Successful postdoctoral fellows at the CEM have two primary, yet seemingly contradictory, characteristics: they thrive in an environment requiring independent thinking and action, and they extremely work well together in teams. The postdoctoral application process begins with a cover letter, CV, and three letters of reference. After an initial review of application materials, approximately 30% of applicants are invited for a full day of interviews, during which they present their prior work and meet with approximately ten faculty and postdocs throughout the day. After the interview, candidates are generally given “homework”, which comprises a short proposal of what they would like to do as postdocs. Two to three weeks after receipr of the proposal, the applicant is notified of a decision, and if it is positive, an appointment can be made within two to three months. About 75% of those interviewed receive offers. Applicants are encouraged at the time of acceptance to submit a postdoctoral grant application to NIH and/or other agencies and foundations. Starting salaries are generally $38,000 to $40,000, depending on experience, and a two-year commitment is required. As is clear from our list of alumni, a significant number of former postdocs and graduate students obtain excellent academic positions. We attribute this primarily to the quality of the applicants. However, team science, complex projects, grant writing and reviewing opportunities, presentation, and writing guidance may also play a role.
A complete application package consists of: 1) a cover letter, 2) an extended CV, and 3 letters of recommendation to be requested by the candidate. In the cover letter, the candidate should address the following questions: 1) what type of project among the CEM research thrusts do you wish to pursue? 2) what do you bring to the CEM in terms of expertise and skills? and 3) what do you expect to learn at the CEM? Successful candidates know what they have to offer, what they wish to work on, and what they will gain from training at the CEM.
Graduate students at Harvard and MIT can pursue their thesis dissertation research at the CEM. In the past graduate students have come from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology, the Chemical, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering departments at MIT, and the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard. No formal application process is required; candidates usually contact a specific faculty member to discuss the opportunities available for dissertation research. Many of the benefits and characteristics of the CEM experience for postdocs apply to graduate students as well. Residence time for graduate students is about five years from start to finish. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of their projects, many CEM graduate students do not require postdocs before obtaining their first jobs.
Outstanding graduates of any science or engineering discipline with a B.A., B.S., or M.S. may apply for a position as a technical assistant. The application includes a cover letter, college transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. Technicians at the CEM usually spend two to four years working on one or more projects before going on to medical or graduate school. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.2 or higher, and have some prior laboratory experience. A half-day interview is generally required.
Please note that at this time, we are recruiting a senior research technician/associate with hands-on experience in human hepatocyte isolation.
To apply, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae and three reference letters to:
CEM Program Director
Shriners Research Center
51 Blossom Street
Boston, MA 02114
or via email to CEM Program Director
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