The American Society for Microbiology annual Summer Institute for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars in Preparation of Careers in Microbiology was envisioned in 2000. The first Institute was offered in 2001 at the University of Wisconsin with 19 participants. In 2001 and 2002 respectively, the ASM sought funds from NIH to support the Institute (1R13 AI52120-01 and 1R13 AI055488-01-03). In this proposal (cycle 3), the ASM requests $141,600 for one summer institute per year for five years beginning in 2006 and ending in 2010. Students have limited and inconsistent training in grant preparations, communications, teaching and mentoring, career planning, and ethics even though they have numerous opportunities to conduct scientific research during their graduate training. To address these shortcomings, the ASM Committee on Graduate and Postdoctoral Education proposes an annual Institute. The goal of the Institute is to provide up to 30 graduate students and postdoctoral scientists in the microbiological sciences with intensive and closely guided instruction and mentoring in five key areas important for selecting and preparing for a career as a microbiologist.
The specific aims of the Institute are to help participants: 1. Prepare a well-organized research proposal that articulates clearly the specific aims of their project and a plan to address the problem. 2. Deliver a clear and concise presentation of their research project to the scientific community. 3. Examine a number of career opportunities and pathways available to microbiologists-in-training and plan their own pathway. 4. Incorporate effective teaching and mentoring strategies to meet the educational needs of microbiology students in a variety of different settings. 5. Recognize ethical implications regarding scientific research as encountered by the scientific community. The public will benefit from the Institute by empowering graduate students and postdoctoral scientists with skills necessary to become excellent research scientists, teachers and mentors, and thereby, shortening the time from education and training to productive employment in the microbiological sciences.