The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

MCIBS - Career development

Tools and resources to help graduate students develop as well-rounded scientists
poster session

An individual development plan (IDP) can help to identify career development goals. Science put together an online IDP tool called myIDP.

student at international meeting

Attending meetings

Presenting your work at a scientific meeting is very helpful for meeting other scientists and making connections that can be useful for getting a post-doc. The Huck Institutes can help get you there:

Travel Stipends are made possible by the J. Lloyd and Dorothy Foehr Huck Endowment
Guidelines: The Huck Institutes Travel Stipend Fund is intended to provide travel support for students in our graduate programs. Specifically, this fund provides travel support to Huck doctoral candidates that are post comp and presenting at a domestic or international conference.

NOTE: If traveling internationally, all travelers must complete a Travel Safety Network (TSN) enrollment, complete the export form in the TSN, and then will receive a confirmation email from the TSN Staff prior to departure that all travel forms are complete (including the export compliance form). The address to this site is:

Eligibility: Huck graduate students that have completed their comprehensive exams. Students are eligible to receive the award twice during their career at Penn State.
Application requirement: All student applicants must submit a request form. The form will be sent to their respective program chairs for review and approval. If the student is approved then the student will receive an electronic approval.
Amounts: Up to $750 for domestic travel and $1,500 for international travel.
All travel must be completed prior to your graduation.
All expenses and charges must fall within the Penn State Travel Policy

student accepting teaching awardGraduate student teaching certificate

This is an opportunity to develop your teaching skills, and have some recognition of this commitment. Some of the requirements of the certificate overlap with those of MCIBS. For example, the certificate requires a TA training course, and all MCIBS students take this their first semester. For information about how to complete the certificate go to the graduate school web site.


Internships are a great way to combine your science background with other skills. Several opportunities for part-time internships on or near University Park are available.

Office for Innovation Graduate Internship

This year-long internship is available to students working in labs within the College of Science. The intern works half-time in their lab and half-time with the office. The position involves working with faculty on intellectual property development, organizing and running meetings with the Technology Advisory Board. For more information about the Office for Innovation, including contacts to ask about the internship, go here.

Career development seminars

Throughout the year students will have the opportunity to hear and meet with speakers who have used their science background in different ways. Speakers will include intellectual property lawyers and scientists at biotech companies. For a list of these seminars and events go here


Several classes that focus on introducing a variety of science-based careers to students are offered at Penn State. These are a really great way to find out what different careers involve and how to prepare for them.

  • SC 402- Science-Related Employment: Corporate Organization, Opportunities, and Expectations: speakers from different types of science-based careers will be part of this class
  • IBIOS 571 (MCIBS 571 starting FA15)- Current Issues in Biotechnology: a variety of speakers from different types of companies visit as part of this class