2015 Postdoc Research and Career Symposium
Argonne’s 2015 Postdoctoral Research and Career Symposium, held on October 8, 2015, was a full-day event showcasing the scientific research of postdoctoral scientists and engineers and graduate students. Event activities were aligned with the Postdoctoral Society of Argonne’s (PSA) theme for this year: “Breaking barriers, building collaborations and expanding opportunities.”
The annual symposium offers early career researchers networking opportunities. It also connects industry and government recruiters with the nation’s top scientific and engineering talent. Postdocs and graduate students from Argonne, Fermilab and Chicago-area universities participate in the event.
The main benefit of the symposium, from a professional development standpoint, is the chance to practice conversing with people outside one’s field through poster presentations and networking sessions.
This is essential in the world of research where scientists need to be able to successfully communicate the value of their research with potential funders and other key stakeholders.
This year, 62 poster presentations were submitted for the symposium.
Tina Henne, Argonne Postdoctoral Program Lead
Registered postdocs could also submit their resumes to be included in a resume file provided in advance to registered companies. Several companies identified potential candidates from the resume file and arranged interviews during the symposium.
The PSA, a volunteer organization run by Argonne postdocs, coordinated information sessions for postdocs and graduate students at the event that tackled topics including how to develop effective research collaborations and how to prepare for the next step in one’s scientific career.
“This year we were excited to feature a networking lunch, providing symposium participants with an opportunity to engage with industry, academic and laboratory representatives in an informal networking environment,” said PSA President Josh Bergerson. “This seemed to be a very successful addition to the symposium and we plan to bring it back next year.”
Keynote speaker Dr. Crystal Bailey, careers program manager at the American Physical Society, provided eventgoers with key insights on the STEM career landscape and stressed the importance of marketing one’s self to prospective employers.
Professionals from industry, academia and Argonne also participated in a panel discussion entitled “CV through your Future Employer’s Eyes,” emphasizing important attributes they look for when searching for job candidates.
Argonne Media Relations Manager Chris Kramer kicked off a networking lunch with an activity designed to teach participants how to explain a complex topic in simple terms.
Argonne Physicist Volker Rose also spoke at the event about the importance of collaboration through a talk entitled “Don’t Worry, Be Social: Why Science is More Fun through Collaborations.”
Three individuals were also selected as symposium poster presentation winners:
- First place: Khairi Reda, Argonne scholar, Argonne Leadership Computing Facility division
- Second place: Tapashree Roy, postdoctoral appointee, Argonne Nanoscience and Technology division
- Third place: Noah Van Dam, postdoctoral appointee, Argonne Energy Systems division
Winners received a certificate and monetary award. Poster presentations were judged for overall poster appearance and quality, topic organization, clarity and significance of illustrations and knowledge of topic.
The 2015 Postdoctoral Research and Career Symposium program book is available online.