The Early Career Meeting Grants: What’s New?


SPREAD THE WORD! Applications are now being accepted for ASCB’s Early Career Meeting Grants (formerly known as Local Meeting Grants) the next deadline is January 16, 2017!

ASCB’s newly revamped Early Career Meeting Grants (originally ASCB Local Meetings) aim to re-focus on the education and professional development of trainees in the broadly defined field of cell biology. Apart from the well-defined requirements and guidelines, here are some additional hints to better understand the goals of the Early Career Meeting Grants:

  • Redefined purpose: ASCB puts high priority on the education and career development of its trainee members, thus will only devote grant support to meetings organized by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Organizers funded for a previous meeting will not be considered for future opportunities. Therefore, repeat meetings will have to have new organizers in order to be considered.
  • Well-defined need for your meeting: An example of a need would be an emerging research topic/theme shared among regional cell biology communities that otherwise have few opportunities to interact. Specific and innovative programming based on the scientific topics and/or the need of trainees’ career development (e.g., designated breakout session/ round-table session for Q&A with established scientists) is a plus.
  • Maximum participation: The meeting should be clearly planned to allow for registration from all career levels (from undergraduate students to faculty members). A pre-allocated percentage of oral presentations should be ensured for graduate students and postdocs to present their work.
  • Diversity: It is important to know how the organizers plan to achieve gender and ethnic diversity among speakers when scheduling the meeting.
  • Well-conceived budget: ASCB understands that precise estimation of funding requirements could be challenging at early stages of meeting planning. However, it is important for ASCB to see that you have a thought-out plan on how the funds will be allocated. Further, there are some limitations on what funds can be used for.

Additional practical tips on meeting organization can be found in the following well-written “how-to” articles (from the COMPASS blog and the Winnower). We hope this post will be helpful to fellow graduate students and postdocs interested in organizing their own Early Career Meetings!



About the Author:

Chenshu Liu is a postdoctoral fellow in Abby Dernburg’s lab at University of California Berkeley investigating chromosome dynamics in C.elegans. He earned his PhD with Yinghui Mao at Columbia University studying centromere maintenance in cultured human cells. Chenshu co-organized the ‘New York Symposium on Quantitative Biology of the Cell’ in Jan 2016, and has been a COMPASS member since March 2016. His email address is
Christina Szalinski is a science writer with a PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Pittsburgh.