If you are feeling slightly lazy and 20 kg heavier, we assume this means you had a great break. Time to shake it off and get back to business. What could be better to start of the year than reading our latest newsletter article? This year we will again try our best to give you more tips and tricks on how to handle scientist life challenges, continue our serious “A closer look at neuroscience” and remind you about deadlines (3rd Flagship School applications open between 2nd-31st of January; proposals for Kyoto Meeting program committee also 31st January. Just saying…). However, we will try to give a bit more stage time to those of you who have invested their time and effort to promote our society in their local community and to gather young scientist under the little umbrella of ISN. In short: more stage time for our ambassadors!
Like every idea, this program is also developing and undergoing changes, restructuring and constant construction, all in order to establish processes and to make it smoother and more professional for the future. Right now we are in one of these construction phases and, just like in normal science, we learn a lot, and learning takes time. The bottom line of this paragraph: this newsletter is not a call for proposals or applications! It is to show what has happened already. Be sure, we will fill your mailbox with news on the ambassadors program as soon as it is ready to be out there.
Nevertheless, what did happen already this year or even before the Montreal meeting? Quick status report: 21 people from 12 countries, four continents (if you know anyone in Antarctica, please let them know so we can make that five, thanks). Their mission: promoting ISN in their local community via small events on topics relevant for young scientists and forming a local network. Sounds quite vague? True, but that’s where there is room for creativity. Here are a few examples of what people have done so far.
Most of our ambassadors are from Nigeria, so don`t be surprised if you realise that that was where most of the event action has happened so far. Gbadamosi Ismail Tayo organized an ISN-sponsored workshop where local young scientists received some useful tips not only about the membership benefits of ISN but also on the bread and butter of a scientist: the publication! How to organise data, how to use reference managers, choosing the journal, etc..
Even two members of the YSSC got a chance to be part of an event themselves, as we had a webinar with 15 young scientists from several African countries. We talked about approaching PIs for short-term visits and answered questions on how to attract funding from various sources and how to pursue a scientific career. We only get to talk to you once every 2 years usually, so it was a really cool new experience for us!
Chinna Orish organised various hands-on Youth-outreach workshops informing undergraduates about careers in neuroscience, introducing them to ISN and supporting female students in particular.
Lekpa David, who already introduced the YSSC and ISN at a young scientist career workshop back in 2018, also gave a seminar about career opportunities and the YSSC`s work at an ISN symposium during the SONA meeting 2019. Furthermore, he hosted a career mentorship workshop at the University of Port Harcourt displaying the benefits of an ISN membership for upcoming young scientists. He is probably more experienced in celebrating ISN than we are.
All these events show that young members of our society are active in promoting our society and that is what keeps us going. So far, most of our members apply for membership as they join labs of ISN members, but maybe through more awareness we can form more local networks, where people find out about our society and get new impulses for their career. Maybe even bring fresh air and ideas into the lab they are joining.
This is just an extremely brief summary of the things that have happened 2019. There have been loads of proposals and requests for promotion slides. ISN has been introduced at Universities in the US, Asia and Europe through our ambassadors. We will be filling more than one newsletter article with that. A massive thank you to all ambassadors for their engagement and their patience and all attendees of ambassador events for their interest! To future events!
Oh by the way: Easy task to start your working year: Renew membership for ISN and your local sister society!