Kristi Henderson
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Event to explore nonacademic careers in science

Wed, 02/24/2016

LAWRENCE – Scientists from the University of Kansas and the region are invited to a one-day symposium exploring nonacademic career options for those with advanced degrees.

The symposium, SEARCH, aims to highlight careers beyond academic positions that are available to those with graduate degrees in biological sciences. SEARCH stands for Scientists Exploring non-Academic caReer CHoices. Common nonacademic careers for scientists include positions in industry, government, health, administration, education, law and entrepreneurship.

Through the keynote speeches and career panels, the symposium will feature scientists with master’s or doctoral training who are in a broad range of fields and career stages. There will also be a career fair, presentations on professional development and a social. Graduate student organizations in the departments of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Molecular Biosciences organized the symposium.

“This event started coming together after we talked to several departments on campus and discovered a need for science career resources for students at the graduate level,” said Kaila Colyott, doctoral student in ecology and evolutionary biology and an organizer of the symposium. “We hope this event inspires more programming on campus to support graduate level career planning.”

The symposium will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. April 2 at the Kansas Union. Registration is required. More information is available at

The keynote speakers scheduled to attend:

  • Meredith Drosback, from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, who works to advance STEM policy as assistant director of education and physical sciences;
  • Geneviève Smith, the director of Insight Data Science, which is a postdoctoral program helping to transition academics to data science.

Although this year’s symposium is primarily tailored for students in molecular biosciences and ecology and evolutionary biology, organizers hope that disciplines represented are expanded at future symposia.

Organizers expect graduate students from Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University and University of Missouri-Kansas City to join attendees from KU at the symposium. 

The symposium will be free to all participants. Sponsors include the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and its graduate student organization; KU Biodiversity Institute; the Kansas Biological Survey; Higuchi Biosciences Center; and a Molecular Biosciences graduate student organization EverOnward 2015 campaign through the KU Endowment Association.

The organizing departments are part of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, KU’s broadest and most diverse academic unit. 

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