Jump to content

Live Chat | Get the Most Out of Neuroscience 2017


aabdullah

Recommended Posts

Join the #SfN17 Live Chat | October 17th at 12:00 p.m. EDT


Whether you are an annual meeting veteran or you are attending for the first time, proper planning is key to a successful experience. From lectures and poster sessions to professional development workshops and the Grad School Fair, this live chat will showcase the different types of learning and networking opportunities at the meeting.

On October 17th from 12-1 p.m. EDT, facilitators will discuss tips on:

  • Understanding different types of events
  • Taking advantage of professional development and networking opportunities
  • Planning your schedule in advance

Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance of the live chat in the discussion thread below. You are also welcome to direct your questions to specific facilitators by tagging their usernames: @Marguerite @heimanchow @Alexandra


Facilitators:

Marguerite Matthews, PhD
Marguerite Matthews is a 2016-2018 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Institutes of Health. She previously worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Oregon Health and Science University. Matthews’s main interests lie in programs and policies impacting the biomedical research workforce. She earned her BS in biochemistry from Spelman College and her PhD in neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh.

Kim Heiman CHOW, PhD
Kim Chow is a research assistant professor in Prof. Karl Herrup’s laboratory at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She is currently a volunteer of both the Trainee Advisory Committee and Trainee Professional Development Award Selection Committee of Society for Neuroscience. Kim’s research focuses on unveiling the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease and Ataxia telangiectasia. She earned her PhD in medicine and pharmacology from the University of Hong Kong and her first postdoctoral training in biomedical engineering form the Cornell University. She is currently an Alzheimer’s Association research fellow, a fellow at the neuro-technology and brain science council of the World Economic Forum and a junior fellow of the institute for advanced study at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Alexandra Colón-Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Alexandra Colón-Rodriguez is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California Davis. She holds a dual major Ph.D. in Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology, and Environmental Toxicology from Michigan State University. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Universidad del Este-Carolina, Puerto Rico. Colón-Rodriguez graduate research in the lab of Dr. William Atchison focused in understanding the toxicity of an environmental neurotoxicant, methylmercury, on spinal cord motor neurons. Currently, her postdoctoral research in Dr. Megan Dennis lab is using zebrafish as a model to characterize epilepsy and autism spectrum disorder candidate genes that are involved in synaptic function.


Related content:

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Hello everyone! My name is Marguerite and I am looking forward to sharing some of my “SfN Like a Pro” tips with you! I have attended every SfN annual meeting since I was a first year graduate student (over 10 years!). With over 30,000 attendees each year, the meeting can be quite intimidating and/or overwhelming to navigate. But I hope to help provide guidance on how to create a plan to get the most out of all that’s offered and have a FUN and fulfilling time doing it :slight_smile:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone and welcome to the chat! My name is Alexandra and I’ve had the opportunity to attend the SfN Annual Meeting since I was an undergrad until now, a postdoc. Along with my colleagues leading this chat, I would like to help you identify ways to get the most out of the meeting. My first few times attending I was overwhelmed and I missed opportunities for professional development and presentations because I did not make use of the resources the society provides. We will be answering your questions and sharing tips about ways to navigate the meeting and the resources that are available to you. I hope that you can join us and take some of our tips to make the most of the meeting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone! Welcome to the live chat. My name is Kim and I have been attending the SfN meeting since 2013 when I switched my research field of interest from cancer biology to neuroscience. The Annual Meeting of the SfN is a great opportunity for us, not only to learn the most updated science in the field, but also allows us to catch up some of the skill sets which are deemed to be useful for career development, yet seldom been taught at schools. Speaking from my own experiences , the contents of the SfN meeting are always valuable and useful in many ways, but sometimes the flow of information is a little overwhelming and dazzling. No hassles! Today, Marguerite, Alexandra and I will be on this live chat to give you ideas and tips on how to navigate through the meeting contents, and plan ahead before the actual meeting. Join us, and see you later at noon today.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Everyone,
I would like to thank our speakers today for sharing valuable information regarding the annual meeting. It can be overwhelming. I would like to gather thoughts/opinions about the following:

  1. Science or networking? Should you be more involved in creating valuable relationships or finding out the latest scientific developments in your field of study?
  2. How to avoid burnout by the end of the second day? Can you share tips for staying engaged?
  3. How to meet the absolute one contact that you need to meet? Poster, approach after talk, etc.

