Application deadline: January 15, 2021 11:59pm EST Apply now!
The 2021 March Meeting will be held completely online. In order to support early career physicists, FECS is running a one-time “mini grant” program to cover the cost of registration (up to $165). Note: in order to receive that low rate, you must register for the meeting by the early bird deadline of January 25, 2021.
To be considered, applicants must be recent PhD recipients (past 5 years), present a poster or talk at the meeting, and be current members of the APS Forum for Early Career Scientists (free to join, link below). Women, underrepresented minorities and candidates who can clearly demonstrate a need for funding are especially encouraged to apply. Applications are due January 15, 2021 11:59pm EST. If you have any questions, please contact me.
One January 1, I started my term as Chair-Elect for the APS Forum for Early Career Scientists (FECS). This is a three-year position; I will serve as Chair-Elect, Chair and then Past Chair in 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively. I have already served on the Executive Committee for the past two years as a Member-at-Large, and I am excited to continue serving this community. On behalf of FECS, I will also be serving as an Ex-Officio member of the APS Committee on Careers and Professional Development (CCPD) and I’m looking forward to shaping the crucial career programming that APS offers its members.
APS President Phil Bucksbaum recently wrote a letter with recommendations for how congress can protect science during COVID-19 and ensure a quick recovery afterwards. “The letter’s recommendations include: providing grantees full or partial cost extensions, ensuring the supplemental funding necessary to restart labs and experiments is provided, and substantially increasing REU funding for Summer 2021.”
APS is also organizing a letter-writing campaign to call Congress’s attention to this issue. They’re provided a easy-to-use tool where you can plug in your voting address, sign your letter (and add some of your own thoughts) and they will send it off to your congressperson and senators. It takes less than five minutes and it makes a huge difference. On narrow issues like this, you letter might be the only one your elected official receives!
Established just three years ago, FECS is is dedicated to helping APS meet the unique needs of early career scientists (i.e. postdocs). Early career scientists face a number of unique challenges. They often move great distances, isolating themselves from their support networks. They have neither the protection of tenure nor the comradeship of classmates, and they often occupy temporary positions with low pay, meager benefits, and few labor protections. They must balance the pressure to publish with the constant search for their next position. All of these factors put them at an elevated risk for exploitation and harassment, the worst of which often falls upon women and minorities.
I am looking forward to working to make life better for early career scientists like myself. I want to focus especially on the problems faced by underrepresented minorities as well as mental health. In addition to my own ideas, I want to hear from you, my friends and colleagues, about issues that are facing early career scientists and ideas for how FECS might be able to address them. Please contact me or comment below with your thoughts and suggestions.
If you’re an APS member who is interested in joining FECS, you can do so for free by logging into your account on aps.org. You can also join the FECS Facebook group, even if you’re not an APS member.