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...
Advocating for science: a summary of key skills learned through a series of workshops

Advocating for science: a summary of key skills learned through a series of workshops

  This is a guest post by Future of Research policy activist, Adriana Bankston.   This blog is a shorter version of the poster presented by Future of Research at the 2017 AAAS meeting and the 2017 NPA meeting, with additional comments and ideas. The poster is entitled “Advocating for science: a summary of key skills learned through a series of workshops.” The goal of the poster was to summarize our meeting on “Advocating for Science” symposium and workshop, which was co-organized in Boston in September 2016 as a joint venture between the Future of Research, Academics for the Future of Science, and the MIT Graduate Student Council, to help junior scientists learn skills for advocacy. We hope this information in the form of a blog post will be useful to trainees who want to advocate for science, especially following the March for Science events.   Workshop goals and components   Advocating for science is critical to making change in how science is done and viewed by both society and the general public. Learning how to best advocate for science is imperative for getting the voices of junior scientists heard. Junior scientists are eager to advocate for science, which became clear during our “Advocating for Science” workshop held at MIT in September 2016. However, no formal training enabling junior scientists to effectively advocate for science exists.   The goal of the workshop was to brainstorm how we can best advocate for science, and to provide junior scientists with the necessary tools and skills for doing so. Our workshop components covered how to collect data by creating effective survey questions,...
Discussing the Next Generation of Researchers in Boston

Discussing the Next Generation of Researchers in Boston

Next week in Boston there will be 2 events with opportunities for you to hear about, and participate in, discussions about the next generation of researchers.   On Wednesday July 12th, there will be a panel discussion entitled “Reimagining the Future of Science with a New Generation of Investigators” at the Partnering for Cures meeting. The discussion focuses around the fact that the majority of U.S. biomedical PhDs will work outside academia, and yet are still being pushed down the academic tenure-track “pipeline”, and what changes can be effected to alter this situation. The panelists include Kafui Dzirasa, junior faculty at Duke and a member of the Next Generation Researchers Initiative Study (see below); Kristin Krukenberg, board member of Future of Research; Daisy Robinton, postdoc at Harvard and Boston Childen’s; and David Van Vactor, Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School.   Simultaneously, on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th of July, the Next Generation Researchers Initiative study will have its 3rd committee meeting, and for the first time it will not be held in DC but at Sanofi at 270 Albany Street in Cambridge, MA. The public component of the meeting will be held on the morning of Thursday July 13th: the public agenda is here, and you can RSVP here, feel free to come along and listen/participate. We have posted previously about the scope of this study, which is discussing how to facilitate the production of the next generation of independent researchers. Future of Research President Jessica Polka and Executive Director Gary McDowell are both on the study and will be in Boston for the meeting.  ...