The Professional Development Committee (PDC) supports and enhances the professional development of neuroscientists at all stages of their careers through education, training, networking, and other activities. The committee also works to increase and enhance diversity and inclusion within SfN, by advancing the needs of all diverse audiences, ensuring accessibility for all neuroscientists, and encouraging a climate that supports their differences.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Coordinate professional development activities, including workshops at the annual meeting, which focus on key areas of professional development including career skills, career pathways, funding, responsible conduct of research, and diversity in the field.
- Ensure representation of programming aimed at addressing diversity at the annual meeting within the slate of Professional Development Workshops and/or at the Celebration of Women in Neuroscience Luncheon.
- Serve as the selection committee and provide check-ins with Fellows for the Neuroscience Scholars Program and oversee the program's annual meeting activities, such as the Diversity Fellows Poster Session, Mentor-Fellow Breakfast, and Diversity Reception.
- Maintain criteria for the Trainee Professional Development Awards with an eye toward ensuring diversity and inclusion, along with merit of the applicants in the selection.
- Provide input and oversight for the Neurojobs Career Center and career development resources.
To support and enhance the professional development of neuroscientists at all stages of their careers through education, training, networking, and professional development activities both during and outside the SfN annual meeting. To increase and enhance diversity by paying particular attention to advancing the needs of women and underrepresented minorities in neuroscience.
Advise and Recommend
Recommend to Council initiatives designed to further the professional development of neuroscientists, including those that encourage and support increased diversity in the field of neuroscience.
- Monitor the NINDS grant for the Neuroscience Scholars Program (NSP), which enhances the career development of neuroscience trainees of diverse backgrounds.
- Monitor implementation of other PD-related grants.
- Oversee development of a three-year strategic plan for professional development that includes outlining of resources needed and a plan to monitor and measure outcomes.
- Form and maintain strategic relationships with relevant organizations that can be leveraged for collaborative professional development activities.
- Help solicit recommendations from the membership to the Committee on Committees to ensure that a diverse pool of nominees is invited for committee and leadership service in the Society.
- Coordinate activities with the other committees in the Professional Development Cluster of SfN. The chairs will serve as the committee's representatives on the Cluster's steering committee.
- Create and offer opportunities for professional development of SfN members at the annual meeting, on Neuronline, through local SfN chapters, and through grants awarded to SfN from federal and foundation sources.
- Provide input and oversight for NeuroJobs and the career development website.
- Promote the excellence of women and underrepresented minorities in neuroscience through events at the annual meeting and other programmatic activity throughout the year.
- Oversee and serve as selection committee for the Neuroscience Scholars Program.
- Support professional development of the NSP Scholars by overseeing a mentoring program, serving as mentors, conducting annual check-in calls, and approving enrichment activities.
- Coordinate with other diversity in neuroscience training programs.
- Take an active role in encouraging women, members from underrepresented minorities, international and young scientists to propose symposia and mini-symposia to the Program Committee each year to showcase their work.
- Manage annual meeting activities that enhance diversity, such as the Diversity Fellows Poster Session, Mentor-Fellow Breakfast, and Diversity Reception.
- Host the Celebration of Women in Neuroscience Luncheon at the annual meeting.
- Create and review criteria for the awarding of annual Trainee Professional Development Awards.
- Help disseminate the call for nominations for the Lifetime Achievement awards and the Career Development Award, and applications for the Trainee Professional Development Awards.
The committee is composed of standard committee members who serve a three-year term. The committee will reflect diverse representation from various member segments. Membership will include one current or recent Neuroscience Scholar and one postdoctoral trainee. Principal investigators on major externally funded grants overseen by the PDC shall serve as ex officio members. The committee will be comprised of subcommittees that include but are not limited to: Career Development and Networking Subcommittee (CDN), Neuroscience Scholars Program Subcommittee (NSPS), and Diversity and Inclusion Programs Subcommittee (DIPS).
Committee members and the chair(s) are recommended by the Committee on Committees and approved by Council.
The committee will meet twice per year, including once during the annual meeting and once usually in the spring at SfN headquarters. Additional committee work is conducted by e-mail and regularly scheduled conference calls throughout the calendar year to address issues that arise between meetings of the full committee.
Professional Development Committee
Rae Nishi, PhD
|Incoming Chair||Term Ends|
Jean A King, PhD
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Janice R Naegele, PhD
Raul G Paredes, PhD
Instituto De Neurobiologia UNAM
Michael D Oberdorfer, PhD
Lique M Coolen, PhD
Kent State University
Kevin S. Jones, PhD
University of Michigan
Ghazaleh Sadri-Vakili, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
M. Chiara Manzini, PhD
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Marguerite Matthews, PhD
John Davenport, PhD
Kip Ludwig, PhD
|Ex Officio Members||Term Ends|
Julio J Ramirez, PhD
Gina R Poe, PhD
University of California, Los Angeles