Thank you for your input,
Michelle

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hugo Sanchez-Castillo

Hi people! My name is Hugo, one of the most amazing things about the neurosciences meeting is that you are able to talk with the protagonists os the science, you can share your ideas, comments and questions with people who ara doing the same as you and everybody (at least in my experience) is happy to help you and hearing your comments. I recommend have a nice itinerary by day with the most important topics for you, do not try to see every thing (I tried once and trust me, is impossible!!). I will see you later

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Michelle. I am going to answer your second question. To avoid burnout during the early days of the meeting, the best way I would suggest is do plan ahead on what are you going to see each day. Indeed, mostly for the first half day of the meeting, there is free time to get a bit familiar around the venue and in case you haven’t start planning, that will be a great time to do so. Try not to stuff too many things within a day, plan ahead the route, wear a good pair of shoes to walk around, and mostly importantly rest up if you know you have a busy day ahead.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Michelle,

With regards to Question 1, I think you should first establish what you hope to get out of the annual meeting and what are your priorities. Are you looking to share your research, get new research ideas, learn about new techniques, get technical assistance on an area of interest, network to find a position, boost your professional development skills? Once you determine what it is you need/want out of the meeting (be it scientific vs professional development/personal branding), you can construct a an itinerary that allows you to do the most important things first, and if you have time and energy, you can do the others. You shouldn’t try to do everything, but you may want to give yourself a few options if you have time and want to explore more. Ultimately, the meeting should be what YOU make it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Submitted question:

This is my first time attending a conference. I am also fairly new to neuroscience so my knowledge within this field is very basic at the moment. Should I focus more on attending lectures rather than visiting poster presentations?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @ajuscoman Hugo, I completely agree with you! We recommend that people have a schedule by day and that is one of the best ways to get the most of out the meeting. Do you use the SfN meeting app? I also highly recommend that because of the reminders.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great advice, Kim!

I would also suggest to take breaks when you need to. Find a place to sit and regroup, and evaluate how things are going and if you need to make adjustments. Get fresh air, and use your “free” time to connect with colleagues - new or established. Coffee breaks, lunch time, and dinner are a great times to take a breather from the hustle and bustle of the convention center but also to network!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, for question number 3. I would say first of all, if you have someone want to meet in your mind, do check if he/she is coming to the annual meeting, you can always look up the abstracts and see if his/her lab is presenting. A more straight forward way is to email that faculty in advance before the meeting, and see if they have open schedule for a meet up.

If you do not have someone in your mind, I would suggest, go check out the posters because often when a student or postdoc is presenting, very likely their advisors will be standing by.

Anyhow, do prepare yourself before approaching a potential advisor and give them good impression. It’s always good to do more homework and know more about their science in advance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Janel Johnson

Hi Ed! Janel here from SfN. The shuttle schedule is available on our web site at http://www.sfn.org/annual-meeting/neuroscience-2017/housing-and-travel/shuttle-schedule. The shuttle schedule can also be found via the Shuttle icon in the mobile app.

Check out the At the Meeting section (http://www.sfn.org/annual-meeting/neuroscience-2017/at-the-meeting) of sfn.org as well for important onsite information. We look forward to seeing you in DC!

Link to post
Share on other sites

@delson - I don’t think there is a magic number for how many events to attend in a single day. This will vary from person to person based on one’s interests and capacity to get from place to place. And this may also vary day to day depending on what’s going on. I find it quite tiring to see posters, because the exhibit hall is so big and I often go back and forth. It’s much less cumbersome to see nano and mini-symposium talks because I am sitting and listening.

All that to say - put as many things on your itinerary as you think is reasonable and feasible for you. You can always add more if you find that you’ve breezed through everything on your list quickly. Or if you feel overwhelmed or too tired, prioritize your list and go to the ones most important. You don’t have to do/see it all!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Submitted question:
As a Master’s student and a first-time attendee I hope to get more information on how to easily navigate the meeting area and how to get the most out of graduate program fairs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I would say that the best opportunities to network with companies would be by going to the exhibitors and also during the companies socials, and if you are interested in learning about opportunities you can always visit NeuroJobs, that is where the available positions are posted and you can schedule an appointment with the recruiters because they usually are interviewing the days of the meeting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience says if you are new to the field, go after the big lectures, like the Presidential Lectures as they usually cover a diverse facets and backgrounds of the topic in order to cater a diverse group of audiences. A little secret is, these kind of big lectures are usually a great place to catch up on what is advancing in that area in general, and is always one of the favourite places for faculties to find resources to prepare their classes and handouts at school.

