Career and Professional Development

The department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is committed to supporting our graduate students in their professional development and career goals. In partnership with other groups on campus, we offer a diverse collection of professional development opportunities designed to connect you with information, resources, and people that can help you design a roadmap for success. Our alumni are interested in sharing their experience and helping you build a career network. We invite you to connect with them via our department’s LinkedIn group.

From professional development courses to a wide array of job search resources, we are glad to support you on your career journey.

On this page:

Online Resources

American Chemical Society Chemistry Careers: The employment world for chemical professionals can be divided into five main sectors: industry, academia, government, non-profit, and entrepreneurship.

ChemIDP: The American Chemical Society has released their version of an electronic tool for Individual Development Plans.

myIDP: Science Careers’ myIDP tool provides exercises to help you examine your skills, interests, and values, as well as a list of 20 scientific career paths with a prediction of which ones best fit your skills and interests.

UO Career Center Career: Career counselors and advisers experienced in working with graduate students and postdocs can assist with career exploration, networking, and the job search process. Counselors advise students on application materials, including resumes, CVs and cover letters.

UO Graduate School: The Graduate School offers writing support, distinguished alumni speakers, career planning resources, and more.

Science Magazine: Science Magazine includes a careers section with job search tools and employer profiles.

The following online resources are also available to support graduate students in their career journey:

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  • “So What Are You Going to Do with That?”: Finding Careers Outside Academia, Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius
  • The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science: A Toolkit for Students and Postdocs, Victor A. Bloomfield and Esam E. El-Fakahany
  • What Color is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers, Richard Nelson Bolles
  • Put Your Science to Work: The Take-Charge Career Guide for Scientists, Peter Fiske
  • Finding Your North: Self-Help Strategies for Science-Related Careers, Frederick L. Moore and Michael L. Penn

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Job Search Websites

Academic Careers Online: Use this site to find academic job openings.

ACS Career Services: ACS provides a growing list of offerings for job seekers and employers.

Association of Science-Technology Centers Job Bank: Search this for jobs in science centers and museums.

Biospace Job Bank: Use this site for life science job listings from 250 companies. Chemical engineers can find jobs here.

C&En JobsThis chemical and engineering website lists additional jobs.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the leading social network used for job searches and hiring. Be sure to join the UO Chemistry and Biochemistry LinkedIn Group to receive job notifications and network. Find academic vacancies in medicine, pharmacy and biomedical sciences schools worldwide.

New Scientist Jobs: A job database with over 1,400 job postings in science, both domestic and international.

ResearchGate: ResearchGate is the world’s largest professional network for scientists and researchers.

The Royal Society of Chemistry: Search for jobs in the United Kingdom and other international locales.

Science Magazine’s Job Search: Science Magazine has many available jobs for chemists.

U.S. Government Employment Openings: Search federal job openings.

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Professional Development Courses at UO

CH 405, CH 605 Reading – Fellowship Application Skills

This course focuses on working with graduate students to prepare applications to external fellowships such as the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The class is structured to provide extensive peer and faculty feedback  on proposals and personal statements and culminates typically with the submission of a complete NSF graduate fellowship application.  During the course, students participate in 2-3 weekend workshops to become familiar with the requirements of the GRFP application, outline traits of successful NSF GRFP applications, provide examples of successful and unsuccessful applications along with reviewer comments, and provide revision and editing feedback.  Students will also learn about effective methods for addressing the broader impacts criteria of the GRFP application.

CH 608 Workshop Research Ethics

This course explores topics related to the responsible conduct of research (RCR). Topics include: data acquisition, management, and ownership; mentoring and collaboration; academic/industry collaboration; authorship; publication and peer review; misconduct in research; intellectual property; and conflict of interest/commitment.

CH 610 Proposal Journal Club

This journal club aids students in preparing for the proposal component of their Advancement exam. Presentations and activities include discussing elements related to the significance and impact of a research topic, time management and writing techniques for proposals, writing a compelling research overview, and developing, presenting and critiquing independent proposals.

BI 610 Ethics in Life Sciences Research

This course explores topics related to the responsible conduct of research (RCR).  Topics include: ethical issues in life sciences research and the research enterprise; research integrity; grant proposals, management, peer review, conflict of interest; collaborative research; responsible authorship; publication, peer review, intellectual property, copyright; responsible research design and data interpretation; experimental bias; statistics; healthy research environment and responsible mentoring; research culture; human & animal subjects: experimentation; animal care and use; and environmental health and safety.

CH 623 OIM Journal Club

This journal club focuses on “How to Give a Scientific Talk.” Students give several practice talks to the class and receive constructive criticism from their peers on how to improve.  In addition, they practice their rotation talks.  The class includes instruction in advanced bibliographic software, database searching, and information retrieval.

CH 624 Physical Chemistry Journal Club

This journal club focuses on the critical review of scientific articles, and establishes the practice of keeping up with current literature. A recent publication is analyzed each week, comprising a critical review of the science, as well as a dissection of the construction of the authors’ argument. Methods for keeping up with current literature and strategies for performing literature searches are discussed.

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Professional Development Videos

Videos from the American Chemical Society will help you build the skills you need to find a job and be successful in your career. Topics include writing tips; public speaking and presenting; interviewing; negotiating; and how to succeed on the job.

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Alumni Spotlight

See what our alumni are up to in their careers!

Alumni Spotlight

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Graduate Teaching Initiative

The UO Teaching Engagement Program’s Graduate Teaching Initiative offers UO graduate students structured and rigorous, yet flexible, pathways to develop as college teachers. The program is meant to develop inclusive, engaged, and research-led teachers who will, in turn, help shape the campus teaching culture.

Graduate Teaching Initiative

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Chemistry alum Edward Sambriski

Edward Sambriski, '06 
Professor, Delaware Valley University

"The former paradigm of keeping tight borders around traditional areas of knowledge is long gone. It no longer makes sense to 'speak chemistry' or 'speak physics.' Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to collaborate with specialists in different areas, including physics, engineering, biotechnology, materials science, and mathematics."

Chemistry alum Samantha Young


Samantha Young, '18 
Research Scientist, Molecular Analysis Facility, University of Washington

"My favorite courses and research projects were the ones that had a large focus on using analytical instrumentation. As a grad student, I managed a small x-ray scattering instrument that was part of the CAMCOR user facility at UO. I really enjoyed the experience of working in a user facility and managing an instrument."


Chemistry alum Chantal Balesdent

Chantal Balesdent, '13 
Manager of Youth Engineering Solutions, Penn State University

When she visited the UO, Chantal was impressed by the wide range of research options that would allow her to rotate through labs and explore her interests as a first-year student. Those explorations lead her to join the David Tyler lab, where her thesis research focused on the use of iron phosphines to turn nitrogen into ammonia.