Box 6-1Skills Discussed by Individual Presenters that Could Benefit Students if Taught During Chemistry Graduate School

The speakers at the workshop described many skills that chemistry graduate schools could teach to prepare students for the challenges they will face in the workplace. The following list is drawn from the summaries of their talks in this chapter. While all students could not be expected to learn all of these skills during graduate school, many workshop participants noted that mastering a subset of them could help them in their future careers.


Constructing chemistry curricula and laboratories for undergraduates

Teaching undergraduate chemistry

Explaining concepts in different ways for diverse groups of students

Mentoring undergraduates


Generating scientific research ideas independently

Preparing research proposals

Recording, interpreting, and storing data responsibly

Writing and publishing scientific papers

Acquiring a thorough familiarity with safety procedures and disseminating those procedures

Working in groups, including interdisciplinary groups

Interacting with funding agencies and managing the finances of a research team

Reviewing proposals and articles


Transforming scientific ideas into business plans

Understanding how to sell products and protect market advantages

Interacting with technology transfer offices and intellectual property lawyers


Managing time effectively

Communicating orally and in writing with nonscientists

Interacting with the community outside research institutions

Learning to manage other people

Learning to be adaptable and acquire new skills

Thinking creatively and critically

Exhibiting leadership

Approaching a problem from a broad-based perspective

From: 6, Suggested Ideas to Change Chemistry Graduate Education and Skills to Benefit Students

Cover of Challenges in Chemistry Graduate Education
Challenges in Chemistry Graduate Education: A Workshop Summary.
National Research Council (US) Committee on Challenges in Chemistry Graduate Education.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2012.
Copyright © 2012, National Academy of Sciences.

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