Student Perspectives on the Meeting

The 2013 Annual Meeting was especially useful since I am starting a postdoc: I was able to see interesting things relevant to my PhD research and to my new projects. It is also nice to have so many people working on similar subjects.

—Anne-Florence Bitbol (Early Career)

This meeting gave me the opportunity to become aware of the latest studies and to learn a lot of new information. It also gave me food for thought, concerning my further education, specifically—which field of research is the most interesting for me to do PhD. Thanks for this meeting!

—Svetlana Kotlyarova (Student)

2014 Annual Meeting Career Events

From putting potential students in touch with top biophysics programs, to assisting job seakers with resume critiques and providing panel discussions for mid-career professionals, this year’s Annual Meeting will feature a wide variety of career enriching events for Meeting attendees at every career level and on every career path.

… how to network more effectively

The Annual Meeting is a wonderful place to meet new friends and make new career contacts, but knowing how to network is key to taking advantage of this opportunity. Career expert Monica Weil will teach Networking Now: How to Maximize Success at BPS 2014, offering attendees tips and strategies to help make the most out of the Meeting.

Once you’ve attended the workshop on Saturday, February 15, 3:00 pm–4:00 pm, or Sunday, February 16, 2:30 pm–3:30 pm, use what you learn to network through the rest of the meeting—presenting your poster, attending luncheons, meeting the speakers and at other committee-sponsored events, such as:

  • Postdoctoral Breakfast, Sunday, February 16, 7:30 am–8:30 am
  • Graduate Student Breakfast, Monday, February 17, 7:30 am–8:30 am
  • Undergraduate Student Pizza “Breakfast”, Monday, February 17, 11:30 am–1:00 pm
  • Networking with Minority Biophysicists: Resources & Opportunities, Tuesday, February 18, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

… how to communicate your science

Part of successful networking within the scientific community is the ability to communicate the research you’re working on, whether in a poster presentation, platform session, or scientific paper. For tips on communicating through your writing, check out How to Get Your Scientific Paper Published, Monday, February 17, 2:15 pm–3:45 pm. Moderator Olaf Andersen, Weill Cornell Medical College and member of the Publications Committee, will lead a panel of speakers including Leslie Loew, Editor-in-Chief, Biophysical Journal, Alicia Wallace, Dartmouth Journal Services, Katharina Gaus, Editorial Board Member, Biophysical Journal, and Lukas Tamm, Associate Editor, Biophysical Journal, in a discussion about the practical issues involved in publishing a scientific paper. The panelists have extensive experience in writing, reviewing, and editing papers, and will provide information on the ‘dos and don’ts of submitting research manuscripts.

… how to get a job

Do you hope to work in a university? Or is a career in industry more your speed? Regardless of your career goal, BPS has put together a session or workshop to help get you there.

Stop by the Career Center and sign up early for a 30-minute, one-on-one resume critique session with a career expert. Monica Weil or Joe Tringali will review your resume and offer suggestions to strengthen and tailor it for your individual career goal. These critiques fill up fast, so make sure to sign up early! If you don’t get a spot, come back on Wednesday for a last chance at one of 12 additional 15-minute, one-on-one reviews.

Once your resume is ready to go, stop by the Graduate & Postdoc Institution Fair and put your new networking skills to work meeting representatives from more than 40 institutions with biophysics programs. You can also post your CV to the Biophysical Society job board at the Career Center and apply for posted positions. Employers with job openings and scientists seeking postdocs will be conducting on-site interviews.

If you’re unsure where you would like your career to take you, BPS workshops can help you decide. Weil’s workshop, Career Catalyst: Understand Who You Are to Get What You Want, Sunday, February 16, 10:30 am–11:30 am, will give you tools and techniques that can help translate a reflective understanding of self into making meaningful career choices. Once you know yourself, get to know how others can help you in your job search. Weil will present The Power of GROUPS: How to Help Others Help You Succeed, Tuesday, February 18, 9:30 am– 10:30 am. This workshop will offer tips on how to tap into the individual and collective wisdom already surrounding you.

