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The Future Scientist


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"The Future Scientist" was a lecture given to participants with the George Mason University Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program on June 2008.

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The Future Scientist

  1. 1. The Future Scientist What You Need to Know and Why Aspiring Scientist Summer Program George Mason University June 23, 2008
  2. 2. Key Questions Aspiring Summer Internship Program P Why is this person here? < I volunteered to pay for food. I wanted lunch. P Why are you here? < Lunch. Because you’re supposed to be here. P Why do we have to sit through this orientation? < That’s the point of this brief talk.
  3. 3. Don’t you know who I am? Short bio summary P Emil Chuck, Ph.D. < Health Professions “Premed” Advisor < Term Assistant Professor of Biology < Assistant Coordinator, Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program – Gives $1000 to GMU undergrads doing research < AAAS/Science Careers Forum advisor < Core Competencies Subcommittee, National Postdoctoral Association
  4. 4. Please enjoy the pizza. You earned it and you will earn it! P Who wants to go to medical school? < MD < DO < Dental school < Veterinary school < Pharmacy < Optometry < Physician assistant
  5. 5. Please enjoy the pizza. You earned it and you will earn it! P Who wants to get a Ph.D.? – Tenure-line research professor – Only 1 in 5 graduate students become a tenure-track professor. – Only 1 in 3 tenure-track professors get tenure. – Academic medical center (non-tenure, admin) – Government (NIH, NIEHS, DOE, FBI, public health labs) – Industry (startups, big pharma, bio/nanotech) – Education (K-12, curricular development, museums) – Legal (patent law, public or legal policy and outreach) – Writing (technical, legal, clinical trials) – Business (v-capital, technology transfer, non-profit) – Entertainment (movies, TV, theater, art, music, dance)
  6. 6. Shift happens As of June 2007, P Claim: you will go through around 10-14 jobs < By your 38th birthday P Other claim: amount of medical information < Doubles every 5 years
  7. 7. What is expected for scientists? Core competencies: past and future P AAMC Compacts < Residents (January 2006) < Postdoctoral Fellows (December 2006) P National Postdoctoral Association < Core Competencies (late 2008) P FASEB < Graduate and postgrad training components P GMU Prehealth Advising < Implemented 2007, publicized June 2008
  8. 8. Core competencies DRAFT: National Postdoctoral Association P Scientific knowledge P Research methods P Communications skills P Professionalism P Leadership/Management skills P Responsible conduct of research
  9. 9. Scientific knowledge DRAFT P Analytical approach to defining scientific questions P Design of scientifically testable hypotheses P Broad based knowledge acquisition P Interpretation and analysis of data
  10. 10. Research methods DRAFT P Laboratory techniques/safety P Experimental design P Data analysis and interpretation P Statistical analysis P Effective search strategies and critical evaluation of the scientific literature P Principles of the peer review process
  11. 11. Communications skills DRAFT P Develop written skills in English to most effectively communicate knowledge and data P Develop speaking and listening skills in English to most effectively communicate information to different audiences
  12. 12. Professionalism DRAFT P Personal: connecting with oneself P Social: considering the influence of family and extra- professional relationships to professional decisions P Workplace: connecting with the immediate working team P Institutional: connecting with the research infrastructure P Collegial: connecting with the discipline of expertise P Universal: connecting with society in representing our expertise
  13. 13. Management skills DRAFT P Effectively manage research staff, understand principles of project management, develop personal and team priority setting and time management skills, and collaborate effectively. They must also develop skills in budget and financial management, demonstrate an understanding of institutional culture and of institutional compliance and regulatory requirements, and effectively manage laboratory data and resources. P Demonstrate self-awareness and an understanding of individual temperament traits and leadership styles, develop skills needed to work with individuals with different traits, and pursue leadership opportunities at the laboratory, institutional, regional and national level through professional committees, organizations, or societies.
  14. 14. Responsible conduct DRAFT P Improve their ability to make ethical and legal choices involving scientific research P Develop appreciation for the range of accepted scientific practices for conducting research P Be familiar with the regulations, policies, statutes, and guidelines that govern the conduct of government-funded research P Be aware of the available tools and resources to which they can turn when ethical questions and concerns arise
  15. 15. Uses of competencies DRAFT P Training future scientists, engineers, etc. < Graduate < Postdoctoral < Faculty < Undergraduate < You! P Evaluating scientific productivity < Laboratory < Institution < Entire nation!
  16. 16. Uses of competencies Health Professions Advising P Evaluation of all applicants < Sophomore-entry MD programs – George Washington University MD – Virginia Commonwealth University (MCV) MD < Vet school: most competitive program < Dental school < Medical school (MD or DO) < Pharmacy, Optometry, Podiatry, etc. < Allied health
  17. 17. The Perfect Scientist