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MSTP Career Development

The Northwestern University Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) aims to train future leaders of the biomedical research workforce. To that end, the program takes a capacious approach to the types of skills it emphasizes as integral to a successful career as a physician-scientist in the 21st century. Find opportunities for professional and career development below.

Core Capacities

Following an evidence-based framework developed by The Graduate School at Northwestern, the MSTP encourages students to develop skills in six major areas of professional knowledge, expertise and experience known as “Core Capacities.” The skills promoted in each area can be applied to the wide range of career paths pursued by physician-scientists.

  • Communication
  • Leadership and Collaboration
  • Teaching and Mentoring
  • Research Skills and Literacies
  • Personal Development and Well-Being
  • Career Preparation and Exploration

MSTP programming and advising stress the entire range of Core Capacities as essential to professional success. In particular, the emphasis on collaboration, wellbeing and resiliency during training is in line with current NIH-developed programming that views these skills as essential in the retention and success of the physician-scientist workforce.

Students interested in skill-building opportunities in any of these core areas can search available professional development programs at Northwestern. Opportunities frequently utilized by MSTP students to gain hands-on professional experience can be found below.

Northwestern MSTP Professional Development

Querrey InQbation Lab

Through programming and space, the Querrey InQbation Lab provides support and resources for the very early stages of company formation, allowing the university to immediately enable near-term opportunities and increase the pipeline of startup companies. The Querrey InQbation Lab offers a variety of programs related to different phases of the commercialization process that MSTP students can participate in throughout the program. 

INVO Practicum

The INVO Practicum is an eight-month internship program open to students who are interested in learning about the university technology transfer process. The interns are exposed to vast areas of innovation and gain hands-on experience in evaluating technologies for patentability, marketability and commercialization readiness. MSTP students in the research phase of training are eligible to participate.

Chicago MSTP Professional Development

Chicago is a thriving center of biomedical research and collaboration, and Northwestern-affiliated groups and projects provide further opportunities for students to learn about careers and make connections with professionals in the biomedical field.

Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Chicago

In 2023, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced the launch of a new biomedical research hub in Chicago that will bring together scientists across institutions to develop science and technologies to increase our understanding of human health and disease. Current MSTP student mentor Shana Kelley, PhD, a professor of Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at Northwestern, will serve as president.  

Chicago Biomedical Consortium

The Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) aims to stimulate collaborative research and training that will transform biomedical research among scientists at institutions across Chicago. Students interested in learning more should sign up for communications and consider attending CBC-hosted events that are of interest. MSTP students are invited to apply for the CBC Entrepreneurial Fellowship Program once they have completed the PhD portion of training.