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  1. SfN is pleased to announce its brand-new virtual experience – scheduled for January 2021. This three-day, cross-cutting digital neuroscience event allows for scientific exchange via digital abstracts, dynamic talks, interactive Q&A, popular sessions such as dual perspectives and storytelling, a robust exhibit floor, a grad school fair, and a NeuroJobs job fair. This virtual experience will provide new digital opportunities for the neuroscience community, focusing on what’s new and upcoming in the field and allowing for SfN members to connect professionally to engage in scientific exchange in a time of unique challenges. This digital event provides a global opportunity to connect without the expense and time of travel and other inconveniences. With the full program to be announced this fall, pay attention to this space for many more details about abstract submission, speakers, and other opportunities to virtually interact with others in the field. SfN members will be eligible to submit a digital abstract at no cost and will receive a reduced registration fee. SfN is pleased to be able to offer this new digital programming, convening the community to foster scientific exchange that will continue to support careers, growth, and learning for the field.
  2. Welcome to our online chat on maintaining rigor while research operations are in flux. I'm Kip Ludwig, an Associate Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison and a former NIH Program Director who worked on the NIH BRAIN Initiative and NIH SPARC Programs. Scientific rigor requires a lot of forethought and persistence, and we can easily lose focus as we try to make up for lost time as we start returning to lab. However, virtual time is also a great opportunity to put better systems in place within your lab to promote rigor. I'm excited to be here with Lique to share some ideas on how to do just that!
  3. Hi, I’m Lique Coolen, I’m here today to answer any questions and engage in a discussion about challenges and opportunities related to the shutting down and now re-opening of our research programs. I’m also very excited to learn from my fellow panelist Dr. Kip Ludwig and from all of you!
  4. Thanks so much for all your questions - I’ve enjoyed this conversation!
  5. Thanks everyone for your great questions. I hope you will all be able to successfully navigate collaboration and team science as part of your careers.
  6. Great! I've been fascinated for a long time, since I was a graduate student, in science that bridges disciplines. That, by definition, is team science. I've been at Brown University for nearly 15 years working to bring teams together, help them launch projects, and sustain their science. So, I guess I spend a lot of my time trying to provide that glue that you mention. I agree with you that team science can differ a lot depending on the setting, but that in any situation program management is essential.
  7. Hello! My name is Rebecca and I am a post-doc and new visiting professor, hoping to transform the way we do science for the better. I am particularly interested in how our culture of science plays into the sustainability (or lack thereof) of our research enterprise. Excited to be here and engage in these topics.
  8. Hey All, Really excited to be here! Look forward to receiving your questions on stakeholder engagement and management of sustainability with an organisation!
  9. Marta Rodríguez-Martínez

    Live Chat: An Environmentally Friendly Model for Life Sciences 2/10/21 @ 1 p.m. EST

    Hello everyone, Very happy to be here and ready to answer any questions you may have about making research more sustainable!
  10. Kimberle Jacobs

