Professional Development

At its biannual meetings, ECS provides professional development opportunities, such as workshops and professional panels as well as career resources. ECS’s workshop opportunities are targeted to students, early career researchers, and experienced professionals.

Please note that ECS professional development opportunities are not offered in a digital format. Participants must register for in-person attendance at the ECS biannual meeting where the program is offered.

Do you have a suggestion for a new professional development workshop? Email for more information.

244th ECS Meeting Workshops

ECS Mentoring Session

Facilitator: Alice Suroviec

Peer Reviewer Excellence Certification Workshop

Instructors: Adrian Plummer, ECS Director of Publications; Paul Cooper, ECS Editorial Manager; and Jessica MacDonald, IOP Publishing

Workshop descriptions

ECS Mentoring Session

ECS coordinates a group of mentors to meet with students and early career professionals in small roundtable groups. The discussion topics vary and are often led by the group. Topics covered usually focus on career-life balance, building contacts and networks, questions about career paths, and perspectives on different experiences.

This is a 1.0 hour roundtable workshop.

Essential Elements for Employment Success

Landing your next job requires selective and effective networking, developing and submitting specifically targeted resumes and cover letters, locating relevant job opportunities and preparing for and participating in the job interview. This workshop will provide up-to-date information and tips for employment success.

This is a 2.0 – 3.0 hour workshop.

Introduction to Intellectual Property

In recent years, intellectual property (IP) has become contentious with notable high tech companies influencing patent rights. Nevertheless, IP continues to play a key role in the development and innovation ecosystem, particularly for start-ups and early-stage commercialization. In this short course, we get down to basics in exploring IP’s role in protecting your early-stage development and commercialization. Along the way, we review IP basics and explore portfolio development to help protect your inventions. Decisions such as internal R&D, strategic partnerships, or licensing are informed by your portfolio. And finally, what to do when you have to enforce your rights.

This workshop is 2.5 hours.

Managing and Leading Teams

Most engineers and scientists work in teams where a leader oversees and guides process and/or product development and direction. When technically trained individuals undertake a leadership role, frustration is a frequent outcome despite technical competency and good intentions. This workshop discusses reasons why engineers and scientists often find adaptation into leadership roles disconcerting and explores ways to smooth the transition. Participants build skills that lead to improved team productivity and collaboration.

This is a 2.0 hour workshop.

Managing Conflict

When more than one person is in a meeting, disagreement on the interpretation of results, conclusions, implementation, and subsequent directions is the likely outcome, which leads to conflict. An effective leader has learned how to manage conflict and use it to improve team performance. This workshop discusses conflict sources and explores ways to minimize the disruption that often results.

This is a 1.0 hour workshop.

Patent Law for Scientists and Engineers

This interactive workshop provides an introduction to U.S. patent law, and is directed towards researchers from academia, industry, and government entities. The workshop offers a historical basis for the foundation of U.S. patent law in the U.S. Constitution. Learn the statutory definitions of an invention and distinguish between an inventor on a patent and an author on a publication. In addition, the workshop covers the classes of patentable inventions and the requirements for obtaining a patent on an invention.

View the detailed workshop outline.

This is a 3.0 hour workshop.

Resume Review

Bring your resume for a one-on-one session with an industry leader and expert on resume development. Walk away with a resume that is sure to land you your next interview. To sign up for a resume review appointment, you must first attend Essential Elements for Employment Success. Registration for a resume review occurs during the Essential Elements for Employment Success workshop.

Appointments are 20 minutes in length.

Running an Effective Meeting

Meetings are activities that play a critical role in decision-making and change within the successful operation of a team or organization. Unfortunately, meetings are frequently viewed as bad, ineffective, and a waste of time. Such conclusions are often justified because they result from ineffective leadership and unprofessional behavior by attendees. This workshop explores reasons for the inappropriate conduct displayed and discusses approaches to facilitate effective and productive meetings.

This is a 1.0 hour workshop.

Strategic Tools for a Successful Career

Scientists and engineers often find themselves trapped in careers that are far from fulfilling their dreams and aspirations. It is not for a lack of working hard. It is simply because they have not themselves learned or (re)discovered the keys to building a very successful career. In this workshop filled with hands-on exercises, the participants actively engage these essential principles.

First, we ask what success really means for each of us. We discover that, like for our hobbies or favored dishes, the word “success” hides very different and individual realities which we need to clearly articulate. Having clarified this foundation, we discuss goals, their importance, and the way to work with them—for goals are the blueprint of success.

This workshop is adapted from part of the material developed and presented in the Mentoring Program for early-career scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Energy Technology Area.

This workshop is 2.5 hours.

U.S. Immigration & Visa Options for International Researchers

Foreign national researchers face challenges in navigating their employment opportunities and career path in the United States due to visa and immigration-related issues. This session reviews and discusses the temporary visa options open to them, including the F-1 OPT, the J-1 Research Scholar Visa, and the H-1B. We also review other issues associated with these visas, including the two-year home residence requirement associated with the J-1 Visa, and the process for obtaining a waiver as needed.

Other aspects of the discussion include looking at the options and avenues that this population faces as their career progresses, advances in terms of visa transition, and how they can build their CV/resume for purposes of strengthening a case for permanent residency from both an employer-sponsored and self-sponsored standpoint. This includes an overview of self-sponsored green card applications including the types of evidence, documents, and material an applicant needs to pursue such an option, which in turn may allow them to expand their career opportunities and transition to an employment position of their own accord in both an academic and industry setting.

This is a 1.5 hour workshop.

Win Funding: How to Write a Competitive Proposal

Whether your career takes you to industry, academia, or a national lab, chances are that you will be intimately involved in writing research grant proposals. In fact, your career growth may largely hinge on your ability to raise funds. While each proposal is unique, very important guidelines lying at the intersection of the funding agency’s needs and your technical idea must be observed in order to maximize the probability of success. As this workshop is interactive, it would be particularly meaningful and useful for the participants to be prepared to work with a real example. This could be a proposal they have submitted in the past, or one they anticipate submitting.

This workshop is 3 hours.

Upcoming Professional Development Workshops will be listed as part of the next ECS biannual meeting program.