ASBMB Networking Program
The ASBMB Networking Program brings together local scientists from academia (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, staff scientists and faculty members) and industry. Each event provides a unique opportunity to network with fellow scientists, engage in career and professional development and learn how to best utilize professional organizations like the ASBMB.
Support from the ASBMB
The ASBMB will provide the following support:
- Create an event webpage
- Create and send the event invitation
- Create an RSVP system
- Provide an event email template and promotional flyer
- Advertise the event to local members
- Provide a slide deck describing the benefits of professional societies
- Provide up to $500 for refreshments (receipts required for reimbursement)
- Provide society promotional materials (e.g. membership brochures, journal brochures, career information, pens, chapstick)
- Design and send a post-event survey and provide results to organizer(s)
- Schedule the event at least 90 days beforehand in consultation with the ASBMB
- Reserve an event space, A/V and refreshments
- Develop the event agenda
- Invite the speaker(s)
- Provide all relevant details to the ASBMB for inclusion on the website (e.g. institution logo, date, time, location, agenda)
- Work with the ASBMB to identify potential attendees and market the event
- Provide receipts to the ASBMB for reimbursement
- Provide the ASBMB with a list of attendees and their email addresses
- Optional - Seek additional financial support/sponsors
- Optional - Provide questions for the post-event survey
- Optional - Consider enlisting the help of a graduate student or postdoc (or a committee) to plan the event. This can be a valuable leadership experience for their CVs.
Planning a networking event
The ASBMB recommends planning a two-hour event, but the event should be no more than three hours. Consider your academic calendar when planning the event. Events held at the end of the semester may have low attendance. Each networking event should be organized around a presentation by a qualified speaker on a career or professional development topic of interest to early career scientists. Example popular topics include: careers in industry, career paths and how to get a faculty position. The presentation should not be solely about the speaker’s research. If you are unsure what topics might be popular, consider checking with (or collaborating with) your graduate school or postdoc office or your institution’s career center.
The presentation can be structured as a seminar or workshop and run from 30 minutes to one hour depending on the topic and presentation style. This should be followed by a five to 10 minute presentation by an ASBMB member on the benefits of professional societies. The ASBMB can provide a slide deck if desired. The event should conclude with plenty of time for networking among attendees. The following is a sample agenda:
- 20-50 minute presentation on a career or professional development topic
- 10 minute presentation on the benefits of professional societies
- 60-90 minutes of networking with light refreshments
The ASBMB highly recommends that you book a space as early as possible. Ensure your space will support your preferred audience size, agenda, refreshments and budget. If you are inviting attendees from outside your institution, ensure the venue is accessible to them.
Your budget will dictate the type of refreshments you offer. You should order the refreshments as soon as you book your event space. If you are relying solely on the funding provided by the ASBMB, you will need to stick to light finger foods and non-alcoholic beverages. Examples of popular and economical refreshments are donuts, bagels, coffee, tea, pastries, pizza and ice cream sundaes. If your institution or department is willing to provide additional funding, you may be able to offer more substantial refreshments. We recommend you put out the refreshments a few minutes before the end of the presentations to encourage participants to stay. Consider providing vegetarian and gluten-free options.
In addition to inviting graduate students and postdocs, the ASBMB encourages you to invite other scientists from your institution and from local industry, government or non-profit research organizations. The ASBMB can identify local society members. Your agenda, location and budget will dictate the size of the event. You also should consider that larger events can be more intimidating for early career scientists new to networking.
The ASBMB will create an event webpage and an online RSVP system for you. After you identify prospective attendees, you may create and send the invitation yourself (including the RSVP link) or the ASBMB can do so for you. The ASBMB also can assist you in marketing your event by providing promotional flyers. You should coordinate with your colleagues and support staff to print and distribute materials around your institution (e.g. elevators, bulletin boards) and at other local institutions.