Invited postdoc exchange between Texas A&M University and
other veterinary schools (TBD).
For many young scientists and professionals, the postdoctoral
period represents a critical time-frame for fostering their future
career. During this 3-5 year span postdoctoral scholars are
expected to further develop skill sets that will enable them to
progress in their respective field and function independently. The
skills needed to complete a successful career transition include
but are not limited to: conducting meaningful research, securing
funding, writing manuscripts, teaching experience and
communication. Successful postdoctoral tenure should include the
opportunity for success in all of these areas.
Communication is at the essence of scientific progression. Yet,
enhancing communication ability, particularly verbal communication,
is a difficult task in part because the short-term nature of the
postdoctoral period rarely allows for opportunities for oral
presentations at national or international conferences.
Specific Aim: The long-term goal of this proposal is to create a
mechanism that will enhance the communication skills of
postdoctoral researchers and residents. The aim of this particular
proposal is to establish an "invited speaker" exchange program
between the postdoctoral associations at Texas A&M University,
North Carolina State University, and University of Georgia.
Both researcher and resident members of the postdoctoral
association at Texas A&M University will be given the
opportunity to speak during the spring semester. The titles and
abstracts of the presentations will be sent to the postdoctoral
association at North Carolina State and the University of Georgia
from which two will be selected to present their findings (one to
each university). In turn, the University of Georgia and North
Carolina State University will send abstracts to the postdoctoral
association at Texas A&M University from which two (one from
each university) will be selected to present their findings.
Anticipated Outcomes: The establishment of the postdoctoral
exchange will enhance the training potential of postdoctoral
scholars at each of the collaborating institutions. These efforts
should be exemplified when submitting proposals for external
postdoctoral grant applications. Moreover, the opportunity to meet
new faculty, peers, future collaborators, and give an "invited
presentation" will provide additional incentive to enhance the
communication ability by all members and an invaluable experience
for those selected. These goals directly parallel the mission
statement of the postdoctoral association which is to "improve the
quality of the postdoctoral experience and to facilitate the
long-term success of our members in a manner that will also prepare
them for future employment."
Design and Requirements: The primary motivation driving this
proposal is to provide an opportunity for enhancing communication
skills among postdoctoral researchers at Texas A&M University.
This will be accomplished by providing a competitive incentive for
postdoctoral researchers to present their current research through
the implementation of an invited post-doctoral exchange agreement
between Texas A&M University, University of Georgia, and North
Carolina State University. This exchange will proceed as follows:
the post-doctoral association members at the participating
universities will submit a list of titles and abstracts to the
reciprocal university, in this case Texas A&M will send to
North Carolina State and University of Georgia, North Carolina
State will send to Texas A&M and University of Georgia, and
University of Georgia will send to North Carolina State and Texas
A&M University. From these abstracts, the postdoctoral
association at the respective universities will chose one member
from the received abstracts from the other participating
institutions to present their finding in the form of a 40-45 minute
presentation to the faculty, staff and students of the respective
Because the primary goal of this proposal is to provide a means
to enhance communication ability, members wishing to participate
must meet the following requirements:
• The individual must be an active member of the postdoctoral
association at Texas A&M University.
• The individual must be a senior level postdoctoral researcher or
resident (i.e. not in their first year of postdoctoral training or
• The individual must agree to attend a minimum of six
organizational meetings during the year.
• The abstract for their presentation must be submitted by April
• The individual must give an oral presentation at one of the
postdoctoral meetings or the graduate student/postdoctoral
Failure to meet the requirements will result in ineligibility for
participation in the exchange program.
Potential Problems and Pitfalls:
We acknowledge that an increase in individual communication
ability is not an easily measurable outcome. However, it is
generally accepted that repetition enhances communication ability.
As such, we believe that by increasing exposure of our members to
scientific presentations (given by peers), giving presentations in
supportive environments, and encouraging the participation of each
member in the program it is likely that each member's ability to
communicate will be enhanced.
We have recognized that abstract quality may not reflect the
quality of the presentation. In order to ensure that the members at
North Carolina State University and the University of Georgia will
receive a quality presentation, each oral presentation will be peer
evaluated and ranked on a scale of 1-5 with a score of 5 being of
highest quality and 1 being of low quality. Only presentations with
an overall value of 3 or better will be considered for the
exchange. Feedback sheets will be provided to the presenters to
assist in growth and development of communication skills.