Associate Member Programming at the Annual Meeting
17th Annual Grant Writing Workshop
Grant writing is an essential skill for all stages of a scientific career. It is especially important that effective grant writing skills be developed early to maximize career development success in both the short- and long-term. This workshop will help attendees, who have limited or no experience preparing grants, develop a clear understanding of how to compose an effective and compelling grant, obtain letters of support and strengthen their applications overall. This intensive half-day workshop features keynote presentations, a mock study section, and ample time for roundtable discussions with senior scientists. Lunch will be provided. Pre-registration through your AACR Annual Meeting registration is strongly encouraged ($45/AACR member, $95/nonmember).
Grant Basics: First Things First After being separated into roundtables upon arrival relevant to research interest, attendees will learn how to choose a study section, find the right type of grant application, communicate with a scientific review officer, and how to approach resubmissions. Groups will go over common pitfalls in grant writing and perform an in-depth examination of basic techniques that can be used to enhance the elements of a well-written grant.
How to Make Your Grant Stand Out: Tips on Writing the Research Strategy Section Besides the basic components of putting together a grant application, it is important to be able to formulate a strong scientific argument, devise well thought out aims, significance and innovation sections, use preliminary data effectively, justify research significance, and provide other features such as models and figures to help sell the science. Mentored groups will discuss different views on the importance of writing styles from an applicant and reviewer standpoint to determine the best areas on which to focus.
Beating Pinksheet Pain-Strategies and Approaches This lecture will cover in detail how to interpret the pinksheet and how to effectively resubmit.
Mock Study Section The purpose of a mock study section in this workshop is to provide insight into how a grant review panel functions and to provide examples of how grants are critiqued. Following the NIH review format, participants will have the opportunity to see the differences in how the review process works for a flawed, unfunded grant and then a successfully resubmitted and revised, funded R01 grant.
Professional Advancement Sessions
The Associate Member Council organizes several Professional Advancement Sessions aimed specifically toward the professional needs of graduate students, medical students and residents, and clinical and postdoctoral fellows. Each year the topics change to cover a broad range of interests relevant to early-career scientists.
Career Development Plans: Designing a Blueprint for Your Dream Job
Are you confused about which scientific career opportunity is the best fit for you after completing your Ph.D. or M.D. training? This session will feature lectures that discuss using IDPs and myIDP software to critically analyze your skills, interests and values, and help you figure out how these match up to various exciting scientific careers. Attendees will also learn about various science-based career paths from a prestigious panel of speakers who will discuss how they got to their careers and provide tips on what you must include in your blueprint to attain your dream job.
Introduction to IDPs
This session will provide an introductory overview of using individual development plans (IDPs) using myIDP software to learn how to critically analyze skills, interests, and values to see how these match up to various scientific careers.
Career Exploration and Panel Discussion
This panel will allow participants to compare different careers and their respective career paths to build a blueprint of career goals for attaining the dream job. Careers represented on the panel include:
- Government Research
- Grant Administration
- Science Policy and Communication
- Academic Research
Networking in Action: Expanding and Utilizing Your Network through Effective Communication
Do you feel slightly intimated trying to meet colleagues to form collaborations? Are you looking to form connections that can lead to career development opportunities, but are unsure where to start? This session will focus on developing your skills for effective networking-based communication by combining lectures and activities to help you learn how to network from the first introduction – both in person and through online networking tools. Come learn how to maintain connections and develop potential career development opportunities through your contacts. Additionally, during a networking event at the end of the session, you will get the opportunity to test out what you’ve learned with members of the Associate Member Council and active members of AACR who have expressed interest in networking with and mentoring associate members.
How to Market Yourself and Your Science
While the majority of one's day may be spent conducting research, not everyone is capable of effectively communicating the results of that work and their research interests to others. Attendees will get tips on how to network at the Annual Meeting and in other similar conference environments, engage in a skill-building exercise on how to confidently advertise their strengths and research, and learn the overall importance of communicating effectively.
The World Wide Web of Networking
Technology has continued to increase the worldwide connections and resources available to people on a daily basis. This lecture will address how to best utilize the internet to form these vital new connections, follow-up with in-person contacts online, and go over the impact that building and maintaining your online persona can have as it may impact your career development. Online networking tools such as LinkedIn will be discussed.
How to Utilize Your Network
Networking connections are often made at meetings, workshops, informational interviews, and through mutual acquaintances. However, once initial connections are established, the challenge remains in approaching these connections for career development opportunities. Attendees will learn how to best engage one's network to identify and pursue opportunities for collaboration and maintain those connections in one's network over time.
Networking Session and Business Card Exchange
This session will conclude with a 30-minute network exchange where participants will be able to practice their communication and networking skills. Attendees are encouraged to bring their business cards as senior scientists and other AACR Active Members will be joining for this portion of the program to assist in putting into practice some of the tools obtained during the session.
Successfully Negotiating the Next Step of Your Career
Negotiation skills are essential in all aspects of life, but they become especially relevant in navigating career opportunities. This session aims to address the gap between formal research training and understanding how to negotiate your next career step. Through three presentations, examples of real-life negotiations, and Q&A via a live Twitter feed, you will learn how to effectively negotiate and turn professional challenges into win-win situations.
The Negotiation Table and How to Evaluate Your Future Employer
This lecture will identify the information needed to negotiate effectively in industry, academia or government, and how to assess an offer. Personal negotiation styles, hidden biases and other psychological factors in negotiation will be covered.
Negotiation Concepts and Common Pitfalls
Negotiating can be overwhelming and intimidating; however, there are some common mistakes made during the negotiation phase that can actually be identified and turned into opportunities. This lecture will cover negotiation strategies and how to utilize current negotiation approaches to develop new ones.
Show Me the Goods!
An effective and successful negotiator knows how to add value by maximizing personal assets over the course of the entire interview process. Negotiating salary and/or other forms of compensation is important, but so is knowing when to walk away from a deal. This lecture will help attendees figure out how to reach a win-win outcome that will satisfy all parties and solidify an important relationship with your interview partner.
In order to put into practice concepts covered in the lectures, attendees will have the opportunity to view and participate in examples of what might happen in a good or poor negotiation session as well as discuss what could have been done differently.
*NEW FOR 2014*
Special Session: Personalized Career Discussions
The AACR Annual Meeting has always offered a variety of unique opportunities for individuals to meet other cancer research experts, but it can be intimidating for early-career scientists to walk up to a senior scientist at a conference and try to start a conversation. This session, offered as a benefit of associate membership, will provide a chance for you to meet a world-renowned cancer research expert in a one-on-one setting. Each iconic researcher, representing a broad range of research areas and regions, will meet individually with an early-career scientist to talk for a dedicated 15 minutes about science and careers. Pre-registration was required.
Annually, the Associate Member Council hosts a resource center located in AACRcentral on the exhibit floor. All early-career scientists, regardless of membership, are invited to take advantage of this space to network, meet with friends and enjoy special programming and resources. Nonmembers can register for membership here, and SITA recipients may pick up their packets in this space during exhibit hours. Some of the programming offered in this space includes Meet the Research Icon (formerly known as Meet the Research Pioneer), Career Conversations and new in 2014, an AMC Meet and Greet networking event.