If you are pursuing a career in research or related fields, you need to learn numerous skills. Most training programs do a good job of helping you acquire the skills needed for your research.
But being successful requires much more than that – you need to be able to function effectively as a professional. That entails finding a job, and it often involves obtaining funding, making presentations, publishing papers, teaching, managing projects and personnel, and behaving responsibly. Without those skills, even excellent researchers may find it hard to “survive.”
Many researchers acquire professional skills through trial and error. But we felt that approach was inefficient – at best! Thus, we developed the Survival Skills & Ethics Program. Our workshops at The University of Pittsburgh and other locations provide training in a number of essential professional skills and associated ethical issues.
We also offer an annual trainer-of-trainers conference for individuals who would like to implement instruction in professional development and/or the responsible conduct of research at their institution. To date, over 500 people have participated in that event.
For more information on our program, its components, and the rationale behind it, please see Fischer BA and Zigmond MJ. Promoting Responsible Conduct in Research through “Survival Skills” Workshops: Some Mentoring is Best Done in a Crowd. Science and Engineering Ethics, 2001, 7:4, 563-587.