Research, publishing, and conferences [insight and info]

Here’s something I shared with the undergraduate students who are working or planning on working in the Soft Tissue Mechanics Lab (where I work):

I thought I’d share with you some information that I didn’t quite pick up on until I entered graduate school. As undergrads, you have a great opportunity to experience first-hand what it is like to do scientific research and work independently. The biggest and most important part of research is learning and teaching- both ourselves and others. We can use certain mediums to teach others what we are learning and developing. Perhaps this will provide incentive as the summer begins for getting involved in projects and/or cranking out some good data…

Through the summer, we’ll be sharing our ideas and results with each other in regular lab group meetings. We need to make sure that our findings and ideas are shared with others in the field, and the best way to do this is by publishing manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals as well as presenting our work at conferences. For me, attending a conference was my “first step” in sharing my research.

At conferences, we are offered the opportunity to chat with others who are doing similar research, which can elucidate potential collaborative efforts as well as open doors for future professional opportunities. As a bonus, attending a conference offers an opportunity to travel and see new places- more of an incentive to get your research done. So, if you are doing the work, collecting data, and getting results, the next step is to share these findings! Plus, conferences are not like going to class, where you have to sit there for an hour and listen to someone ramble on. You can pick and choose what talks you want to see, each talk is usually only 15minutes long, and the research presented is new, innovative, and (typically) interesting. It’s a competition to get a podium talk at a conference, so the talks are of cutting edge research in an area that is hopefully of interest for you (that’s why you’re involved in the Soft Tissue Mechanics Lab, right?!).

In the past, members of our lab group have attended conferences hosted by the Orthopaedic Research Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Biomechanics, European Society of Biomechanics, and International Society of Biomechanics- in places such as California, Vancouver-BC, Switzerland, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, and Ann Arbor. Some future conferences include:
ASB in Rhode Island (2010)
Summer Bioengineering Conference in Naples, Fl (2010)
ESB in Edinborough, Scotland (2010)

So, is that motivation? Nicole and I get to go to Tahoe in June, so I’m pretty pumped about that.

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About megankillian

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. I love biomechanics!

Posted on May 13, 2009, in academia, collaboration, peer-review, research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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