Resources for Early Career Scientists

Published Sep 20, 2014

Table of Contents

The following are examples of resources, blogs, fellowships, training programs, and jobs sites that may be useful to early career scientists searching for careers or engagement opportunities in science policy. The Union of Concerned Scientists is not associated with the following organizations or resources. If you have questions about the links, please contact the source directly.

Career development resources

  • Tools & Tips: Outreach, by Science Careers/AAAS. (Career Development Skills-Building) Includes resources on interviewing, careers outside academia, resumes and CVs, job search strategies, publishing tips, and more. 
  • Tools & Tips: Multimedia, by Science Careers/AAAS. (Scientific Career Stories) Podcasts on scientific career issues, and videos from scientists on how they started their careers. 
  • Tools & Tips: Booklets, by Science Careers/AAAS. (Career Development Skills-Building, Scientific Career Issues) Materials on preparing for a career in science and tips to aid career development. 
  • Science Careers Forum, by Science Careers/AAAS (Career Development Skills-Building). Forum for career development questions on any and all science careers. 
  • Working with Congress, by Leopold Leadership Program (Advocacy Skills-Building) Advice on engaging with policy makers, giving testimony at public hearings, and meeting with members of Congress. Also, sample one-pagers for providing to legislators as a resource. 
  • Communications, by Leopold Leadership Program (Career Development Skills-Building) Resources for improving communications skills, including social media, public speaking, messaging, presentations, and science communication best practices. 
  • Connecting Science, Policy, and Decision-Making, by NOAA (Advocacy Skills-Building).  Strategies for building relationships with stakeholders and decision-makers. 
  • SWE's Career Insights Podcast Series, by Society of Women Engineers. (Career Development Skills-Building, Scientific Career Stories) Free podcasts on career development, career advancement, and other personal and professional development topics, specifically relating to women in the sciences and engineering fields. Non-members of SWE can view our hour webinars for a fee. 
  • ACS Webinars ®, a service provided by the American Chemical Society (Professional Development Webinars and Skill Building Videos). Free live webinars on professional development, technology and innovation, business and entrepreneurship, popular chemistry, and culinary chemistry every Thursday at 2pm ET; archived ACS Webinars are available as an exclusive member benefit. 
  • MOOSE: Menu of Outreach Opportunities for Science Education, by American Astronomical Society. (Career Development Skills-Building) Astronomy-focused resources on outreach training, advice, and outreach activities. Also a list of outreach training programs at other scientific organizations for a variety of disciplines.
  • For Trainees Outside the NIH, by NIH (Career Development Skills-Building). Videos, podcasts guidelines, and online workshops on career development, writing personal statements, applying to graduate school, and expanding your network, plus information about upcoming OITE events. 
  • Advancing Eco-Comm Resource Guide, by Chris Creese, Clarisse Hart, Molly Mehling, Holly Menninger, and Bethann Merkle. (Career Development Skills-Building, Advocacy Skills-Building). This compilation of science communication and science advocacy articles covers the basics of getting started and an in-depth look at how to use different types of media (both traditional and new) to achieve communications goals. This includes creative writing, photography, drawing, podcasts, and short films. Targeted at ecology-related fields but broadly applicable to scientists and technical experts who are looking at building their skills in communicating with different audiences through different avenues.  


  • MySciCareer (Blog, Scientific Career Stories). Resource of regularly updated, first-person stories about science careers that intends to highlight diverse opportunities beyond the traditional science career path. Scroll through quotes from blog posts, search by job type for relevant blogs, or search by training which organizes posts by the last academic science position held by the author.  
  • The Grad Student Way (Blog, Scientific Career Stories, Career Development Skills-Building) A resource for grad students, from a grad student, on networking, financial advice, PhD advice, and work/life balance. 
  • SciLingual (Blog, Scientific Career Stories). "Off the beaten (tenure) track" profiles of scientists that have pursued careers outside of academia. 
  • Office of Intramural Training and Education Careers Blog, by NIH (Blog, Scientific Career Stories, Career Development Skills-Building). This blog offers tips on career development, highlights new resources and information accessible through NIH and OITE, and answers frequently asked questions about career planning and job searching.


