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Ethical and Inspiring Mentorship in STEM Conference

Join us to discuss ethical, effective, and inspiring mentors

Thursday, September 21, 2017
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Off Campus

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and The Graduate School at University of Maryland College Park (UMD) extend an invitation to all Postdoctoral Fellows and Associates at UMBC to attend this event.

All events, save for the networking reception, will be held at the University of Maryland, College Park Campus. The reception will tentatively be held at the Milkboy Arthouse, subject to confirmation from the venue.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Adele Stamp Student Union

3972 Campus Drive

College Park, MD 20142



The symposium has four goals:

  1. To recognize and discuss the issues surrounding mentoring in STEM fields.
  2. To discuss effective mentorship and advocacy techniques at all levels: PhD, Postdoc, Faculty
  3. To provide a platform to connect like-minded young scientists who wish to effect change at their own institutions at the grassroots level.
  4. To inspire participants to practice effective mentorship practices and promote these skillsets to their peers and colleagues at their own institutions.


Among the many roles that scientists play, mentoring younger scientists is one which researchers are rarely trained for. In the current STEM research environment, where lack of funding is but one of the systemic issues faced by young scientists, the roles, responsibilities, and career trajectories are changing. Organizations such as Future of Research and Rescuing Biomedical Research have been formed in recent years to address systemic issues facing academic research. Others, such as the National Mentoring Research Network, have arisen to address the training needs of those who wish to remain in academia but receive no formal training in how to supervise and mentor students. Still, there are gaps in the cultural awareness and value of being an inspiring leader, promoting a positive work environment, and in having happy, mentally fit employees. Where other industries recognize these benefits, academic culture lags.

But all of these issues are intertwined, and lead to the pessimism and learned helplessness found in many young researchers regarding their careers across the nation and the world. Because system, training, and culture all intersect to provide a scientist’s well-being and productivity, Labmosphere and Future of Research are holding a conference in collaboration with UMD-College Park to discuss current mentorship practices and the way in which they could be improved upon.

This whole day conference will take place at the end of National Postdoc Appreciation week (September 21st). It will consist of three speakers with break-out sessions in between the talks, as well as a mentorship panel at the end followed by discussion and a networking reception.

Tentative schedule:

8:00 – 9:00 AM

Event Registration and continental breakfast served in main auditorium

9:00 AM – 10: 30 AM

9:00 AM Opening remarks (Blessing Enekwe (UMD); Jeff Franke (UMD); Gary McDowell (FoR))

9:30 AM Keynote Speaker (UMD-Faculty and NRMN Core faculty (Dr. Sandra Quinn))

10:15 AM Questions and first talk wrap-up

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Break-out Sessions for workshops:

Culturally Aware Mentoring (Dr. Sandra Quinn)

Local Advocacy (Gary McDowell and Union of Concerned Scientists)

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Networking lunch in the main auditorium

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

1:00 PM Hypercompetition in Research (Dr. Chris Pickett, Rescuing Biomedical Research)

1:45 PM Courageous and Value-Based Leadership in Academic Research (Brooke Deterline, Courage to Lead)

2:45 PM – 4:00 PM

Break-out Sessions for second round of workshops:

Mentorship across the industry/academia divide (Will Olds, Proteintech)

Support Networks (Juan Pablo Ruiz, Labmosphere)

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Workshop wrap-up and mentoring panel:

Meg Bentley, Director in Residence of Laboratories, Dept of Biology, American University

Andy De Los Reyes, University of Maryland

Belinda Huang, George Washington University

Chinonye “Chi-Chi” Nnakwe, American Association for the Advancement of Science

5:45 PM – 6:00 PM

Transfer to Milkboy Arthouse for Reception

6:00 PM  –  8:00 PM

Final remarks by organizers and networking reception

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