    Black Lives Matter and Neuroscience: Why This Moment Matters

    Just saw the webinar today - sorry I missed being there live on Friday. It was really excellent. A few nuggets I'll take with me: President Sweeney being asked to be VP of a diversity group and declining and suggesting she should be VP of research instead. I liked this - easy to understand and take with you as an ally. Also white people need to advocate for black scientists to be in positions of power that they deserve. We NEED to understand why black scientists only receive 2% of grants while they are 6% of scientists (at which we must already do better). And finally, the universities need to maintain public statistics of number and percent of black faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. These are not all I learned, but just very important nuggets.
  11. On July 2 at 12 p.m. EDT, members of SfN and the neuroscience community will be hosting a panel discussion called “Black Lives Matter and Neuroscience: Why This Moment Matters.” The discussion will be moderated by @Joanne_Berger_Sweeney, PhD, and will feature @nii_addy, PhD, @Marguerite Matthews, PhD, and @Fitzroy Wickham. During the discussion, our panelists will speak about challenges diverse neuroscientists face within the field and provide guidance on how the neuroscience community can leverage this moment to influence change. Additionally, the panel will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the tenure clock for junior faculty, and how that impacts faculty of color. Neuroscientists of all backgrounds are encouraged to attend and contribute to the discussion. Learn more and register for this webinar on Neuronline. The panelists will also be available to chat with in this thread after the webinar has concluded and will continue the conversations stemming from the webinar.
  12. Thank you all so much for a fantastic discussion. Please keep posting your questions and comments. Kip and I will check this page regularly and continue to answer questions. Have a great rest of your day.
  13. Thank you for a great online discussion! Please continue to use this forum to continue the discussion, Lique and I will check back periodically over the next couple of days to answer any remaining questions.
  14. Response here: My lab has had a lot of luck with Microsoft Teams. We've even moved some of our Project Management/timelines to Microsoft Teams which facilitates 'off line' discussion and task management.
  15. There's a tendency in academia (perhaps even in industry!) to think you can do things on the cheap, with existing personnel working on a project. But I think those groups that actually invest in bringing in excellent project managers see huge benefits that justify the additional cost. It can mean more success at bringing in funding AND more efficient usage of resources, as an example.
  16. Hi, I'm Saskia de Vries, and I’m excited to be here today to discuss navigating team science with you. I’m an Asst Investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, where our guiding principles are Big Science, Team Science, and Open Science. Team science and collaboration is the foundation of what we do. But it can look very different from academic collaborations, because we are engaged in large scale projects. We have multidisciplinary teams, with scientist, engineers, mathematicians, technicians, etc, all working closely together. The project I’ve led here, our recent platform paper had over 70 authors! So keep in mind that it is a slightly different scenario than most academic departments or labs. My experience is that there's a lot of organization and communication that is critical to successful collaborations, with strong program management being key. There’s a lot of “glue work” that has to go on to make it possible for all the specialist and experts to do their work and have it all fit together, and that glue work is really important.
  17. Join speakers from the 2020 FENS Virtual Forum on “Towards an environmentally friendly model for life sciences” at an upcoming Neuronline Community live chat on February 10, 2021 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EST. Learn about the ways you can incorporate more sustainable practices in your work, and ask your questions on how to help move the field towards an environmentally friendly framework. This original event was organized by FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence (FKNE). Post your comments and questions before or during the Live Chat to have them discussed and answered by the hosts! Meet the hosts of this Live Chat: Inbar Caspi is association services and congress expert with more than 20 years of experience in consulting over 60 associations and managing more than 170 association congresses. She is the former Managing Director of Kenes UK. For the past 6 years, Inbar has been supporting Scientific and Medical Associations that organize their congress in-house or wish to take more ownership on their key activity while reaching their goals for growth, profit, education and high level of service. In her new capacity, she has worked with and managed in-house the congresses of some of the largest associations in Europe such as the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), the European Academy of Neurology (EAN), the European Pain Federation (EFIC), the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and others. Inbar is really passionate about minimizing the carbon footprint that is the outcome from our large international scientific gatherings and has exercised many eco-friendly principals in her work.” Marta Rodríguez-Martínez, PhD is a research scientist at EMBL working with Lars Steinmetz studying system genetics and precision health. She did her PhD in molecular biology with Marcel Méchali at the IGH in France and a postdoc with Jesper Svejstrup at the Francis Crick Institute in the UK. She has in parallel an interest in sustainability. At the Francis Crick Institute, she was part