Rethinking Graduate Education for the 21st Century: a Talk by Dr. Alan Leshner at the 2017 GCC meeting

Rethinking Graduate Education for the 21st Century: a Talk by Dr. Alan Leshner at the 2017 GCC meeting

  This is a guest post by Future of Research policy activist, Adriana Bankston.     The mission of the Graduate Career Consortium (GCC) is to help members provide career and professional development for doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars at GCC member institutions. I recently attended the 2017 GCC meeting, held at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. The theme was “Innovation and Insight,” reflecting the continued growth of both GCC membership, and the professional development of individual GCC members.     One of the plenary sessions was given by Dr. Alan Leshner, Chief Executive Officer, Emeritus, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the former Executive Publisher of the Science family of journals. Dr. Leshner is also Chair of the Committee on Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This Committee was described in more detail in a previous blog post related to a session on this topic at the 2017 AAAS meeting.   Dr. Leshner’s talk was entitled “Rethinking Graduate Education for the 21st Century,” which was a popular thread on Twitter. Dr. Leshner discussed how graduate education needs to change, given that a high percentage of PhD graduates do not pursue academic careers:   He pointed out that the world is different now than it was 100 years ago, in that the STEM workforce is growing, and the number of PhDs produced is also growing. However, the settings in which graduate students pursue research have changed, and the nature of science itself has changed in the last 100 years:    ...
Bringing Scholarly Communication into the 21st Century: a Workshop at the 2017 AAAS Meeting

Bringing Scholarly Communication into the 21st Century: a Workshop at the 2017 AAAS Meeting

This is a guest post by Future of Research policy activist, Adriana Bankston.   Preprints are on the rise in many different types of sciences, including life sciences. My first extensive exposure to preprints was while co-moderating the ASAPbio subgroup session at the 2016 ASCB meeting, co-organized by Prachee Avasthi, Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, and Jessica Polka, Director of Accelerating Science and Publication in Biology (ASAPbio). ASAPbio is a scientist-driven initiative to promote the productive use of preprints in life sciences, and includes discussions of various topics such as preprint citation and recognition for grant funding and promotion purposes. Several funding agencies, including the NIH, now encourage interim research products, thereby highlighting the value of preprints to allow accelerated distribution of scientific information.   At the 2017 AAAS meeting, preprints and open access were discussed in a session entitled “Bringing Scholarly Communication into the 21st Century.” Main themes in this session were the virtue of preprints and also problems that might arise around them, including the broader idea of the digital publication age and open access publishing practices. Speakers in this session were Wendy Hall (University of Southampton), Neal Young (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) and Jessica Polka (Harvard Medical School). Other people participating in this session were: Stuart Taylor, The Royal Society (organizer), Philip Campbell, Nature (moderator) and Michael Taylor, University of Bristol (discussant).   Wendy Hall: The Why of Open Access Wendy Hall discussed the transition from the print to the digital age of publication, and the benefits of publishing in an open access manner. She stated that initially the Royal...
Advancing PhD Career Development Through Innovation and Collaboration: a Workshop at the 2017 GCC meeting

Advancing PhD Career Development Through Innovation and Collaboration: a Workshop at the 2017 GCC meeting

This is a guest post by Future of Research policy activist, Adriana Bankston.     The Graduate Career Consortium (GCC) serves as a national voice for graduate-level career and professional development. The 2017 GCC meeting, held at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, included several member-generated programs in this regard.   One of these broad themes at the meeting was “Effective Strategies for Leveraging Career and Professional Development.” Within this theme, I attended a session entitled “Advancing PhD Career Development Through Innovation and Collaboration.” This session was co-organized by Cynthia Fuhrmann (Assistant Dean of Career & Professional Development at UMass Medical School), Ryan Bixenmann (Director of PhD Career Services at Michigan State University), Bill Lindstaedt (Assistant Vice Chancellor for Career Advancement, International and Postdoctoral Services at UCSF), and Melanie Sinche (Director of Education at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine).   The goal of the session, summarized in this Twitter thread, was to bring together GCC members to discuss ways in which we might help advance the PhD career development field across the academic life sciences community. Specific goals of the session in this regard were discussing:   a) how established career development professionals can help new initiatives getting launched; b) opportunities and challenges in applying for grant funding; c) how we might more broadly disseminate existing models so they can form a foundation for further innovation; d) how to shift from satisfaction- to outcomes-based evaluation; e) how various stakeholders might partner to advance PhD career development locally and nationally.   The session began with some brainstorming on how to advance the field of PhD career development, and...
Building your brand while in a career transition

Building your brand while in a career transition

This post originally appeared on the GCC Carpe Careers blog published on the Inside Higher Ed website on July 3, 2017. Re-posting with permission from Inside Higher Ed. This is a post by policy activist Adriana Bankston.   What do you want people to know you for? Surprisingly this is not an easy question to answer, depends on your personal goals and motivations, and may not be your actual job. And while I am not an expert in this topic, I would like to share my personal perspective and advice from my own experiences.   If you are an academic scientist in training and want to become a PI, your main goals are of course for people in your particular research field to know you for your scientific work, typically through publications and presentations at conferences. Therefore it makes sense that you would highlight these particular accomplishments as your brand.   On the other hand, if you are currently a graduate student or postdoc and want to pursue a non-academic career, you are likely to invest a great deal of time (after hours and on weekends) on building the skills and experiences you will need to transition out of academia. This may include volunteering with relevant organizations, writing blog posts or other statements about issues of importance to you, as well as giving talks or participating in workshops or panels in your field of interest.   Overtime, these experiences which you may only do “on the side” of your work initially may become the body of work that you can use to transition out of academia. Personally, I volunteered...
“Changing Science” Twitter Chat with the Union of Concerned Scientists – July 25th 1-2pm EDT

“Changing Science” Twitter Chat with the Union of Concerned Scientists – July 25th 1-2pm EDT

Should we change science? What are the barriers to making change? Whose responsibility is it to change science and how do we engage all scientists and other stakeholders?   Join us and the Union of Concerned Scientists for a Twitter chat on “Changing science”, as part of a broader discussion of changes you would like to see in science and what ideas & resources our organizations can provide for changes towards open science, outreach, advocacy, and public engagement.     Follow #FORchangingscience on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 from 1-2 pm ET to participate in the discussion with @FORsymp and @SciNetUCS, and our guest participants: The EMCR Forum (@EMCRForum); The Center for Open Science (@OSFramework); The STEM Advocacy Group (@STEMadvocacy); Arturo Casadevall,  (professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, @ACasadevall1); Andrew Hoffman (Holcim Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, @HoffmanAndy); Emily Cloyd (AAAS Public Engagement, @EngageClimate) and Esther Ngumbi (postdoc at Auburn Ngumbi, @EstherNgumbi). This event is co-hosted by the UCS Science Network: http://www.ucsusa.org/sciencenetwork...