  • Career Center, by AGU (Career Development Skills-Building, Scientific Career Stories, Job Postings: Full-time, Part-time, Internships, Fellowships) Resources include job postings, career advice workshops and webinars, and stories from geoscientists about their career paths. 
  • ACS Career Navigator, by ACS (Fulltime, Career Development Resources, Job Postings: Full-time, Part-time, Internships) Resources in professional education, career services, leadership development, and market intelligent resources, plus job postings for chemistry-related positions. 
  • Versatile PhD (Career Development Skills-Building, Scientific Career Stories, Networking Events, Job Postings: Full-time, part-time, volunteer). ldest, largest online community for PhDs transitioning out of academe. Free resources: "PhD Career Finder" tool describing PhD careers by discipline; also discussion forums, local meetups in many cities across the US and Canada, non-academic job announcements, and panel discussions of specific PhD careers. Those affiliated with subscribing institutions (see list on home page) get additional content and features, including application materials used by PhDs to get their first post-academic jobs (resumes, cover letters, etc.), long-term stories of PhD success outside the academy, and a "Power Search" feature to identify good contacts outside academe.
  • PhDs at Work (Scientific Career Stories, Networking Events, Job Postings: Full-time, Part-time, Fellowships) Provides an online networking space to share learning and making new connections with people that have successfully transitioned from academia to industry. Some organized in-person networking events in specific locations. Also provides a listing of employment opportunities including full and part-time, freelance, temporary, and internship. 
  • AIBS Classifieds, by American Institute of Biological Sciences (Job Postings: Full-time, Fellowships). Job listings plus notices about meetings and conferences in biology. 
  • Job Openings, by the National Academies (Job Postings: Full-time, Fellowships). Includes positions from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. 
  • Public Health CareerMart, by APHA (Career Development Skills-Building, Job Postings: Fellowship, Full-time, Part-time). Job postings, a Career Resources Center with tips. Career coaching and Online Profile Development services for a fee. 
  • Graduate Student Portal, by Leopold Leadership Program. (Job Postings: Fellowships, Full-time, Part-time) Positions relating to the environment regularly updated from a variety of universities. 
  • Job Search, by NSBE (Career Development Skills-Building, Job Postings: Full-Time, part-time, internships, fellowships). Search for positions by job function, industry, job type, education level, state, major, career level, region, and years of experience. Create job alerts about specific positions, and upload your resume to the site. Includes a resource library on professional development, coaching services, and an Ask the Experts section. 
  • OITE Career Services, by NIH (Job Postings: Full-time, part-time, fellowships). Can search a large number of public health-related positions by keywords and state. 
  • Resources, by Engaging Scientists & Engineers in Policy (ESEP) (Career Development Skills-Building, Job Postings: Full-time, Fellowships, Networking). This coalition of scientific and engineering societies has career development resources and opportunities both for early career scientists and experienced professionals who are interested in engaging in the policy making process. They also offer links to external internships, fellowships, in-person training opportunities and programs, networking events, and science communication sites.


  • AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships.® Provides scientists and engineers with a unique opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to national and international issues, while learning first-hand about establishing and implementing policy. Fellows serve yearlong assignments in all three branches of the federal government in Washington, D.C. 
  • AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program. Places science, engineering, and mathematics students at media organizations nationwide for a 10-week summer fellowship. Fellows use their academic training as they research, write, and report today’s headlines, sharpening their abilities to communicate complex scientific issues to the public. 
  • Entry Point! (by AAAS). Identifies and recruits students with apparent and non-apparent disabilities studying in science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and some fields of business for outstanding internship and co-op opportunities. 
  • Leopold Leadership Program Fellowships (compiled). Compilation of fellowships from organizations and associations that relate to science policy, science communication, and using your expertise to help society. 
  • CISAC Fellowships. Interdisciplinary fellowships for scholars from any number of science and social science fields who are interested in international security, offered by Stanford University. 
  • AGU Congressional Science Fellows. Scientists, engineers, and other professionals serve in the office of an individual member of Congress or on a committee for one year. Fellows have the opportunity to impact public policy on high priority issues.  
  • AMS Congressional Science Fellowship. One scientist works on science policy issues for a year within the US Congress. For PhD holders in atmospheric or related sciences. 
  • Graduate and Postdoctoral Opportunities, by US Department of Energy. Opportunities for undergraduate students through postdoctoral fellows, relating to renewable energy, engineering, environmental science, and other fields. Also information about available research grants. 
  • Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program, by National Academy of Sciences. 12 week fellowship in Washington, DC on science and technology policy. 
  • Student and Early Career Information, by National Science Foundation. Opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral level researchers to participate in international research and education activities.  
  • John Bahcall Public Policy Fellowship, by American Astronomical Society. One year postdoctoral level fellowship, renewable for a second year, combining astronomy and policy advocacy. 
  • Research Associateship Programs, by National Research Council. Graduate, Postdoctoral, and senior level research opportunities at federal laboratories and affiliated institutions in the STEM fields.  
  • Graduate Student Science Policy Fellowship, by AIBS. Graduate students in the biological sciences have the opportunity through this fellowship to gain first hand science policy experience in Washington, DC.

In-person training programs

  • ELISS: Emerging Leaders in Science & Society (by AAAS). ELISS: Emerging Leaders in Science & Society (by AAAS). Collaborative leadership development program for graduate and professional students. Teams from multiple disciplines and campuses lead "think tank" projects to engage their campuses and communities around complex sociotechnical issues, and present their results in Washington D.C. Offered at select campuses. 
  • Emerging Researchers National Conference in STEM: For undergraduates and grad students who participate in NSF HRD programs. Conference offers opportunities for students to enhance their science communication skills and prepare for science careers. 
  • Science and Technology Policy Program, through Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. The program organizes workshops, lectures, research projects, and conferences to bring attention to and help bridge the gap between science and public policy.  
  • NSPIRE IGERT Program (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship), by Washington State University. This interdisciplinary graduate program offers traineeships to students pursuing their Ph.Ds. Training includes research on nitrogen cycling combined with science communication and public policy. Opportunities for internships in industry and government plus travel for relevant conferences are available. 
  • Manchester International Summer School. Week long program for early career scientists to learn how to link research questions, methods, and results with broader concerns about research and policy. 
  • Summer Policy Colloquium (by AMS). 10 day intensive introduction to the federal policy process for 30-40 graduate students in the atmospheric sciences.