Skip to main content
UMass Medical School, Lamar Soutter Library: A Leader in Service and Learning
UMass Medical School Homepage Lamar Soutter Library Homepage

GSBS Career & Professional Development Collection

This special collection features books on topics such as scientific presentation skills, writing a grant proposal, starting up a research lab, succeeding in graduate school, and more.

Managing Up, Across, and Down

Click on the book's title to see if it is available in the Library.



Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, & Al Switzler

A seven-step approach to handling difficult conversations with confidence and skill. "Crucial" conversations are interpersonal exchanges at work or at home that we dread having but know we cannot avoid. How do you say what needs to be said while avoiding an argument with a boss, child, or relationship partner? This book offers readers a proven seven-point strategy for achieving their goals in all those emotionally, psychologically, or legally charged situations that can arise in their professional and personal lives. Based on the authors' DialogueSmart training seminars, the techniques are geared toward getting people to lower their defenses, creating mutual respect and understanding, increasing emotional safety, and encouraging freedom of expression. Among other things, readers also learn about the four main factors that characterize crucial conversations, and they get a six-minute mastery technique that prepares them to work through any high-impact situation with confidence.



Difficult ConversationsDouglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, & Fisher


Whether we're dealing with an underperforming employee, disagreeing with our spouse about money or child-rearing, negotiating with a difficult client, or simply saying "no," or "I'm sorry," or "I love you," we attempt or avoid difficult conversations every day. No matter how competent we are, we all have conversations that cause anxiety and frustration." "Based on fifteen years of research at the Harvard Negotiation Project, Difficult Conversations walks you through a proven step-by-step approach for how to have your toughest conversations with less stress and more success. It shows you how to prepare yourself; how to start the conversation without defensiveness; and how to keep it constructive and focused regardless of how the other person responds.






Highly Effective Networking: Meet the Right People and Get a Great JobOrville Pierson


When you need a new job, you don't have time to build a huge, powerful network. You've got to use the network you already have. Orville Pierson, a top expert in job hunting, tells you how to succeed by effectively using your current circle of contacts. He cuts through the myths and misunderstandings to show you how millions of job hunters have networked their way to great new jobs.





Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the UnderconnectedDevora Zack

Examines and then smashes to tiny fragments the 'dusty old rules' of standard networking advice. The author shows how the very traits that ordinarily make people networking averse can be harnessed to forge an approach that is just as effective as more traditional approaches, if not better.





Starting Up a Lab

Making The Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New FacultyHHMI/Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty is one of several recent publications designed to teach principles of laboratory management to young investigators. The book grew out of a 2002 course on scientific management held by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), with the goals of helping starting investigators avoid common pitfalls in setting up a lab and increasing the success of the early lab years. The contents were developed in consultation with a focus group of junior and senior HHMI/BWF grantees. A wide range of practical topics are covered, with an emphasis on the management of people (staffing the lab, mentoring and being mentored), projects (keeping lab notebooks and dealing with technology transfer) and career (finding a job, getting funded, publishing and achieving tenure). Anecdotes from senior scientists, who share their personal thoughts and experiences, bring to life the ideas raised in the text. (Nature Neuroscience, Book Review)


Excellence Everywhere: A Resource for Scientists Launching Research Careers in Emerging Science CentersBurroughs Wellcome Fund

Note: this book is a version of “Making the Right Moves”, but tailored to scientific leaders in countries outside the US


Staffing the Lab: Perspectives From Both Sides of the Bench, Kendall Powell, Tom Burroughs, Russ Campbell, Victoria McGovern, Burroughs Wellcome Fund


Lab Dynamics: Management Skills for ScientistsCarl M. Cohen & Suzanne L. Cohen

Lab Dynamics is a book about the challenges to doing science and dealing with the individuals involved, including oneself. The authors, a scientist and a psychotherapist, draw on principles of group and behavioral psychology but speak to scientists in their own language about their own experiences. They offer in-depth, practical advice, real-life examples, and exercises tailored to scientific and technical workplaces on topics as diverse as conflict resolution, negotiation, dealing with supervision, working with competing peers, and making the transition from academia to industry." "This is a uniquely valuable contribution to the scientific literature, on a subject of direct importance to lab heads, postdocs, and students. It is also required reading for senior staff concerned about improving efficiency and effectiveness in academic and industrial research.


At the Helm: A Laboratory NavigatorKathy Barker, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

Since 2002, the first edition of this best-selling book has helped thousands of newly appointed principal investigators successfully transition to running their own labs. But changes in technology continue to transform the way science is done, affecting ways in which labs communicate and collaborate, organize data and supplies, and keep current on the latest developments. The culture of science has also evolved, as more scientists explore non-academic career paths, seek new ways to communicate information and ideas, and acquire skills and knowledge outside of their field. In the second edition of this book, Kathy Barker has substantially revised the text, offering PIs advice on adapting to the changes and challenges that the years have brought. New topics include collaboration contracts, performance evaluations, communicating with non-scientists, tips for succeeding on the tenure track, and professional development. With this book as a guide, any new or aspiring PI will be well-equipped to manage personnel, time, and institutional responsibilities with confidence. 


Mentor Training for Clinical and Translational Researchers, Christine Pfund, Stephanie House, Kimberly Spencer, Pamela Asquith, & Karin Silet

The mentoring curriculum presented in this manual is adapted from "Entering Mentoring" by Jo Handelsman, Christine Pfund, Sarah Miller and Christine Maidl Pribbenow. The materials presented in "Entering Mentoring" provide the basis for research mentor training tailored to the needs of diverse mentors and mentees in various settings.


The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All LevelsMichael Watkins

Written by noted leadership transition expert Michael Watkins, The First 90 Days outlines proven strategies that will dramatically shorten the time it takes to reach what Watkins calls the "breakeven point": the point at which your organization needs you as much as you need the job. Based on three years of research into leadership transitions at all levels and hands-on work designing transition programs for top companies.

Innovation and Vision

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone SmarterLiz Wiseman & Greg McKeown

A thought-provoking, accessible, and essential exploration of why some leaders (called "Diminishers") drain capability and intelligence from their teams while others (called "Multipliers") amplify it to produce better results.


Innovation Generation: How to Produce Creative and Useful Scientific IdeasRoberta Ness

Whether you are a student or an established scientist, researcher, or engineer, you can learn to be more innovative. In Innovation Generation, internationally renowned physician and scientist Roberta Ness provides all the tools you need to cast aside your habitual ways of navigating the every-day world and to think "outside the box." Based on an extraordinarily successful program at the University of Texas, this book provides proven techniques to expand your ability to generate original ideas. These tools include analogy, expanding assumptions, pulling questions apart, changing your point of view, reversing your thinking, and getting the most out of multidisciplinary groups, to name a few. Woven into the discussion are engaging stories of famous scientists who found fresh paths to innovation, including groundbreaking primate scientist Jane Goodall, father of lead research Herb Needleman, and physician Ignaz Semmelweis, whose discovery of infection control saved millions. Finally, the book shows how to combine your newly acquired skills in innovative thinking with the normal process of scientific thinking, so that your new abilities are more than playthings. Innovation will power your science.


Marketing for Scientists: How to Shine in Tough TimesMark Kuchner

It's a tough time to be a scientist: universities are shuttering science departments, federal funding agencies are facing flat budgets, and many newspapers have dropped their science sections altogether. But according to Marc Kuchner, this antiscience climate doesn't have to equal a career death knell-it just means scientists have to be savvier about promoting their work and themselves. In Marketing for Scientists he provides clear, detailed advice about how to land a good job, win funding, and shape the public debate.