Established in 2009, the Duke-NUS Early Career Scientists Association (DUNES) provides avenues through which students and researchers at Duke-NUS can improve their career prospects. DUNES is run by the early career scientists themselves, with support from the Office of Research at Duke-NUS. We have at our core two main aims: 1) provide resources to enhance and develop the professional skills of early career researchers, and 2) foster closer professional and social interactions between early career researchers at Duke-NUS and the wider Singapore Biomedical community. These aims are particularly critical in the context of the national and international nature of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, with DUNES providing resources and support for current and prospective researchers. Overall, DUNES provides events that enhance professional skills as well as develop scientific and social networks within Duke-NUS and the wider Singaporean community.
One of the major avenues provided by DUNES is the annual symposium. Our symposium is an opportunity for early career scientists to showcase their research findings and network with other researchers—vital skills for a successful career in science. Through this symposium, DUNES reaches out not only to staff and students at Duke-NUS, but also to the wider SGH campus and other major research institutes. In the past, we have received submissions from institutions across Singapore. As a result, the research presented has been of exceptional quality and of wide breadth in its diversity. DUNES hopes the annual symposium becomes an integral component of the growth and success of early career scientists in Singapore.
In addition to our annual symposium, DUNES organizes monthly Scientific/Career development seminars in which speakers from different walks of the scientific community, including both academia and industry, are invited to share their career choices and the resulting consequences that led them to current positions. These informative seminars are informal in nature and provide early career scientists an opportunity to interact with the speakers and gather useful advice. As such, the seminars are very well attended by the Duke-NUS community and even compel scientists from other organizations to attend. Provided refreshments sweeten the deal. At times throughout the year, we have also invited speakers to discuss more focused topics, such as preparing a chalk talk or outlining the academic job discovery process. We endeavor that these meetings would allow for greater opportunities to step outside of the lab and consider the larger career goals, all in an environment amenable to productive networking.
Please take the time to read a little bit more about our upcoming events. If you have ideas that you feel would enhance the career prospects for members of our community or just improve the scientific atmosphere, please do not hesitate to drop us an email with suggestions—or better yet, get involved! DUNES is always looking for new faces to help with organizing events, and we would love to have you on the team.
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