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FUTURE FAQs

  • What are the requirements for participation in FUTURE?
  • Postdoctoral scholars and PhD graduate students pursuing research related to advancements in health are eligible to participate in the FUTURE program. There are different requirements for the Certificate track and the Self-Directed track. Please visit our Program Tracks page for details.
  • How does the FUTURE program define "postdoctoral scholar"?
  • To be eligible for the FUTURE program, you must be hired under one of the following UCD postdoctoral scholar employment title codes: 3252, 3253, or 3254
  • Does it cost anything to be in the FUTURE program?
  • No.The professional workshops for participants in both tracks of the FUTURE program is free. There may be a fee for some of the career exploration activities that you choose to pursue (e.g. some specialized bootcamps, workshops, or online courses); these fees would be the responsibility of the participant, but members of the FUTURE program are eligible to apply for professional development support from the Career Exploration Fund (see description below).
  • What is the difference between an internship and an externship?
  • An externship is a job shadowing experience with a professional or group of professionals within an industry or workplace that a postdoc or graduate student has an interest in pursuing. Externships are typically unpaid and held for a shorter time period lasting anywhere from a single day to several weeks, whereas internships may be paid or unpaid, and tend to be eight weeks long at minimum. The goal of an externship is to provide externs with additional insights into a specific field, with no hands-on experiences or projects assigned, such as one would have in an internship. The main difference in an externship versus an internship is that externships are used mainly to explore interests and curiosities, whereas an internship is a temporary work experience that focuses on providing an intern with the relevant knowledge and skills necessary for gaining employment in a specific field.
  • Where can participants do externships or internships?
  • There are several sites within and outside UCD that may serve as hosts for externships and internships and we are currently working to expand our pool of potential sites in the following career areas: industry research in biotech/pharma, science education, science policy, science communication, business relating to science, clinical regulatory affairs, research administration, and intellectual property. Postdocs and graduate students are also welcome and encouraged to investigate and coordinate their own internship and externship opportunities. Participation in FUTURE will provide you with the knowledge and tools to do this more effectively.
  • When can participants do their externships/internships?
  • FUTURE participants can begin their externship or internship experiences any time after completion of the Professional Development workshop series (Certificate Track) or 1-day workshop (Self-Directed Track), and can do them throughout their postdoctoral appointment or graduate degree program.  Certificate Track participants who prefer to do an internship after their postdoc or graduate program has ended have up to six months after the termination of their UCD appointment/program to complete the internship requirement for the professional development certificate.
  • Can a postdoc/graduate student do an externship/internship if he/she is on a fellowship or training grant?
  • Many fellowships and training grants allow time for professional development, so externships (which are usually just 1 day) or part-time internship experiences can often be scheduled such that they don’t interfere with the postdoctoral or graduate student research position. Another option is to take a temporary leave from the fellowship/grant to pursue a short-term internship. Each fellowship is different and will have to be investigated individually, but having a fellowship or grant is not necessarily an obstacle to having an externship/internship experience. Some participants choose to complete internships after the fellowship/grant funding has ended.
  • Will I need to take time off to participate in FUTURE?
  • No, it is not required. Most participants should be able to pursue many FUTURE professional development activities while maintaining their postdoctoral or graduate student commitments. While externship/internship experiences may require negotiating a modified schedule with your mentor, our goal is to work with host sites that allow flexibility in the structure of the externship/internship to minimize conflict with postdoc and graduate student responsibilities. In some cases however, a short-term, full-time internship experience will be desired by the participant, in which case time off from graduate or postdoctoral research would be needed. We recommend discussing scheduling arrangements and limitations with your mentor ahead of time to ensure an optimal FUTURE program and professional development experience.
  • I am an international student/scholar. Can I still do an internship or externship?
  • Yes, as long as you do so within the limitations of your visa status. For example, if you are a postdoc, an internship or externship may not be an option for you once your postdoc position ends, so you may have to complete those experiences during your postdoctoral term. International graduate students may have more flexibility than international postdocs depending on which type of visa they hold. In many cases, an externship experience (rather than an internship) will be the best choice for international scholars (and for many US citizen postdocs as well). We recommend consulting with Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) before embarking on an internship or externship to determine the best way to proceed.
  • Does the externship/internship site or the FUTURE program choose who goes on what externship/internship?
  • The role of the FUTURE program is to help postdocs and PhD students identify appropriate externship/internship opportunities based on their interests and that of the host. Host sites make the final decision on which externs/interns to accept, or whether they wish to take any externs/interns at that time.
  • I am a potential externship/ internship site; how can I find out more about hosting an extern/intern?
  • We are interested in identifying partners within and outside UC Davis in all career areas that contribute to the biomedical enterprise, including but not limited to biotechnology, science communication, entrepreneurship, government, policy, research administration, intellectual property and law.  If you are interested in partnering with us to help prepare biomedical graduate students and postdocs to enter the workforce we are eager to talk with you! Please contact us at:  FUTUREprogram@ucdavis.edu
  • What is the Career Exploration Fund?
  • The Career Exploration Fund is a resource for funding career exploration and professional development activities for FUTURE participants. Only participants in the FUTURE program (either track) are eligible to submit an application for support to cover the full or partial expense of a career exploration activity that meets predetermined criteria. To receive funds, an applicant must agree to share the experience with others by writing a summary or review of the activity, planning a public event, or creating a video of the experience to be posted on the Career Explorers Network website. This allows a broader community to benefit from one person’s experience and enable us to have a greater impact with our limited resources.

    Examples of allowable uses for funds:

    - Professional development or career exploration activity: course, workshop, bootcamp, webinar, etc.
    - Expenses related to bringing an outside speaker to talk about careers to the general UCD audience
    - Conduct and film an informational interview to be added to our career exploration resource library

  • What is the Career Exploration Network?
  • A peer group that includes current and alumni FUTURE participants. FUTURE participants will have access to this network through shared activities (e.g. professional development workshop series), group listservs, social events, and an online career exploration resource sharing site. Your exposure to career options and resources can be greatly enhanced by engaging with this network of career explorers through shared experiences and knowledge.