By Kaitlyn Easson, Lead Communications Officer, 2018-2019 HBHL Trainee Committee
HBHL-funded graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills by volunteering with the HBHL Trainee Committee. The committee contributes to the neuroscience community in Montréal by organizing monthly Trainee Get-Togethers and the annual HBHL Trainee Research Day, both of which allow neuroscience trainees to connect with each other and share their research.
Trainee Committee Accomplishments: Highlights of the 2018-2019 Academic Year
- The HBHL Trainee Committee grew to an enthusiastic team of thirteen volunteers, with dedicated teams for organizing Trainee Get-Togethers and Research Day, securing sponsorships, and managing the committee’s communications.
- We hosted seven Trainee Get-Togethers. To start the year, the committee organized a special Meet-and-Greet for HBHL Fellows (HBHL-funded students and postdocs). All subsequent monthly events were open to anyone interested in attending. These events featured keynote and trainee presentations, as well as networking opportunities for interdisciplinary neuroscience trainees and faculty to share ideas and develop collaborations.
- The second annual HBHL Trainee Research Day took place on May 3rd, 2019 and was a resounding success, bringing together neuroscience researchers from local, national and international institutions. The event showcased the work of HBHL Fellows as well as trainees from the Université de Montréal and Western University through 10 oral presentations and 54 poster presentations to over 200 participants!
- We launched a revamped social media presence, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to keep the neuroscience community and the public informed of our activities and share the accomplishments of HBHL Fellows. The committee shared online profiles of HBHL Fellows, in order to highlight their research interests and achievements.
- We formed connections with 12 sponsoring companies, who supported and participated in Get-Togethers and Research Day.
The HBHL Trainee Committee Experience
The HBHL Trainee Committee is a valuable experience for HBHL Fellows to grow as leaders and connect with other members of Montréal’s neuroscience community outside of the laboratory environment. Through their contributions to the committee’s activities, trainees develop leadership, teamwork, project management, organization, time management, and communication skills that will facilitate their success in future professional endeavours. Read on for what this year’s members have to say about their experiences on the committee!
“It's been amazing to see what a team of 13 scientists could achieve outside of labs […] to bring the neuroscience community together. Serving on this wonderful committee has reminded me how important the qualities of time management, perseverance, teamwork and leadership are in reaching our goals.”
-Hovy Wong, President
“Through my experience on the HBHL Trainee Committee, I learned how to cooperate with individuals with different points of view and actually end up having better results! I really enjoyed being a member of the committee mainly because it helped me learn the skills that I wouldn’t be able to learn in a research-only environment!”
-Maral Yeganeh Doost, Sponsorships Officer
“My experience as a member of the HBHL Trainee Committee greatly improved my ability and comfort working and coordinating with a group on a large event. To see multiple distinct roles delegated to different people and then seeing them all become integrated in such an effective way really reinforced my appreciation for the power of teamwork.”
-Manesh Girn, Research Day Chair
“Joining the HBHL Trainee Committee was an excellent opportunity to acquire professional and managerial skills. HBHL provided us with a controlled and supervised environment and mentored us through constructive and personalized feedback. Thank you HBHL for the wonderful opportunity and I am looking forward to paying this forward!"
-Gina Kemp, Lead Get-Together Chair
Stay tuned! A new series of events for neuroscience trainees, hosted by the 2019 – 2020 HBHL Trainee Committee, will commence in the fall. Check out the committee’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to learn more!