If you’re looking to academia for your future career, stop by one of these sessions:

  • Postdoc to Faculty Q&A: Transitions Forum and Luncheon, Tuesday, February 18, 12 noon–2:00 pm
    - Are you finishing up your postdoc and applying to (or getting ready to apply to) academic faculty positions? Bring your questions for this experienced panel of new faculty and recently tenured professors. The Q&A, hosted by CPOW, will answer your questions and offer tips for CV and interview preparation, job negotiation, and getting started in your new role. Pre-Registration is suggested by January 8, 2014. Fee includes lunch. For the registration form go
  • Teaching Science Like We Do Science, Sunday, February 16, 2:00 pm–3:30 pm
    - This session will feature speakers who have been successful in obtaining funding for the development of undergraduate courses and programs. In addition to discussing these funding opportunities, speakers will also comment on national initiatives focused on STEM education.
  • Career Opportunities at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions: Finding a Job & Finding Success, Tuesday, February 18, 12:30 pm–2:00 pm
    - This session will provide graduate students, postdocs, and current faculty with information and resources on career options at PUIs. Speakers are faculty members at PUIs who have been successful in their positions.
  • Moving on from your Postdoc Position: Negotiating the Transition, Sunday, February 16, 1:00 pm– 2:30 pm
    - Panelists who have recently obtained faculty positions will provide advice on how to find a permanent position after you’ve completed your postdoctoral training in this session, hosted by the Early Careers Committee.
Looking for tips on a career outside of academia? The Early Careers Committee has a session planned for you.
  • PhD Careers Beyond the Bench, Tuesday, February 18, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm
    - Have you ever wondered how you can apply the skills learned during your PhD in a career away from the bench? The Early Careers Committee will sponsor a panel to discuss the plethora of career options that exist beyond the bench, such as publishing, science writing, patent law, policy, marketing, etc. Panelists involved in a wide variety of careers will share their personal experiences.

 If you’re looking to work in industry, check out these workshops:

  • Beyond the Bench: Preparing for Your Career Transition in the Life Sciences
    - Sunday, February 16, 9:00 am–10:00 am
    - Monday, February 17, 11:30 am–12:30 pm
  • Selling Yourself to the Life Sciences Industry, Sunday, February 16, 12 noon–1:00 pm
  • Ten Tough Industrial Interview Questions (and Ten Pretty Good Responses)
    - Sunday, February 16, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm
    - Monday, February 17, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

… how to get funding

Learn from veteran NIH grant reviewers what panels look for when they read and assess proposals in the Grant Writing Workshop: How (Not) to Write Your NIH Grant Proposal, Monday, February 17, 1:00 pm–3:00 pm. Speakers will also answer questions about peer review at NIH and the best ways to communicate with funding agencies both before submitting a proposal, and after its review. Sponsored by the Public Affairs Committee, this session is appropriate for grant-seekers at all levels.

Curious about funding sources outside the government? In Funding: If Not from Federal Agencies, from Where?, Sunday, February 16. 2:30 pm–4:30 pm, experts representing foundations, nonprofits, universities, and business will discuss non-federal sources of research funding, how to pursue them, and whether they present a viable substitute for lost or decreased government funding sources. The panelists will also discuss if and how their funding strategies have changed in response to federal funding, how scientists can effectively forge relationships with industry and foundations, and how universities are responding to the changing funding landscape. If you are looking for general advice or have questions not covered by any of these sessions, Monica Weil and Joe Tringali will host a Career Open Forum/Career Q&A Session on Monday, February 17, 10:00 am–11:00 am. Bring your career questions to the Annual Meeting and see what you can learn!

 … how to keep advancing mid-career

How can you continue to develop your career AFTER having secured a job and AFTER having established a lab? Learn how to increase your impact and to widen your scientific influence beyond the bench.

  • The Mid-Career Interactive Forum: The Art and Perils of NETWORKING, Sunday, February 16, 12:00 pm–2:00 pm, sponsored by CPOW, will center on the value of a supportive professional network and will include do's and don’ts of professional interactions. At this point in your career, you should begin to add to your existing network of advisors, mentors, and advocates. Having a strong network will help with your next step. Experienced panelists, including department chairs, society leaders, and senior editors will each speak briefly about their own experiences, leading into an extended question-and-answer exchange with the audience. Following the panel discussion, attendees will have a chance to interact with the panel in small groups and one-on-one, to ask specific questions and get individualized feedback. Space for this event is limited—pre-register by January 8 to reserve your spot. The fee to register includes lunch. For the registration form go to
  • The session, What to Do When You are Tired of Doing What You are Doing: A Unique Interactive Workshop for Experienced Workers, will be offered on Tuesday, February 18, 2:30 pm–3:30 pm, in the Career Center. This session will offer tips and techniques for dealing with late-career issues—from lost funding to dissatisfaction with your position. Thinking about switching careers? Just want to stay up to date on biophysical techniques outside of your area?
  • Biophysics 101: X-Ray Crystallography, Monday, February 17, 1:30 pm– 3:00 pm, will continue a series of symposia initiated by the Education Committee to educate meeting attendees at all levels about biophysics techniques with which they may not be familiar.