Nonetheless, do try to spend time at the posters, as not only you will learn new science, but also on how to present your work properly as a story within minutes using a poster, which is very likely to happen in your near future.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hugo Sanchez-Castillo

Yes I do!! I used the app the last two years and it works nicely. Sometimes it crashed when the info is refreshing or updating but in not so bad. I highly recommend the use due: 1.-SAVE ENVIROMENTAL RESOURCES, 2.- SPACE IN YOUR BELONGINGS, 3.- SPEED TO FIND AN SPECIFIC TOPIC OR CONFERENCE… ETC

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my “SfN like a Pro” tips is to have a conference buddy! Ideally this would be someone in a similar field to you (like a labmate) - someone you can compare notes before and after and share the burden of getting through so many posters in so little time. This way, you are able to get more out of the meeting without having to be in multiple places at once. And if you have to miss a talk or session, you have a trusted partner who may be able to go and report back :slight_smile:

And you can share your findings of the day at happy hour as your reward!

Link to post
Share on other sites
taisavasilkova

Hi,

I am a senior undergraduate student looking for a job after graduation either as a research assistant or working for a company, just anything in the neuroscience and/or public health arena. What is the best way to approach potential employers if you don’t have a specific area of research in mind?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Hugo. Also, if you have already have downloaded the app I would suggest to start by looking up the curated itineraries we have created to get an idea of the things you can do. You can find those in the main page of the meeting and there you will also see the trainee resources. There is one for undergrads specifically and there you can find professional development workshops and seminars that are very useful. In the app you can add those to your schedule, then that will allow you to see what you have planned every day and continue adding seminars/posters etc based on the time you have available. That is what I have done and it has worked great.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Janel Johnson

Janel here from SfN. Thanks for your reply! I just wanted to add that the app is great because you can easily search using keywords in one search bar. The curated itineraries are also available in the app, allowing you to search and add sessions to your itinerary from topical itineraries created by the Program Committee.

There will be an app tutorial session held onsite hosted by the creators of the app. We hope to see you there to address any additional questions that you may have.

Annual Meeting Mobile App Tutorial
Saturday, November 11, 10-11 a.m.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center: Room 103A

For more info on the app, visit http://www.sfn.org/annual-meeting/neuroscience-2017/itinerary-planner-and-mobile-app/mobile-app.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Submitted question:

What’s the best way to inform others you are looking for a postdoctoral position? Is there a networking event for people looking for jobs?

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a grad student and first-time attendee, I would suggest you to start planning your days with the curated itineraries built by the Society, which aimed to target different audiences ranging from undergrads, to grad students and postdocs. In each itinerary, there is a list of suggested events that the Society think would best suit the needs of trainees at different levels.

I would suggest to all attendees, whether or not you are attending the meeting for the first time, download the neuroscience 2017 mobile app onto your phone. The app is be able to sync with your planned itineraries (if you have done so), if not, you can also do your planning with the app. A great advantage of the app is, it would be able to alert you your events and show you directions to the rooms or venue with a map.

As you realised there are grad school fairs during the annual meeting, my suggestion is if you are about send out applications, bring along your CV, dress well, and be prepared for an interview as who knows your potential advisor maybe standing nearby the booths. My experience says if you manage to impress a potential advisor or program director in person during the meeting, your grad school application would always become a much easier process.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I would say to start by going to NeuroJobs and searching for the opportunities available and the requirements. To me that is the best resource to look for opportunities because you can see what is available, if you fit the requirements and then you can get in contact and request an appointment or even get the interview schedule to happen during the meeting. I would recommend starting to look soon so you don’t miss any opportunity.

Link to post
Share on other sites
rinaldys.castillo

Hello everyone. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions!

In the networking aspect of the conference, what are some tips you have for making good connections with PIs and grad school admission personnel? I am already thinking about bringing business cards and printed copies of my CV (also having it on my phone so I can quickly email it to them if they prefer an electronic version), but I am at a loss in terms of how direct I should be with questions (or even what questions to ask!) Also, how do you express interest in working in someone’s lab or the openings in their lab (both as a grad student or in a research assistant/technician position)?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another great way to follow a lot of the cool stuff happening at the annual meeting, without physically being at every talk/event that is of interest to you, is following the #SfN17 hashtag on Twitter! You can find out what other attendees think are MUST SEE and also share your own info about the talks/posters/activities that you think is important or noteworthy.

Social media can also be a way to connect with other researchers in your field or career of interest. You can build a virtual relationship or meet them at a talk or coffee stand for a more personal encounter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

After you’ve identified some labs you’d be interested in working in (be it for a temporary job or someone looking for graduate labs), I would also recommend attending that labs’ posters and/or nano symposium talks, and meeting the research assistants, grad students, and/or postdocs who may be presenting - this way you can get a feel for the lab environment and determine if that lab will be a good fit for you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would recommend attending the Career Development networking event happening on November 11, 2017, 7:30 - 9:30 PM. That would be a great way to informally introduce yourself to potential PI’s and also to learn about opportunities other than going through NeuroJobs. I would also recommend going to the posters and presentations of the labs that you are interested in. Sometimes the opportunities are not posted on NeuroJobs but are available and you will know if you ask one of the lab members or the PI.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are looking for a postdoc position (or any research position really), TELL EVERYBODY! The whole point in having a network is USING IT to get what you’re looking for, especially as it relates to you career. If your colleagues and mentors and even random strangers at the annual meeting know you are looking for a position, they can help you identify labs that may be looking to hire someone with your specific skills/expertise and sometimes make direct connections.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Janel Johnson

Janel here from SfN. New for this year, our Trainee Advisory Committee created two curated itineraries geared specifically to undergrads and trainees/postdocs. These itineraries can be found in the Neuroscience Meeting Planner (www.sfn.org/nmp) and in the annual meeting mobile app. The itineraries highlight don’t-miss events for undergrads and postdocs.

For more on these itineraries, visit http://www.sfn.org/annual-meeting/neuroscience-2017/itinerary-planner-and-mobile-app/curated-itineraries.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hugo Sanchez-Castillo

I recommend to be sure what do yo want for your posdoc. the best posdoc is the one that fits for you, is not the best university or the most famous lab, is the best for you, because the topic, the experience of the principal researcher, the specific theme of interest, etc. I agree with Marguerite, is important to talk with the members of the lab, attendig

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my favorite events that I try not to miss is the Diversity Fellows Poster Session (usually occurs on the opening day of the meeting, Saturday, 6:30-8:30p)! This is a great place to meet trainees and faculty - learn about the great science they are doing while networking and making new acquaintances. It’s low pressure, high energy, and lots of fun!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, rinaldys.castillo. Your ideas in bringing business card and printed copies CV are absolutely correct as it would reflect you are well-prepared for the meeting and job hunt.

Whether or not you are looking for a job or a grad student position, I think it is always good to start expressing your interests in their work, mention that you have visited his/her lab’s talk or posters, then introduce yourself with some kind of “elevator speech” (prepare it in advance) and politely ask if there are openings in the lab. If they are interested in you, put forward and see if you can set up a longer meeting (like coffee dates or invite them to your posters) for more formal interviews. Be flexible in terms of time when setting these up.

Normally, if you feel like having a great chance after the meeting, do acknowledge and thank the faculty after the day through emails and this would instantly create a portal for future conversations between you two.

If you do not have any ideas on current openings, you can always check out the NeuroJob Career Centre, which is an excellent resource for employer and employee connections.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for joining the live chat! Be sure to check out the many annual meeting resources available to you as you plan for Neuroscience 2017:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Janel Johnson

Good afternoon! Janel here from SfN. Guest registration is open to non-scientist family members or guests of a scientist. The guest registration fee includes a badge, admission to social events, and access to a scientific event for the sole purpose of observing the registered scientist’s presentation. A co-author on your poster would be considered a member of the scientific community, and would therefore not be eligible for guest registration. One-day registration for scientists is not available.

For more information on registration categories, visit http://www.sfn.org/annual-meeting/neuroscience-2017/registration/categories-and-fees.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...