Stacie Bloom on Science Career Options for PhD Scientists

In Chapter 13 of 19 in her 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, Stacie Grossman Bloom answers "What Have Your Experiences Taught You About the Range of Options Available in a Science Career?" She finds her experiences allow her to use her science skills in very interesting ways. Many scientists find themselves narrowly focused on a linear academic career - PhD, post doc, research lab, professorship - however Bloom learns there are many possibilities as long as you are willing to think creatively about what you can do.

Stacie Grossman Bloom is the Executive Director at the NYU Neuroscience Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center. Previously, she was VP and Scientific Director at the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS). She earned her PhD in Neurobiology and Cell Biology at Georgetown University and did a post-doctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University in New York City. She earned her BA in Chemistry and Psychology from the University of Delaware.


Erik Michielsen: What have your experiences taught you about the range of options available in the science career?

Stacie Grossman Bloom: My experiences have taught me that you can use your science background in very creative ways and create a career for yourself that may be a little unorthodox or doesn’t follow a typical career path but can still be really fulfilling, interesting and important. A lot of scientists are not trained in entrepreneurship or -- you know, scientists are very smart but not everyone knows how to think outside the box. So, unless you are on this very linear tenure track position, it’s a little bit hard to figure out what else you can do. So, you’re a graduate student, you do a post doc, you get a professorship in some lab, you get tenure, you stay in that lab, you make a career for yourself at that university. It’s sort of being trapped in the ivory tower. You know, one thing that leaving that has shown me is that there is a place for PhD scientist in almost every sector, if you can think creatively about what you can do.