The 2020-2021 program cohort will include 30 postdoctoral scholars and advanced graduate students. Participants will virtually attend classroom-style modules one Friday per month (4 hours each, starting at 9:00 am PT/12:00pm ET), and engage in discussions and assigned projects in between modules. Participants will work in groups to develop a program project for presentation at the finale. See Program Timeline for more information.
In Module 1 program participants will undergo a process of self-analysis through utilization of a comprehensive personal assessment. As the assessment will serve as a foundation for understanding the unique value each individual brings to their leadership roles, participants will spend Module 1 exploring their personal leadership styles, motivations, and preferences, as well as considering what type of leader they want to be.Close
In Module 2 program participants will continue their self-analysis towards a deeper understanding of their inherent priorities and preferences. As a first step in defining their personal leadership goals, participants will define their individual “Unique Value Proposition,” or how they will describe what they offer as a leader.Close
In Module 3 participants will shift their focus externally to gain an understanding of the priorities and preferences of others. While an understanding of others will be explored to some degree in Modules 1 and 2, in Module 3 participants will specifically focus on developing their awareness of others’ styles. Through the activities and case studies explored in Module 3, participants will explore how to better communicate and work with individuals who have different priorities and preferences than they do.Close
In Module 4 participants will explore the professional and leadership strengths they already possess and want to refine, and what additional leadership strengths they want to develop. Additionally, participants will further develop their “Unique Value Proposition” that will serve as a guide as they continue to explore how and where they can best contribute what they desire to offer as leaders.Close
In Module 5 participants will be introduced to an organized framework to investigate the nature of conflict. Through self-assessment and analysis, participants will have the opportunity to explore how they most often respond to conflict and whether this serves them well. This module will also explore where and why conflict often arises in the context of individual preferences and styles, as well as various ways to analyze a situation towards understanding the root cause of the perceived conflict so that one can better choose how to approach the situation, if at all.Close
In Module 6 participants will discuss how best to communicate with individuals with different styles/preferences than they have, especially during times of conflict. Additionally, in this module participants will learn a process through which they can approach challenging conversations. Through small group activities they will practice what they have learned.Close
In Module 7 participants will present and analyze case studies that highlight relevant challenges that they and others are currently navigating. By applying the knowledge they have gained in the first six program modules, participants will work with each other to suggest approaches to dealing with the challenges discussed. In addition to discussing current unresolved challenges, case studies of challenges that have already been overcome and the approaches taken to overcome them will be shared.Close
In Module 8 participants will discover how to approach large team and organizational problems through a logical framework, the “Problem Management Cycle.” Participants will consider the value and impact of approaching problems holistically, as well as gain an understanding of the factors needed to achieve success in each of the specific steps of the problem management cycle towards team success. Through this investigation participants will identify where they and their team members best contribute in solving and managing problems and how their individual style and preferences contribute to this.Close
In Module 9 program participants will explore how to influence without title or authority through first assessing their current style of influencing others and subsequently examining their level of influencing success. Participants will gain an understanding of the importance and roles of various stakeholders involved in achieving long-term goals so they can enter any discussion or negotiation fully prepared to speak to the interests of the various stakeholders and to listen to what their stakeholders have to say.Close
In Module 10 participants will consider the unique roles that contribute to a successful and effective team based on everything they have learned and practiced up to this point. Because leadership and management are often intertwined, in this module participants will also explore practices for effectively managing, mentoring, and coaching individuals with different levels of knowledge and experience. Participants will practice evaluating performance and consider the differences between managing a team and leading a team. Participants will also practice the art of giving feedback while considering different individual styles and preferences.Close
Module 11 marks the end of the program. Participants will learn about the importance of serving as a leadership development ambassador to their peers and institutional leadership, as well as of opportunities to become a peer mentor for future cycles of this leadership program. Group projects will be presented and discussed.Close
Dr. Diane Klotz is Director, Office of Education, Training, & International Services and Associate Dean of Administration and Professional Development in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, CA. In these positions Diane oversees a team responsible for creating and delivering innovative programs to support the professional growth and complement the scientific education and training of Sanford Burnham Prebys’s graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. She also participates in institute-wide efforts in strategic planning with respect to education and training initiatives, serves as an advisor to faculty on education and training best practices, and consults to executive leadership on education and training policy. Additionally, Diane serves as an internal educator for Sanford Burnham Prebys on topics surrounding leadership and management development, team building, conflict, and interpersonal dynamics.
Diane received her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Tulane University, and pursued her postdoctoral research training at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS, NIH). Diane’s research focused on cross-talk between steroid hormone receptor and growth factor signaling pathways in the female reproductive tract and the impact of environmental chemicals on these pathways. Outside the lab, Diane served as a member and chair of the NIEHS postdoctoral association, and was a member and chair of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) Board of Directors, where she remains active as a member of the NPA Advisory Council. Beginning in 2014 Diane served as a member of the External Scientific Panel of advisors for the recently completed NIH Broadening Experience in Scientific Training (BEST) Award program.
