BY THE OHBM STUDENT AND POSTDOC SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
OHBM is open to brain mappers of all ages and career stages, and the students and postdocs are a vital part of the society. Despite strong representation by PIs, there remains a need for trainees to have their own platform where they could discuss and disseminate information specifically relevant to them, such as job opportunities, funding, scholarships, and awards. The OHBM Student and Postdoc Special Interest Group (SIG) was set up to achieve these aims, while also creating the opportunity to interact in-person during the famous Monday Night Social at the annual OHBM meeting.
In 2017, however, there is more to the SIG’s efforts than the above mentioned activities. The SIG has a new initiative on mentorship to help prepare trainees to transition to early-career researchers; that includes a symposium and the launch of an online international mentoring forum. The symposium is slated to include a panel discussion, in addition to talks by academics that will help provide career direction to human brain mapping postdocs and students. The new online mentoring forum will pair students, postdocs, and researchers in online mentoring relationships that cross the globe; these mentoring pairs will have the opportunity to meet in person during the annual meeting. Together, these initiatives offer information about possible career paths, and organize information seekers and givers into a cohesive unit. Such information will breed confidence in early-career researchers and help them become the leaders of future research initiatives. To do all this and more, we have put together a team of excellent students and postdocs to lead the SIG. These committee members come from varied backgrounds in their research, and are representative of the diversity of our community at-large.
The chair of the committee, AmanPreet Badhwar, is committed to scientific diversity, open science, and public outreach; she has also organized many events promoting career development and fostering dialogue between neuroscience and art. The chair-elect, Michele Veldsman, has been a passionate advocate of mentorship for early career researchers through her many initiatives in postdoctoral associations and college committees. Kirstie Whitaker, the SIG's secretary, ardently believes in fair representation of early career researchers, and has championed these causes at many role model events designed to inspire young talent. The secretary-elect, Alex Barnett, brings experiences in university social affairs, as well as his own career transitions to help others in the field. Julio Yanes draws from his experiences serving on community service-based student organizations to bring enthusiasm to his new role as social chair, while social coordinator-elect Christian La works to bridge the gap between established and aspiring scientists. Our communication liaisons Shruti Vij and Shabnam Hakimi share a commitment to help publicize the SIG’s events and activities.
Each of these members brings to the table distinct profiles and abilities, but they are all committed to helping their peers and juniors. Together, all of us as members of the OHBM Communications Committee, will work to reach all corners of the diverse human brain mapping community, especially by fostering student and postdoc engagement. More information regarding the committee members and upcoming events can be found at the OHBM Student and Postdoc SIG page, their facebook group and on Twitter @OHBM_Trainees. We welcome this year’s new leadership to the OHBM’s Student and Postdoc SIG!
The SIG is also excited to welcome all students and postdocs to our group! We are currently looking for volunteers to help organize the many exciting events planned for OHBM 2017 in Vancouver and beyond. If you are interested in working with us to build these initiatives and support your career development, please contact us via email, facebook or twitter.