Career Development & Volunteering Resources

Regardless of what career path you decide to pursue after graduate school, the best thing to do is explore, get involved, get experience, and network, network, network! The earlier the better!

Below, you will find just a few of these resources to get you started. (Note: neither BMS graduate program nor The BMS Times are sponsored by any of the following groups or societies to post this information here.)

General Career Exploration
  • Conferences
    • ASCB (Annual Society of Cell Biology) – annual conference that is great for networking. As a student member, you are open to career development resources, for both academia and other career paths.
    • Experimental Biology Meeting – annual conference held at San Diego Convention Center in April of even years. Great opportunity for career workshops
  • BMS career panel events: panels put on by our career committee. Check the BMS events calendar for upcoming events.
  • GrAdvantage GSA Career Nights: hear invited speakers talk about careers outside academia. Check their calendar for upcoming opportunities.
  • Exploration resources from ASM
  • Questioning Your Career 5-session course and career tools from UCSD Career Center
  • AWIS (Association for Women in Science) is a great networking opportunity for women
  • Women in Bio: an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship for women in the life sciences
  • Life Science Network
Science Education
  • Graduate Instructional Apprentice (GIA): be a teaching/instructional assistant for an undergraduate course on campus. Administered by the Division of Biological Sciences, with limited spaces available for BMS students. Applications open and close in June, with notifications of assignments by late July for the following academic year. May be used to fulfill BMS teaching requirements, but contact the BMS office or Division of Biological Sciences teaching ( for details.
  • Salk Mobile Lab: head to middle school classrooms to teach basic laboratory techniques and hands on science! May be used to fulfill BMS teaching requirements, but contact the BMS office for details. Volunteer sign up is available here.
  • Academic Connections: teach a full-time 3 week course for high achieving high school students provide a hands-on college experience. Instructor applications go out in October. May be used to fulfill BMS teaching requirements, but contact the BMS office or Robin Wittman ( for more information.
  • Summer Training Academy for Research Success (STARS) Program: advise and mentor underrepresented undergraduate students for 3 months in a summer research program organized by the Grad Division. Applications are typically open in April and due in May. May be used to fulfill BMS teaching requirements, but contact the BMS office or Dr. Elisa Maldonaldo ( for details.
  • Volunteer at Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
    • Saturday Science Club for Girls: teach science while having fun with crafts with girls in grades 5-8
    • Seasonal camps (Spring, summer, winter)
    • Better Education for Women in Science & Engineering (BE WiSE): women scientists (21+) mentor middle school to high school girls about different fields of science through Saturday workshops and overnight adventures. Hosted by the Fleet Science Center, although some events take place around the county including UCSD main campus.
  • Sign up to be an iBiology Ambassador for iBiology, an online resource
  • Amgen Biotech Experience lets you go to classrooms for a science education and teaching experience
  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Outreach: reach out to under-represented groups in the classroom, and inspire them about science by teaching laboratory techniques
  • UCSD STEM Education & Diversity Discussion Group: run by graduate students on campus, the group meets to discuss STEM education every first Friday of the month at UCSD Women’s Center conference room.
  • Ocean Discovery Institute: opportunities available to reach out to 3rd to 8th grade students around City Heights to teach marine science.
  • The Summer Graduate Teaching Scholars (SGTS) Program allows graduate students to teach summer courses at UCSD.
Science Communication and Outreach
Science Writing
  • Read our posts on science writing
  • Writing societies and organizations
    • National Association of Science Writers (NASW)
    • American Medical Writers Association (AMWA)
    • Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW)
  • Science Writing Class via UCSD extension: highly recommended course for those interested in writing for media
  • AAAS Mass Media fellowship: 10-week summer fellowship for media development. Put on by AAAS/Science
  • ComSciCon and ComSciConSD: national and local workshops for communicating science! Must apply and be accepted to attend, so check the links for dates.
  • OpenScienceDB is working with volunteer contributors to “translate” published research manuscripts into accessible, simple summaries. Sign up for federal agency or medical research papers.
  • NeuWrite San Diego: a science communication group based in the UCSD Neuroscience Graduate Program
  • Come write with us at The BMS Times! Email us at
Science Policy
Public Health & Federal Agencies
Miscellaneous volunteering events:

If you have any other resources you find useful, please share, we’d love to add them! Let us know if any of the information is outdated or if links are broken. E-mail us at