Donors Enable Record-Breaking Travel Support to Trainees
Thanks to the generosity of donors to the Friends of SfN Fund, as well as several corporate sponsors and the SfN Council, the Society provided a record 261 trainees an opportunity to attend Neuroscience 2018 through the Trainee Professional Development Award (TPDA). There, in addition to other meeting activities, the awardees presented their research at a special poster session, attended professional development events, and networked with peers and senior researchers.
Supporting the field of neuroscience is an important mission of the Society and its members. To recognize the importance of this award program, SfN Council approved $100,000 in support to the program and pledged to match gifts of $25,000 or higher in order to support awards in 2018.
TPDA recipients are strong scientists representing diverse backgrounds. In 2018, the awardees represented 22 countries and 152 institutions across the globe. Awardees also span a range of career levels: 83 postdoctoral fellows, 154 graduate students, and 24 undergraduate students.
Awardee diversity extends into their research interests and goals while attending Neuroscience 2018. “The TPDA has already benefitted my career so much … just getting access to the leading research in [computational neuroscience] has been incredible,” said Brianna Marsh, an undergraduate student at the University of Kansas.“I found [Neuroscience 2018] very valuable for meeting long-time researchers in my field … and learning what they think are great tips to be successful as a scientist.”
University of California San Francisco
Mora Ogando, TPDA recipient and graduate student from the Biomedicine Research Institute of Buenos Aires, expressed great enthusiasm for the opportunities available to her at the annual meeting: “I get the chance to … do networking and get postdoctoral interviews, which is very hard coming from Argentina. Having personal interviews with all these people is a big opportunity for me.”
Colleen Carpenter, a postdoctoral fellow at University of California’s Baraban Lab, expressed a similar sentiment. “I found [Neuroscience 2018] very valuable for meeting long-time researchers in my field … and learning what they think are great tips to be successful as a scientist.”
In 2018, the Friends of SfN Fund amassed broad support from members and nonmembers in more than 25 countries. Longstanding organizational partners Biogen, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Novartis, and Sanofi, as well as the Nancy Rutledge Zahniser Fund, continued their support of the awards for 2018, and a new partnership with Amgen was established.
SfN already is looking forward to the 2019 cycle of TPDAs. With the continued generosity of individual donors and corporate sponsors, as well as the support of Council, SfN is looking forward to the future success and expansion of the awards.