Lessons for Success for Emerging Scientists ASHA’s seventh annual research conference, “Lessons for Success: Developing the Emerging Scientist,” brought together 32 junior researchers and 10 senior scientists in communication sciences and disorders to enhance knowledge and skills in grant preparation, development and management of competitive research programs, and professional research competencies. The intensive meeting, held at ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   July 01, 2009
Lessons for Success for Emerging Scientists
Author Notes
  • Susan Boswell, assistant managing editor of The ASHA Leader, can be reached at sboswell@asha.org.
    Susan Boswell, assistant managing editor of The ASHA Leader, can be reached at sboswell@asha.org.×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   July 01, 2009
Lessons for Success for Emerging Scientists
The ASHA Leader, July 2009, Vol. 14, 22. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.14092009.22
The ASHA Leader, July 2009, Vol. 14, 22. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.14092009.22
ASHA’s seventh annual research conference, “Lessons for Success: Developing the Emerging Scientist,” brought together 32 junior researchers and 10 senior scientists in communication sciences and disorders to enhance knowledge and skills in grant preparation, development and management of competitive research programs, and professional research competencies.
The intensive meeting, held at the ASHA national office in Rockville, Md., on April 30–May 2, included PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and junior-level faculty. The senior researchers offered the students and young faculty members a mock review of their grant proposals and research career mentoring.
An overview of changes in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant submission and review process was provided by presenters Craig Jordan, Melissa Stick, and William Yost. These changes include a new nine-point scoring system, a review of the strengths and weaknesses of each section of a grant application, and a new 12-page proposal that will be implemented this fall.
Conference attendees found the mock review sessions particularly helpful. Matthew Fitzgerald, an audiologist and post-doctoral research associate at New York University School of Medicine, said that the conference was a welcome and informative opportunity to learn more about the grant-writing process, from basic grantsmanship tips to illuminating how the review process actually works.
“I particularly enjoyed the mock review sessions,” Fitzgerald said. “This is one facet of the grant submission process that often seems opaque to new investigators, and it was helpful to better understand this part of the process.”
Participants gained valuable lessons from presenters such as Holly Storkel and Melanie Schuele on the challenge of balancing research, teaching, and service in an academic setting. “It is important for junior faculty to find a work style that allows them to meet their professional goals in research, teaching, and service in order to get tenure and maintain productivity across their careers,” said Schuele, assistant professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University. “This individual work style should allow them to flourish personally as well as professionally.”
Two participants from the 2007 conference—Mahalakshmi Sivasankar and Tina Grieco-Calub—returned this year as peer mentors. Sivasankar shared how she had applied what she had learned from the conference to a tenure-track career as an assistant professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and director of the Laryngeal Research Laboratory at Purdue University. “I emphasized the need to know expectations and set timelines,” she said.
Tepanta Fossett, a post-doctoral clinical fellow at the Mayo Clinic, found mentoring one of the most valuable components of the conference. “My mentor provided alternative options for career development and a different perspective on how to focus my career goals,” Fossett said. “The mentors’ personal stories provided examples of how to balance life priorities and the time demands involved with pursuing an academic career. I’m putting into practice ideas discussed at the conference.”
The conference was planned and coordinated by ASHA’s Research and Scientific Affairs Committee, Lessons for Success Planning Committee, and Scientific Programs and Research Development Unit, and was co-sponsored by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the NIH and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation.
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July 2009
Volume 14, Issue 9