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...
Register now for NYU PoIntS 2016 on November 14th

Register now for NYU PoIntS 2016 on November 14th

Register now for the NYU Postdoc Interdisciplinary Symposium (PoIntS) 2016! More information can be found here at the page on the FoR website and at the NYU Postdocs website.   This year’s keynote speaker is Paula Stephan, a labor economist who studies early-career scientists and the economics of the postdoc position in the scientific enterprise. She is the author of the book, “How Economics Shapes Science.” There will be a small number of copies of her book available for sale for $15 at the meeting.   Jessica Polka, president of FoR and Director of ASAPbio, the movement to promote the use of preprints in biology, will speak on postdoc advocacy.   Last year’s keynote speaker, Ethan Perlstein, recently appeared in an article in Nature, “Young scientists ditch postdocs for biotech start-ups.”   Check out the websites for more information and register at www.nyup.us!    ...
Advocating for Science Symposium Travel Awardee Alex Erwin: Dear Scientist, you are the best spokesperson for science. Here’s how to be effective.

Advocating for Science Symposium Travel Awardee Alex Erwin: Dear Scientist, you are the best spokesperson for science. Here’s how to be effective.

This is a guest post written by Advocating for Science Travel Awardee, Alex Erwin:     Even though most of us are happily pursuing what we love, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t frustrated with certain aspects of the scientific enterprise. Concerns about research funding, graduate and postdoctoral training, and how to improve relations between science and the public are prevalent. We often share our our frustrations with peers but we do ourselves a great disservice by not communicating our issues beyond colleagues. This is wherescience advocacy comes in. To make improvements to the science endeavor, we have to effectively communicate with the people who have the power to make changes. It’s important to remember that scientists aren’t a special interest group, but scientists do have the best understanding of what is at stake if science isn’t supported. Depending on the issue you’re trying to address, relevant decision makers may be your department head, university administrators, local legislators, or representatives at the national level. It’s also important to remember that anyone you meet day-to-day is a fellow constituent and taxpayer, making their opinion influential to decision-makers. This last September, there was a symposium dedicated specifically to science advocacy. The Advocating for Science Symposium was held on the MIT campus and was a joint effort by two non-profits consisting of early career scientists, The Future of Research and Academics for the Future of Science, and the MIT Graduate Student Council. Because being a graduate student in Kansas limits my exposure to these kinds of resources, I was especially eager for the opportunity to attend a meeting like this so I could bring...
Advocating for Science Symposium Travel Awardee Adriana Bankston: Advocating for Science Meeting Highlights

Advocating for Science Symposium Travel Awardee Adriana Bankston: Advocating for Science Meeting Highlights

This is a guest post written by Advocating for Science Travel Awardee, Adriana Bankston:     The “Advocating for Science” symposium and workshop took place at MIT on September 16-17, 2016. The meeting was co-organized by the Future of Research and Academics for the Future of Science organizations, together with the MIT Graduate Student Council. I was fortunate enough to be one of six people to be awarded a travel scholarship to attend this meeting. The ability to voice my opinions and questions about science advocacy, as well as brainstorm with other junior scientists on how we can better advocate for science was very exciting. I thus left the meeting fueled with great excitement and drive to improve the scientific enterprise, and I am very grateful for this opportunity.                                   The meeting began with introductions from the organizers, which included Gary McDowell (Future of Research), Christin Glorioso (Academics for the Future of Science) and Daniel Curtis (MIT Graduate Student Council). The goal of the Future of Research organization is to represent junior scientists, through grassroots advocacy, to promote systemic change to the way we do science. Some key points from Gary McDowell’s talk which stood out are: 1) Learning how to advocate is very important for getting junior voices heard 2) We need a scientific enterprise, not just an academic one. How we can better imagine a scientific enterprise in which people are using their scientific passion to benefit society, rather than just benefiting an academic system?   The Academics for the Future...