Cornell University BEST Training Program

Principal Investigator: Avery August

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Sponsor: NIH-Office of the Director (OD)
Grant Number: 5DP7OD018425-03
Title: Cornell University BEST Training Program
Project Amount: $364,081
Project Period: September 2015 to August 2016

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): 

A training program at Cornell University is proposed through the Broadened Experiences in Scientific Training, or BEST program. Existing and entering Pre- and Postdoctoral Scientists will be recruited to the program and will be assigned a mutually agreeable BEST mentor who will meet with students regularly and help them navigate the program. Students will select among four pathways of potential scientific careers that include Science Communication, Governance, Risk and Compliance, Science Policy, and Industry, Entrepreneurship and Management. Trainees will be able to opt for a single pathway (through workshops, externships and/or internships) or sample each of the pathways on a more superficial level (primarily through lectures). To encourage participation, points will be assigned for participation in each experience and an attestation certificate will be awarded to trainees that obtain sufficient points. Evaluation of the program will be extensive during and after the five year period, with a goal to increase program effectiveness initially, and to gauge the effect on the scientific careers of the trainees in the long and medium terms. The program benefits from substantial support of the Cornell community with enthusiastic support from Government and Industrial partners.