of the sustainability team as research sustainability manager. She has participated in several panels about research sustainability and written about the topic. She is also part of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project leadership corps and she currently participates in the sustainability initiative at EMBL. Rebecca Delker, PhD is a Molecular and Cell Biologist interested in how the genome is organized and regulated to produce diversity. She received her BS at University of California, San Diego, and her PhD at Rockefeller University. Rebecca currently conducts research as a Postdoctoral Scientist at Columbia University and teaches introductory and upper level biology courses as Visiting Assistant Professor at Manhattan College. Rebecca approaches her work with a broad lens, understanding science as an expression of who we are as people; thus, beyond the questions she asks of the cell, she is interested in interrogating our process of science, using the answers to guide the future of science. Rajnika Hirani is an award-winning sustainability professional with extensive experience in effecting change and innovation to deliver company sustainability goals and business models. Rajnika has been working in the Sustainability field for 18 years. Her experience spans various industries including nuclear, transport, construction, agriculture, waste, research and national government. A trained Lead ISO14001 auditor, with a proven track record in Environmental Management. Rajnika has excellent stakeholder engagement at all levels across all cultures and community groups. Rajnika has experience of working across small and multi-site organisations. She has strong links with peers and regulators with significant experience of influencing at policy making level. Rajnika has great corporate social responsibility experience, is a good communicator and an excellent leader who is able to balance sustainability and CSR requirements with commercial realities.
  18. Yeah. This is the main challenge I think. Our habits get in the way, but also the incentive system in our modern research environment makes it hard to take the time to change the way we do science. Because of this, the most realistic thing to do is to make change in a piecemeal fashion. For example, a lab can make a preliminary list of things that they think should change/could be done better. These can then be dealt with one at a time. The first 10-15 minutes of a group meeting (or several consecutive group meetings) could be spent on one of the things on the list. This time can be used to discuss the problem, allocate responsibilities to research alternatives, and then come back together to make a plan to implement change. Change is going to be hard if individuals are trying to do things differently against the current of their lab or the system as a whole. Making this a group effort can help.
  19. Use community hashtags as you would on social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc) to help those who may be interested in that topic or grouping to be able to find it in a search. The intent is to create a sense of community within a virtual environment and to help you connect with others with similar interests. This field is entirely optional and can be left blank, but feel free to get creative. For example, you could coordinate with your lab to use a lab hashtag, or with collaborators on a special project hashtag; you can use them to identify communities within neuroscience (e.g., #blackinneuro, or #FUN for faculty of undergraduate neuroscience). Here are some hashtags to start with! #FUN #blackinneuro #NSPeeps #BLM #seekingpostdocposition
  20. It is just past 2 pm, which means we have reached the official end of today’s live chat. Thank you all for your participation! SfN encourages you to continue today's conversation within this thread and within your own communities. We also encourage you to explore the diversity, equity, and inclusion resources that are available on Neuronline and on SfN.org. Please also consider visiting BlackInNeuro.com for a library of curated resources and a calendar of upcoming events. One upcoming event that might be of interest is a social that the BlackInNeuro team is hosting tomorrow, 9/5 3 pm for the Black community. To register for the social, click here.
  21. I second Nii's comments! I also think it's important for Black and Brown trainees to not focus on other's motives or ideas about their merit or presence in spaces largely occupied by non-marginalized folks. We have to trust and be confident in our worth, our knowledge, our skills, and our abilities and build community with other like-minded individuals and individuals who will be genuinely supportive of our work and career journeys. You believing in you and surrounding yourself with people who believe in you should be what motivates you to keep pressing forward.
  22. Hi Mario. This is indeed a real concern. Several software companies have offered free trials, including several stats and graphics programs. Universities have been making deals also for such free trials. For example, my university offered a 30 day free trial for adobe products. As for computers; universities did deal with this differently and differently for their trainee populations. Unfortunately in the lab, we often have to purchase our won computers. I had encouraged all my trainees to take their desk top computers home and we used google drives to store all the files, saving on memory and hard drive space. Hope that helps.
  23. It's a really good question. I can't comment on this specific example, but in any situation any participant in a team will have information they are willing to share and information they want to keep private--perhaps with good reason. It can be helpful at the beginning of a collaboration to discuss with all members what information they are expected to share to be a part of the team. They shouldn't be expected to share everything, but it's not unreasonable to expect everyone to share openly information that's relevant to the success of the project.
