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 Salaries: New salary threshold for overtime proposed for Fair Labor Standards Act

The data above is from our paper “Monitoring the compliance of the academic enterprise with the Fair Labor Standards Act” showing how institutions were expecting to change salaries after the last FLSA update was blocked.   The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes standards such as minimum wage and overtime pay for employees in both the public and private sectors in the United States. Through the FLSA a minimum wage and overtime pay (for working more than 40 hours per week) at 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate are guaranteed (United States Department of Labor, 2016a). On December 1, 2016, the FLSA was due to be updated by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). One key change proposed was an increase in the annual salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay from the 2004 level of $23,660 to $47,476. The other key change was indexing the salary level so that it would be updated automatically every 3 years pegged to the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census region. On December 1st, 2016, the threshold at which salaried workers 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 (see here for more information) and was declared invalid as of August 31st by the same court. The Department of Labor has now proposed a new set of updates to formally retract and replace the 2016 proposal. The proposals: would likely come into effect January 1st 2020 would raise the threshold for overtime exemption from...

A Tale of Two Tenure-Reversals: Ongoing developments at Johns Hopkins vs Vanderbilt

This post is by FoR Executive Director Dr. Gary McDowell.   March 8th was International Women’s Day 2019, during which you likely heard about numerous financial and funding disparities in academia, including but not limited to: a gender pay gap in scientist salaries; our own research showing a gender pay inequity in U.S. postdoc salaries; nearly half of women in full-time science leave after having a child; women setting up labs get smaller start-up funding pots than men; women who are first-time NIH grantees are receiving lower funding amounts than men (study here); a focus on “people” rather than “projects” in awarding funding favors men.   In addition, there have been a number of recent developments around sexual harassment. Sexual harassment in academia was the subject of a recent study at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, demonstrating that rates of harassment in academia in the U.S. were at levels second only to the U.S. military. In response, there has been an increased focus on the actions taken by institutions in protecting their researchers (or lack thereof), including early career researchers who may be in particularly precarious circumstances of temporary unemployment and temporary visas. A new non-profit, MeTooSTEM, has emerged which is sharing the stories of those who have been harassed on their site and aims to develop resources for those who have been targets of harassment. Two recent incidents illustrate the crossroads that institutions are reaching on taking action vs continuing to defer it. One concerns the reported vote last week to revoke the tenure of a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, who was...

Comments on proposed changes to Title IX to reopen on Feb 15th for 24 hours

This post is a modified and updated version of a post from January 2019.   The U.S. Department of Education is reopening submission for comments on changes to Title IX (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance) for one day only on February 15th. We are urging you to contact the and submit comments; to learn more, please read on.   News: The Department of Education is reopening commenting on Title IX on February 15th only. Having already received 104,367 public comments, many from scientists and scientific organizations, comments are being reopened due to technical difficulties experienced on the last day of commenting previously. Read on to find out more, and how to comment on February 15th.   What is Title IX? Title IX protects students and employees of educational institutions from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Title IX has helped women in education in various ways.   What is happening with Title IX right now? At the moment the Secretary of Education is proposing rule changes to Title IX, which you can read in detail here, but a great summary is here at 500 Women Scientists.   Comments may be submitted on February 15th via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=ED_FRDOC_0001-0830   For more information, please check out the Take Action Tuesday page at...

Take Action and Comment on Title IX by January 30th

The deadline to comment on changes to Title IX (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance) has been extended to January 30th. We are urging you to contact the U.S. Department of Education and submit comments; to learn more, please read on.   What is Title IX? Title IX protects students and employees of educational institutions from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Title IX has helped women in education in various ways.   What is happening with Title IX right now? At the moment the Secretary of Education is proposing rule changes to Title IX, which you can read in detail here, but a great summary is here at 500 Women Scientists. They are currently taking comments – over 65,000 have currently been submitted – on the proposed rule changes.   Comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=ED_FRDOC_0001-0830   For more information, please check out the Take Action Tuesday page at 500 Women Scientists, this page at UAW 5810, or this site set up by a Faculty group which aggregates a resources aiming to help faculty and other educators who wish to write comments, and to encourage commenting by others inside or outside academia. It includes information on how to easily submit relevant research. You can also...

On our twelfth and final day of #FoRmentors: power structures, power dynamics and anti-racism in systemic changes to mentoring

This is part of a series of blog posts explaining our push for centering mentoring in academia. We are organizing a meeting in Chicago in June 2019 to take action – you can learn more about the effort here. Donate to our mentoring effort!   This is a post by BoD member Dr. Kaliris Salas-Ramirez. This takes us into January, which is National Mentoring Month. We will continue to discuss mentoring and provide updates as our conference planning progresses here.   Mentorship, leadership, institutional policies and systemic change should be something that researchers, as part of institutions, should always be thinking about. Understanding power structures, power dynamics and engaging in bias training that includes learning about racism as a social construct, is critical for bringing about transformative change in the sciences.  As professionals committed to innovation and improving the lives of others, understanding these different aspects of systems will allow us to deepen our mentoring relationships within our laboratories and departments. These play a critical role in the development of scientists at every career level and can elevate the voices of even the most marginalized and oppressed groups to promote equity in the research enterprise. Based on my lived experiences, identities and roles, I have many things to say when it comes to privilege, bias, racism and relationships in the academy. I am a Puerto Rican Neuroscientist that trained at Michigan State University (the first to graduate with a doctorate from an underrepresented group (URG), Black and Latinx, in Neuroscience) and is currently faculty at the CUNY School of Medicine (one of three people of color with PhD’s in the...

On our eleventh day of mentoring, #FoRmentors gave to me: how and why we want to help mentoring!

This is part of a series of blog posts explaining our push for centering mentoring in academia. We are organizing a meeting in Chicago in June 2019 to take action – you can learn more about the effort here. Donate to our mentoring effort! We are focused on our project to center mentoring as a priority at academic institutions. We are organizing a meeting in Chicago on June 14th 2019 that is looking on what changes, and importantly how to effect them, need to take place in departments and institutions. We are aiming to bring together those working in this space already, and are discussing our proposal for a third-party to evaluate mentoring at the departmental and institutional levels. We have released a brochure summarizing the meeting, and in brief what we are doing and why we are doing it. We are calling for abstracts from those who may have best practices to share, particularly from who are not at the research-intensive institutions on which these efforts usually focus. If you would like to submit an abstract, or know of someone who would be interested, please submit using this link. We also aim to have satellite meetings, live-streaming the Chicago talks to campuses around the country but allowing departments or institutions interested in moving forward in the mentoring space to hear the discussions and discuss how to take action. Please let us know if you think your campus/organization might be interested in providing a space for a satellite meeting, by emailing info@futureofresearch.org We are still asking for help in raising funds for this meeting, and hope that maybe at the end of the...