The Biochemistry Department is pleased to host University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine’s first graduate course in Professional Development. Developed and implemented in 2012 and highlighted in Science Careers 2013, the course provides student with the information, network and skill assessment tools outside the laboratory needed to succeed in the competitive market for academic and nonacademic biomedical careers. Students are given opportunities to strengthen their communication skills, face-to-face networking with expert professionals outside the academic environments, and to discuss their individual career plans.

Graduates of the course are also given future opportunities throughout their graduate career such as experiences in science policy, NPOs, internships, public speaking, science writing, and career development workshop committees. Given the student’s specific interests, informative networking opportunities via phone or webcam with professionals all over the world are also provided. Individual career plans are followed up each year by the Coordinator. The Department works closely with students groups such as BGSU and LSCDS to ensure students’ needs are addressed.

The Graduate Development Program at the University of Toronto’s Biochemistry Department enhances the excellent research experience with supplemental life-long skills to facilitate a successful transition not just from student life to first profession, but throughout their career, from entry, mid, advanced and retirement years through parenthood, aging parents, and passions outside the bench.

We discuss how students can pursue their scientific curiosities, ask the global questions to help the world, be bold enough to pursue leadership positions, communicate to innovate. PhDs are not just scientists, but are leaders and innovative thinkers. Graduates from the University of Toronto’s Biochemistry GPD Program are provided with the tools and training to lead and help create the Canadian and international biomedical future. GPD is not just a course, it is an essential supplement throughout the graduate experience and beyond.

Nana Lee PhD
Director and Lecturer
Graduate Professional Development
nana.lee@utoronto.ca