Join FoR’s Board of Directors!

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.   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....
What high school students can teach us about doing science

What high school students can teach us about doing science

This is a guest post by Future of Research policy activist, Adriana Bankston.   Science can only advance if we engage, excite and promote the scientific discoveries of the next generation of young scientists. Many of them become exposed to science for the first time in middle school or high school, and science fairs give them a chance to talk about their projects. Although I never had the chance to participate in a science fair as a child, I imagined how I would feel today if I worked on a science project for an entire summer (or maybe even a whole year). I would probably think that my project was the greatest one ever, and I would hardly be able to contain the excitement of sharing my ideas and findings at the next science fair!   Amazingly enough, this is the exact reaction I got from the presenters when judging science fairs over the years. I was at first unsure how this experience would be, and whether I could relate to them on a personal level. And although the students kept thanking me for volunteering my time to be a judge, I am the one who should be thankful. I learned so much from them, and they reminded me why I fell in love with science in the first place. I also realized that, somewhere along the way, the excitement and curiosity about my own research had vanished among all the stresses of what it meant to be a graduate student or postdoc doing research in today’s world dominated by lack of funding and hypercompetition.   While judging science...

Future of Research Vancouver meeting on February 20th

The first Future of Research Vancouver meeting will be held on February 20th, 2017, at the SFU Harbour Centre, bringing together early-career researchers from across British Columbia to discuss challenges facing the future of Canadian science.   There have already been 200 registrants – add your name by registering here and follow what’s going on at their website and at the @FOR_Van Twitter handle....
San Francisco: Join Us at a Manylabs Science Salon Oct 17

San Francisco: Join Us at a Manylabs Science Salon Oct 17

Manylabs (an open science space where Executive Director Gary McDowell is a resident) is holding a Science Salon with 2 guest speakers, plus a series of Lightning Talks (including one about Future of Research), on Monday October 17th at 1086 Folsom Street, San Francisco, from 6.30 – 9.00 pm. The speakers are: Ben Novak, the lead researcher on The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback at Revive&Restore, a de-extinction project to restore the Passenger Pigeon to their role of regeneration of Eastern American forests. Peter Roopnarine, from the California Academy of Sciences, on “Saving Future Ecosystems by Understanding the Past”  You can sign up here at Eventbrite, here on Facebook and here on Meetup (you can also join the Meetup Group for news of future events)....
Help us build a database of institutional postdoc salary responses to FLSA

Help us build a database of institutional postdoc salary responses to FLSA

As the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) ruling on the minimum salary for overtime exemption comes into effect on Dec 1st, institutions are starting to indicate how they will change postdoc salaries in response.   For example, Boston University (BU) is raising postdoc salaries to a minimum of $47,500 by December 1, 2016, and the University of Florida is providing salary increases for postdocs to a minimum of $47,476 by December 1, 2016, and increased the minimum salary requirement for newly hired postdocs to $47,476 as of July 1, 2016.   These responses seem fairly typical as the easiest solution for institutions, to simply raise salaries rather then undertake the tracking of hours, for which the institution is responsible. However, there is at least one case of an institution that appears to be going down the route of requiring postdocs to fill out timesheets – the University of Nebraska: “Beginning Dec. 1, postdoctoral researchers who fall under the minimum base salary threshold of $913 a week ($47,476 for a full-year worker) and are not exempted from the threshold, will change to hourly pay status and be eligible for overtime payments. Timesheets will be required.”   Do you know what your institution is doing? Is your institution talking to either the postdoctoral association or postdoctoral office about what they are planning? We are going to build a resource here on the Future of Research website to gather all of this information together. Please feel free to send information to info@futureofresearch.org or to contact us on social media.   The Boston Postdoctoral Association (BPDA) has created a guide to the FLSA overtime rule and what...

Letters from Grad School: collecting graduate school experiences

Here at FoR, we’re continuously making calls for more data about junior scientists. There’s often a focus on quantitative data, but it’s just as important to get qualitative information; anecdotes; experiences. Below we are sharing a call for your graduate school experiences for the Letters from Graduate School project, which also has a page on their website with personal stories and resources. Call for submissions: For every graduate student, graduate school is a different experience filled with ups, downs, failures, and successes. The goal of Letters from Graduate School is to build a collective of graduate school experiences from graduate students in the biomedical/biology PhD programs–your experience, in your own voice! We are looking for graduate students who are interested in writing about their stories and experiences in graduate school–the good and the bad. We are creating a platform for sharing these stories to highlight the diversity of graduate school experiences. These stories will be shared through our web platform, and a selected set of entries will be compiled into a book. We encourage your entry to be focused on a single topic that was formative in your graduate school experience. We have a few sample topics listed below, but don’t feel limited to our suggestions; we want to include as many unique perspectives as possible. If you are interested in writing for us, please fill out the short form on our website lettersfromgradschool.org – and we will get back to you. All essays will be edited in collaboration with the author before publication. We will respect authors who wish to share their story anonymously. For any questions, email...