Early Career Scientist e-Newsletter — opportunities, resources, jobs for students & postdocs
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Compiled for student and postdoc members of the Genetics Society of America by the Early Career Scientist Leadership and Professional Development Program

— July 31, 2020 —
We want to hear your feedback, thoughts, and suggestions for updating and improving the ECS newsletter! Please fill out this survey by Friday, July 31.
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This week’s resources focus on career outlooks during COVID-19. Written by Balint Z. Kacsoh, member of the Early Career Scientist Policy Subcommittee.
The unique situation we are experiencing as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is deeply affecting the lives of millions around the world, both directly and indirectly. Scientists have had to adapt where possible to work remotely, only performing what is deemed “critical” by a given administration. This begs the question: how are scientific job prospects affected?

Graduate students
Future trainees applying to graduate school in the US may begin to encounter smaller class acceptance sizes due to changes in funding and endowment and an overall US recession. Many schools are bracing for an application surge across all disciplines.

For trainees already in grad school, fellowships are extending timelines for a period of “forgiveness” due to the change in productivity. However, certain social inequities are highlighted by this challenging time.

Incoming postdocs should continue to network and connect with potential faculty members, as labs are still hiring. For current postdocs, some institutions are extending postdoc status for one additional year.

Postdocs ready for the academic job market have seen many institutes canceling searches and introducing hiring freezes until 2021. Some job searches have continued with positions being filled as money is allocated, per hiring guidelines.
Postdocs ready for the biotech job market may be more fortunate, especially given the continued need for bioinformaticians and molecular scientists.

The expectation to work from home has certainly been challenging for those on the tenure clock. Furthermore, COVID-19 disruptions are having a disproportionate effect on the careers of female academics. Changing expectations at many institutions means giving assistant professors another year or, less commonly, six months, on their tenure clocks. Read more guidelines here.

GSA Early Career Leadership Program Resources

Use the GSA Policy Fellowship Database curated by the Policy Subcommittee to filter by required education, location, compensation, application deadline, and other features, making it easier to find opportunities that fit your unique needs.

The Communication and Outreach Subcommittee’s latest published piece, “Extra copies of the genome can be a bonus,” is live on Genes to Genomes!

Members of the Early Career Leadership Program discussed organizing the Science Communication: Challenges and Impact Workshop at TAGC 2020 Online and created a list of helpful resources for those interested in scicomm.

Upcoming Deadlines
Apply to the Committee for Postdocs and Students (COMPASS) to focus on career development, outreach, and science communication. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

NCBiotech’s Flash Grant program aims to identify and energize the most creative ideas that exhibit early indications of commercial potential. Apply for the current funding cycle. The Cycle 1 deadline is August 12, 2020.

Apply for Virtual Event Awards to create virtual events focused on improving or connecting research-driven data science tools, practices, and the communities themselves. The application deadline is August 25, 2020.  

Apply for the Youth Science Policy Award of Excellence. The award is designed to enable the next generation’s scientists and policy makers to positively impact the Canadian science policy landscape. The submission deadline is August 28, 2020.

Enter your scientific images and videos into the FASEB BioArt competition. The submission deadline is August 31, 2020.

If you are an early career scientist looking for ways to get involved with advocacy, apply for the Science for the Public Good Fund through the Union of Concerned Scientists. Applications are due August 31, 2020.

Apply for the National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award to launch an independent research career and bypass traditional postdoctoral training. Applications are due September 4, 2020.

Applications are open for the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship. The application deadline is September 15, 2020.

Do you need a mentored teaching experience? Apply to be a PALM fellow. The application deadline is October 30, 2020.

Apply to be a GEM Fellow. The National GEM Consortium is a network of leading corporations, government laboratories, top universities, and top research institutions that enables qualified students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate education in applied science and engineering. The application deadline is November 13, 2020.

The Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program is a full-time, hands-on training and educational program that provides early career individuals with the opportunity to work at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The application deadline is April 30, 2021.
Current professional development and training opportunities
The mission of the National Science Policy Network is to catalyze the engagement of early career scientists and engineers in policymaking by training the next generation of leaders, fostering community, and advocating for the role of science in policy. Consider becoming a member.

Student Engagement Strategies for Virtual Classrooms: This series of three courses aims to help educators transition from brick-and-mortar instruction to virtual classrooms.

Are you teaching genetics and looking for some new ideas? Check out CourseSource, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal that publishes field-tested articles describing undergraduate biology activities.

The Letters to a Pre-Scientist pen pal program, or LPS, pairs fifth to tenth grade student “pre-scientists” in low-income communities in the US with STEM professional volunteers during science class. Sign up to be a penpal today!

Interested in a career outside of academia? Check out the Interactive Simulation Exercises for Career Transitions for example tasks from a variety of career options.

Take advantage of this time indoors; use it to maintain your forward trajectory by engaging in a mentoring connection. MyMentor is MyNRMN's one-on-one guided virtual mentoring feature, which provides an evidence-based curriculum to help you feel comfortable in a virtual capacity. It also promotes independence, self-efficacy, and confidence in your education and/or career path.

Find a detailed list of funding schemes and travel funding opportunities for postdocs using the Early Career Scientists Central Database.

A sampling of jobs currently available for PhD scientists.
Faculty Position in Environmental Policy and Governance | New Haven, Connecticut

Staff Scientist: Molecular Biologist | National Institute of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) | Bethesda, Maryland

Research Group Leaders in Computational Biology | Neurogenomics Research Centre | Milan, Italy

Research Biologist (Computational Bioinformatics) | Pullman, Washington State

Post-doc in Zebrafish Genetics / Cardiovascular Diseases | Rochester, Minnesota

Faculty Positions at Center for Life Sciences | Beijing, China

US Biological
The Genetics Society of America offers leadership and professional development opportunities for early career scientist members like you. To discuss your career and professional development, contact us!
Know of a great opportunity for early career scientists? Please let us know! We particularly welcome hearing about opportunities outside of North America. We share news about resources, awards, fellowships, grants, courses, and other opportunities applicable to early career scientists. Contact us!
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