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Office of Fellowship Training Program Offerings

English as a Second Language (ESL)

Each semester the Office of Fellowship Training (OFT) sponsors 20 postdoctoral research fellows to take ESL courses. Classes are generally paid in full for postdocs by the OFT (No cost to PI). The OFT does not pay for any lab members other than postdocs. Participants usually stay for two semesters, although if space allows, the OFT can fund a third semester. If a PI wants to send a postdoc longer, but space does not allow, this could be done at the PI's expense ($400 per individual per 11-week semester). Participants generally take two hours of class (5-7pm) plus one hour of language lab (at a flexible time) per week. The curriculum for class includes development of communication skills with focus on the workplace, U.S. culture and culture differences, and news and current events. In addition to conversation, some attention is also given to reading and some grammar points. The language lab is composed of computer-based listening programs and also aids with writing (letters, journals, e-mail), as well as identifying grammar needs. Two teachers staff the language lab and assistance is individualized and on a drop-in basis. A list of web sites for learning resources is also provided to participants. The class format primarily focuses on verbal skills (conversation, work on pronunciation and idiomatic expressions, presentations and critique by the teacher, oneself, and the group), and there is an additional hour per week of language lab. Students self-evaluate themselves at the end of the course, thereby noting where improvement is needed. The class + language lab is 33 hours (11 weeks), although if you take advantage of the "extras," you receive 66 hours of instruction. Once learners are placed in a class, they generally do not move to another one, but prefer to stay with their initial "cohort," as a comfort level is developed.

Funding Your Research

  • Basic
    This seminar is designed to present strategies, tips, and practical guidance for fellows and junior faculty to obtain funding for basic research.
  • Clinical
    This workshop is designed to present strategies, tips, and practical guidance for fellows and faculty to get their clinical research funded. It focuses on the research plan and administrative sections of the NIH K08 (Mentored Clinical Scientist Development) and K23 (Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development) awards.

How to Have a Successful Fellowship

This seminar gives the "nuts and bolts" of what you need to have a successful fellowship. Areas covered include: the importance of networking, the importance of seeking multiple mentors and collaborators across disciplines, effective grant writing and publishing, and attaining your next position.

3-Part Career Development

Communication, presentation, networking, and relationship building are key professional development skills that are essential to develop and cultivate. The OFT is pleased to offer a 3-part Career Development Series geared towards developing and cultivating these skills. Sarah Cardozo Duncan will be leading our special 3-part Career Development Series. Sarah is a career strategist with an established national and international client base. She draws upon over twenty years of recruitment and career development experience to help clients define new or existing career paths, or to help them navigate successfully within their current companies. Sarah will present the key professional development building blocks below over our three part professional development workshop:

  • Session 1: Identifying and assessing your assets/capabilities
  • Session 2: Developing your professional presentation and networking tool box
  • Session 3: Cultivating relationships toward opportunity building

Communication Workshop

In this interactive workshop, participants will learn to extract the most value from their work related communications, job interviews and everyday conversations. Participants will learn to identify their communication style, understand other communication styles, and learn to better recognize the communication style of the person with whom they are speaking. Practice and mastering of these skills will lead participants to more effective and productive conversations.

Imaging Seminars 

This three-part seminar is led by Beth Beighlie, Digital Imaging Coordinator, Research Imaging Solutions, Harvard Medical School. Research Imaging Solutions (RIS) workshops and seminars are based on the unique ways that researchers use proprietary scientific applications, Microsoft Office and a variety graphics programs to create, acquire and edit images that are included in grant applications, journal articles and presentations to the scientific community. Imaging Made Easy Lunchtime Seminars cover topics including poster making, proper PowerPoint techniques and Photoshop tricks. Beth Beighlie has been creating images at Harvard Medical School since 1987. Over the years she has worked as a photographer, imaging instructor and medical and scientific illustrator. She is currently doing Desktop Computer Support at the School of Dental Medicine and Research Imaging Support for the Dental & Medical Schools, as well as their affiliated institutions. Beth is also a regular columnist for the medical and scientific imaging quarterly magazine, Digital Insights.

Job Talk Practices 

The Office of Fellowship Training offers fellows the opportunity to practice their "job talk" to a faculty audience and receive critiques from those faculty. Fellows who have taken advantage of this opportunity in the past have found it to be very useful in preparing for upcoming job searches. Fellows present their job talk to 2-3 faculty members and an audience of their peers. Afterwards, the faculty critique the presentation, acknowledging positive aspects and suggesting areas that might benefit from changes.

To initiate the scheduling of your presentation, please email the OFT including:

  • CV
  • Research Statement
  • Several available dates/times
  • List of any faculty you would like to have attend (we will make our best effort to schedule your preferred faculty)

Dr. M. Judah Folkman Research Day 

On the 9th annual Research Day at Boston Children's Hospital (2008) Research Day was named in memory of Dr. M. Judah Folkman, who passed away on January 14, 2008. Dr. Folkman, former Director of the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children's Hospital, provided a beacon of light in pediatric surgery, vascular biology, angiogenesis, and cancer research. Each year over 100 basic science and clinical research residents, fellows, and instructors submit abstracts, with submissions from over 25 departments at Children's, ranging in topic from "Upregulation of VEGFR-1 Prevents Adaptive Capillary Growth in Hypertrophied Myocardium" to "Risks, Trends, and Outcomes among Pregnant Adolescents and Young Adults," some of which are selected for oral presentation, and all of which are selected for poster presentation. Research Day comprises an entire day. Everyone is invited to attend and there is no charge to do so.

Science Shaping Our World (SHOW) 

SHOW is an ongoing seminar and networking series that highlights cutting edge translational life science research and development. SHOW's mission is to provide a stage for researchers that are at the cutting edge of life science innovation and translation whereby they can share their work and discuss its future application potential in a non-conventional setting. Further, through SHOW we seek to draw together a multidisciplinary audience spanning multiple sectors from both academia and industry where they can gain exposure and insight into the life science advancements poised to change our world.
These events are co-sponsored by the OFT

Fellows' Social 

This catered monthly social gives fellows an opportunity to meet postdoctoral research fellows and clinical fellows from across the hospital in a social setting.

International Day 

The Office of Fellowship Training (OFT) at Boston Children's Hospital co-sponsors this event with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to bring the cultures of our two hospitals together for an extravaganza of food, performance and prizes.

Fellows' Appreciation Dinner 

In recognition of the fine work done by Fellows at Children's Hospital, the Office of Fellowship Training invites Children's Hospital fellows to a dinner in conjunction with Children's Hospital Dr. M. Judah Folkman Research Day. This is usually a topic that is not covered during the academic year – something that incorporates the history of medicine or social or public health aspects of medicine.

Special Events for National Postdoc Appreciation Week 

The National Postdoc Appreciation Week culminated in the passage of H.RES. 1545 on September 24, 2010 by the U.S. House of Representatives. The resolution nationally recognized National Postdoc Appreciation Week. The OFT hosts networking events and a "Build Your Own Sundae" social.

Office of Fellowship Training Brochure

2016-2017 OFT Program Offerings Brochure

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