Adeptify, LLC, founded in 2014, is solely owned and operated by Erin Michelle Frank (a.k.a. “Michelle”). Adeptify’s mission is to help individuals and small businesses improve their messaging. From grant applications, brochures, websites, and journal articles to resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles, everything boils down to message. Adeptify is here to help you get that message right. 


Michelle followed a circuitous path in her professional career: it has given her a broad and unique perspective on science, industry, academia, and career advising. After earning a Master’s degree in biology, Michelle started out as an analytical chemist in an environmental testing laboratory, and then worked as a senior microbiologist in a food testing lab. However, she realized that this type of lab work was not a good fit for the long run. Michelle decided to return to graduate school, earning a Ph.D. in Physiology in 2010. Her dissertation research involved scorpion toxins that activate an intracellular calcium channel, investigated using an array of biochemical, cellular, and molecular techniques.

Leaving Academia

Michelle completed a little over 3 years as a post-doc in Cellular and Regenerative Biology, performing electrophysiology and biochemical assays to investigate mutations in cardiac muscle proteins that lead to heart arrhythmias and cardiomyopathy. Michelle also became involved with the group that founded the UW-Madison Postdoctoral Association. She, along with several colleagues, had realized that academia was probably not a viable option as a career path. However, the process of transitioning into industry and other private sector positions seems to be a virtual black box. How does one prepare? How do the niche skills one acquires as a postdoc translate into a non-academic setting?  And how does one communicate these skills to industry hiring managers? The group was set on finding answers to these and other challenges facing graduate students and postdocs.

From benchtop to laptop

Michelle began broadening her writing skills from purely academic articles to blogging about the challenges facing postdoctoral researchers for ThePostDocWay, and blogging about similar issues facing graduate students for TheGradStudentWay. At about the same time, she transitioned into a role as a scientific recruiter, which allowed Michelle to draw upon her previous industry experience and the expertise gained during graduate school to evaluate skill sets and match scientists up with positions in biotech, food, and pharmaceutical companies. The idea of mentoring scientists along their career path appealed to Michelle, as did the opportunity to learn industry hiring practices from the other side of the table. She then began her own venture in 2014 to put that knowledge to use: Adeptify fuses Michelle’s dual passions for freelance writing and career coaching/mentorship.

Grants consulting

Michelle is now—almost exclusively—an independent grants consultant and scientific/technical writer through Adeptify. The majority of her work comes from small businesses/startups who are applying for funding from federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and more. Most of the funding sought is available through a mechanism designed especially for small businesses with an innovative, commercializable product or service: Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR or STTR) grants. Michelle loves this work because it enables her to keep her finger on the pulse of innovative technology and science.


In her spare time, Michelle enjoys cooking (and eating), home brewing, gardening, and playing piano. Michelle recently brought her cooking adventures to life on her food blog, Flipped-Out Food.