BioXFEL is sponsoring a workshop series that will cover a core set of interpersonal and collaborative skills that scientists need to do their current jobs as well as skills they will need when they move on to other positions in academia or the private sector. The first workshop (“Difficult conversations in the research workplace: Fundamentals of negotiation) will be given on Sunday, January 31st 2021, from 10:00 AM-3:00PM EST and the second (Best foot forward, Part 1: Interviewing skills) on Monday February 1st 2021, from 10:00AM-2:30 PM EST.

The workshops will be delivered via Zoom, more details on access codes to follow. In recognition of the prevalence of remote interactions in the era of Covid-19 each workshop has new content that addresses the challenges of interacting, managing, and working remotely.

Workshop 1: Sunday, January 31, 2021

“Difficult conversations and interactions in the research workplace: Fundamentals of negotiation.”

This workshop will run via Zoom from 10:00 AM to approximately 3:00PM EST with a 30-minute break at noon

This is a highly interactive workshop in which you will learn and practice techniques
for dealing with challenging situations and people in the scientific workplace.
This is not a generic workshop
it specifically addresses interactions which scientists deal with daily interpreting data, negotiating budgets or project plans, receiving and giving scientific criticism and dealing with interpersonal conflicts in the lab or workplace. During the workshop we will explore the impediments to successful management

of these situations and will learn how our own personalities and behaviors influence our ability to perform successfully under stress. We will provide practical approaches to conflict resolution and negotiation to help you deal with such interactions productively.

This is our most popular workshop, and is typically considered a pre-requisite for the other workshops we offer.

How do you negotiate? We will engage in a role-playing exercise that will enable participants to examine their own behavior and reactions in a variety of challenging interpersonal situations. Participants will learn how to recognize the inner signs of anxiety and anger before these feelings take control of their behavior.

What are your preferred negotiation styles? Participants will take a pre-workshop quiz that will help them gain insight into their preferred negotiation styles.

Becoming a skillful negotiator

o How to prepare for a difficult discussion or negotiation -the power of interests versus positions.
o How to manage yourself in a difficult negotiation.
o How to positively influence others in a negotiation.
o How to keep a negotiation on track and generate new option.
o How to deal with“brickwalls.”

Dealing with difficult people. Simple, easy to remember tools to manage interactions with people who are angry, demanding or passive-aggressive.


Workshop 2: Monday, February 1, 2021

Best foot forward, Part 1: Interviewing skills.”

This workshop will run via Zoom from 10:00 AM to approximately 2:30 PM EST with a 30-minute break at noon

Whether you are looking for a position in academia or at a company, at some point in the process you’re going to be sitting across from someone asking you questions about yourself and your work. How you answer those questions and how you come across during the interview process will have as much and likely more influence on the hiring decision than your research or publication history. Going into a job interview believing that your resume and publications speak for themselves is a recipe for disappointment.

In this highly interactive workshop, you will learn how to answer the most common and most difficult questions that interviewers ask job candidates. In a small group setting you will practice responding to interviewers who want to get an idea of how you interact with others, manage conflict and deal with setbacks in your work. During this process you will get direct and immediate feedback on how you did and how to improve.

You will learn how to respond when someone says “So, tell me about yourself” in a way that focuses on what they need to hear from you. The workshop will also show you how to respond to loaded questions like “What is your biggest weakness?” Throughout the workshop you will get feedback and guidance on how you come across to others with a specific focus on body language, eye contact and facial expression. Finally, you will learn the principles of effective networking and how to make sure that the contacts you make keep you in mind when opportunities arise.

What you will learn:

o Learn how to answer the eighteen most common questions asked during an interview.
o Practice telling someone about yourself in an engaging manner and in less than a minute.
o Learn the rules of networking and how to capitalize on those who can be most useful to you.
o Using body language to reinforce your message.
o How to customize your message to the interviewer’s interests.
o How to ace interviews with‘professional’ interviewers’ including recruiters and HR professionals.

Three weeks in advance of the workshop participants will receive interviewing guidelines for them to review and list of techniques and answers to questions for them to practice. These will be used during the workshop.

All workshops use didactic materials, team exercises and role-playing to enable the participants to learn and practice the skills presented. Workshop participants will receive printed copies of all slides as well as an exercise book with key guidelines and checklists.

 About the Instructor

The above sessions are created and delivered by Carl M. Cohen, Ph.D. Carl is President of Science Management Associates and provides coaching, consultation and training in interpersonal, group and organizational skills to scientists and science executives in both the public and private sectors. Carl has more than 30 years of biomedical research and management expertise, including having been Chief Operating Officer of Biovest International focused on cancer immunotherapy and Vice President for Research and Development at Creative BioMolecules. Carl served as Chief of the Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Acting Chair of the Department of Biomedical Research at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center of Boston.

During that same period he also held the positions of Professor of Medicine and Professor of Anatomy and Cellular Biology at Tufts University School of Medicine. Carl is co-author, with his wife Suzanne L. Cohen, Ed.D., of Lab Dynamics: Management and Leadership Skills for Scientists, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press 3rd ed, 2018). Carl has done training and on-site management consulting for Universities, top ten pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies both in the US and internationally. He has been the Director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory workshop Leadership in Bioscience since 2011. Carl did his Ph. D and postdoctoral training at Harvard University.