Biophysical Society Newsletter - August 2016





Molly Cule

ate programs or departments will have at least one faculty member designated as a graduate advisor. You can request a confidential meeting with him/ her and explain your situation while appreciating any help/support you receivefrom him/her. Good luck finding a suitable lab and switching to it.

How do I go about switching labs within the same institution?

This is a difficult situation and I sincerely hope that you do not have to be in this poisi- tion. However, some students or postdoctoral fellows find themselves in a situation in which the existing lab environ- ment and their mentor are not the right fit, or their interests changed, or perhaps the men-

Grants and Opportunities i i

NIH Director's Pioneer Award Program (DP1)

Objective: This award is part of the NIH Common Fund, which supports cross-cutting programs that are expected to have exceptionally high impact. To be considered pioneering, the proposed research must reflect ideas substantially different from those being pursued in the investigator's research program or being pursued elsewhere. Who May Apply: Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/ Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Pioneer awardees are required to commit the major portion of their re- search effort to activities supported by the Pioneer Award research project in the first three years of the project period.

tor has moved across the country and moving with the mentor is not an option. For graduate stu- dents the situation of switching advisors presents a humongous challenge and can be quite stressful. It is particularly stressful for students after spending a year or so in the lab, generating preliminary data for a testable hypothesis. It means either a big blow to their research career and time lost or an increase in the amount of time needed to complete a dissertation and graduate. If you find yourself needing to switch, you should consider approaching the PI and telling him/ her that you want to leave. What are the specific issues? Framing this as your own issue rather than placing blame with your PI should make the conversation (and subsequent transition) less un- comfortable. Some of these issues may include dif- ficulty of mastering a certain technique in the lab and your inability to make adequate progress; how you find it difficult to fit within the lab group; or how your research interests have changed in recent months and explaining that there is another lab/ group that you feel is better fit for you. Often the mentor may be able to offer advice and give you more time to re-think your decision. Take the time (one or two weeks at most) to rethink, then go back to the mentor. In the unfortunate situation that your mentor is unreasonable and adamantly resists your need to change labs, then it is all the more reason to leave the group. In such a situation you can always approach the gradu- ate program director or any other senior faculty member within the department. Almost all gradu-

Deadline: September 2, 2016

Website: files/RFA-RM-16-005.html

Advances in Biological Informatics

Objective: The National Science Foundation seeks to encourage new approaches to the analysis and dissemination of biological knowledge for the benefit of both the scientific community and the broader public. The ABI program is especially interested in the development of informatics tools and resources that have the potential to advance or transform research in biology.

Deadline: September 9, 2016

Website: nsf15582.htm

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