Future of Research's Origins

The first Future of Research conference was held in Boston in October of 2014.

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Outcomes of FOR

We published the proceedings and outcomes of our first FOR meeting in 2014.
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Our latest blog posts

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...

One week left to Register for FoR College Park meeting on Mentorship!

Registration is only open for ONE MORE WEEK for 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! Remember, registration can be refunded upon request at the meeting.   The symposium has four goals: To recognize and discuss the issues surrounding mentoring in STEM fields. To discuss effective mentorship and advocacy techniques at all levels: PhD, Postdoc, Faculty To provide a platform to connect like-minded young scientists who wish to effect change at their own institutions at the grassroots level. To inspire participants to practice effective mentorship practices and promote these skillsets to their peers and colleagues at their own institutions.   Come join us for a day of discussions, and workshops to come up with solutions to the problems we currently face in providing and receiving effective mentoring!   Also don’t forget – 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...

The FLSA and postdoc salaries: actions and where things currently stand

If you’ve been following along with out FLSA and postdocs resource, you’ll know that on December 1st, 2016, the threshold at which salaried workers (including all postdocs, regardless of visa or fellowship status) receive overtime payment for working more than 40 hours per week was due to increase from $23,660 to $47,476 per year, under updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This was delayed by an injunction granted November 22nd, 2016 (see here for more information), and the updates were declared invalid on August 31st, 2017.   ACTION: There is a new call for comments in a Department of Labor Request for Information here (guidelines for empoyer comments are here). You are able to make comments until September 25th.   We have revised our paper on the FLSA and postdocs and this will appear in the next couple of days here (you can see our data from before the injunction in this first version). We tracked how institutions responded to the injunction and removal of a federal mandate for salary raises for postdocs, particularly given that the NIH decided to keep their new NRSA postdoctoral salary levels at the levels set by the FLSA updates.   The major finding from our second round of data collection is that around 60% of postdocs are at institutions whose policies have changed to raise salaries, even after the injunction. 5 institutions who originally cancelled plans to raise salaries (University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, Brigham and Women’s (Boston, MA), Iowa State University and Massachusetts General Hospital) have since reversed their plans to varying degrees. You can find out more in the FLSA and postdocs resource under the first tab,...

Administration moves to end DACA; action to support those affected.

The U.S. administration has announced moves to end DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, by March 5th.   In a previous post, “How international scientists can advocate, and how U.S. scientists can support them“, we pointed out that there are many “DREAMERs” (undocumented immigrants as defined in the proposed Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act in the U.S., a subset of whom come under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Executive Order) who are in STEM. Indeed, surveys and other data suggest that 28% of DREAMERs are pursuing a STEM degree in the U.S.   If you are looking for ways to get involved with supporting those affected by the move, defenddaca.com is live with actions you can take. United We Dream is having a community call to process this evening: Text DACAcall to 877877 for English Text LaLlamada to 877877 for Spanish   As a group promoting a more inclusive and diverse research culture, we recognize the value that DREAMERs are currently contributing to this country both in and out of STEM fields. Indeed, we ourselves are made of internationals who have found a home in the U.S. and contributed to advancement in our fields, and stand in solidarity with those affected by these proposed changes.  ...

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.  ...

ACTION for September: Send the National Academies your ideas on reforming grad STEM education, and producing independent researchers

      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. You can join in in person/watch live (see 1 below) and you can submit comments online this month (see 2 below).     1) Come in person, or watch live   You can give input in person, or watch the public session of a joint meeting of both studies at UCSF, San Francisco. From the NASEM Board on Higher Education and Workforce: Thursday, September 14, 2017 1:30 pm – 5:15 pm PDT University of California, San Francisco Genentech Hall Auditorium* 600 16th Street San Francisco, CA *Please note that meeting space is limited. A webcast will also be available. This public session of the fourth meeting for the Next Generation Researchers Initiative will feature distinguished scientists, physicians, industry leaders, and scholars who will discuss the barriers and opportunities facing the next generation of independent researchers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Particular emphasis will be on hearing postdoctoral perspectives and envisioning the future of research. This meeting will feature and be moderated by: Chair Alan Leshner, PhD, Chief Executive Officer Emeritus, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Chair Ron Daniels, President, the Johns Hopkins University   Register Here for the In-Person Meeting   Register Here for the Webcast   Draft Agenda: 1:30 p.m. – 1:35 p.m. Opening Remarks by Host Keith Yamamoto 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Panel I: Bold Visions for the Future of Science Panelists will share their vision on how changes to today’s system of graduate education and early research...