Professional Development Workshops

Student Research Conference
November 11, 2017
Raleigh Convention Center
Raleigh, North Carolina

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Organizing an Effective Visit with a Policymaker

Leader: Aaron Huertas, founder and principal, Science Communication Media

Lab visits are an excellent way for policymakers and their staff to learn about scientific research. They are also an opportunity for scientists and their institutions to showcase why their research matters to policymakers and the press. This session will cover best practices for interacting with policymakers and will challenge participants to roleplay a successful lab visit with a member of Congress. The skills covered in this workshop also apply to visits to legislative offices as well as educational poster sessions that scientific societies host for state and federal legislators. Participants will learn to put themselves in a legislator’s shoes and think about how their research fits into a policymaker’s view of their district and their role as a public servant.

From Exploration to Publication

Leader: Eman Ghanem, director of membership, chapters, and programs, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society 

Publishing in peer-reviewed or professionally refereed journals is an indication of novelty and an opportunity to disseminate outcomes of research endeavors. Converting a research project into a scientific story for publication is a challenging process, especially for junior researchers who are not affiliated with a higher education institution. With the increasing number of high school science and technology classrooms that are shifting from a teacher-centered to a student-centered teaching environment, more ninth through twelfth grade students are engaged in authentic research experiences. This workshop will focus on the steps involved in preparing a manuscript for publication in a referred journal. Participants will learn effective writing techniques and what is important to include in a manuscript.

Social Media for Scientists

Leader: Fenella Saunders, Director of Science Communication and Publications for Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society and Editor-in-Chief of Sigma Xi's Magazine, American Scientist

A presence online is becoming more common for scientists. Having a Twitter account allows scientists to have a more direct voice with the public and an influence over how science is portrayed to a wider audience. But it can also affect a scientist’s career. For instance, research has shown that papers that are tweeted receive more citations. Social media is also having an effect on the culture of science, from gender bias to the prospects for postdocs and alternate career paths. We’ll discuss some examples of recent incidents where social media coverage has caused change in how science is done, and also a few cases where being naïve of social media conversations has had negative results. We’ll provide some pointers to get started on social media, but also ways to manage your time there, and how to ramp up if you want to do more. 

Read the speaker biographies or return to the main Student Research Conference page.