Graduate students and recent grads: An opportunity to contribute to the Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century study

Graduate students and recent grads: An opportunity to contribute to the Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century study

In a recent post, we discussed the beginning of the Next Generation Researchers Initiative, a new study looking at how the U.S. can create the next generation of independent researchers.   Another study that has just begun at the National Academies is the “Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century study,” which is holding a session at the AAAS meeting in Boston this month, “Open Forum: Perspectives on the Future of STEM Graduate Education” with the study chair, Alan Leshner.   It is particularly important for this committee to hear directly from current and recently graduated graduate students in person and we encourage anyone attending the meeting to join. We at FoR will hopefully be able to report back on what was discussed.   The scope of the committee is:   “An ad hoc committee, under the auspices of BHEW (Board on Higher Education and Workforce) and COSEPUP (Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy), and liaising with GUIRR (Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable) and TAC (Teacher Advisory Council), will lead a study of STEM graduate-level education in the U.S., revisiting and updating a similar COSEPUP study completed 20 years ago. Specific tasks will include: • Conduct a systems analysis of graduate education, with the aim of identifying policies, programs and practices that could better meet the diverse education and career needs of graduate students in coming years (at both the master’s and Ph.D. levels—understanding the commonalities and distinctions between the two levels), and also aimed at identifying deficiencies and gaps in the system that could improve graduate education programs. • Identify strategies to improve the alignment of graduate education...
OpenCon San Francisco satellite event at Manylabs 5.30-9pm Tues Feb 7th

OpenCon San Francisco satellite event at Manylabs 5.30-9pm Tues Feb 7th

Info about this meeting will be regularly updated at the OpenCon satellite event site here.   In November 2016, FoR President Jessica Polka and Executive Director attended OpenCon 2016, (see #OpenCon), a meeting seeking to empower the next generation to advance open access, open data, and open education, to generate a more open and accessible system of research and education. Finding ways of making data and educational resources available for all, and enabling people to be able to disseminate their data easily for others to see and use, their work for others to read, and their educational materials for others to access, are of interest to FoR particularly in helping those who want to practice academia more openly to feel able to do so. Gary is also a resident in the Manylabs community space for open research and education, which includes a variety of projects including Maker science. Therefore we are hosting an OpenCon satellite event on Tuesday, February 7th in the Manylabs workshop space (with drinks and light bites) from 5.30pm-9pm, to discuss some of the open science, open data, open education and Maker work going on in the local area.   Speakers will include:   Stephanie Santoso, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation:     Stephanie served from 2014-2016 as the first-ever Senior Advisor for Making at the White House, where she helped develop President Obama’s Nation of Makers initiative, to broaden access to the Maker Movement. This included planning the first-ever White House Maker Faire and the National Week of Making. She will give a short talk describing what Maker science is.   Mónica I. Feliú-Mójer, iBiology    ...
The Next Generation Researchers Initiative at the National Academies: New Study Begins

The Next Generation Researchers Initiative at the National Academies: New Study Begins

A new study commenced work at the start of 2017: the “Next Generation Researchers Initiative,” directed by the Board on Higher Education and Workforce at the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine.   The study originated in a bill introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and has been mandated by Congress in both the 2016 Department of Health and Human Services Appropriations Act and the 21st Century Cures Act. The study is aimed at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), members of Congress, institutional administrators and faculty, industry, foundations and professional associations: specifically, to the Office of the Director at NIH, the Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.   The project scope is (taken from the National Academies Current Projects page):   “An ad hoc committee overseen by the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW), in collaboration with COSEMPUP, BOSE, and HMD, will conduct a study that examines the policy and programmatic steps that the nation can undertake to ensure the successful launch and sustainment of careers among the next generation of researchers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, including the full range of health sciences supported by the NIH. The study will examine evidence-based programs and policies that can reduce barriers to, and create more opportunities for, successful transitions to independent research careers. It will also examine factors that influence the stability and sustainability of the early stages of independent research careers. The study will include: • An evaluation of the barriers that...
Upcoming FoR Meeting in Vancouver  Feb 20th 2017

