eLife #ECRwednesday series begins Oct 26: “What’s the deal with preprints?” with FoR President Jessica Polka

eLife #ECRwednesday series begins Oct 26: “What’s the deal with preprints?” with FoR President Jessica Polka

eLife are launching a new programme of monthly webinars to give early-career researchers in the life and biomedical sciences a platform to share opportunities and explore issues around building a successful research career. The programme of free, online events, which will take place on the last Wednesday of each month, will feature webinars exploring funding opportunities, how to build an independent research career, and the latest tools in research communication — helping all early-career researchers to make the most of their research career. The eLife #ECRwednesday programme kicks off this month with a webinar on ‘Communicating your research: What’s the deal with preprints?‘. Join your peers to discuss the benefits and opportunities that depositing your work in a preprint server brings, featuring the following panellists: – Buz Barstow (Burroughs Wellcome Fund CASI Fellow at the Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, New York) – Jessica Polka, Director of ASAPbio, President of FoR and visiting postdoc at Harvard Medical School, Boston  – Nikolai Slavov, Assistant Professor at Northeastern University, Boston Register now for the webinar on Wednesday, October 26, at 11am-12pm New York | 4-5pm London time. It’s free to attend but registration is required.  The webinar will be followed by a Twitter chat to continue the discussion. Please join us on #ECRwednesday at @eLife_careers for the post-webinar discussion from 12-1pm New York/11-12am Chicago/10-11am Mountain/9-10am San Francisco time....
Registration open for “Advocating for Science” Boston 2016

Registration open for “Advocating for Science” Boston 2016

  Please join us for the “Advocating for Science” Symposium and Workshop, which will take place at MIT September 16-17, 2016. Organized by Future of Research (FoR), Academics for the Future of Science (AFS) and the MIT Graduate Student Council (GSC), this meeting will be an opportunity for those with a passion for advocating for science to develop their advocacy skills, meet like-minded scientists and develop focused efforts together to effect positive change.   The Advocating for Science Symposium on Friday 16th September 4pm-8pm will discuss ongoing advocacy efforts to promote systemic changes within the scientific enterprise and how it is funded. Rush Holt, former congressman and CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, will present the Keynote address. A reception and networking event will follow. There is no charge to attend the Symposium.   On Saturday 17th September 9am – 6pm, we will build on this with the Advocating for Science Workshop: an intense advocacy “boot camp” for a focused group of participants who want to gain practical skills in advocacy. The program will progress through the many aspects of effectively advocating for change: from leading and inspiring a group of likeminded individuals to collecting and using effective data, creating an overall message, and communicating that message to the appropriate audiences. Workshops will be run by experts in their respective fields. There is a small fee for Workshop registration. Spaces are limited for the workshop and accordingly we ask that all participants attend the entire day, along with the Friday Symposium....
FoR response to NIGMS RFI on Modernizing Graduate Education

FoR response to NIGMS RFI on Modernizing Graduate Education

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input on how to catalyze the modernization of biomedical graduate education. You can read the RFI here.   The Board of Directors at FoR has responded to the RFI and as part of our commitment to transparency, has also posted the response publicly.   You can read the response in: Future of Research Response to NIGMS Request for Information (RFI): Strategies for Modernizing Biomedical Graduate Education (NOT-GM-16-109)...
Save the Date! “Advocating for Science” meeting Boston 2016

Save the Date! “Advocating for Science” meeting Boston 2016

  Join us to learn effective scientific advocacy   Please save the date – registration and more information to come over the coming days!     We are announcing the “Advocating for Science” meeting which will take place at MIT September 16-17, 2016, to enable junior scientists to advocate for science. The purpose of the meeting is to give an opportunity to those with a passion for advocating for science to develop their advocacy skills, meet like-minded junior scientists and develop focused efforts together to effect positive change. The meeting has been formed in collaboration with Academics for the Future of Science (AFS), another nonprofit junior scientist-led organization based in Boston, and the MIT Graduate Student Council (GSC).   The symposium will begin on Friday evening with talks (including AAAS CEO Rush Holt, see below), a panel discussion, and a reception.  The session will directly address effective advocacy strategies for affecting change in the research enterprise and the way it is funded. In particular, discussion of past successes and failures and current strategies for engagement will aim to illuminate effective paths for passionate advocates to follow.   On Saturday, we will host an advocacy “boot camp” – short talks and interactive workshops for a focused group of registered participants who want to gain practical skills in advocacy. The program will progress through the many aspects of effectively advocating for change, from managing and inspiring a group of like-minded individuals to distilling a message for the appropriate audience and communicating that message in various ways.   The goals of this symposium are two-fold: to explore the mechanisms currently being used to advocate for necessary systemic changes to the scientific...
New reports and webinar: “Reinventing the Academic Enterprise” and “Great Colleges to Work For” from The Chronicle of Higher Education

New reports and webinar: “Reinventing the Academic Enterprise” and “Great Colleges to Work For” from The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education has released a report, “Reinventing the Academic Enterprise: College Leaders Consider the Challenges of the New Era”. The results are from a survey of college presidents and academic officers at both public and private academic institutions and explores attitudes towards future directions for higher education and also considers the value of higher education in the labor market (or indeed, whether there should be a value). Some of the results are discussed in a webinar, which also discusses technological issues relating to higher education.   Some of the key points discussed are that higher ed is currently on the defensive. There is declining confidence, amongst institutional leaders, in the value of higher education both in terms of value for money and value for the economy. Financial stability is expressed as a key concern.   At both public and private colleges, attracting and retaining qualified faculty and staff was a top concern of institutional leaders, and the only one to have grown significantly (screenshots of slides from The Chronicle of Higher Education webinar):     Increasing both undergrauate and graduate enrollment are in the top 3 plans of institutions for the future (screenshot of slide from The Chronicle of Higher Education webinar):       As part of the webinar discussion, the problem of attracting and retaining faculty was discussed in a very technology-heavy manner, and focused on faculty being “free agents”, able to communicate and work anywhere in the world and that it was hard to convince them to stay in the light of technological changes. There was no mention in the webinar of other possible concerns, such as...
Revitalizing Biomedical Research at FoR Chicago

Revitalizing Biomedical Research at FoR Chicago

Revitalizing Biomedical Research: FoR Chicago publishes meeting report   Scientists from across the Midwest U.S. – IL, WI, OH, MI, MN – gathered in October 2015 for the Future of Research meeting in Chicago, IL. The meeting, organized by junior scientists in Chicagoland, aimed to educate the local community about structural problems in biomedical science. The organizers also aimed to survey scientists in the Midwest in order to find out their views on these issues and solicit suggestions for improvement.     The results of this meeting have now been published as a report, Revitalizing biomedical research: recommendations from the Future of Research Chicago Symposium. In the report, meeting organizers Kyle Dolan, Joseph Pierre and Erin Heckler outline concerns of junior scientists, discussed in a series of workshops: under “Training paradigms”, they report the near-unanimous sentiment that career development is severely lacking in training, calling for more professional PhD programs, and the need for junior scientists themselves to advocate for their own training; under “Careers” they discuss the lack of employment data and career outcomes for junior scientists and ways to collect this data; under “Funding”, a sustainable funding model is encouraged, and a shift towards younger faculty with fresh ideas and reduced bureaucracy and grant application and review; and finally, under “A better culture of research”, junior scientists overwhelmingly aspire towards a research environment that promotes robustness and transparency in discovery.     This publication is in keeping with FoR’s aim of trying to make sure that results from meetings and discussions are made freely available and transparent. This meeting was designed in much the same way as the first Future of Research meeting in Boston in...