If you are a newcomer to ScienceCareers.org, welcome to the most comprehensive source of science-related employment opportunities, funding announcements, and career-development articles on the Web. Scientists and engineers in academia, industry, and government come to ScienceCareers.org to find jobs and then return again and again to gain skills they need to land jobs and build their careers.

If you're new to ScienceCareers.org, you may need a bit of help navigating our vast cache of resources: more than 4000 information-packed articles about science careers, in excess of 2000 jobs in our jobs database, and some 600 current fellowships and grants listed on GrantsNet--most of them awards from private sources that you won't find listed on the Web sites of the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation. And all of it is free.

Even if you're an experienced user, you may still need a little help finding your way around because just a few months ago we completely redesigned our Web site. The new site offers logical organization and a range of navigation options, but our research has shown that some of our readers haven't yet mastered the navigation basics--which, given the site's complexity, is understandable. So we decided to provide this short guide, mostly to the Career Development part of the site--our editorial content--but also to other sections of the site including our jobs, meetings, and grants databases.

Probably the best way to use this guide is to open ScienceCareers.org in a separate window (you can do that by clicking here ), so you can check out the different sections and features as we describe them. Let's start at the ScienceCareers.org home page.

The ScienceCareers.org home page displays the week's top articles and provides links to popular features such as the career discussion forum and the Minority Scientists Network. The portal also provides tools that allow you to navigate the whole site from the home page, if you choose to (we'll offer you another option in a moment). Look at the right column of the ScienceCareers.org home page, beneath the box labeled Spotlight at the top:


  • The section labeled Regional Portals includes links to the three main geographic regions that we cover: Americas, Europe, and Asia/Australia. Clicking on one of these links will take you to that regional portal. It will also bring up, in the left navigation bar, a list of countries within that region. If you want to access content focused on the United Kingdom, for example, click on the link for the European portal and then, in the left navigation bar, click on the link labeled U.K.

  • The section labeled Browse Topics categorizes ScienceCareers.org content topically in several different ways: by Career Stage (e.g., postdoc, midcareer); by Work Sector (academia, industry, government); and by Scientific Discipline. Clicking on the More Topics link at the bottom of this list reveals still more content categories.

All this is very helpful, but here's the key point in terms of navigating the site: Whenever you click on one of these links, new, narrower options are revealed in the left navigation bar. If you click on the link labeled Scientific Discipline, for example, a list of disciplines is revealed. If you click on the link labeled Americas, you bring up links (in the left navigation bar) to the United States and Canada. (We don't yet cover Mexico.) This strategy works for all of our content categories.

Another navigation aid on the ScienceCareers.org home page is the search box at the top of the page, on the right side; in fact, you'll find our search box on every single page of ScienceCareers.org. This tool allows you to do a quick search on one or more key words. For more advanced search options, just click on Advanced. We'll go into more detail about the left navigation bar and the search boxes later on.

Career Development: Next Wave's next generation

Now click on the Career Development button on the top navigation bar. This takes us to our Career Development portal.


ScienceCareers.org offers articles for early-career scientists that used to be found in Science's Next Wave, describing job markets, offering career advice, exploring alternatives to the research bench, discussing opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities, and balancing family and work responsibilities. We have heard you can be well along in your career and still benefit from many of these articles. The home for all these articles--henceforth we'll call it our editorial content--is the page you're (we hope) looking at right now, the Career Development portal.

The Career Development portal is the jumping-off point to the latest articles on the site. There you will find the current week's articles, the last four special features (plus a link to the index of features), links to our regular columnists, and a link to the Academic Career Development Center. You will also find--in the form of the left navigation bar--the key to finding all the articles you're looking for on ScienceCareers.org.

Also on the Career Development portal

On the Career Development portal, you will also find links to the popular Science Careers Forum, where you can post career-related questions and get expert answers from the moderator and team of advisers, as well as comments from other scientists like yourself.

The forum is one of the Tools and Resources in the Career Development section, which include listings of graduate programs, current employers from the Jobs section of the site, salary tools, and How-To Guides. The How-To Guides are collections of articles from the editorial and business writers on finding a job and building a career; they cover résumés and CVs, attending career fairs, handling interviews, securing research funding, managing a lab and staff, and building your career network.

