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Future of Research Symposium - Boston 2015

Future of Research

Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 3:00 PM - Saturday, October 24, 2015 at 11:00 PM (EDT)

Future of Research Symposium - Boston 2015

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2015 FOR SYMPOSIUM 388 Tickets Ended $3.80 $1.20
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Event Details

Last year the First Future of Research symposium resulted in an exciting discussion about the current state of the academic research system. This year's symposium in Boston will be held on October 22-24, 2015. The working theme for this year’s meeting is “How many grads/postdocs?”, focusing on the labor market surrounding the biomedical workforce. We want to have a discussion on collecting data – what data should be collected, who by, and what for – about the academic workforce.

We also want to hear differing opinions on whether/how the structure of the academic workforce should be reformed: are there too many/too few postdocs/grad students/STEM undergraduates? What barriers exist to making these/any reforms at administrative/faculty/funding agency levels?

To discuss the issues at hand with the labor market and structure of the biomedical workforce, we will be having a one-hour address from Paula Stephan, an economist at Georgia State University, on an aspect of the debate on the research system which is mostly informed by opinion in our community, but with little expertise on the economic factors at play. 

The discussion on what data should be collected e.g. Career outcomes, numbers of postdocs, etc. will inform a national Hack Day/Activism Day with ASBMB on Saturday 24th, where projects will be proposed and attendees can contribute to data collection/design of surveys/design or repositories for data/design of media to raise awareness. You can find information on the Hack Day here.

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The symposium will be located on the Boston University Campus. Nearby recommended cash parking locations are the Agganis Arena garage and the Granby lot. All parking lots can be viewed here by selecting “Parking Lots” under “Display.”


Plenary Speaker: Paula Stephan, Professor of Economics, Georgia State University, Author of How Economics Shapes Science (copies of the book will be available on sale at the symposium).


Other confirmed speakers:

  • Jonathan Dinman, Professor of Microbiology University of Maryland, College Park
  • Eve Marder, Professor of Biology (Brandeis)
  • Michael Teitelbaum, Senior Research Associate, Harvard Law School
  • Melanie Sinche, Senior Research Associate in the Labor and Worklife Program at the Harvard Law School.
    • Founding Director of the FAS Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at Harvard University, held the same position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health in building the Career Services Center for over 9,000 intramural trainees.


Thursday October 22, 2015 (4-7 PM)

COM Auditorium (COM101), Boston University

3.30 PM: Registration

4.00 PM: Welcome & Introductions

4.30 PM: Panel 1: Defining the Postdoc: A Grassroots Perspective

Moderators: Rebeccah Lijek (HMS) & David Riglar (HMS)

Abigail Anderson (NYU, NYU PoIntS)

Kyle Dolan (U Chicago, FORChicago)

Kristin Krukenberg (Shire, FORSymp 2014)

Julie Moncaster (BU, National Postdoctoral Association (NPA))

Tobias Otto (Boston Postdoctoral Association (BPDA))

5.45 PM: Panel 2: Defining the Postdoc: An Institutional Perspective

Moderators: Rebeccah Lijek (HMS) & David Riglar (HMS)

Cynthia Fuhrmann (UMass Med School Center for Biomedical Career Development)

James Gould (HMS Postdoctoral Office)

Sarah Hokanson (BU Postdoctoral Office)

Daniel Jay (Tufts Postdoctoral Office)

Dana Bresee Keeth (MIT Postdoctoral Office)

7:00 PM: Networking Reception with Mass AWIS:

FOR pubnight[1]

Friday October 23, 2015 (9 AM- 6 PM)

Jacob Sleeper Auditorium (CGS 129), Boston University

8.30 AM: Coffee and Registration

9.00 AM: Keynote: Paula Stephan (Georgia State): The Economics of the Postdoctoral Position

10.00 AM: Panel 3: Academic Data and the Labor Market

Moderator: Gary McDowell (Tufts)

Jonathan Dinman (U Maryland)

Eve Marder (Brandeis)

Melanie Sinche (Jackson Labs)

Paula Stephan (Georgia State)

Michael Teitelbaum (Harvard Law)

11.30 AM: Panel 4: Career Paths

Moderators: Erica Walsh (BWH) & Cara Weismann (UMass)

Sarah Cardozo Duncan (Career Strategist)

Tyler Ford (Addgene)

Misty Heggeness (NIH)

Chris Pickett (ASBMB)

Brian Plosky (Cell Press)

1.00 PM: Lunch

Move to COM Auditorium (COM101), Boston

2.00 PM: Panel 5: Early Career Researchers in Publishing

Moderators: Sarah Mazzilli (BU) & Karen Carniol (Cell)

Heather Fleming (Broad Institute)

Kinga Hosszu (Faculty of 1000)

Meredith LeMasurier (Nature Neuroscience)

Josh Nicholson (The Winnower)

Debbie Sweet (Cell Press)

Marian Walhout (UMass Med)

3.30 PM: Panel 6: Diversity

Moderator: Jessica Polka (HMS)

Moon Duchin (Tufts)

Rafael Luna (HMS)

Joan Reede (HMS)

Alberto Roca (

Jessica Tytell (MASS AWIS)

5.00 PM: Closing Remarks

Saturday October 24, 2015 (9 am - 11 pm)


Hack Day with ASBMB



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