“Plus” courses have been the most challenging for PSM program directors, most of whom are scientists or mathematicians able to design the core courses for PSM students in their or neighboring fields but not equally familiar with Business Fundamentals, Project Management, Intellectual Property Issues, Regulatory Affairs, or Tech Transfer..
PDs have therefore turned to their colleagues in the business school or business department at their university and have employed a variety of techniques to meet the “plus” courses requirements. The most elaborate of these so far is Michigan State 10-weekend fee-based Certificate Program in Business Management and Communication, required of all PSM students to be taken either in their first or second years, and offered at the same fee base to graduate students in other science or mathematics advanced degree programs.
More common is a suite of courses or shorter-term modules designed by the local business program especially for the PSM student. Instruction is provided by one or more business professors, but the material and the manner of presentation is made appropriate to science/mathematics students.
Some PSM programs are attempting to launch on-line “plus” courses either because their they have no local business faculty or that faculty is not able or not willing to be the providers.
In this section, examples of “plus” courses from a variety of PSM programs will be featured, and as the on-line courses are developed, these, too, will be described. If it’s possible for a PSM program on one campus to access an on-line “plus” course on another, these means will be defined.
- Business Management and Communications Skills: Michigan State University (PDF file)
- Business Essentials for the Life Scientist and Practitioner: Virginia Commonwealth University (PDF file). This is the “Plus” course offered by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Bionformatics PSM Program at the Richmond, Virginia campus. Greg Buck and Sheryl Baldwin report that the course attracts more than PSM students, as it fills a gap in the graduate bioscience curriculum. The course was negotiated by the PSM program director in collaboration with the College of Business and is taught by a team of faculty and some visitors from local industry. For more information, contact Greg Buck or Sheryl Baldwin.
- Secrets to Success in Industry Careers: Essential Skills for Science and Business by L. Borbye. This new book could be used as a text in PSM “Plus Courses.” View two-page book promotional flyer (PDF file).