The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced tremendous challenges for neuroscience training, including those related to lab closings, class disruptions, and reduced job postings, in addition to the challenges currently faced by everyone in society. The past year has also seen a collective awakening around issues related to race, diversity and inclusion, with the crisis also putting a spotlight on systemic issues that predated the pandemic. This virtual workshop—the second in a series—will lay out a broad framework and highlight some of the specific dimensions contributing to the current time of uncertainty, disruption, and stress for many neuroscience trainees, postdoctoral researchers, and their mentors, and consider changes needed across the ecosystem. Subsequent workshops in the series will take a deeper dive into each one of these dimensions.
About the Workshop Series on Neuroscience Training
Cutting-edge neuroscience research increasingly demands extensive technological, computational, and statistical skills, and involves large collaborations. Trainees are pursuing a broad range of careers in academia, private sector industries–which has evolved beyond pharmaceutical and biotech companies, to include engineering, data science, venture capital firms, and finance–policy, publishing, and non-profit organizations. Moreover, traditional boundaries between sectors are becoming less rigid, with more extensive partnerships among the private sector and academia and more academics helping to found biotech companies. Taken together, these factors raise important questions about to how to design training programs that foster innovation across a dynamic ecosystem and ensure that a diverse next generation of neuroscientists has the knowledge, skillset, and support needed to pursue multiple career paths devoted to advancing biomedical science.
The Action Collaborative on Neuroscience Training: Developing a Nimble and Versatile Workforce, an initiative associated with the National Academies’ Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders, brings together a wide range of stakeholders, representing different sectors and career stages, to examine current and future workforce needs within and outside of academia and explore how these should inform neuroscience training programs.
The action collaborative’ s virtual workshop series aims to illuminate critical issues and provide a venue for sharing ways to move forward. Workshops in this series have and may address topics such as:
- Racial justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in neuroscience training (August 20, 2020);
- Fostering inclusion, equity, and diversity in neuroscience training (January 25, 2021);
- Re-envisioning postdoctoral training in neuroscience (February 16, 2021); and
- Evolving the culture of science and training to meet a changing world (February 22, 2021).
Two further workshops are planned, register for those now – details available on our events page.