RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – With North Carolina’s biomedical sector booming, companies are on the hunt for talent.

Enter the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)’s Biomedical Career Symposium.

Now in its 24th year, the event is one of the largest assemblies of biomedical organizations and young scientists in Research Triangle Park, targeting postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.

It will be held on Thursday and Friday, Aug, 26 and 27.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is planned as a virtual event.

“[It’s] an excellent opportunity to learn about various career paths in the biomedical sciences by speaking with scientists in the field,” Meghan Warden, NIEHS’ postdoctoral associate told the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

“It’s also a [great] way to network and allows the attendees to gain important contacts for their future career paths.”

More than 30 organizations are expected to take part, including Grifols, PPD and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The agenda includes career panel discussions, workshop presentations and exhibitor sessions.

Among the topics: transitioning to non-bench careers in regulatory science, preparing for advanced degrees, leading a lab in academia, government, and industry.

“Research and development jobs continue to be in demand,” Warden said.

Biomedical industry agencies support over 4.7 million jobs across the United States in direct or indirect ways. Biopharmaceuticals are the biggest contributor to this number, responsible for over 800,000 positions.

In 2020, companies announced nearly 3,000 new jobs in life sciences in North Carolina alone.

Given the virtual format, Warden advises attendees to be proactive.

“Do not be afraid to speak up, ask questions and turn your camera on,” she said. “Speaking up and keeping your camera on projects confidence that will allow you to stand out from the crowd. It also allows you to be engaged in the session and enables you to stay more connected in the conversation.”

NIEHS, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, is one of 27 research institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The mission is to discover how the environment affects people, to promote healthier lives.