From the Career Development portal, you can reach the U.S./Canada and Europe Web logs. The blogs have quick references to articles and other Web resources our writers encounter, and they are updated during the week. Also from the Career Development portal, you can reach online versions of Science business supplements, which are advertiser-supported inserts in the printed magazine.

Browse with the bar


The whole structure of the Career Development section is displayed in the left navigation bar, running down the left side of each article and portal page in the Career Development section. The new ScienceCareers.org site includes Career Development articles going back to 1999 (and a few that are even older), sorted by region, topic, and issue date. Clicking a link on the left navigation bar will take you to a subsection or list of articles reflecting the region, topic, or issue you're interested in.

Here is what's on the left navigation bar:

Regional portals

  • Americas; clicking here will bring up all American content with links to the U.S. and Canada.

  • Asia/Australia.

  • Europe, with separate listings for U.K., Netherlands, and Germany.

Browse by topic

  • Career stage, with separate listings for postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates.

  • Work sector, with separate listings for academic, industry, government, and other (e.g., international organizations).

  • Discipline, with separate listings for life sciences, physical sciences, biomedical, social sciences, and engineering.

  • More topics. Here, content is listed by subject: job market news, alternative careers, science policy, women in science, and balancing family and work, as well as index pages for the columnists (e.g., Tooling Up and Mind Matters) and business office supplements.

Insider Tip #1: Follow the breadcrumbs

To always know where you are in the ScienceCareers.org site, just look to the "breadcrumb trail" that sits just below the main navigation bar at the top of the page. The breadcrumb trail shows the location of the page you are on in relation to the structure of the site. Most importantly, the breadcrumbs are live links that can take you back to any higher level of ScienceCareers.org or Science Online.

When in an article, the breadcrumb trail ends with the author's last name. For example, if you clicked on an article by Beryl Benderly in the Biomedical Discipline portal, the breadcrumb trail would read ...

Home > ScienceCareers Home > Career Development > Discipline > Biomedical > Benderly

If you want to go back to the Career Development portal, just click on Career Development in the breadcrumb trail.

Browse by issue date

Moving down the left navigation bar, you'll find a series of links related to issue date:

  • This week

  • Last week

  • Previous issues

If you remember approximately when an article appeared on ScienceCareers.org or earlier on Next Wave, you can find it in the Previous Issues section. Click on Previous Issues, and you'll find a list of years going back to 1996. Click on a year, and you'll see a list of issue dates. On each of the issue dates, you will find the titles and links to the articles for that issue. Or if you just want to read more of our most recent articles, start with the most recent issue and work backward.

More left navigation bar features

The left navigation bar has links to the Minority Scientists Network (MiSciNet), which offers articles for scientists of color and covers issues of concern to underrepresented minorities in the sciences, from undergraduates to faculty members, administrators, and industrial scientists. You don't have to be a minority to get value from MiSciNet. MiSciNet's audience extends well beyond minority readers.

The left navigation bar also has a link to the Career Tools and Resources section (see our discussion of this section above) and, for your convenience, another quick-search box that lets you search for articles by key word.

Insider Tip #2: Let Career Development articles find you

Don't feel like browsing or searching through Career Development articles? Then sign up for the ScienceCareers.org newsletter. This weekly newsletter lists the new articles and links for that week, the latest special feature, upcoming workshops and career fairs in which ScienceCareers.org is taking part, and a featured funding opportunity from GrantsNet. A special edition of the newsletter is available twice a month for European readers. You can subscribe to the ScienceCareers.org newsletters on our Alerts and Feeds page.

If the last thing you need is another e-mail, then you can subscribe to one or more of our Career Development RSS feeds. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and with an RSS reader or Web-based service such as My Yahoo or Google Reader, you can get the latest Career Development articles displayed on your desktop, with links that go directly to the articles. There's a list online of Career Development and GrantsNet RSS feeds. You can learn about Science's other RSS feeds and RSS in general from the main Science site.

Seek, and ye shall find

We already mentioned searching, but it's worth describing again in a little more detail. ScienceCareers.org has two quick-search boxes for articles, at the bottom of the left navigation bar and in the upper-right corner of the page. The box at the top of the page allows you to search other sections of Science Online by selecting another publication from the drop-down menu.

