“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.  ...
There’s still time to apply to join FoR’s Board of Directors!

There’s still time to apply to join FoR’s Board of Directors!

Future of Research is looking to recruit new members to our Board of Directors, with up to 10 places potentially available, and applications close July 1st!   Members of the Board serve for two years. We are looking for people interested in taking a lead on small projects, or in working groups, to support the work of the organization and help us in our goal of helping junior researchers organize local meetings; increasing transparency about the academic system; and generally advocating for change for junior researchers. The time commitment expected is 1-2 hours per week. We would be happy to receive applications from anyone interested in helping us, regardless of field, career stage or location.   Please spread the word! To apply, fill out the form here: https://goo.gl/forms/5rrmu9RY9qT5By7s1 and send a brief CV to info@futureofresearch.org – feel free to contact us for more information! The applications are open until July 1st....
FoR joins call for NIH to reconsider dropping capping individual investigators: petition and statement

FoR joins call for NIH to reconsider dropping capping individual investigators: petition and statement

FoR recently posted a statement supporting the National Institutes of Health proposal to put a cap on the level of funding that individual investigators can be awarded from NIH. That proposal was dropped on June 8th at the Advisory Council to the Director’s meeting. We however are joining with investigators across all career stages to urge NIH to reopen discussion about capping funding of individual investigators, through a petition you can sign at Change.org: “Cap NIH funding for individual Investigators to save the future of biomedical science” We again ask you to get in touch with NIH about this issue, as detailed in the statement below, which you can also find in PDF format here:   Future of Research calls on the NIH to reconsider abandoning its plans to cap NIH funding for individual investigators   On June 7th, 2017, Future of Research (FoR) issued a statement (https://tinyurl.com/yahvps79) supporting the National Institutes of Health’s proposal to limit grant support by implementing the Grant Support Index (GSI). On June 8th, 2017, at the Advisory Council to the Director, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins announced that the cap proposal would be dropped in favor of the Next Generation Researcher’s Initiative (https://tinyurl.com/ydaxm3b4), which instead will call for reassignment of funds at each individual institutes towards early and mid-career investigators. Juan Pablo Ruiz, a graduate student at NIH, expressed the junior research community’s disappointment in the discussion (see https://tinyurl.com/y8usocwp from 4:11:54 to 4:23:38).   We are extremely disappointed at the sudden abandonment of discussion of the proposed cap on funding. Despite assurances to the contrary, it appears that the concerns of a small...
Future of Research issues statement in support of the NIH Grant Support Index

Future of Research issues statement in support of the NIH Grant Support Index

As described in our recent post, the National Institutes of Health have proposed a cap on the level of funding that individual investigators can be awarded from NIH. In “New NIH Approach to Grant Funding Aimed at Optimizing Stewardship of Taxpayer Dollars“, NIH Director Francis Collins announced the move in an attempt to redress imbalances with funding, and to particularly focus on early- and mid-career investigators.   We have asked you to get in touch with NIH about your opinions on the GSI, and have issued a statement ourselves below in support of the proposed measures, which you can also find in PDF format here:   Overview The Board of Directors of Future of Research (FoR) wish to express our support for the National Institutes of Health’s proposal to limit grant support by implementing the Grant Support Index (GSI): https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/who-we-are/nih-director/statements/new-nih-approach-grant-funding-aimed-optimizing-stewardship-taxpayer-dollars.   We applaud the NIH for using data to shape its policies on the distribution of limited research dollars.  There is ample evidence of diminishing returns as a single lab continues to receive additional funding.  The number of principal investigators who would be affected by the proposed cap is dwarfed by the number of additional awards that could be more efficiently distributed across NIH investigators.  As pointed out in a recent analysis of the distribution of R01s, certain institutions and investigators may be more affected than others.  Investigators and institutions are likely to be biased in the face of a potential loss of funding  – a measure that institutions erroneously use as a metric of their success – and as roughly 65% of NIH-funded investigators have the equivalent of one R01...