About the Poster Competition

The 2011 IGERT.org Poster Competition will take place on May 3rd - May 6th 2011. This competition is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and facilitated by IGERT.org, a project run by TERC, a non-profit located in Cambridge MA.

This is the first year that the competition is being held online. Doing so will enable a greater number of IGERT faculty, trainees, project coordinators, and alumni to participate and to interact with poster presenters.

This year the competition features 135 presenters, each nominated from a different IGERT Ph.D. program. The work presented often transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries and addresses complex research problems of significant scientific and societal importance. The presenters have been asked to make their posters intelligible to a general, scientifically literate audience.

Some of the presenters are early in their graduate studies; others are approaching graduation and may be seeking post-doctoral positions and other employment opportunities. You can find out more about the presenters by clicking their names, which will link to their bios.

We are grateful to the many IGERT faculty who volunteered to be judges for the competition. We have selected 50 judges and have taken care to avoid conflicts of interest. Hence judges may not be perfectly paired with their specific area of expertise. They will judge the posters on content, display aesthetics, audio narration, and presenters’ replies to judges’ queries. Judges will choose 20 finalists who will then present their posters in person in the atrium of the National Science Foundation on May 25th.

The IGERT.org community (faculty, trainees, program coordinators, and alumni) of currently funded and post-funded programs are encouraged to participate and to share their thoughts with presenters by commenting on posters and participating in the Thursday chat session. Community members are also asked to select 4 posters that they find most meritorious as their “Community Choice” votes. An additional 4 finalists, chosen by “Community Choice” will present their posters in person in the atrium of the National Science Foundation on May 25th.

Guests, future employers, and interested members of the public are invited to browse the posters and listen to the audio narration provided by each presenter. If you are interested in contacting the presenter you can click on their name to see their bio.

Translating a face-to-face event to an online format will undoubtedly provide both benefits and drawbacks. As this is the first year, holding the competition online we look forward to hearing your feedback, and learning from it, as we think about how this may be done in the years ahead. After the competition, we will be sending a survey to all participants to learn from your experience.

May 25th Event at NSF

Twenty-four finalists are invited to NSF for the final phase of the poster competition, which includes a career advancement day on May 25th. Finalists should plan to arrive the evening of May 24th. Trainees should contact their Principal Investigators to obtain travel funds. NSF is located at 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington VA. 22230. You may want to choose a hotel nearby.

During the day you will interact with successful IGERT alumni who will share their stories and discuss their different career paths. You will also meet with NSF program officers who will discuss academic and career advancement opportunities that you may want to pursue.

You also will, of course, present your poster, but this time on a poster board. It should be no larger than 3.5' x 3.5' but it may be smaller and it need not be square. You may revise your poster between the online competition and the NSF event based on feedback that you received during the online event. NSF staff members will judge the 24 posters. The presenters of the top 10 will be awarded a $3,000.00 travel award to support their research. The other 14 finalists will be awarded a $1,000.00 travel award. You must be present at this event to receive your award. The agenda is now posted:

IGERT Trainees 2011 Poster Competition Finalists Meeting
Directorate of Education & Human Resources (EHR)
Division of Graduate Education (DGE)
May 25th, 2011

  • 8:30 - 8:40AM - Welcome: (Strafford I-360)
    James Lightbourne, Division Director, EHR/DGE
    Melur (Ram) Ramasubramanian, Program Director, EHR/DGE
    Carol F. Stoel, Program Director, EHR/DGE
  • 8:40 - 9:30AM - Trainee Introductions
  • 9:30 - 10:45AM - IGERT Alumni Career Experiences and Advice
    Teresa A. Murray, Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University
    Shermin de Silva, Director, Elephant Forest & Environment Conservation Trust
    Jessica Schedlbauer - Assistant Professor, West Chester University
    Joseph Ryan - Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health
    Nicholas Hammond – Chief Technology Officer, Ablitech
  • 10:45 - 11:30AM - Trainees Set up Posters/Lunch Break
  • 11:30AM - 2:00 PM - Poster Presentation & Judging Session (NSF Atrium)
  • 2:00 - 3:00PM - Academic and Other Career Opportunities for Graduates (Strafford I-360)
    Nirmol Podder, Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy Kaye Reed, Program Director, SBE/BCS
    Brian Humes, Program Director, SBE/SES
    C. Susan Weiler, Program Director GEO/AGS
    Alexander Nicholas, Senior Policy Advisor, Department of Commerce
  • 3:00 - 3:15PM - Break
  • 3:15 - 3:45PM - Poster Competition Award Ceremony (Strafford I-1235)
    Melur (Ram) Ramasubramanian, Program Director, EHR/DGE
    Joan E. Ferrini-Mundy, Assistant Director, EHR