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What Is The Cheeky Scientist Association (And 10 Video Success Stories)

What Is The Cheeky Scientist AssociationWritten by Isaiah Hankel, Ph.D.

What is the Cheeky Scientist Association?

How can the Association help me get a job in industry?

Why did you start the Association?

I always get asked these questions when enrollment into the Association opens.

The first two are easy to answer…

The Association is a program that turns PhDs into confident and successful industry professionals.

The way in which the Association accomplishes this is by giving PhDs access to the information AND network they need to get into the industry job of their choice (there are more details on this below).

The third question is a little more difficult to answer. 

Why did we start the Association?

In short, we wanted to make sure that other PhDs would not have to struggle as hard as we did to get jobs in industry.

Let’s face it, PhDs are given little help when it comes to transitioning into alternative career tracks.

Many academic advisors are unsupportive, to say the least, when it comes to pursuing anything other than a professorship.

Most Universities has little or no funding when it comes to bringing in outside speakers to talk about non-academic careers.

As a result, most PhDs end up unemployed at graduation. 

No matter which numbers you look at, from unemployment rates to postdoc salaries, the future for PhDs looks grim…

  • 3X—the fold increase in the number of people with graduate degrees who have had to apply for food stamps, unemployment, or other assistance
  • 360,000—the number of people with graduate degrees on government assistance in 2010
  • 68,000—number of postdocs in the U.S. alone waiting for tenured professorships
  • 9,000—number of postdocs in Boston (a single city) waiting for tenured professorships
  • 100,000—number of PhDs granted in a four year period
  • 16,000—number of professorships opened in the same four year period
  • 84,000—number of PhDs left over every four years
  • >60%—PhDs who will NOT have a paying job at graduation
  • >80%—Life Sciences PhDs who will NOT have a paying job at graduation
  • <1%—PhDs will go on to be tenured professors. Less than 1%!
  • 43%—PhD students will NOT get their PhD within 10 years of starting graduate school
  • $42,000 (or ~$19/hour)—annual starting salary (before taxes) of a postdoc in the U.S.
  • $55,272 (or ~$26/hour)—salary of a 7th year postdoc.
  • $56,370—salary of an average librarian

This is why we created the Association. 

It’s something I talk about in more detail in this unedited video (this video was shot from a small apartment in Germany shortly after we started the Association)…

Who Should Join The Cheeky Scientist Association

Whether or not a PhD should join the Association comes down to one question.

Do you want to transition into industry?

If so, then the Association is for you. 

How can we be so sure?

The value of joining the Association versus not joining is a simple math equation…

For example, the average starting salary of an industry Application Scientist is $71,000 (Payscale).

The average starting salary of an industry Research Scientist is over $74,000 (Simply Hired).

Either way, that works out to over $1,300 a week.

This doesn’t count the annual bonuses and premium benefits packages these positions come with.

If joining the Association (about $324 depending on the enrollment period) helps you get an industry job even one week faster, the investment will have been well worth it.

On average, the Association helps its members get an industry job between 3-6 months faster than they would have without joining.

($1,300/week) X (6 months) = $31,200

This is what the average PhDs saves by becoming an Associate.

What Is The Cheeky Scientist Association


As soon as a PhD joins the Association, he or she receives a Welcome Package that includes your personal username and password.

This login information will allow you to access the private webpage where you can start to work your way through the first module, including all Module #1 Core Training Program webinars as well as all Module #1 Transition Plan and Industry Insider Series documents (see below).

The PhD will also receive the new Cheeky Scientist Industry Position Guide that details 40 non-academic positions and get instant access to the private Cheeky Scientist online group.

The training webinars are taught by the Association’s team of accredited Cheeky Scientist Consultants who have all received PhD and MBA degrees from top level Universities, as well as our team of hiring managers, recruiters, and special experts.

Here are just a few of the topics that these 20 core training webinars cover…

  • Networking & Resumes core training webinar serves as a fast track to industry with lessons on creating the right résumé or CV, basic networking skills, finding the right job for you, an overview on industry positions, how to identify and leverage your transferable skills, and more.
  • Interviews & Negotiation core training webinar covers basic and advanced interviewing skills, how to negotiate a salary contract, advanced networking skills, how to create instant rapport with your boss and colleagues during the first 100 days on the job, how to improve your overall communication skills, and more.
  • Research & Development core training webinar focuses entirely on working at the bench in industry, or in Research & Development. The webinar discusses all aspects of working in Research & Development in industry, including how to interview, how to work with an industry research team, how to secure a promotion, how to manage a research team, how to get published, and much more. Most importantly, this webinar will provide a detailed review of the key differences between working in academic research and working in industry research.
  • Applications, Sales & Marketing core training webinar focuses specifically on working away from the bench, or in non-research positions. This webinar reviews industry hierarchies and structures, providing a detailed overview of all high-level industry positions including those in Applications, Management, Sales, Marketing, Production, and more.
  • Transitioning Into Industry core training webinar discusses all available industry positions, industry operations, general economics, market knowledge, product development, product management, product launching, industry rules and regulations, and how all of these things relate to the industry position you choose and your overall success.
  • Advanced Corporate Strategy core training webinar will focus on achieving long-term industry success. The webinar covers topics on networking to get promoted, negotiating to get promoted, creating an online presence, public speaking, time management, and advanced interpersonal skills.
  • LinkedIn Strategy core training webinar is with a LinkedIn specialist and shows you exactly how to create the perfect LinkedIn profile for getting the attention of industry recruiters and hiring managers. The webinar reviews common mistakes that most PhDs make on LinkedIn and how to correct these mistakes. You’ll learn strategies for connecting with more people, including how to reach out to (and actually get a response from) industry professionals.
  • Advanced Interpersonal Skills core training webinar is with a communication and presentation specialist and is all about how to build interpersonal skills and how to present yourself for industry networking events and interviews. Most hiring managers report knowing within 90 seconds of an interview whether or not they’ll hire a candidate. This webinar will teach you exactly how to dress, stand, sit, walk into the room, respond, and present yourself to nail the interview in the first two minutes.
  • Plus 12 NEW core training webinars on calling recruiters, phone interviews, video interviews, industry entrepreneurship, writing cover letters, and much more.
  • Lifetime access to all new Cheeky Scientist training webinars. We host over 10 new training webinars each year with recruiters, executives, and special guests who have leading edge expertise in writing industry résumés and CVs, answering interview questions, networking online, getting hired as an Application Scientist, Project Manager, Product Manager, Medical Science Liaison, Medical Consultant, Biomedical Analyst, Research Scientist II & III, Scientific Editor, Medical Affairs Specialist, Technical Sales Specialist position, and much more.

