Professional Development

SACNAS invites professionals to submit Professional Development session proposals for any and/or all program participants (undergraduates, graduates, postdocs, and/or professionals). Professional Development sessions provide participants with training and development on many of the following topics:

  • Academic Career (e.g. Graduate School Application: Developing a Personal Statement 
  • Industry, Government, Non-Profit Career or Policy Career (e.g. Internships and Research Opportunities, Technical Report Writing or Grant Writing) 
  • Mentorship (e.g. Choosing the Right Advisor, Developing the Mentee and Being the Right Kind of Mentor) 
  • Networking (e.g. Using Social Networks Professionally, How to Build/Expand Your Network of Support)
  • STEM Policy/Ethics (e.g. Ethical Issues, Career Opportunities in STEM and Policy) 
  • Skills for Success (e.g. CV/Resume 101, Management Skills for Scientists) 
  • 2020 Featured Track: Science Communication 
  • 2020 Featured Track: Women in STEM
  • 2020 Featured Track: Community College 


Sessions are specifically tailored to support the core academic and professional needs of undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs and career professionals at each transitional stage of their careers.

In addition to potential topic areas described above, SACNAS is providing a special focus on three topics as this year’s “featured tracks”: Science Communication, Women in STEM, and Community College.
In addition to being “featured tracks” for Professional Development, these tracks will be incorporated into various activities and events throughout the conference.

FEATURED TRACK: Science Communication

Purpose: The Science Communication track will provide participants with a broad range of topics related to Science Communication from an introductory to an advanced level. SACNAS welcomes a range of creative topics to demonstrate the importance of Science Communication for professional growth, STEM outreach and policy, and will give special consideration to topics directly related to the intersection between science communication and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Example Topics:

  • Science Communication for Diversity and Inclusion 
  • Storytelling: Crafting Compelling Narratives to Share Your Science 
  • Advanced Science Communication for Professionals 


Purpose: Sessions in this track will offer discourse on the current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion for women in the STEM workforce and academia. Sessions addressing specific issues for women in the workplace, best practices for inclusion, or strategies for success are all encouraged.

Example Topics:

  • Women Succeeding in STEM from Undergrad through Professional Careers
  • Our Stories: A Conversation about Challenges Faced, and Advice for Insuring the Inclusion of Underrepresented Women in Science
  • Women in Mathematics
  • Women as Leaders

FEATURED TRACK: Community College

Purpose: The Community College Track will highlight content exclusively targeting students and professionals from Community Colleges. Sessions in this track will include talks on the importance of mentorship, internships, research opportunities, transfer and much more. Students will be provided with tools on how to continue and succeed in their academic journey regardless of circumstances.

Example Topics:

  • Summer Internships for Community College Students
  • Transfer to a four-year institution, scholarships, time-management, and Financial Aid
  • Importance of mentorship and networking skills
  • How to talk about science and education to your family

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