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GSA Conferences

Educational Programming


The Genetics Society of America is actively expanding our educational programming, including developing a consistent set of educational programs for all GSA conferences. Currently, the infrastructure of the programming includes programs for: undergraduate researchers; graduate student and postdoctoral trainees; genetics students at local undergraduate institutions; and genetics educators.


NOTE: Programming for undergraduate researchers depends entirely on the number of undergraduates registered for the conference.


Trainee Bootcamp

  • Based on feedback from trainees both in focus groups and individual conversations, GSA has implemented a pre-conference “bootcamp” with a series of career development workshops.

  • Currently, the agenda includes sessions on: Finding Funding; Getting Published; Navigating Academia; and Careers Beyond Traditional Academia.

  • A graduate student or postdoc is asked to organize speakers for the final two sessions; if interested, please email Beth Ruedi for details.




Undergraduate Student Mixer

  • Held at the beginning of each conference, this allows undergraduate conference attendees to network with one another and develop a support group of peers. 




Career Luncheon

  • The career luncheon is an excellent opportunity for undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows to have informal conversations with senior career scientists regarding the unique challenges and rewards of a scientific career.

  • The luncheon is organized by topic table. Topics may include: the job search; the postdoc search; the tenure process; starting your own lab; work-family balance; teaching at undergraduate institutions; non-academic careers for scientists;  transition to independence; etc.

  • The senior career scientists include invited speakers at the conference, GSA volunteer leaders, the GSA Executive Director, and others.


Education Special Interest Group (SIG) Social

  • This one-hour mixer is intended to inform GSA conference-goers about the Education SIG.

  • The members of the GSA Education SIG are committed to improving genetics education.  The Education SIG will be developing and reviewing resources for the GSA Education Website, as well as having an active role in the educational programming provided by GSA.




Plenary Session and Workshop for Undergraduate Researchers

  • Undergraduate conference attendees will attend an "Undergraduate Plenary Session" with talks presented at a level appropriate for an undergraduate audience. 

  • Afterwards, undergraduates will have a chance to talk to a panel of graduate students about graduate school, and then break into small groups and participate in a discussion about a specific topic relevant to graduate school applications, admission, CV preparation, funding, and other similar topics.




The Genetics Conference Experience


Note: This program is NOT appropriate for students already conducting research in a laboratory.

  • An education outreach program, the GSA Genetics Conference Experience provides students from genetics classes at local undergraduate institutions with the unique opportunity to observe distinguished career scientists present their current research in a conference setting.  The students, accompanied by their professor, will receive a background lecture and participate in an interactive discussion before attending part of a plenary session.  This informative and engaging program is meant to give students a glimpse into the real world of genetic research.

  • It is free of cost, and invitation-only.  Biology and Genetics departments at local community colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, and universities are contacted individually via an email or phone call to the department chair and offered the chance to nominate two undergraduate students to participate in the program (along with a faculty chaperone). 

  • Participating students should not currently be conducting research in a laboratory, and do not need to have any background knowledge about model organism research.  This program is intended to provide students with the opportunity to learn about current scientific research outside of a textbook, witness the communication of scientific research first-hand, and ideally will foster an interest in furthering their science education.  

  • If you are interested in participating in The Genetics Conference Experience and there is a GSA conference near you, please contact Beth Ruedi.


Education/Pedagogy Workshop

  • A workshop highlighting presentations about new educational methods and resources.  Ideally this will also allow educators to network and to brainstorm about other things they would like to see GSA do with regards to education.

  • For the model organism (MO) conferences, this should also include talks about how to effectively use that particular MO for educational purposes.  The entire workshop could be focused around this if the organizers think it is more appropriate.