Cheeky Scientist Associates also get access to…

  • The complete Cheeky Scientist Industry Transition Plan (2nd Edition). This plan takes you step-by-step through the process of figuring out exactly what you want, what your strengths are, and which industry positions you would be perfect for. If you want to be a successful industry professional but don’t know where to start, or have several positions in mind, the Industry Transition Plan is exactly what you need. This plan will guide you through the process of figuring out your career strengths and how to leverage them.
  • The exclusive Cheeky Scientist Industry Insider Series (2nd Edition). These insider documents are literally filled with hundreds of elite industry tips that no one else has access to. This series will show how to create an eye-catching and keyword-dense LinkedIn profile that will make recruiters and hiring managers land on your page, write the perfect industry résumé and CV (with country specific CV tips), pitch yourself during an interview, negotiate a salary contract, and much more.
  • Cheeky Scientist Industry Position Guide. The Quick Start guide lays out 40 non-academic positions in complete detail, including the responsibilities and advantages of each position. The guide will help you figure out which positions you’re a good fit for and how to get hired into those positions. If you are interested in transitioning into a non-academic career but have no idea where to start, this is exactly what you need.
  • Constant contact with our team of Cheeky Scientist Consultants. When you’re a Cheeky Scientist Associate, you can ask questions, get support, and comment with the entire team of Cheeky Scientist experts. There are zero gatekeepers—you will get to interact with all other Cheeky Scientist Consultants and Associates so you can get help whenever you need it. You’ll also get to interact with our team of recruiters and top level MBAs who will help you fully understand how the industry world works and how you can be successful in it.
  • Access to the private Cheeky Scientist Association community (for the rest of your life). Other Cheeky Scientist Associates that want to talk, network, and share information are waiting on the inside. The Association’s private LinkedIn and Facebook groups allow you to interact with industry leaders and other Associates, so you have the support of other intelligent PhDs who are transitioning and who have transitioned successfully into industry.
  • Access to our full list of affiliates, including top recruiters and headhunters. No matter where you’re living in the world, we are in contact with recruiters and headhunters in your area who can help you secure a top industry career at your location. Our affiliates work closely with Cheeky Scientist because we have a excellent record of transforming high level academics (such as yourself) into confident and successful industry professionals.

10 New Cheeky Scientist Association Reviews

The Association is the only program that has helped hundreds of PhDs transition into industry jobs.

The ONLY one.

Many of these PhDs have been so impressed with the program that they’ve volunteered to discuss their experiences in the Association.

Below are raw and uncut video Q&As with just a few of these successful Associates.

We asked them to do an unedited Q&A of their experiences because we wanted to show you the raw data, so to speak, of how joining the Association can help you.

This is their experience in the program without any editing whatsoever—just a one-on-one conversation about why they joined the Association and how it helped them get the industry job of their choice.

Here are 10 unedited success stories from Associates who recently got the industry positions of their choice…

Naomi Knoble, Ph.D. hired as a Research Associate at Mapi Group

Aaron Gajadhar, Ph.D. hired as a Senior Scientist at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals

Yahfi Talkukdar, Ph.D. hired as a Clinical Account Specialist at Biosense Webster

Marlies Ozias, Ph.D. hired as a Medical Science Liaison at Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bishnu Joshi, Ph.D. hired as a Senior Scientist at Agenus

Florence Janvier, Ph.D. hired as an Account Manager at Safety & Prevention Solutions

Shanta Boddapati, Ph.D. hired as a Bioprocess Scientist at Seattle Genetics

Gopi Kuppuraj, Ph.D. hired as Business Development Manager at DKSH

Amy Heffernan, Ph.D. hired as a Research Scientist at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience

Yuri Klyachkin, Ph.D. also hired as a Medical Science Liaison at Bristol-Myers Squibb

To watch even more success stories, just click the video boxes below…

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 2.30.04 PM

Isaiah Hankel

Chief Executive Officer at Cheeky Scientist
Isaiah Hankel holds a PhD in Anatomy and Cell Biology. An expert in the biotechnology industry, he specializes in helping other PhDs transition into cutting-edge industry career tracks.

Isaiah believes--from personal experience--that if you feel stuck somewhere in your life, it’s a clear sign that you need to make a change. Don’t sit still and wait for the world to tell you what to do. Start a new project. Build your own business. Take action. Experimentation is the best teacher.

Isaiah is an internationally recognized Fortune 500 consultant, CEO of Cheeky Scientist, and author of the straight-talk bestsellers Black Hole Focus and The Science of Intelligent Achievement.
Isaiah Hankel


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