.

    BONUS LINK:  Giving good presentations

    REFERRALS
    SOURCE:  R. Roberge, The best way to ask for referrals;
    A. Doyle, How do you ask for a referral ;
    Getsidekick, How to ask for a referral
    For people I know and have a recent or long term connection,
    it is usually a pleasure to share names who could be excellent
    resources or have valuable information or connections.  The
    problem comes with requests with scant connections.  They,
    honestly, have to do more to have me work for them.  Their
    letter of request, if in an email, might only be an email reply
    with links, if they don’t take the time to build a relationship and
    enhance the connection.

    Then, after the reply, a prompt ‘thank you’ is in order.  If it is
    not done or done in an appreciatively timely manner,
    the next request will either be slowly responded or
    less detailed and thought-inspired.

    DETECTIVE BEHAVIORS
    SOURCE:  B. Sucher, Do you cry wolf?
    Billie offers that in our environment we need to ascribe to
    the habits of the best detectives to be successful and offers
    over 30 behaviors.  The ones that jump out for me are:
    communication and listening,  observational skills and
    putting pieces together.

    PATENT REFORM
    SOURCE S. Malanga, WSJ 9-4-15 “States move to do-it-
    yourself patent reform

    There are wiser people battling over this issue and like in
    wars the victors will write the final story.  It is worth
    looking into this if you live in VT, MN, NC and
    skimming Law360 blog.

    SALARY RESOURCE
    Be aware that it appears several sources are cutting back and
    using the same output/survey result.

    comments (0)
    08/30/15
    Entrepreneurs. Business model for new ventures
    Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Recruiters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
    Posted by: site admin @ 5:41 pm

    Entrepreneurs should consider new business and marketing
    model described in Robbie Baxters book “The Membership
    Economy
    .”

    Second description by the author.

    We all experience this model in societies we belong to or
    consider and use internet tools.

    comments (0)
    08/01/15
    Networking Update for Early Career Professionals.
    Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
    Posted by: site admin @ 2:17 pm

    Learned a lot from Mikey Rox’s article in the Christian Science
    Monitor on Networking.  While it is true this blog has carried
    the topic of Tips for Networking several times but the ten items
    in this article said something to me…

    -  Go it alone.  This is a mature adult behavior that expresses
    confidence.  When attending an event with others, we reconnect
    often, engage in pre-formed connections [dependencies]  and
    have attachments with the person or people we are with.

    -  Be a friend to someone new and or younger.  Share and do not
    seek your interests too soon.

    -  “Sweat-working” is working out, engaging in an activity sport,
    team or otherwise and creating a bond and common ground in
    other areas, like working out, basketball or exercise.

    -  Wear something that people will notice and or comment
    on.  It could be an alumni shirt, jewelry, or colors, or an interesting
    shirt.  But make it professional looking, or else the attention
    you are expressing you want may not be in your advantage.
    I recall attending a professional session at a university and one
    student was wearing a Chewbaka image shirt.

    -  Sit at or near a bar.  In the current age, it is a signal that
    you are willing to switch it up a bit.

    –  “Pre-networking” which is when you share that you will
    be attending an event and looking to meet others.

    -  Follow up after meeting with LinkedIn invitations, thank
    you notes or continuing the conversation.

    There are a few more ideas of note in her article.

    comments (0)
    07/01/15
    Nonverbal elements in communications
    Filed under: Interviewing, Networking, Mentoring
    Posted by: site admin @ 7:06 pm

    You realize that a larger fraction of your communication
    are the nonverbal signals.  They are noticed more than
    the words we use and ideas we express.

    1.  Posture- stand tall lifting your solar plexus so that
    breathing is fuller and easier and head straight with ears
    over the shoulder.  This demonstrates and aids your confidence.
    2.  Open stance- avoid closed stance, with head down or
    your body shrinking in your space.  However, respect
    others’ personal space.
    3.  Nervous tics-  Have a mentor help you by noticing your
    nervous tics.  Everyone has them.  Then, replace them with
    a subtle outlet.  Hold a folder, hold a pen, pointer;  avoid
    hands in pockets and giggling coins.
    4.  Eye contact (especially in US, Canada and most of
    Europe)- engage your eye brows to aid your expression.
    5.  Slow your movements down– hands, pointing, listening
    smiling, gestures.

    comments (0)
    06/24/15
    Networking into an organization. Working with Gatekeepers to arrange a networking interview
    Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Mature professionals
    Posted by: site admin @ 4:37 pm

    KF recently asked a question about networking into a company
    through a university connection.
      The person is on an industrial
    advisory board to the university.

    He emailed:  ” Today I was searching a company website to find
    a person to possibly network with, and noticed something obviously
    wrong.  His email on the webpage is his colleague’s.  I probably
    already figured out what the company pattern for addresses and
    his “real” address is.  But, is it a positive thing to point out to
    them the obvious error on the webpage?  Is it professional or
    unprofessional to do so?”

    Two responses and a comment followed in our exchange (leaving out
    more personal elements of the messages).

    1:  “If you know the person well,” I noted, “then it might be nice
    to let them know about the “error” or something unusual.
    Sometimes,” I added,” there is a role for an admin to receive
    inquiries for a professional from people who are not well
    known to the professional.  The admin can redirect important
    emails, as necessary.  (This is a “gatekeeper” tactic in corporate
    America, however.  2   Tactics that might be used with
    gatekeepers
    . )”

    “However, I would refrain from sending an email to alert them
    Perhaps, if you speak with them in the future you can ask for
    their specific email address to use.” 

    2:  An etiquette expert and colleague of mine, Mary Monica Mitchell,
    offered:  “When faced with a dilemma, like the one you posed, I always
    ask myself two questions:  First, would I want to know if the situation
    were reversed?  Second, can the situation be remedied?  When answers
    to both questions is yes, then I go for it
    .

    No need to give a lot of explanation.  Could sound something like “I
    happened to notice… thought you might not be aware of… and that
    you might appreciate a head’s up…”"

    GATEKEEPER ROLE
    This is one of the roles we need to be aware of and develop friendly
    strategies.  My personal strategy is to remain very friendly, patient
    and cooperative and do as much as I can in person.  Face to face
    and respecting the role and authority the gatekeeper has and knowing
    that it is their decision.


    1 comment