  24. Collaborations most definitely can fail. Though I think it's more nuanced. There's two kinds of failures. One is a "people" failure -- a group just doesn't gel and it's not a workable team. Sometimes a group can come together because they are excited to work together, but it turns out that the time isn't right for them to pursue a project. A year later, or a decade later, they might come back together and because the science has advanced or new tools are available, a project could succeed. And even if a particular project fails, a collaboration can result in strong ties between the members of the team -- they can continue to learn from each other even if they aren't working on a specific project. A big challenge in science is knowing when to quit. Scientists are persistent, and sometimes projects continue even though the collaboration isn't working. So thinking at the beginning of the project and agreeing on what constitutes a success and a failure, and what criteria you might use to pull the plug, can be useful
  25. I've definitely seen collaborations fail - either the work doesn't pan out or there are conflicts between the members. My sense is often it's more of a petering out, or a disintegration, of the collaboration, but I have known of some situations where it's been contentious. Team science is hard work!
  26. I think that this responsibility falls on the scientific project leaders as well as the program managers. In some cases, program managers might be in a better position to notice things that are slipping through the cracks or getting overlooked, which is why I think they should definitely be involved in this. But I think the scientific project leaders need to be really taking the helm.
  27. I agree that this depends on the setting and the size of the collaboration. I do think that large, or multifaceted, collaborations really need formal project management. But for smaller collaborations (eg. two small academic labs working together), I don't think it's necessary.
  28. Thanks for writing, John Carlo. It's a challenging question about how to manage the balance between collaboration and "doing your own thing." A critical piece in my mind is understanding how you will be evaluated in your position. If you want collaboration to be a central part of your work, I'd make that clear to whoever hires you and who will be reviewing you. If the institution has policies that you don't think are in line with your collaborative work, make sure to clarify how, for instance, collaborative grants or papers would be assessed during a performance review. And you should look closely at how people in your field evaluate each other. If they value collaboration, that presumably would come across in letters of support.
  29. Collaborations across disciplines can be extra challenging, and I think really require extra attention to the differences in the fields and the cultures of those fields. Communication is really important to know that these differences exist and to find plans for how to navigate that space.
  30. Hi, I’m John Davenport, I’m here today to answer your questions about team science – and I’m also excited to learn from my fellow panelist and from you, the audience! Saskia, it’s nice to join you, and I’m curious if you would describe briefly your experience doing team science?
  31. Research is often supported by tax dollars. Thus, confidence in the accuracy of data collection is an important aspect of translating scientific rigor to lay persons and policy makers, and thus the ultimate impact that science can have on society. I would be interested in hearing views on how we can enhance communication of scientific rigor (as well as in-partiality in data interpretation) to the non-scientist. celeste in chicago
  32. Hi there, First of all, I want to congratulate with you for this fundamental initiative. At a time when publish or perish has become some sort of mantra and research funding is harder and harder to acquire, I sadly feel that overlooking scientific rigor is in a way a natural consequence of our time. Many scientists are lead to believe that publishing the big-statement paper is the key to acquiring funding, securing a position and standing out in the scientific community. There is already a big debate about impact factors, h-index and other indicators and it is hard to change this evaluation mindset; I find it kind of rooted in the scientific community. I believe that the major moral responsibility for creating a culture of scientific rigor lays in the hands of supervisors and their role as mentors. I believe that the most effective measure to enforce scientific rigor is to educate our students to pursue it. As scientists, our first moral responsibility is searching for the truth. Unfortunately, I have known of supervisors being overly pushy and demanding, to the point that students felt forced to tweak their data; I have also known of supervisors who taught their students to disregard inconvenient data or even add fabricated preliminary findings in their grant applications to make them more convincing. Such situations are rarely brought to attention or, if disclosed, they tend to be overlooked by institutions for the sake of their academic prestige. I believe that human ego plays a significant role in this. I find that collaborative research and open research data sharing facilitates honesty and rigor, but these measures can't always be put in practice, be it because of individual grants or because of confidential data that can't be openly shared. Maybe research institutions and universities should enforce an internal peer-review system of data quality, evaluating the labs periodically. Any thoughts?
  33. From the operational side, I would speak to your waste manager and find out if they know of a waster contractor that resuse or recycle tip boxes. They certainly do in the UK so it is worth exploring.
  34. Marta Rodríguez-Martínez

