FoR’s mission is to improve the scientific research enterprise by helping junior scientists to discuss the problems they perceive with research – and more importantly, possible solutions to fix them. We then aim to make these solutions a reality, working with and advocating to institutions, professional societies, federal agencies and senior scientists to effect change – and to ensure the voices of those who will be scientists of the future are heard.
What we do
We promote grassroots advocacy amongst junior researchers according to our mission, to enable us to speak as a voice of junior researchers. We also seek to empower junior researchers by collecting data about academia and scientific training, and make the data available to help them make rational decisions when figuring out how best to use their passion for science to benefit society.
- Providing resources to young scientists
- Reaching, and influencing, the broader scientific community
- Finding ways to implement reform of the scientific enterprise
Key Actions to date
- Assisting in the organization of 8 trainee-organized symposia in 2 countries in 2 years
- Publication of a number of reports, papers and articles on the scientific enterprise
- Directly influencing changes by advocacy for postdoctoral salary reform
How we are contributing
- Creating the definitive guide to how updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act, and an injunction against the updates, are affecting postdoctoral salaries
- Collaborating with labor economists using US Census data to analyze the biomedical workforce, giving the most comprehensive data on international researchers yet
- Participation of two of our board members on the Congressionally-mandated National Academies study, The Next Generation Researchers Initiative (report due June 2018)
Who are we?
History: We started as a group of early career researchers in the Boston area, invested in improving the scientific endeavor. We held a postdoc-organized two day event in the Fall of 2014 in Boston University, consisting of talks and panel discussions on issues affecting the future of science, as well as breakout sessions to allow attendees to participate in workshops. The goal of each workshop was to elucidate a majority opinion on which challenges were most important to address, and to develop recommendations for moving toward an equitable, sustainable research enterprise.
The outcomes of the interactive workshops were presented in an F1000Research paper and numerous editorials and commentaries as well as a poster. A guide to how we organized the symposium, and how future groups could do so, was also published. From these early beginnings we are now contributing many products, please find them here.
Groups around the country, in New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Chicago organized their own symposia throughout 2015 as well as a second meeting in Boston. As the conversation grew, representatives from the various groups came together to form a national non-profit organization to continue our work and foster the interactions of junior scientists with the larger community to advocate for change. Most recently, we awarded a grant by the Open Philanthropy Project to begin full-time operations.
Funding: We are generously funded by a grant from the Open Philanthropy Project. The Open Philanthropy Project identifies outstanding giving opportunities, makes grants, follows the results, and publishes its findings. Its mission is to give as effectively as it can and share the findings openly so that anyone can build on them.
Contact us Please get in touch at info[at]futureofresearch.org, sign up with our Google Group to receive our newsletter and update emails, or click on the links to our social media sites below!