Do you remember walking into the person’s office down the hall from you when you needed to ask a question, instead of “popping” them an email, instant message, or text? There’s no disputing that the digital age definitely has its advantages – making information sharing faster, cheaper, and more convenient, and allowing us to communicate locally and abroad in seconds. But in this fast paced world of instant communication – the internet, email, and all of our social media choices – sometimes we forget how valuable face-to-face interactions can be.
That is exactly one of the reasons I love the NIH Regional Seminars on Grant Funding and Program Administration. The seminars give me the opportunity to join over 60 of my fellow NIH and HHS faculty in sharing our knowledge and perspectives to attendees who are eager to learn how to navigate NIH, know the latest NIH initiatives, and understand how NIH and HHS policies affect their role in working on NIH grants. The seminars cover the basics that can help you understand how to find funding, write a grant application, manage a grant award, and comply with policies. But they also offer sessions that are a more advanced, including subjects you would see here on my blog. Some of those hot topic discussions include upcoming changes in how we will be supporting and providing oversight of clinical trials, as well as diversity in the biomedical research workforce. There are career planning sessions where we highlight topics related to getting your first NIH award and administrative topics such as how to manage international collaborations.
Perhaps even more valuable than formal presentations, in my mind, are the opportunities these events provide you and our faculty to interact….to meet, learn, and share from one another. Throughout the seminars, we offer opportunities to meet individually with our faculty to make connections, ask questions, and share perspectives.
Details on the NIH Regional Seminar in New Orleans, Louisiana (May 3-5) can be found on our website, and registration is open now. If the spring seminar location or dates aren’t ideal for you, then please consider our second seminar of 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland (October 25-27).
I look forward to seeing and meeting face-to-face with some of you there!