Episode S1.6 : Career journey from Ph.D. in biomedical sciences to an Assistant Director of Postdoctoral Affairs

Welcome to the Episode S1.6 of the STEM Professionals Chat!

Welcome to the sixth episode of STEM Professionals Chat where we bring to you an exciting journey of Dr. Vipul Sharma. Dr. Sharma earned his Ph.D. in Cardiovascular developmental biology from the renowned University of Newcastle in the UK. Although he always aspired to pursue research and academia, he decided to diversify his interests first during his graduate school and later during his postdoctoral research tenure at the Washington University at St. Louis, USA. He became involved with many student groups and also served as an outreach director for the university’s postdoctoral association. These opportunities outside the research settings allowed Dr. Sharma to realize his love to work with student communities to make their training and research experience more fulfilling and meaningful. He also realized that this could in fact be a viable career opportunity.  This led to Dr. Sharma accepting his current position at the University of Chicago as an assistant director of postdoctoral affairs. In addition, Dr. Sharma also currently co-chairs the diversity task force for the National Post-doctoral Association. This episode is hosted by: Dr. Manasi Apte and Dr. Pawan Upadhyay

Key learnings

  1. How did you end up in the current position after pursuing a PhD?
  2. How does your day-to-day work look? and what scientific expertise/skill helps you in your current job? 
  3. What were specific challenges in terms of your career transition during the pandemic?
  4. Can you elaborate on your training and skill development due to your work at the National Postdoctoral Association and how does that help you now in your current work profile?
  5. Is post-doc training essential for a job profile like yours? 
  6. How do you maintain your work-life balance?
  7. Any specific advice for someone who aspires to a career choice like you?

About Dr. Vipul Sharma

Originally from India, Vipul immigrated to the UK for his Ph.D. from the University of New Castle. Later, he transitioned to the postdoctoral research position at the Washington University at St. Louis (WUSTL) in the USA. During his tenure at the WUSTL, he became actively involved in many outreach events and served as an outreach director for managing the university-based post-doctoral association. He also got involved in The National Post-doctoral Association and continues to contribute towards their mission. Currently, Vipul is an Asst. director of postdoctoral affairs at the University of Chicago where he engages with the postdoctoral community, manages and collaborates several initiatives and programs, and leads BSD Diversity Committee’s initiative, DiversiTEA, a community building and informal mentoring program involving scientists at different levels of their career (faculty, postdocs, and Ph.D. students). He also serves as a co-chair for the diversity task force at the National Post-doctoral Association.

Video Interview on YouTube

Listen Podcast

Cheryl’s tips for successful career!

Your career path will be guided by many experiences along your long educational journey. It doesn’t get defined in one moment

Make sure you experience life outside the lab, get involved, and interact with as many groups as you can. That’s how you build on your potential network!

If you don’t see something that might be helpful for you and your community, be proactive and maybe start something yourself!

Work with your university/organization’s research office for improving your application material (especially if you are transitioning outside your field of expertise)

Collaboration and program management are very important transferable skills

Thank you, Vipul!

If you enjoyed this interview with, Vipul  let them know by clicking the link below and leaving him a message on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vipul-sharma-454a738a/


Graphics & video design: Isha Parlikar & Pawan Upadhyay, Ph.D.

Video editing: Sumit Bhutada., PhD & Manasi Apte, Ph.D

Publication note: Vanndita Bahl

Podcast hosting: Pawan Upadhyay, Ph.D.

Publication Content editing:Manasi Apte, Ph.D

Review: All iSTEMCare Team members

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