Future of Research's Origins

The first Future of Research conference was held in Boston in October of 2014.

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Outcomes of FOR

We published the proceedings and outcomes of our first FOR meeting in 2014.
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FOR conferences are organized by grassroots scientists in their local areas.
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Our latest blog posts

Advocating for Science Travel Scholarships – Part 2: Interview with Katherine Simeon

The “Advocating for Science” symposium and workshop is taking place at MIT September 16-17, 2016, to enable junior scientists to advocate for science. The purpose of the meeting is to give an opportunity to those with a passion for advocating for science to develop their advocacy skills, meet like-minded junior scientists and develop focused efforts together to effect positive change. To try to extend this meeting beyond the Boston area, we recently put out an application call for travel scholarships for attendees from further afield. Following interviews with our Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute Travel Award Recipient, Alex Erwin, and our first Advocating for Science Travel recipient Holly Hamilton, here is our next recipient, Katherine Simeon:   I am a third year PhD student in Communication Sciences & Disorders at Northwestern University. As a cognitive scientist, I am interested in how language, perception, and cognition are interconnected. Currently, I study language processing in difficult listening conditions and how this varies for individuals with hearing loss. I am also passionate about science outreach and communication. Tell us a little about your career path so far and what you are currently working on. While studying Cognitive Science and Linguistics as an undergrad at Johns Hopkins University, I fell in love with language development and processing. Through undergraduate research assistantships, I investigated many questions: from how children process sentences to how adults discriminate different speech sounds. Outside of the lab, I worked with different clinical populations: I volunteered at a school for children with autism and worked as an assistant at an aphasia center. These experiences sparked my interest in atypical language development. I entered graduate school determined to combine my research experience with my interest...

Advocating for Science Travel Scholarships – Part 1: Interview with Holly Hamilton

The “Advocating for Science” symposium and workshop is taking place at MIT September 16-17, 2016, to enable junior scientists to advocate for science. The purpose of the meeting is to give an opportunity to those with a passion for advocating for science to develop their advocacy skills, meet like-minded junior scientists and develop focused efforts together to effect positive change.   To try to extend this meeting beyond the Boston area, we recently put out an application call for travel scholarships for attendees from further afield, which has now closed. We are very excited to announce that in addition to our Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute Travel Award Recipient, Alex Erwin, we have been able to award five Advocating for Science Travel Scholarships! Over a series of blogposts, we’ll be sharing an interview with each of them.   The first post in this series is an interview with Holly Hamilton, who will be joining us from Texas:   I received my Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. I then completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Smithville, TX. I certainly learned a great deal about molecular biology, genetics, and moving small clear liquids with great precision. However I learned far more about persistence in the face of nearly certain failure, interpersonal skills, and how to stay motivated when performing difficult tasks to achieve long-term goals. I am a passionate and possibly very annoying person who can never leave well-enough alone. I improve my surroundings, wherever they may be. To that end, I founded a Trainee Association along with other postdocs and students....

Help us build a database of institutional postdoc salary responses to FLSA

As the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) ruling on the minimum salary for overtime exemption comes into effect on Dec 1st, institutions are starting to indicate how they will change postdoc salaries in response.   For example, Boston University (BU) is raising postdoc salaries to a minimum of $47,500 by December 1, 2016, and the University of Florida is providing salary increases for postdocs to a minimum of $47,476 by December 1, 2016, and increased the minimum salary requirement for newly hired postdocs to $47,476 as of July 1, 2016.   These responses seem fairly typical as the easiest solution for institutions, to simply raise salaries rather then undertake the tracking of hours, for which the institution is responsible. However, there is at least one case of an institution that appears to be going down the route of requiring postdocs to fill out timesheets – the University of Nebraska: “Beginning Dec. 1, postdoctoral researchers who fall under the minimum base salary threshold of $913 a week ($47,476 for a full-year worker) and are not exempted from the threshold, will change to hourly pay status and be eligible for overtime payments. Timesheets will be required.”   Do you know what your institution is doing? Is your institution talking to either the postdoctoral association or postdoctoral office about what they are planning? We are going to build a resource here on the Future of Research website to gather all of this information together. Please feel free to send information to info@futureofresearch.org or to contact us on social media.   The Boston Postdoctoral Association (BPDA) has created a guide to the FLSA overtime rule and what...

Interview with Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute Travel Award Recipient, Alex Erwin

  The “Advocating for Science” symposium and workshop is taking place at MIT September 16-17, 2016, to enable junior scientists to advocate for science. The purpose of the meeting is to give an opportunity to those with a passion for advocating for science to develop their advocacy skills, meet like-minded junior scientists and develop focused efforts together to effect positive change.   To try to extend this meeting beyond the Boston area, we have just put out an application call for travel scholarships for attendees from further afield. We also want to help local science advocates fundraise in their local area to act as local representative – and have successfully done so for one attendee: Alex Erwin, a PhD Candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas.     Alex received travel support from the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute. President and CEO, Wayne O. Carter, told us, “We are very pleased to support a travel award for the Advocating for Science Symposium. We must be able to communicate the value of science to help individuals and groups appreciate the importance scientific research for our health and the health and future prosperity of our world”.   We talked to Alex about what she has been up to and what she hopes to get from the symposium.   Tell us a little about your career path so far and what you are currently working on. I received a BS in microbiology at Missouri State University. I loved genetics and was grateful for the opportunity to work in my genetics professor’s grapevine research lab as an undergraduate. For my first project there, I...

Travel Scholarships to attend “Advocating for Science” in Boston

***UPDATE AUGUST 25TH 2016: OFFICIAL SUBMISSION FOR TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIPS HAS NOW CLOSED, BUT IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN COMING TO THE MEETING WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO STILL SEND AN APPLICATION AND WE WILL SEE IF WE CAN HELP FUNDRAISE WITH YOU!***   The “Advocating for Science” symposium and workshop is taking place at MIT September 16-17, 2016, to enable junior scientists to advocate for science. The purpose of the meeting is to give an opportunity to those with a passion for advocating for science to develop their advocacy skills, meet like-minded junior scientists and develop focused efforts together to effect positive change.   To try to extend this meeting beyond the Boston area, we would like to try to fund travel scholarships for attendees from further afield. We are soliciting applications in the hope that we can fund scholarships. We are also keen to help you fundraise in your local area to act as a representative (and have successfully done so for one attendee – blog post to come)!   To apply, please email info[at]futureofresearch.org with answers to the following questions: Have you been involved in any advocacy activity previously, locally or otherwise, and if so can you give a brief description? What would you hope to get out of attending the “Advocating for Science” meeting? What are your hopes for what you would like to do after attending the meeting, using what you have learned? Please also include estimated travel costs and nights of accommodation required.   The goals of this symposium are to explore the mechanisms currently being used to advocate for necessary systemic changes to the scientific research enterprise...

Boston Postdoctoral Association issues FLSA guide

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has been updated with changes coming into effect on December 1st. Most pertinent is the effect this will have on requiring institutions to raise postdoctoral salaries to comply with federal law.   The Boston Postdoctoral Association (BPDA) has created a guide to the FLSA overtime rule and what it means for postdocs.   The guide, which contains a comprehensive list of resources, can be found here, or at the BPDA website....