The Advanced Search page, which you can access by clicking on Advanced to the right of the search box at the top of the page, lets you search for articles by specifying key words, author, date, country or region, work sector, career stage, or discipline. You can also search by career-development topic or MiSciNet section. The advanced search page also has links to the search engines for the other sections of ScienceCareers.org: jobs, grants, and meetings.

Much more than career-development articles

This article has focused on our editorial content, but there's a lot more to ScienceCareers.org than informational articles.

Jobs


Take another look at the top navigation bar--the one at the top of the screen, not the one on the left. Click on the Jobs tab on the left. This takes you to our powerful and versatile search engine that allows you to search our database of more than 2000 scientific jobs by key word, location, or discipline. A series of links on the left navigation bar allows you to limit your search to certain types of jobs: biotechnology jobs, faculty jobs, or postdoctoral positions, for example. Some employers provide extensive details about job opportunities in the Current Employers section, accessed by clicking the Current Employers link.

The detailed jobs-search features can be found on the main Jobs page and accessed by clicking on the Search Jobs button on the left navigation bar from other pages in the Jobs section. A comprehensive help page can step you through the process.

Moving down the left navigation bar, you will see a series of links called Job Tools. These tools include a place to sign up for Job Alerts, e-mail messages that tell you when a new job is posted that meets the criteria you specify. You can also post résumés and cover letters that you use in your job hunt, with separate buttons for those tools. To use our Job Tools, you first need to create an account. Once you have an account, you can create a profile to specify your job-search preferences.

Funding


Looking for a grant or fellowship? Click on the second button from the left across the top of the page, the one labeled Funding, which takes you to GrantsNet, a database of funding opportunities for research and training in the sciences.

The main Funding page has a Search GrantsNet box for quick searches and an Advanced link that takes you to our more detailed search page. You can also reach the advanced search features using the Search GrantsNet button on the left navigation bar.

When you are anywhere within the Funding section, the left navigation bar also has links to the Funding Directory, a browsable list of funding organizations and their programs, and the current Funding News, the monthly publication of new announcements listed in GrantsNet or offered by U.S. government agencies. Another link on the left navigation bar takes you to the Deadline Watch--part of Funding News--which lists GrantsNet awards with upcoming submission deadlines. Finally, there's a link to the About Funding page.

Insider Tip #3: Searches of funding organizations in GrantsNet

The GrantsNet search facility is very powerful, but it searches for specific funding opportunities, not organizations. To search for funding organizations, use the Funding Directory (second link from the top on the left navigation bar). The Funding Directory has a search box that will return the organizations meeting the criteria specified in the search text. It shows all of the programs offered by the organization in GrantsNet, indicating with a button labeled GO those programs that are still open for submissions.

Moving on down the left navigation bar, you'll come to a link to the GrantsNet Tools collection. These tools are similar to those listed on the Jobs page. GrantsNet's personalization features require you to register and save your personal preferences (although you can browse and search GrantsNet without opening an account). Personalization features let you save search parameters and individual grants for later use or to sign up for the monthly Funding News alerts. Notice, too, that each of these features has a separate link on the left navigation bar. Another link on the bar lets you sign up for the weekly GrantsNet Express alerts, a feature only available to members of AAAS. (Ready to join? See the AAAS Web site.)

Still farther down the left navigation bar are links for funding program administrators. Program administrators can post new announcements on GrantsNet and update current listings. The links on the left navigation bar let program administrators sign up for and log in to this service.

Meetings and events


Most scientists go to professional meetings. This is an especially good idea for job-seeking scientists because scientific meetings often include career fairs and career-development sessions--and they are an ideal venue for networking with colleagues and future employers. ScienceCareers.org lists many of these happenings in the Meetings and Events section--the third button from the left on the top navigation bar.

The section has a quick-search box right on the main portal, or--just as with jobs and grants--you can do a more detailed inquiry using the Advanced Search page. Advanced Search lets you specify type of event, location, topic, and date. In the upper-left corner of the portal are links to lists of career fairs workshops (including those conducted by ScienceCareers.org) in case you would rather browse the lists instead of searching.

Thanks for your attention. If you have any questions about navigating the site, please feel free to contact us.

Alan Kotok is managing editor of Science Careers.

Comments, suggestions? Please send your feedback to our editor.

Alan Kotok is managing editor of Careers.