The Department of Biomedicine

Career Development Strategies

A lecture on how to implement career development in PhD-training in the future.

Plakat Career Development Strategies
Margarethe Bittins, Background: SOCIAL.CUT on unsplash

Main content


The transition of doctoral education curriculum from an original apprentice type of format to a more structured training program has permitted an evolving content to meet the needs for a new generation of PhD researchers with a broadened knowledge base and career intentions. Beyond good progress and achieving completions, other areas to focus are wellbeing and employability, as vitalizing strategies for career development.

In 2018, a report from the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine addressed “Graduate STEM education for the 21st century”.

“… the time has come for a shift away from the current system to one that places the needs of the individual student front and center,”

said Mary-Sue Coleman, President of the Association of American Universities and one of the authors.

In this seminar, we acknowledge that the global community demands a high quality and well-trained workforce, and encourage contextual dialogs on career options and sustainability factors. In addition to high quality research education to sharpen one’s search and evaluation skills, tactical training including developing toolkits for career selection, transferable skills, leadership engagement and translational approaches should also be incorporated in our preparation to launch the next generation of technical leaders.

The speaker:

Erik Wong, PhD received his research training at Medical Research Council UK.

He carried out postdoctoral research in academia and biopharmaceutical industry, at University of California and Merck Neuroscience Research Centre, respectively. He is a consultant on human performance optimization with special emphasis on developing innovative training programs to support career and professional development for the millennial generation. 

Over a 33-year career, Erik has served 8 major global pharmaceutical and biotech companies at 3 different continents, and had roles ranging from research biochemist, line-management, clinical development, director of external R&D teams, to VP in global business development.

Erik is passionate about the future of graduate and postdoctoral education, plus developing the global workforce with entrepreneurial spirit. He is keen to bring up-to-date career management tactics and transferable skills to facilitate the professional growth for the future generations of young scholars, and to enable the translation of knowledge to social impacts. He has served as an adjunct associate professor at Michigan State University and career development advisors for different universities and professional societies. His current academic engagements include serving on different study-sections at the National Institute for Mental Health.