Diane’s career path has been shaped by her observations of and experiences with how scientific organizations function and how scientific leaders strive to effect change and make progress. Her focus in the education and training of scientists at all levels and in all career paths is on helping scientists find their voices as high impact leaders who are able to guide their teams with compassion, clarity, vision, and intent. Diane has worked with academic labs, professional associations, and biotech companies towards developing high-performing teams and cultures that support them. Diane has achieved a certification in Conflict Management and Change Management, is a certified DiSC® facilitator and MBTI® practitioner, and obtained a certificate for Negotiation and Leadership from the Harvard Program on Negotiation.
Dr. Nisha Cavanaugh is the Senior Manager of Career Development & Postdoctoral Programs within Sanford Burnham Prebys' OETIS. In this role, Nisha oversees the portfolio of career and professional development programming for Sanford Burnham Prebys postdoctoral scholars and the co-curricular activities for graduate students. Additionally, she collaborates with OETIS faculty and with the SBP Science Network to design new professional development workshops, programs and opportunities to enhance the postdoctoral experience at SBP. Nisha has completed the ADVANCED Training in Conflict Management from Kilmann Diagnostics, the Influencing Style Indicator certification, and the Gallup Successful Strengths Coaching course, and she is a certified MBTI® practitioner.
Nisha received her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she elucidated the primase-polymerase enzyme mechanism in Herpes Simplex Virus-1 DNA replication initiation. As a postdoc at the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), she analyzed the structure-function relationship of DNA polymerase beta and the misincorporation of ribonucleotides during DNA repair. Nisha is passionate about creating and developing innovative programs for early career PhDs that complement the education and research training they receive to provide them with the necessary tools to successfully achieve their career goals. This desire stems from her own graduate education and postdoctoral training experience as well as her time spent as Chair of the NIEHS Trainees Assembly, the NIEHS postdoctoral association.
Dr. Andrew Bankston is the Manager, Graduate Student Success at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical
Discovery Institute in La Jolla, CA. Andrew builds relationships with local institutions and companies
to provide new training opportunities for their students/employees, create opportunities for Sanford
Burnham Prebys students, and find the next group of talented SBP graduate students. He also provides
one-on-one services to students in support of many aspects of their graduate careers and collaborates
with other members of the OETIS team to help develop training workshops and programs specifically for
SBP graduate students.
Andrew received his PhD in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology from Emory University where he uncovered new regulatory pathways regulating development of myelin in the brain. He then studied the role of autophagy in myelin development and repair at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center until joining Sanford Burnham Prebys in 2017. Through his involvement with the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), first as the Outreach Committee Chair and now as a member of the Board of Directors, Andrew deepened his interest in graduate student and postdoc training that began with his own training experience. His passion for mentoring and training of young scientists has always had a strong influence on his career path and is a large part of his current role.
Heather Dillon is the Career and Professional Development Program Manager in the Office of Postdoctoral and Research Scholar Affairs at the University of California, San Diego. In this position, Heather develops, coordinates, and presents programs to meet the training and professional development needs of the UCSD postdoctoral community. Heather serves as an ex-officio member and advisor to the UC San Diego Postdoctoral Association Board and collaborates with partners across UC San Diego to facilitate high-impact career development programs for PhDs and Postdocs.
Heather graduated with Highest Honors from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and has a Master’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from Dartmouth College. She is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and MBTI® Certified Practitioner. With over a decade of experience in recruitment and advising, Heather has assisted hundreds of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with their job searches and application materials. She is devoted to helping trainees succeed in their chosen professions by providing career guidance and advice through seminars, workshops, and individual meetings.
B. Bea Rajsombath oversees the Postdoctoral Office at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. She has been employed at the Salk since 2010 and has successfully served in various instrumental roles during this time. She earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management with an emphasis on strategic management and international business. In her current position, B. Bea’s responsibilities include assisting postdocs in identifying funding, providing ongoing career development programs, developing strategies and tools to aid postdocs in finding independent positions and collaborating on diversity initiatives for Salk.
You can contact us at OETIS@SBP.edu!
Jennifer Whitaker is the Director, Talent Management at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. In her role she oversees recruitment and onboarding, employee engagement, and employee learning and development initiatives. She has been with Sanford Burnham Prebys since 2016.
Prior to joining Sanford Burnham Prebys, Jen was at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Illinois and served as Director, Human Resources for Northwestern Medical Group, the physician primary and specialty practice plan serving two counties and over 3500 physicians and staff. During her time at Northwestern Medicine, Jen led key integration and culture initiatives for the human resources function as the organization experienced tremendous growth and expansion through mergers, acquisitions and opening of new facilities.
Before moving to Chicago, Jen was a consultant with Waldron & Company, a boutique human resources consulting firm with offices on the west coast.
Jen graduated cum laude from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication and Spanish. She is a Certified Compensation Professional and holds a Professional in Human Resources - California designation. She is certified in Crucial Conversations.
You MUST be a:
The program's cohort of peer emerging leaders will be committed to fully engage in all program activities and support their fellow participants.
To be accepted into the program, complete the application form in full. The parts of the application include: