Live Chat | Get the Most Out of Neuroscience 2017



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.


Thanks! Also, how do I effectively use the meeting app to plan?


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


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!



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?


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.


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


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?


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.


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.


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)?


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.


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.


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.


Submitted question:
What opportunities and/or notable activities are this year that I should try to attend?


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.


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 ( and in the annual meeting mobile app. The itineraries highlight don’t-miss events for undergrads and postdocs.

For more on these itineraries, visit


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


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!


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.