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Professional Development Event Descriptions

Capitol Hill Day

Tuesday, April 21, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m

Just before the conference, GSA will lead a delegation of scientists to Capitol Hill to visit Senators, Representatives, and staffers. Participants will have a chance to engage with policy makers and to highlight the importance of fundamental discoveries, including the ways in which genetics has impacted the economy and human health. This is a great opportunity for scientists to talk about their work, their favorite organism, and explain why science matters.

In the morning, participants will receive brief advocacy training, and we’ll head to Capitol Hill together. We’ll wrap up with an early evening debrief and discussion.

GSA intends to provide travel support for early career scientists working in states where federal research funding is limited.

Limited attendance. 

Community and Connections

Thursday, April 23, 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Do you want to connect with the genetics community? To meet new colleagues and learn from stimulating discussions on topics you care about? Join us for lunch with moderated discussion tables on scientific, professional development, and other topics. All career stages are welcome—we want you to join the conversation!

Fee: $15 members/$25  non-members. Limited attendance. Sign up during the conference registration process. Lunch will be available for purchase at the event.

CURE Workshop

Wednesday, April 22, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Researchers wanting to incorporate their research in their classrooms will hear from facilitators who have developed such course-based research experiences (called CUREs). Faculty create their own or implement national models of CUREs to meet the challenge of both the Vision and Change and the Engage to Excel reports to give all students authentic research experiences through laboratory courses.  Reports from faculty who are developing such lab courses will disseminate the critical background and sample development plans.

At the workshop, participants will work with faculty who have experience in course-based research to:

  • hear about the benefits of course-based research experiences for students and faculty
  • discuss the components of a course-based research experience
  • describe barriers to incorporating course-based research experiences in introductory biology at their institution
  • learn about strategies for overcoming barriers to implementing course-based research experiences
  • work in institutional teams to begin to develop research modules for their introductory biology courses
  • discuss approaches to assessing course-based research experiences

Fee: $10 member/$15 non-member. Limited attendance. Sign up during the conference registration process.

The CURE Workshop is supported by NSF-UBE Award #1346549 REIL-Biology (http://rcn.ableweb.org/)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Session

Thursday April 23, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

In this Session, speakers will discuss ways that our community can foster a more inclusive scientific culture. GSA’s Equity and Inclusion Committee invites abstracts on these important topics both from life scientists and from those who study social sciences and the humanities, especially where the research lies at a nexus with life science. Examples of abstract topics could include examples of best practice, successful strategies, and challenges from institutions, science training programs, and professional societies, relevant social science or humanities primary research, legal or policy perspectives, and other focused topics that may be beneficial to the discussion. Examples of focus areas around these topics could include but are not limited to recruitment, retention and mentoring strategies, stereotype threat, imposter syndrome, bias, microaggressions, persistence in science, strengthening pathways into the workforce, and perspectives from a range of institutional contexts, including HBCUs, MSIs, community colleges, tribal colleges. Abstracts will be considered for 15-minute talks or for poster presentations.

GENETICS Peer Review Training Workshop

Wednesday, April 22, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

This event provides an introduction to scientific peer reviewing for early career researchers, including graduate students. The workshop covers best practices and affords attendees the chance to take part in a review exercise.

Becoming a more effective reviewer will help you to become a better author and to hone skills central to scientific success, including critical thinking, evaluating research, providing helpful feedback, and understanding the mindset and expectations of peer reviewers and editors. Workshop topics include:

  • Principles and purpose of peer review
  • Models of peer review
  • Dissecting a manuscript
  • Writing reviews
  • Evaluating reviews
  • The journey of a manuscript at GENETICS
  • Panel Discussion with GENETICS editors
  • Best practices
  • Determining if your manuscript fits within a journal’s scope

Fee: $50 member/$65 non-member. Limited attendance. Sign up during the conference registration process.

Grants & Funding

Wednesday, April 22, 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Just how are decisions made to fund a research proposal? What makes one proposal score well, while another might not meet the bar?

This workshop provides attendees with important and useful information related to applying for research funding. Attendees hear talks from experienced investigators and program officers, and have a chance to ask questions in a friendly, low-stress environment.