    Live Chat: An Environmentally Friendly Model for Life Sciences 2/10/21 @ 1 p.m. EST

    Hello Joriem, Your question could not be more relevant! There is a lot of people working on establishing standard sustainability practices for labs (just as we have now for health and safety). However, that will indeed take a bit longer! For now I would suggest to start small and try to show your peers that changing certain "habits" into more sustainable ones does not require more work and it can actually make research more efficient! Please check the links below: https://network.febs.org/posts/what-you-can-do-to-make-your-lab-greener Hope this helps!
  35. From simple things like turning off equipment when not in use, recycling where possible to speaking to perhaps your facilities department to how they can change settings centrally for the entire building to be more sutainable.
  36. Today marks the 80th anniversary of the dedication of the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke at the dedication ceremony.
  37. Thanks for the question! Providing allyship for tenure track assistant professor is so important, and it's also important that this is done sincerely. I think this is strongest when it is provided in a way that focuses on the assistant professors' value, contributions, and success. This also helps to avoid perceptions of tokenism. But it takes some homework and willingness to have honest conversations, for this to occur. Questions that can be asked include the following: What values does this faculty member bring to our department/ institution? What value are we providing for this faculty member? What mutual benefits and growth opportunities are in place for the faculty member and the institution? It also takes asking hard questions about what has worked well in the past, and what barriers are in place. Then it takes doing the hard work to effectively address any challenges that exist.
  38. The best first step is your university IRB, as any modification to the studies with human participants will need to be approved. They will be able to help you with any extra precautions during remote testing.
  39. I've been trying to figure out how to help facilitate/grant my students remote access to resources (software, server space) in the lab, but that has been difficult. And some work cannot be done from home due a number of issues (e.g., trainee's personal PCs don't have the memory required to run certain programs). Do you have any suggestions for neuroscientists who may not be as tech savvy as others. Are companies, NIH, others, starting to address this issue? Or perhaps there's software/programs available that I'm not aware of?
  40. KathiaRamirez

    How will COVID-19 impact your research?

    Hi, I work from Mexico City, we still are in phase 1 but we are taking precautions. Our local authorities (at the Institute) suggested that, starting this week, only 4 people/lab are permited. So, as we work with rodents, we had to diminish the mice populations and cut down some experiments. It was hard because we had to priorized, but our PI encouraged us to work in our papers and thesis at home.
  41. Hugo Sanchez-Castillo

    How will COVID-19 impact your research?

    I work from Mexico and here the situation is no so bad (yet). We have the phase 1 activated, that means that we are only worried about precautions and to report if there s some symptomatology. However if the phase increases to 3 the university it will be close and the online activities it will be mandatory not optional. In the research field, we have more or less the same situation, however the research it will not shut down.
  42. It can be difficult to define authorship strictly ahead of time, but I'd recommend setting ground rules for how decisions are made. For instance, will everyone on the team be an author on every paper? Or will you only be an author on those where you had a substantial contribution?
  43. That's a great question--the international component can add an additional layer of complexity. I know at our University we have offices that help with navigating institutional agreements, including those outside the US. And we have experts in materials transfer and data agreements. I don't have a specific answer to your question, but I will say, scientists shouldn't try to address all these issues on their own. Bringing in experts who handle different aspects of international agreements can really be helpful, save you a lot of time, and help you avoid taking on liability that you don't need to. Use your institutional processes and protocols to your advantage. Yes, sometimes it can seem like just adding bureaucracy. But if you find the right people, they can be great allies and great members of your team.
  44. Do you think that it is also the task of the program manager to oversee training of all individuals of the team in Rigor, Reproducibility and Responsible Conduct of Research? Or what are your thoughts on making sure everyone is fully trained and on the same page?
  45. Nazeerah Abdul Rahman

    Introduce yourself and get to know us!

    Hi guys, I am Nazeerah. New here!. MSc. graduate in Neuroscience from Malaysia. Glad to be here! Are you guys from which country? Do follow me OK I will follow you back
  46. Amanda Labuza

    Introduce yourself and get to know us!

