Fellows in the News

That’s not to say that the knowledge and skills researchers usually obtain in graduate school aren’t valuable assets too, says Brian Johnson, director of educational research and program development at the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York City. “When you find that amazing person who has that really strong science knowledge and skill set, and they can work with a variety of different audiences and are really strong communicators, those people are amazing to have in science learning institutions. I would love to hire those people,” he says.

He cautions, though, that applications for such positions need to tell a compelling story. “Sometimes with people applying, the transition seems so abrupt: They did their Ph.D. working in a lab for 5 years and then, all of a sudden, they are sending an application for an informal science education job, and in the cover letter they say, ‘I decided I’m interested.’ I’d like to understand more about where that transition comes from, because that’s a big change in career path. I understand that that happens, but being really clear about why it happens and where it’s coming from is really important.”

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