SRBR Trainee Day

Trainee Day Schedule

The SRBR Trainee Day is to foster the growth and success of the next generation of biological rhythm researchers by providing opportunities for scientific and career development of trainees spanning the undergraduate to postdoctoral levels. This day-long event which is held prior to the meeting allows trainees to interact with one another and established leaders in the field in a relaxed and informal setting, helping to establish connections and foundations that can enrich the main conference. Only those attendees who have pre-registered will be able to participate in Trainee Day.

The SRBR 2024 Trainee Day includes a keynote address, lunch and “positive feedback looping”, a variety of workshops devoted to professional skills, and the first-ever SRBR “Wikithon”. Workshops are organized into themes designed to enhance skills for trainees of all levels, with specific paths designed for the needs of different trainee levels. These topics include foundational knowledge (Theme A), intellectual and technical skills in the lab (Theme B), communication in its many forms (Theme C), and career skills/paths for Ph.D.s inside and outside academia (Theme D-E). These themes are described below in more detail, and attendees are allowed to “mix & match”. Attendees that register for Trainee Day will receive a registration link approximately 6 weeks before the event to register for specific sessions. Only those attendees who have pre-registered for trainee day will be able to participate in the event.


SRBR 2024 Trainee Day Program at a Glance

  • 9:00 am – 9:20 am        Welcome Address – Horacio de la Iglesia
  • 9:20 am – 10:00 am      Keynote Address – Amita Sehgal, “Chronicles of a Time Traveler”
  • 10:00 am – 11:00 am    Session 1 Workshops
  • 11:10 am – 12:00 pm    Session 2 Workshops
  • 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm      Lunch and Positive Feedback Looping
  • 2:10 pm – 3:00 pm        Session 3 Workshops
  • 3:10 pm – 4:00 pm        Session 4 Workshops
  • 4:10 pm – 5:30 pm        Closing activity – SRBR Wikithon
  • 6:00 pm                          SRBR Opening Reception

Description of Special Activities for Trainee Day at SRBR 2024

Positive feedback looping – This activity will consist of one-on-one blitz discussions with other trainee day attendees. Participants are asked to pair randomly with another attendee and each person discusses their research for 5 minutes. After this first 10-minute discussion, trainees will be asked to pair with another participant, and so on, for ~50 min. The aim of this activity is to stimulate interaction and exchange, to allow participants to meet new people, and to “break the ice” before the SRBR conference starts.

Wikithon- Members of the SRBR Outreach committee will lead a guided activity with the goal of improving chronobiology representation on Wikipedia. As an open repository, Wikipedia relies on people to create, edit, and maintain articles. The Wikithon event at the Trainee Day of SRBR 2024 aims to encourage and equip members of the chronobiology community to participate in this process in the short and long term, to ensure Wikipedia pages related to Chronobiology are accurate and reliable. The event will be a collaborative session opening with training on the basics of Wikipedia editing, leading to group work editing pages with one or more experienced editors per group. This will familiarize participants with editing, and will address minor edits (e.g., citations, missing data, further reading, and participating in Talk page discussions). Overall, the event will serve as a platform for early-career researchers to participate actively in science communication and dissemination, connecting and contributing even after SRBR 2024 has finished.


List of Workshop Themes for SRBR 2024

  • Theme A – “Foundations in Chronobiology” series
  • Theme B – “In the Lab” series
  • Theme C – “Skills in Communication” series
  • Theme D – “Interviewing and Choosing a Path” series
  • Theme E – “Career Skills in Academia” series

Saturday, May 18, 2024


9:00 am - 10:00 am

Welcome Address and Opening Keynote

10:00 am - 11:00 am Session 1

Chronobiology in Humans – Translation and Application  

  • Speakers: John Hogenesch 
  • Description: This workshop will introduce human chronobiology, translational considerations from bench to bedside, and applications for chronobiology in our lives. Speakers will provide their real-world, behind-the-scenes perspectives of translational chronobiology research and help trainees explore ways of engaging in this kind of research.

The Do’s, Don’ts, and Good Practice of Experimental Design  

  • Speakers: Beth Klerman, Matt Butler
  • Description: Part of the scientific pursuit is having the wisdom to ask the right questions. This workshop will focus on the process of identifying/refining a research question and optimizing experimental design to fit a hypothesis pertinent to rhythms research.

How to (not) Give a Good Talk  

  • Speakers: Mimi Shirasu-Hiza, Carl Johnson
  • Description: We all know how pleasant it is to hear an exciting, engaging, and informative talk. But what makes a good talk? Presenters will engage attendees with an interactive approach to help explain how to put together an engaging talk and what pitfalls to avoid.

Finding the Right Scientific Mentor 

  • Speakers: Carla Green, Clark Rosensweig, Patrick Emery, Yong Zhang
  • Description: While luck can play a big role in finding the right mentor, in this session we will discuss strategies that will maximize your ability to make informed decisions and hopefully tip the scale in your favor in finding the right fit. Participation from trainees at all levels is encouraged.

The Faculty Job Search 

  • Speakers: Filipa Rijo-Ferreira, Erik Herzog
  • Description: The process of obtaining a faculty position can be daunting, with many pitfalls along the way. This workshop will address some of the most challenging aspects of the academic job hunt, including guidance on where and when to apply, insight on the process itself, and tips on what to do after you have been offered the position.

11:10 am – 12:00 pm Session 2

  Molecular Clocks Across Cells: Principles and Applications  

  • Speakers: Martha Merrow, Joseph Takahashi
  • Description: Trainees at this workshop will participate in an interactive discussion covering molecular clocks in different systems. We will discuss foundational discoveries, biochemical principles, comparative analysis, new technical approaches, new advances, and significant questions that remain in this area of the field. 

