As advanced degree candidates (in both research and business), we possess knowledge and skills valuable to many sectors outside of academia and industry. While learning about and/or discovering biochemical and molecular mechanisms during research, we also become familiar with drug development processes, clinical trial and patient data, and drug regulatory pathways. Additionally, we learn how to parse through vast amounts of scientific data with great attention to detail, work in and lead collaborative teams efficiently, and communicate scientific concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences with ease.
One little known sector where these capabilities are exceedingly valued is investment consulting. Several companies, ranging from Silicon Valley-based life science venture capital firms to Wall Street banks are hiring recent advanced degree graduates to perform equity research on biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to aid in investment decisions. However, most advanced degree and postdoctoral scholars lack the financial and investment expertise that would truly help them succeed in this career. One could apply for internships, but it is rare for any one internship to be able to offer a well-rounded experience in equity research in the life sciences, financial modeling, biotech stock market, and biopharma intellectual property laws.
The greater Nashville metropolitan area is home to a top-tier research environment that provides state-of-the-art facilities and abundant resources to ensure that graduate students become adept members of the scientific community. Yet, there is scarcely any support available for those of us interested in learning about investment research as a career post-graduate school. Considering this, we established a student-run general partnership that will allow advanced degree candidates and postdoctoral researchers to learn about investing in biotechnology companies and apply that knowledge to make equity investments and manage portfolios.
Membership to the fund is open to advanced degree and postdoctoral scholars as well as undergraduates on a case-by-case basis. Partners will be selected through an application process. Elections will be held annually for management leadership positions. The leadership will comprise of a Managing Director and Directors of Strategy, Education, External Relations, Operations, and Finance. Non-leadership members will have Associate roles. Future roles at the fund will be added as and when required.
We meet monthly to participate in investment pitches, make investment discussions, discuss biotech and pharmaceutical stock market news, screen investment leads, review clinical trial data, and/or monitor portfolio companies. Additional events will include analyst training programs, financial literacy modules, and networking events, which will occur outside of the monthly meetings.