COMPASS Seeks Data, Supports Outreach, Encourages Expression


The Career Center offered a packed schedule of events, including professional one-on-one career coaching.

In 2016 the Committee for Postdocs and Students (COMPASS) will be seeking information. For the first time COMPASS, together with the ASCB Membership Committee, will organize a survey of student and postdoc ASCB members. The hope is to identify the goals, fears, and shortcomings of their training programs; discover average durations of PhD and postdoc training; and more. If you would like to get involved with COMPASS’s new Data Collection Subcommittee please apply to be a COMPASS Associate. We anticipate that the survey will launch in August. When it does, please take the time to fill it out.

At the 2015 Annual Meeting, COMPASS organized the Career Center, which featured a full lineup of career-boosting talks, one-on-one CV review, and career coaching opportunities. The 2016 version of the Career Center promises another packed schedule to help you improve your career prospects and learn about careers outside academia. We will again offer the very popular free career coaching services in 2016. Also, throughout the year, we will feature Q&A’s from PhDs in nonacademic careers on our website.

Outreach is an important mission of COMPASS. We want ASCB members to have the opportunity to share their science with the local community. For the past two years we have offered Outreach Grants of up to $1,000 to support community outreach projects. Twelve projects were funded in 2015, including field trips to labs for children in underserved communities, a science art show for the public, and a science carnival. This year we will again offer these grants, with deadlines of February 15 and September 1, 2016.


Students and postdocs met to network and discuss future projects at the COMPASS Open Forum.

We will also offer a Science Comic Strip Competition for ASCB members to share their science in comic format, with a deadline in late 2016. However, the Share Your Science Video contest will no longer be offered. We encourage those interested in making videos to apply for a Celldance video commission.

Every Friday students and postdocs post articles on the COMPASS Points Blog, which will continue in 2016. The blog features articles about the biomedical workforce, career development, and other topics of relevance to our community. Selected blog articles are reprinted in the Newsletter. The Writing Contest will also be held toward the end of the year.

As always we encourage you to get involved with COMPASS and we hope you will participate in our programs throughout the year! More information about all of our activities can be found on the COMPASS website (

About the Author:

Bruno Da Rocha-Azevedo is a Senior Staff Scientist in the Department of Biophysics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Bruno studies the spatiotemporal dynamics of endothelial cell receptors using single-molecule imaging. He was one of the founding members of COMPASS, and co-chair during 2015-2016. Bruno was the founder and co-chair of the LGBTQ+ taskforce (now Committee) and currently is a member. He is a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce. He volunteered on the ASCB 5-year strategic plan, helping on creating the guidelines for further democratizing the society by ensuring leadership and decision making reflect the broad range of the membership and their interests and priorities E-mail: Twitter: @brunodra

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