    Hi Everyone! I'm Amanda Labuza. I am a senior graduate student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. I'm finishing my PhD in neuroscience where I study how protein-protein interactions regulate calcium levels is astrocytes and muscles. I'm currently trying to finish up and transition into an academic post-doc. You can keep up with my dissertation progress on my blog or check out some of my other posts on advocacy and outreach. I'm looking forward to interacting with you all and having some great discussions in 2020!
  47. Deborah Zelinsky

    Introduce yourself and get to know us!

    Hi! I'm Deborah Zelinsky, an optometrist from Chicago. In 1992, I stumbled onto the scientific phenomenon of being able to alter auditory space by using eyeglasses. When I showed my fellow optometrists, they thought I was weird, so I started attending neuroscience groups where my wild thoughts were accepted. Now, fast forward close to 30 years, and I have a patented test with a protocol known worldwide, have been helping people with brain injuries and neurodegenerative conditions and genetic disorders. And, the current research documents lots of interactions between eyes and ears, as the retina is part of the central nervous system. Now, since the 20/20 testing was invented to standardize optometry in the year 1862, and the Mind-Eye Institute is leading a campaign for the year 2020 (get it, an optometrist in the year 20/20?) called "Leave 20/20 in the 20th Century!" We are trying to update the way eye testing is being done -- to emphasize brain circuitry and comfort rather than simply eyesight and have people all over the world interested in the research! The Society for Neuroscience members are incredible, and it's thrilling to have the opportunity to tell others about sfn and neuronline. Would love to discuss eye/ear connections with fellow members. And how that interaction is affected by input from proprioceptors. In other words, how sensory and motor systems intertwine and why eyeglasses can be designed for many things other than seeing. In addition to that, we are playing with retinal neuromodulation. It's the future of optometry!
  48. David Reiner

    Introduce yourself and get to know us!

    Hi everyone, I'm David and I a postdoc at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore, MD, studying a rat model of opioid relapse. I graduated a little over 2 years ago from University of Pennsylvania's Neuroscience Graduate Group and studied feeding behavior in Matt Hayes' lab. I am very interested in promoting diversity and inclusion in the research community. Outside of lab I enjoy playing basketball and relaxing when I get the chance.
  49. Gabriella Panuccio

    What do you wish you could learn?

    I wish I could learn programming languages better and also analog integrated circuit design... It's a biohybrid thing! However, I find that some people are not really keen to pass their knowledge on to you, especially if it's about something completely outside your field. On one hand there is a chase for uniqueness (only they should be the knowledgeable ones); on the other hand, there is some sort of mental bias, due to which, people who lack a certain background are not entitled to approaching and understanding those things. Which makes me ugh... I am inherently and genetically multidisciplinary and eager to learn. I think nowadays it's fundamental to have at least a good grasp of complementary disciplines, and it's our moral obligation not to preclude this benefit based on our misconceptions. Have you ever encountered such a narrow mindset in your life?
  50. Gabriella Panuccio

    Being comfortable in the lab

    Ahah @Andrew Chen, you really cracked me up with this post!!! But this is so true and you are sooo right! I see people wearing high-hills even when they are wearing a surgeon suit... Terrible. My motto is: stay comfy! Eventually I got my lab suit: black nurse scrub, lab t-shirt, lab shoes, and of course my personal lab coat. - black nurse scrub: very ergonomic with lots of pockets to keep everything fundamental handy (I was like the cartoon character inspector gadget!); black color disguises any stain, especially blood stains (one day I was asked if I was an emergency department employee, lol) - lab t-shirt: I have dedicated t-shirts to feel in the experimental mood (the whole dress set-up does, but science-oriented motivational t-shirts do a great job!) - lab shoes: I only wear them in the lab, so there is no cross-contamination with the shoes I use to step into my place. They are super comfy, hip-hop style sneakers supporting my ankles...red, the color of energy and my favorite color - lab coat: it has side openings so I don't have to open my lab coat if I need anything from my scrub pockets; the click-stile buttons make it very easy to put it on and take it off Not less important, this way, besides being in the scientist and experimental mood, I also keep conceptual work from experimental work mentally distinguished while keeping hygiene safe because I wash those clothes separately from my everyday clothes using sanitizer. I wish I had a picture. Everyone likes the colorful markers poking from my black scrub pockets
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