Working in think tanks and advocacy organizations

Doctoral degree holders are valuable contributors to think tanks, professional societies and advocacy organizations for their expertise. It's important for policy makers to be able to tap into specialty knowledge and research to stay on top of issues that come their way. They often do so through these organizations whose reports and white papers can form the basis for the positions developed. The ability to synthesize large volumes of information into clear, concise materials--whether through print, audio or video--are essential to these positions.

Humanities Societies

Databases & Directories of Think Tanks & N.G.O.s

See the Directory of Associations to find local, regional, national, and international associations compiled by state and categories. Use keywords from your research with "association" or "society" to find more.

  • CIAO Database- - Full text of conference proceedings, think tank articles, some journals, and working papers on international affairs
  • Columbia University Lehman Social Sciences Library
  • OxResearch - multidiciplinary articles on political developments worldwide
  • "Pishu 皮书": China Economy, Public Policy, and Security Database
  • PolicyArchive Database - an innovative, new digital archive of global, non-partisan public policy research
  • U.S. Department of State - lists policy issues
  • World Press Review Library of International Affairs - an index of international think tanks and non-governmental research organizations with hyperlinks

Mentors with relevant experience

Careers Beyond Academia has a number of mentors eager to speak with PhD students and postdocs. Please contact our office at to connect with the mentor that aligns with your interests!

Professional Societies and Trade Organizations

Connect with others in your field at conferences you attend; most of these societies offer extensive professional and leadership development opportunities, award or fellowship opportunities, travel grants, links to job postings, etc. Become a member now! To search for others in your field, type in keywords for your research and add the term "association" or "society". A handy database, organized by career pathway, is maintained by Career Cafe.

AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) and AAAS Internships

AAEES (American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists)

AAI (American Association of Immunologists)

AALAS (American Association for Laboratory Animal Science)

ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies)

ACRP (Association for Clinical Research Professionals)

ACS (American Chemical Society)

AGU (American Geophysical Union)

AHA (American Historical Association)

AIBS (American Institute of Biological Sciences)

AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers)

AIMBE (American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering)

AIPG (American Institute of Professional Geologists)

AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society)

AChemS (Association for Chemoreception Sciences)

AmAcad (American Academy of Arts & Sciences)

AMS (American Mathematical Society)

AMS (American Meteorological Society)

AOU (American Ornithologists' Union)

APHA (American Public Health Association)

APLU (Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities)

APS (American Physical Society)

APS (American Physiological Society)

APS (American Phytopathological Society)

ASA (American Society of Agronomy)

ASA (American Statistical Association)

ASAIO (American Society for Artificial Internal Organs)

ASAP (Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals)

ASBMB (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)

ASCB (American Society for Cellular Biology)

ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education)

ASHG (American Society of Human Genetics)

ASHS (American Society for Horticultural Science)

ASM (American Society for Microbiology)

ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)

ASPB (American Society of Plant Biologists)

ASPET (American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics)

American Society of Virology

AUTM (formerly Association of University Technology Managers)

AWG (Association for Women Geoscientists)

AWIS (Association for Women in Science)

AWM (Association for Women in Mathematics)

BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization)-see also state affiliates like NYBIO, MASSBIO, NJBIO, etc.

Biophysical Society

BMES (Biomedical Engineering Society)

BSA (Botanical Society of America)

CSSA (Crop Science Society of America)

ES (Endocrine Society)

ESA (Entomological Society of America) 

FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology)

GSA (Geological Society of America)

Health Research Alliance (a collaborative of non-profits)

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

IFT (Institute of Food Technologists)

ISBE (International Society for Behavioral Ecology)

ISCE (International Society of Chemical Ecology)

LES (Licensing Executives Society)

MedTech (New York Biomedical and Medical Technology trade organization)

MLA (Modern Language Association

MSLS (Medical Science Liaison Society)

NABR (National Association for Biomedical Research)

NAS (National Academies) includes the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council

NCGA (National Corn Growers Association)

NCURA (National Council of University Research Administrators)

NHA (National Humanities Alliance)

NOBCChE (National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers)

NORDP (National Organization of Research Development Professionals)

NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers)

NYAS (New York Academy of Sciences)

Optica ( formerly Optical Society of America)

oSTEM (Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) 

PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)

PDA (Parenteral Drug Association)

PSNA (Phytochemical Association of North America)

S4SN (Society for Social Neuroscience)

SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science)

SBN (Society for Behavioral Neuroscience)

SCDM (Society for Clinical Data Management)

SDB (Society for Developmental Biology)

SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry)

SFN (Society for Neuroscience)

SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics)

SICB (Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology)

Sigma Xi (Scientific Research Society)

SIVB (Society for In Vitro Biology)

SMI (Society for Mucosal Immunology)

SOT (Society of Toxicology)

SPIE (International Society for Optical Engineering)

SPSP (Society for Personality and Social Psychology)

SRA (Society for Research on Adolescence)

SSR (Society for the Study of Reproduction)

SSSA (Soil Science Society of America)

SWE (Society of Women Engineers)

WSSA (Weed Science Society of America)

there are many more engineering societies...and please send us your suggestions for inclusion

Other Resources in Support of Diversity

Cornell resources and support for students through the Graduate School

Graduate and Professional Women's Groups at Cornell