Workshop on Leadership in Bioscience
March 22 - 25, 2019
Application Deadline: January 15, 2019


Carl M. Cohen, Workshop Director
Suzanne L. Cohen, Workshop Co-Facilitator

See the roll of honor - who's taken the course in the past 

Now entering its ninth year, CSHL's Workshop on Leadership in Bioscience is a highly interactive four-day workshop that provides a comprehensive introduction to essential tools needed for managing science research groups and project teams, in both academic and industry settings.

In this workshop, you will gain a solid experience-based foundation in managing others, negotiating win/win outcomes, running effective meetings, selecting the best team members, and setting goals with mentees, direct reports, and teams. The workshop focuses on techniques, situations, and challenges that relate specifically to leading and managing in the scientific workplace. It emphasizes learning by doing and involves role playing, giving and receiving feedback, and group problem solving. Much of the learning is peer-to-peer. You will have the opportunity to share your leadership experiences and challenges, and to receive feedback and guidance from others who have led scientists in a variety of settings. In doing so, you will identify areas where you need guidance and growth, as well as how to capitalize on your strengths.

Key focus areas of the workshop include:
  • Recognizing and understanding leadership in science
  • Using negotiation as a tool in scientific discussions and problem solving
  • Identifying and resolving conflicts in the lab
  • Dealing with difficult people and situations in a scientific setting
  • Communicating your ideas and plans in a way that engages others
  • Leading productive meetings for scientific teams and projects
  • Setting goals for and giving useful feedback to mentees and direct reports
  • Creating a positive lab culture
  • Identifying, interviewing and hiring the best people for your team

Target audience: The workshop is targeted to life scientists making, or recently having made, the transition to leadership or managerial positions. Many of the situations discussed will be from the perspective of an independent investigator running his or her own laboratory. As such, relatively new investigators (e.g., < 3 years) are particularly encouraged to apply, as are senior postdoctoral scholars on the cusp of tenure-track research positions.

Click here to read about the impact the workshop had on a 2012 participant ("Scientists must be taught to manage," Nature 483:511), and here to read about the impact on a 2011 participant ("Training: Workshops that work," Nature 488:419-420). In addition, see this article for a perspective written by alums of the 2013 workshop ("Education: Scientists need leadership training," Nature 506:159), this article for a Careers Column written by an alum of the 2012 workshop ("Self-taught soft skills," Nature 506:257), and this article for alumni perspectives from both the 2012 and 2015 workshops ("Supervision: Clear direction," Nature 527:125-126). Finally, see this Science Careers article for general information about leadership training for scientists, featuring comments by Carl Cohen, and this Lab Manager article that refers to Carl as the "godfather" of emotional intelligence training for scientists.

Carl M. Cohen, Ph.D., is President of Science Management Associates, which provides consultation and training in interpersonal, group and organizational skills to scientists and science executives in both the public and private sectors. He has more than 25 years of biomedical research and management expertise, including having been Chief Operating Officer of Biovest International, focused on cancer immunotherapy, and Vice President for Research and Development at Creative BioMolecules. Carl served as Chief of the Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Acting Chair of the Department of Biomedical Research at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center of Boston. During that period he also held the positions of Professor of Medicine and Professor of Anatomy and Cellular Biology at Tufts University School of Medicine. Carl is co-author of the book Lab Dynamics: Management and Leadership Skills for Scientists (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press 2012) with his wife Suzanne, with whom he has collaborated to develop a variety of leadership training programs for scientists.

Suzanne L. Cohen, Ed.D., is a Licensed Psychologist, Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP), Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (FAGPA), and Licensed Practitioner in The Nia Technique. She has facilitated over 30 workshops nationally that focus on group leadership, group dynamics, and somatic psychology. For more than 20 years, Suzanne was a Clinical Instructor of Psychology in the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry as well as a faculty member for the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy Training Program. She has served as President and Secretary of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy and was on the boards of both the American Group Psychotherapy Association and the International Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. Suzanne is co-author of the book Lab Dynamics: Management and Leadership Skills for Scientists (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press 2012) with her husband Carl, with whom she has collaborated to develop a variety of leadership training programs for scientists.

Support & Stipends

This course was supported in part by grants from Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Financial aid is available to help offset tuition costs. To indicate financial need, please submit a short financial aid request as part of your application materials. Financial aid requests do not affect selection decisions made by the instructors.

Cost (includes food and housing): $1,220

No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course. Students accepted into the course should plan to arrive by mid-afternoon on March 22 and to depart after lunch on March 25.

Before applying, ensure you have:
  1. Personal statement/essay;
  2. At least one letter of recommendation;
  3. Curriculum vitae/resume;
  4. Financial aid request (optional).
    More details.

Your personal statement/essay should describe your current position and what you hope to gain by participating in the workshop.

If you are not ready to fully apply, but wish to express interest in the course and receive an application reminder two weeks prior to the deadline, click below:

For more on this workshop, read what former trainees have said of their experience. Also, be sure to check out the growing online CSHL course alumni presence.