ONE WEEK LEFT to submit comments to Committee on Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century

ONE WEEK LEFT to submit comments to Committee on Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century

Two studies, currently underway at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, are soliciting public input as part of their process, and they need to hear from you. ONE of the studies has only ONE WEEK LEFT for you to submit input.   The Committee on Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century invites public input here on its Discussion Document and Call for Community Input through September 22, 2017.   See our action page at http://futureofresearch.org/nasfeedback/ for more info....
Standing up for science and changing it: a tale of tweet chats

Standing up for science and changing it: a tale of tweet chats

         This is a guest post by Future of Research board member, Adriana Bankston.   In an effort to stand up for science and think about the changes we want to see in science, Future of Research (FoR) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) co-hosted two twitter chats engaging various groups to participate in the discussion. This post will summarize the broad points in both chats.   Science communicates The first tweet chat was held on April 27, 2017, with the theme “Science communicates” and using the hashtag #MarchforSciencechat as part of the March for Science week of action. The chat was meant to give participants the chance to express their impressions following the March for Science event and discuss future actions following the march, as part of a broader discussion of how we can communicate our message and what sort of message we want the community to receive from scientists. Below are overall themes summarized from the responses, which can also be considered potential actionable items (and a few linked tweets):   Bring science to the national & political discussion Make our voice heard to policy makers Serve the public, remember the public is imperative to our success Have the public advocate for our cause Enable policy makers and taxpayers to understand the value of our work Engage in sustained advocacy doable in the average person’s time Prioritize diversity and inclusion = foster innovation Talk to the public about our science = it’s fun & can lead to new research ideas   Here are a couple of broader idea tweets from this chat by Maryam Zaringhalam...
Postdoc Reactions to the FLSA Fiasco – Part 1

Postdoc Reactions to the FLSA Fiasco – Part 1

  This is a guest post by Future of Research board member, Adriana Bankston. Although postdocs are highly skilled, PhD-level scientists, they have been a historically underpaid segment of the biomedical workforce. While advocating for increased postdoctoral salaries had been previously attempted, not much has changed, and there was still not much hope in terms of better pay in 2016. This was about to change on December 1st, 2016, when the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) ruling from the Department of Labor was to result in increased salaries for full-time postdocs from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. At Future of Research, we have been tracking the national compliance of institutions with the FLSA ruling at various timepoints before this date, and subsequently published the results in F1000Research on November 17th, 2016. On November 22nd, 2016, a preliminary injunction against the Department of Labor was granted nationwide, delaying the FLSA implementation. Since that time, Future of Research has been once again tracking how institutions responded to the injunction nationally. To get an idea of how postdocs felt in the current state of the research enterprise, in this first blog post, we spoke with postdocs at various universities whose salaries were raised following the injunction.   The effects of salary raises As expected, continuing to raise salaries despite the injunction was received positively, as it significantly helped some postdocs improve their own life situations. “The extra money is particularly helpful for my situation because my husband has a job in Nashville, and I’m completing my postdoctoral training at Yale University. Because of my salary, we are able to afford our apartments...
Tweetchat on Mentoring the Future, September 12

Tweetchat on Mentoring the Future, September 12

  On Sept 12, from 1-2pm EST Future of Research (@FORsymp) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (@SciNetUCS) will co-host a Tweetchat on “Mentoring the future,” talking about what mentoring in science is/should be, and how we should change the culture of mentoring in science. Follow along at #MentoringFutureSci   Questions will be posting the questions from the @FORsymp account and then made that into a Storify, such as we did here for the #forchangingscience tweetchat we held recently. Invited participants include: The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN): @NRMNET The Future PI Slack Channel: @FuturePI_Slack Addgene: @Addgene Labmosphere: @labmosphere Postdoc Pinar Gurel: @pinar_gurel Corey Welch, Director, STEM Scholars Program for UR-students: @CoreyWelch_STEM   This chat is to help prepare us for discussions at the Ethical and Inspiring Mentorship in STEM (FoR College Park) meeting to be held September 21st, 2017 at University of Maryland, as part of National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week #NPAW2017. You can find out more info about that meeting here, and register to attend here!     This event is co-hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists.  ...
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...
The Most Important Experiment: Your Career – an Interview with Dr. Joerg Schlatterer

The Most Important Experiment: Your Career – an Interview with Dr. Joerg Schlatterer

This is a guest post by Future of Research policy activist Adriana Bankston. On February 14, 2017, Dr. Joerg Schlatterer gave a talk to the Career Research Advancement Focused Training (CRAFT) seminar series at the University of Louisville entitled “The Most Important Experiment: Your Career”. Following his talk, he graciously agreed to give an interview for the non-profit organization Future of Research, in which he expressed his views on graduate education and career development for trainees.     What is your name and current position? My name is Joerg Schlatterer. I am the manager of the Graduate and Postdoctoral Scholars Office in the Education Division of the American Chemical Society.   How has your research progressed overtime? My research focused on chemistry, biochemistry, and biophysics of nucleic acids. As a chemistry student in Berlin/Germany, I synthesized initiator nucleotides for in vitro selection of RNA enzymes (ribozymes). As a Ph.D. student in Heidelberg, I generated artificial Diels-Alderase ribozymes, which supported the RNA World hypothesis. As a postdoc at the National High Magnetic Field laboratory in Florida, I learned how to solve RNA structures using solution NMR techniques. I added a third element to my research skill portfolio when I joined the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Einstein)/New York, first as a postdoc and then as an instructor. I learned how to determine folding pathways of large RNAs using time-resolved hydroxyl radical footprinting approaches. I achieved my research goal of mastering all three pillars of RNA research:  generation of artificial ribozymes, examination of RNA structure, and determination of RNA folding pathways.   Tell us about the career development part of your...