Upcoming FoR Meeting in Vancouver Feb 20th 2017

The first FoR meeting in 2017 will be in Vancouver on February 20th, 2017.   Information about the meeting is continually being updated here at our FoR Vancouver 2017 page.     FoR Vancouver represent early-career researchers from across Vancouver and British Columbia, from Simon Fraser University to the University of British Columbia to the University of Victoria. Current job structures in science, and opportunities for funding, training, and support make careers in research unpredictable and insecure for many of Canada’s most passionate young scientists. However, a more sustainable career environment could secure world-leading science in Canada and BC, which will be vital to deal with health, environmental, agricultural, and economic challenges to come.   The Future of Research Vancouver Symposium 2017 On February 20th, 2017, we will be holding the first FoR Vancouver symposium, bringing together early-career researchers from across BC to discuss challenges facing the future of Canadian science, including: 1) Funding for early career researchers 2) Training and transparency of career outcomes of early career researchers 3) Increased connectivity – how to promote and strengthen conversations about research and infrastructure between research institutions and provinces 4) The structure of the scientific workforce   We are proud to announce our speakers and panellists for FoRVan 2017! Keynote address: Hon. Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education Dr. Liisa Galea, neuroscientist and science policy advocate Dr Laya Boyd, neuroscientists, Canada Research Chair and CIHR delegate Other panellists will include representatives from local industry and not-for-profit groups; to be announced!   Preliminary Schedule: February 20th, 2017 2:00 – 2:30 – Registration 2:30 – 3:15 – Keynote 3:20 – 4:30 – Interactive...
Webinar with New York Academy of Sciences on the FLSA and postdocs: Tuesday December 13

Webinar with New York Academy of Sciences on the FLSA and postdocs: Tuesday December 13

On Tuesday December 13th, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST, the New York academy of Sciences will host a webinar: “The Changing Landscape for Postdocs in the US: Potential Implications and Systemic Changes to Support Postdocs in the US Beyond the FLSA Ruling” The speakers will be Dr. Kate Sleeth from the National Postdoctoral Association, Sam Castañeda from University of California Berkeley, and Future of Research Executive Director Dr. Gary McDowell. The webinar, when originally scheduled, was intended to discuss the updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act and their effects on postdoctoral researchers after coming into effect on December 1st, but on November 22nd a preliminary injunction against the updates was granted, and now there is a different landscape in which some institutions are raising salaries as planned, and some are not, as we have been laying out in our resource on the FLSA and postdocs....
RiffRaff shirts, data and writing: Opportunities for giving on Giving Tuesday

RiffRaff shirts, data and writing: Opportunities for giving on Giving Tuesday

It’s Giving Tuesday, a day targeted at charitable donations, and at Future of Research we realize that this year you may have other priorities in wishing to donate to organizations (for example, for some suggestions of science organizations doing good things, listen to Science Soapbox’s quick Thanksgiving podcast here).   So we’re giving two options for giving this year! First of all, we’re re-opening our “RiffRaff” t-shirt campaign. Our RiffRaff t-shirts are inspired by former president of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Steve McKnight, who in this post made an observation about the sorts of people in scientific study sections: “Biomedical research is a huge enterprise now; it attracts riff-raff who never would have survived as scientists in the 1960s and 1970s. There is no doubt that highly capable scientists currently participate in the grant-review process. Likewise, unfortunately, study sections are undoubtedly contaminated by riff-raff.” Show your next study section what you bring to the discussion with a RiffRaff shirt! Buy them here – all shirts should arrive by Dec 24th so feel free to get them as a gift for the RiffRaff in your life!   Secondly, we would love it if you gave us ideas; data; comments; and writing. We are very happy to take blog posts and are willing to try to help you get written pieces into other venues too, if we can! In setting up our FLSA and postdocs resource, data and writing and input from you has been so valuable not only to us, but to others, either advocating for change at their institution, or in making informed decisions about...