Attendees will learn about:

  • How, when, and why to reach out to program officers
  • Common errors when applying for funding
  • How to frame your grant significance and novelty
  • Funding for experimental organisms

Fee: $40 member/$55 non-member. Limited attendance. Sign up during the conference registration process.

The Biotech Pipeline

Thursday, April 23, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

This session will highlight some exciting discoveries that advanced from basic research to the marketplace. Attendees will hear how discoveries involving genetic technologies that originated in academic labs moved through the industry pipeline for product development and practical application. This session will consist of three 20-minute talks from industry professionals, followed by a panel discussion featuring the speakers and others.

Transitioning to Industry

Friday, April 24, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Have you ever wondered about what it’s like to work in industry?

This session offers a window into careers in the private sector through interviews with scientists working in the biotechnology industry. Leaders representing large and small companies provide a big-picture view of research in industry. Other scientists describe the challenges and rewards of moving from academia to industry. And others share their experiences working at the bench. The session includes the opportunity for attendees to talk with representatives from companies that are seeking to recruit new talent.

Genetic Technology for Agriculture

Saturday, April 25, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

This session is a unique forum for industry professionals, business executives, academic researchers, and government officials to learn about the latest advances in the application of genetics in agriculture. Topics include agricultural technologies, synthetic biology, crop production, industrial chemicals, food production, and more. The session will include eight 15-minute scientific talks.

New Faculty Forum

Wednesday, April 22, 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Your first faculty appointment brings both challenges and opportunities. Network, learn, and find support at the New Faculty Forum, a workshop designed for new faculty (those within the first five years of their appointment) and advanced postdocs. Attendees will discuss common challenges, and hear strategies for working with a budget, managing a laboratory, negotiating with vendors, project management, and leadership.

This event will help you to form a strong network of peers with whom you can continue to collaborate, commiserate, and celebrate long after the meeting ends.

Fee: $50 member/$65 non-member. Includes lunch. Limited attendance. Sign up during the conference registration process.

Poster Awards

Undergraduate and graduate student GSA members are eligible for GSA Poster Awards. To be eligible, you must be a GSA student member at the time you submit your abstract. Postdocs can volunteer to serve as poster judges, helping to select outstanding presentations from the next generation of scientists.

Poster Viewing Invitations

Amplify your work and seek expert feedback by inviting specific scientists to attend your poster presentation! Undergraduate student, graduate student, and postdoctoral GSA members may invite up to three scientists to attend their poster. GSA will reach out to these scientists and invite them to visit your presentation.

Publishing Q&A

Friday, April 24, 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Lost in publication? Not ready to publish yet, but curious about the peer-review process? Students and postdocs are invited to join journal editors, including editors and editorial staff from the GSA journals GENETICS and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, to discuss the ins-and-outs of getting your articles published. All questions welcome!

Fee: $20 member/$30 non-member. Includes lunch. Limited attendance. Sign up during the conference registration process.

Science Communication Tweetup

Saturday, April 25, 10:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Are you passionate about scicomm? Looking for ideas on how to become a better science communicator? Interested in hearing how your peers approach the subject? Stop by the Tweetup to talk with other TAGC attendees dedicated to effectively communicating science in a variety of ways. Don’t miss this chance to make meaningful connections with other communicators.

Scientific Writing Workshop

Wednesday, April 22, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Whether you’re writing a manuscript or a thesis, communicating your results effectively is an essential skill. Through this workshop, graduate students and postdocs will explore topics relevant to scientific writing through a series of lectures and interactive sessions. Using their own datasets, participants will learn to create effective figures and tables. Using feedback from senior scientists and peers, attendees will edit and revise their abstracts.

Fee: $20 member/$35 non-member. Limited attendance. Sign up during the conference registration process.

Undergraduate Platform Session

Thursday, April 23, 4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

This session provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to highlight their research accomplishments while making connections. The session begins with a talk by an established scientist who emphasizes background information and making the research accessible to undergraduates. Student speakers will then present on their research projects.

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