Obtaining transferable skills for a competitive edge is a goal for our UC Davis graduates, especially our predoctoral candidates in science and engineering with a designated emphasis in biotechnology (DEB). According to Paul Watson (Nature Biotechnology, Feb 2003), "Transferable or 'soft skills' can enhance your career mobility and increase your chances of success in landing the job you want... The following skills can help give you a competitive edge: people skills; communication skills; negotiation skills; business skills; creative and strategic thinking; time management; motivation and commitment; and personal image and self-awareness."
The new National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) has been form to address many of these issues. According to Shirley Malcom, "Even in terms of a research career, the question remains whether postdocs are given the range of experiences that prepares them to become independent investigators. It entails learning how to write grant proposal, to develop budgets, to estimate levels of effort, to understand equipment-purchasing procedures and so on." "Should we think of restructuring the entire post baccalaureate period to divide the time across coursework, skill development, research and career exploration?" Reference: A Dream Deferred or Realized? Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers. ASM News. 70:8. 2004.
In addition to the UC Davis Biotechnology Program and the DEB graduate program, the Office of Research and the Graduate School of Management are working to enhance entrepreneurial skills among UC Davis faculty and students. Both the Office of Research (OR) and the Graduate School of Management (GSM) are embracing the campus' strategic plan and objectives to increase the University's impact in regional economic development through new initiatives and programs that enhance the level and quality of technology transfer, business development and industry interactions in both education and interdisciplinary research programs.
The Business Development Fellowship Program - “The year-long Business Development Fellowship program provides UC Davis science and engineering graduate and postdoctoral students hands-on experience in developing business skills for a career in industry or to develop new business ventures.”
The Big Bang! Business Competition - The Big Bang! provides resources for starting or growing a business venture. In addition to the business competition, the Big Bang! offers a comprehensive series of workshops for building entrepreneurial skills. The Big Bang! provides a year-round forum for new and early-stage startups to collaborate, develop and test business ideas. Resources include team creation, education, mentorship, networking and financing. Hosted by the UC Davis Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Big Bang! is the largest annual business competition in the Sacramento region.
An informative book that is helpful for prospective entrepreneurials who want to learn about the process of starting a biotech company is written by Yali Friedman, PhD., entitled, "Building Biotechnology: Starting, Managing, and Understanding Biotechnology Companies". (Review of book by Aris Persidis is here) Dr. Friedman received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Buffalo University and teaches MBA-level classes on the business of biotechnology. He is a guest lecturer at the Tepper School of Business and University of Buffalo School of Management and an invited speaker at the Richard Ivey School of Business. Click here for a functional overview of the biotechnology industry.
UC Davis, The Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - "We bring together researchers in science and engineering with faculty, MBA students, UC Davis undergraduates, experienced entrepreneurs, investors and corporate leaders to support technology transfer and commercialization activities."
UC Davis Office of Research, Innovation Access - "InnovationAccess provides services that connect research to the marketplace and is focused specifically on protecting and commercializing intellectual property as well as fostering entrepreneurship within the campus community."
State of California Employment Develoment Department (EDD) - Biotechnology in California
Paper on "The University of California, Davis, collaborative model for biotechnology education and training". Authors: Judith Kjelstrom, Karen McDonald, Andrew Hargadon, Wilton Agastein, and Meg Arnold
The Business of Bioscience presentation by Craig Shimasaki, PhD
Jacob Jorgensen, M.D. (General Partner, Velocity Ventures) presentation, "What You Should Know If You Want to Start A Biotech Company"
Caryle Vann, PhD. (Chemical Engineer and Product Manager; Genentech) presentation, "Life After Dissertation: Deriving Maximum Value From Career Investments"
The Last Lecture by Dr. Randy Pausch
Suggested Articles, Books, etc. on Business/Leadership
Biotech Training Programs Expand Employment Options by Clifford Mintz
Closing the Skills Gap by Linda Wang
Deep Change by Dr. Robert Quinn
Build the Bridge as you Walk on it by Dr. Robert Quinn
Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development by Toby Freedman
NSF Program Fosters Scientists' Entrepreneurial Spirit by Andrea Widener
Cover Stories: Going Commmercial - Karen McDonald by Jyllian Kemsley
Helping Scientists Commercialize Inventions by Susan R. Morrissey
What Researchers Who Want to be Entrepreneurs Need to Know by Susan R. Morrissey
Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow by Chip Conley
The FIVE Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
A New Biology for the 21st Century by Board on Life Sciences and Earth and Life Studies
Speaking about Science: A Manual for Creating Clear Presentations by Scott Morgan and Barrett Whitener
Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited by multiple authors
Venturing into New Ventures by Carol Milano
The Business of Bioscience: What Goes Into Making A Biotechnology Product by Craig Shimasaki, PhD
A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink
Green Grip Grow by T.S. Mills-Faraudo
Creating Alternatives in Science by Nicole Gravagna
Careers and Recruitment; Biotech Education article in Nature Reviews with Dr. Judy Kjelstrom
The Eagle Parable by James Aggrey
Building Biotechnology: Starting, Managing, and Understanding Biotechnology Companies by Yali Friedman, PhD
The Speed of Trust; The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey
The 8th Habit by Stephen M.R. Covey
Working with Emotional Intelligence (1998) and Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships (2006) by Daniel Goleman
For additional information, please contact Dr. Judith Kjelstrom, Director of the UC Davis Biotechnology Program and DEB Program Coordinator