Advancing Biomedical Research Workforce Diversity
NIGMS Workshop for Postdocs Transitioning to Independent Positions
March 11 - 12, 2010
Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

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The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) will hold a workshop entitled Advancing Biomedical Research Workforce Diversity: NIGMS Workshop for Postdocs Transitioning to Independent Positions, on March 11-12, 2010 on the campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

This workshop is intended to bring together approximately 150 postdoctoral investigators who will soon be seeking their first independent positions. While the transition to independence is a challenge for all postdocs, young investigators who are members of groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical or behavioral sciences may have an especially difficult time finding and establishing themselves in their first independent positions.

For this reason, emphasis will be placed on members of these groups. The goal of the workshop is to cover a broad range of topics that postdocs will need to make a successful transition to independence, including making the right career choice, finding the right institutional fit, applying for a position, succeeding in the job interview and seminar, negotiating a start-up package, establishing a lab, finding a mentor, networking and forming collaborations, applying for and getting a grant, undergoing the tenure process, teaching, and balancing research with their many other commitments. Although the focus is on academic positions, the participants will also have an opportunity to learn about other scientific careers.

Individuals who are considered to be underrepresented in the biomedical or behavioral sciences:

  • Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see NSF data and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, 2007, p. 262). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands.
  • Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
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