To Present or Not to Present, That is the Question

As graduate students, it is perhaps an instinctive reaction to be afraid to present your work. We feel anxious, self-conscious, and never, ever ready. There is always more data that could be obtained, always a more complete story that could be shown. It becomes a vicious cycle that pushes you further and further into the…

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COMPASS Wrap Up from ASCB 2014

After 17 Symposium talks, 238 minisymposium talks, 112 ePosters, 2400 posters, and an unknown number of Philly cheesesteaks, the 2014 ASCB Annual Meeting is now in the books. And even though all traces of the 5,760 attendees are already gone from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, hopefully we will all bring home ideas, inspirations, and new…

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Announcing COMPASS’s Comic Contest Winners

Today at the 2014 ASCB/IFCB meeting Pinar Gurel of the Committee for Postdocs and Students (COMPASS) announced the winners of the COMPASS comic contest. The audience in Theater 1 of the ASCB Learning Center had a good laugh as each of the comics was projected. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize. First Place…

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Social and Outreach Events at the 2014 ASCB/IFCB Meeting

The 2014 ASCB/IFCB meeting is the place to expand your scientific knowledge, present your research, and explore career options. Additionally, the meeting is a great place to meet scientists from all walks of life. The Committee for Postdocs and Students (COMPASS) Social and Outreach subcommittees have been working year-round to provide opportunities for ASCB members…

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Shape Your Career Plans at the ASCB Annual Meeting

Not sure if academia is for you? Wondering what other options are out there? Uncertain about which nonacademic career would be the right fit? In addition to all the awesome science talks lined up at the 2014 ASCB/IFCB Meeting, ASCB’s COMPASS (Committee for Postdocs and Students) has planned many events to inform students and postdocs…

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A Postdoc Is a Postdoc Is a Postdoc?

“Postdocs” may share a common colloquial (if not official) title, but their benefits and compensation actually vary widely from institution to institution. This was a major finding of the National Postdoc Association (NPA)’s 2014 Institutional Policy Report . While we got a preview of the findings several months ago in Nature Careers, the full report…

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Come to the COMPASS Open Forum at the ASCB/IFCB Annual Meeting!

What are the biggest challenges that young scientists face? What can the ASCB do to help? Please join us at the COMPASS Open Forum at the ASCB Annual Meeting! COMPASS is the ASCB Committee for Postdocs and Students, and is focused specifically on issues of importance to trainees. This year, we’ll be trying something new…

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Poster Advice, Timeless and Otherwise

With the annual meeting fast approaching, it’s time once again to start putting together your poster. There are innumerable websites offering advice on poster design (my favorite being Dr. Zen’s“Better Posters”), but most essentials are covered in Steve Block’s 1996 classic “ Do’s and Don’ts of Poster Printing.” Some advice definitely stands the test of…

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The Imperfect Mathematics: Grants + Publications = Academic Jobs = Individual Success + Broken System

If you are a scientist, you know at least a little bit about the current crisis academia is suffering. The large number of PhD students inside a system that does not have enough academic jobs for all of them after they finish their postdoctoral training is alarming. It is also common to hear that competition…

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