Modern trends in data analyses: Big Data, Modeling, and AI 

  • Speakers: Danny Forger, Dylan Ma
  • Description: In this workshop, speakers will discuss new techniques and approaches to analyze data in chronobiological studies. Besides highlighting opportunities associated with those novel approaches, it will also discuss limitations, especially with regards to circadian rhythm research. Along the way, you’ll learn some key principles in the design and analysis of large-scale studies.

When, Where, and How to Publish  

  • Speakers: Mary Harrington, Nicolas Cermakian
  • Description: This workshop will discuss a range of topics related to scientific article publication, including deciding when and what to write; choosing a journal and submitting the manuscript; open publishing and preprints; the peer-review process (from the standpoint of the authors and the referees). Come prepared with questions and problems! 

Interviewing and Networking Skills  

  • Speakers: Wanhe Li, Samer Hattar, Emily Manoogian
  • Description: You did it. You finally got that email inviting you to come to “University X” to give a talk or two and try to land a job. But, how do you transition from a successful job application that gets you in the door to a job offer? This discussion will focus on tips and tricks for increasing your chances to nail the interview, how to negotiate the entire job offer process, and how to effectively network inside and outside of academia.

Running a Lab – What’s it Like?  

  • Speakers: Tiffany Schmidt, Brian Altman
  • Description: In this workshop, speakers will discuss the challenges and rewards of starting your own lab. They will draw on their experiences and perspectives to discuss what they wish they knew when they were starting, effective strategies for establishing and running a lab, and how to balance different parts of being an academic researcher.

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Lunch and Positive Feedback Looping

2:10 pm - 3:00 pm Session 3

SCN Network, Output Pathways, and Interactions with Other Systems  

  • Speakers: Rae Silver. Marco Brancaccio
  • Description: It is easy to think that it was always known that the SCN was the master brain clock. But an appreciation of the SCN is a relatively new concept and it was a long and winding road that led to this key finding in our field. This workshop is designed to introduce the central clock, the components that make the central clock tick, and how it connects with the larger circadian system before the meeting so that new trainees will better understand new findings in SCN anatomy, inputs/outputs, and interconnections.

Skills and Strategies for Successful Collaboration  

  • Speakers: Karyn Esser, Nicole Bowles
  • Description: This session will be led by researchers who have forged new and exciting collaborations. They will discuss strategies to not only find collaborators, but how to encourage a cordial, professional, and mutually beneficial long-term relationship with other scientists.

Communicating your science to the public

  • Speakers: Maria de la Paz Fernandez, Mike Antle
  • Description: Communicating our results, and reaching out to the wider community, is an incredibly important yet sometimes underestimated part of the job of scientists. There are many strategies to accomplish this, and this workshop will focus on some novel ways of reaching this important goal.

Directions for a PhD Beyond Academia 

  • Speakers: Mykel Robble, PhD, Commercial Strategy and Operations, Tempus Labs
  • Description: There are a lot of job opportunities for PhDs in biological sciences. Some opportunities start right after graduate school or a postdoctoral fellowship, while other opportunities arise after long and successful careers in academia. This workshop will focus on career opportunities open to PhDs across a range of non-academic sectors.

How to Be An Effective Mentor For All Stages  

  • Speakers: Jay Dunlap, Joanna Chiu
  • Description: A discussion of strategies that can enhance skills in mentorship while directing teams of undergraduate, graduate, and/or postdoctoral researchers.

3:10 pm - 4:00 pm Session 4

History and Basic Concepts in Chronobiology

  • Speaker: Karen Gamble, Till Roenneberg
  • Description: For those new to the field, this workshop will give an overview of foundational concepts in chronobiology, pioneering studies in the field of chronobiology, and critical models for understanding entrainment in circadian clocks.

Working with Diverse Organisms  

  • Speakers: Christine Merlin, Alex Keene, Eric Zhang, Horacio de la Iglesia
  • Description: This workshop will be a panel discussion of strategies and issues faced while working with diverse model organisms in chronobiology. Though much recent work in chronobiology seems focused on drosophila and rodent models, our field has a rich history of using a wide variety of species which have illuminated important basic concepts. This workshop will be led by experienced researchers who use non-rodent species and will discuss the power, trials, tribulations, and incredible rewards of using these species.

Teaching Chronobiology in the Classroom and Beyond 

  • Speakers: Karen Tonsfeldt, Roelof Hut, Koji Ode
  • Description: This workshop will be a panel discussion on teaching strategies and ways to incorporate current pedagogical principles while teaching chronobiology in a variety of settings, from the classroom to the community.

Career Options for PhD Outside Academia 

  • Speakers: Richard Gomer, Anna Damato, Marishka Brown, Mykel Robble
  • Description: This workshop will be a panel discussion on job opportunities and paths outside of academia. Panelists will draw from their own experiences and knowledge to discuss ways to position yourself well for landing a job outside of academia.

DEI in Chronobiology  

  • Speakers: Carla Finkielstein, Colleen McClung, Alex Webb, Doug McMahon
  • Description: In this workshop, we will discuss the opportunities and challenges related to efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the life sciences and chronobiology. We hope to stimulate discussion about strategies to increase diversity and to share approaches that have (or have not) been successful. We will encourage participants to ask questions and contribute their own stories.

4:10 pm - 5:30 pm

Closing Activity: SRBR Wikithon