ASBMB survey

Here’s an easy way to make your voice heard about issues important to postdocs and students: ASBMB is running a survey for grad students and postdocs about what resources are important to us. FOR will also receive anonymous data from respondents who indicate that they heard about the survey through us, and your thoughts will help us shape our future programming. Thanks! === The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) is surveying graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to discover what professional society resources are most useful to them. Click here to take the survey. The survey will take you approximately 10 minutes to complete and will close on July 22, 2015. At the end of the survey, you can enter to win a $150 Amazon gift card. E-mail addresses will only be used to award the gift card....

Join FOR in making your voice heard at the NIH

There are just a few more days left to submit comments to the NIH’s latest Request for Information (RFI) entitled “Optimizing Funding Policies and Other Strategies to Improve the Impact and Sustainability of Biomedical Research.” This is a tremendous opportunity for all scientists, particularly early career researchers like us, to make an impact at the NIH. Why should you take a few minutes out of your day to do this? Former NIGMS Director Jeremy Berg submitted a FOIA request for the responses of a previous RFI regarding the controversial “Emeritus awards.” As a result of this, many of us were surprised to hear that the NIH received just over 200 responses. If just a fraction of a percent of US postdocs submitted their responses, we could easily double this number. Here are examples of postdoc responses that have been posted publicly (leave us a note in the comments with a link to yours, and we’ll update the post!) Feel free to copy and paste parts of the responses marked with * below to use as a starting point for your own: Vaibhav Pai* Sergey Kryazhimskiy Jessica Polka* Gary McDowell* The RFI closes on May 17th. Before that date, be sure to click this link and enter your responses into the simple web form. Here are some commonly raised issues and proposed solutions that you use to start your response if you agree. Naturally, you can modify them to reflect your own experience and to highlight the issues you feel most strongly about: Hypercompetition is damaging the mission of the NIH by discouraging young scientists from pursuing a career in research,...

Shirts for scientific riffraff

“Biomedical research is a huge enterprise now; it attracts riff-raff who never would have survived as scientists in the 1960s and 1970s. There is no doubt that highly capable scientists currently participate in the grant-review process. Likewise, unfortunately, study sections are undoubtedly contaminated by riff-raff.” – Steve McKnight, ASBMB President’s Message Identify yourself as scientific riffraff while helping early career researchers join discussions about the future of the scientific enterprise! Proceeds from these shirts will go toward operating costs of our 2015 Boston Future of Research symposium. These shirts are available in three styles: colorful unisex ringspun cotton and men’s and women’s premium American Apparel tri-blend, for the more discerning riffraff among us. All shirts should ship in time for you to wear them to the summer study section you’re contaminating! ORDER NOW!...

Future of Research Boston planning meeting tomorrow

A reminder that our next FOR meeting will be this Thursday (April 30th) at 6pm at Tufts Medical in downtown Boston. The exact room is Jaharas 508, at 150 Harrison Avenue. Below is the agenda. Of note, we will be looking for volunteers to help with various FOR related activities over the coming months, particularly the symposium in the fall. Also, if you know of anyone else who might be interested please forward this on. We would love to have new people joining the group. -Kristin ~~~ On the agenda is a discussion of our short/medium term goals and the actions to be taken to achieve those goals. We are looking for lots of volunteers to help with various items so think about how you would like to get involved. We are proposing the following as our short/medium term goals: Launching sustained conversations about the structure and efficiency of science to connect and educate all who are invested in the future of science Improving the collection and dissemination of data on the training and workforce of early career researchers. This includes data on postdoc numbers, career outcomes, satisfaction, and job demand. In the context of these goals we will have the following action areas/committees: Sustainability – Define the organizational structure for FOR going forward. Create by-laws and work on what needs to be done to become a non-profit. Connectivity (both online and offline) – Increase blogging on the website, update/redesign the website to make information more accessible, update content on the website with additional links and resources, and organize meetups. Symposium – Plan and organize the fall symposium. Transparency –...

Three upcoming meetings organized by senior community members

Fixing any problems with the structure of the biomedical research enterprise will require the engagement of many stakeholders. While we are passionate about ensuring that students and postdocs are at the table, change can only come about with investment from faculty, administrators, scientific societies, and funding agencies. Therefore, we’re delighted to hear of these three upcoming meetings that address the future of the biomedical research enterprise. While these events are organized primarily by more senior members of the community, we hope that young scientists in these areas can attend to share their perspectives and ideas. The Unstable Biomedical Research Ecosystem: How Can It Be Made More Robust? Where: Duke University When: Feb 24, 2015 Registration: Has passed Rescuing US Biomedical Research from its Systemic Flaws: Strategies and Pathways Ahead Where: University of Wisconsin-Madison When: April 11, 2015, with a variety of pre-workshop discussions in February Registration: Discussions are open to all, but registration for the April event will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Future of Bioscience Graduate and Postdoctoral Training Where: University of Michigan When: May 3-5, 2015 Registration: $100, first deadline March 3. In addition to these faculty-organized meetings, there are now four groups of postdocs (in Boston, New York, the Bay Area, and Chicago) organizing symposia in the coming year. If you’re in those areas, please get in touch with the contacts at each respective page. If not, but you’re curious about organizing your own meeting, please email us at info@futureofresearch.org....