The GlycoNet Trainee Association (GTA) is composed of undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, technicians, and research associates affiliated with GlycoNet. The Executive Committee of GTA (GTA-EC) seeks to give trainees input into the training initiatives that are offered by GlycoNet. The GTA-EC surveys their peers to gauge the success of the GlycoNet training program and make recommendations to the GlycoNet Training Committee.
GlycoNet offers several professional development workshops and webinars throughout the year. The topics range from technology transfer to entrepreneurship, project management, science communications, networking skills and more.
In 2018, the CuriOSEity blog was launched. The blog is an online forum managed by the GlycoNet Trainee Association Executive Committee that tackles questions surrounding professional development. The goal of the blog is to highlight activities in the trainee community and encourage discussion and interactions around glycomics-related topics.
GlycoNet’s training program includes opportunities to facilitate collaborations between research groups and industrial internships. GlycoNet has summer awards for undergraduates students, research exchange programs, travel grants, and opportunities for trainees to design their own small research project through the Advanced Training Opportunity Program (ATOP).
GlycoNet develops glycomics resources with University of Alberta’s Centre of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (CMASTE) for high school science classrooms. The resources aim to connect Canadian high school curriculum with the latest research in glycomics. All resources are available for free from our website.
I learned to encourage my team and became more organized. Research is not only about successes, but also about all the failures that contribute to new discoveries. Being positive and being able to deal with unexpected results while maintaining the right attitude is important. The project I started with Eddie is still ongoing, but I am proud of what we have accomplished in just one year.
The research exchange program has allowed me to evolve as a researcher, providing me with the skills and knowledge to tackle specific questions by using computational methods. The collaboration has also yielded a publication in Nature Communications, paving the way for future fruitful collaborations.
The Summer Award helped me understand the interplay between chemistry and biology while conducting research in the Withers Lab at the University of British Columbia. The funding allows me to treat my learning as a job and get excited by my contributions to the lab’s research.
The ATOP training program was a unique opportunity to develop my writing and management skills. As a postdoctoral fellow, I was familiar with writing scientific publications and supervising undergraduate students, but not with writing a project description nor the sections related to budget or training personnels in a grant proposal. I also never had to go through the process of interviewing a student for the project. The ATOP program offered the perfect conditions to teach senior HQP how project are administered and I feel more prepared for a future career as a Principal Investigator.
After studying genetics for five years at the undergraduate level, I am finally getting the chance to see the techniques I have learned about in action and to experiment with DNA myself. Gaining experiences like performing genotyping will certainly help prepare me for the career I hope for as a genetic counsellor.
Through my summer research experience, I have explored various aspects of research where I actually got the opportunity to apply the skills that I can only learn about in school. Not only this, I was able to use these skills to help make a direct impact on real-world problems. To see families who are affected by the diseases we are studying come to our lab and personally thank us is truly an experience that cannot be put into words. My experience has filled me with inspiration and motivation that would have otherwise not been possible were it not the contributions GlycoNet made.
I wish that every teacher could have the opportunity to participate in the CMASTE-GlycoNet program for high school teachers, just because you get immersed in real science again.
How does one get creative in academic-based social media? The professional development workshop on “Cultivating Your Professional Online Presence” opened my eyes. I have been missing out on a lot of networking opportunities because I didn’t have a professional online presence. With all I learned from the workshop, I updated my LinkedIn profile and am looking into creating other academic platforms to track any publications of interest to my work.
My research project has focused on chemical syntheses. I make complex carbohydrates and study their structures, but I never see what happens after I make them. I usually just send them to my collaborator for downstream “biological experiments.” But while on exchange at the Whitfield lab, I actually learned to conduct these experiments. It has given me a new perspective, helping me understand the big picture. With experience in synthetic chemistry, and now with molecular biology, I was able to boost my knowledge and apply for a post-doctoral fellowship in neuroscience.
Industry is very different from academia. As an industrial intern, I acquired the necessary tools to transition into industry after I graduate. I also learned that I don’t have to stay in academia to work in research. In fact, from the internship, I found that working in the industry might be better suited for me because it’s faster-paced and more structured.
Canadian Glycomics Network
E5-33 Gunning/Lemieux Chemistry Centre
University of Alberta, T6G 2G2
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