Working as a Plant Biology Consultant

At the 2016 Plant Biology conference in Austin, Texas, we had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Gonzalez to get tips on pursuing a career as a Plant Biology Consultant.  Here are some of the tips and suggestions Michael shared with us.  For more information, you can contact him at  Getting Started: The … Read more

Networking Socially at Plant Biology 2016

Without a doubt, one of the top reasons we attend conferences is to strengthen and expand our professional networks. The many opportunities that a conference provides to meet and interact with colleagues and friends old and new make the jet lag and hassle of travel worthwhile, mostly. The Plant Biology meeting is a big meeting … Read more

ASPB Members Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Several distinguished plant scientists – all of them members of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) – have been elected as members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Five ASPB members were elected to this year’s NAS class: New members: Julia … Read more

Career building: Where do you want to go and how will you get there?

Last month I spent a few days at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam, where I gave a talk about career building for early career researchers. I’ve shared the slides and here I summarize the take-home messages and links. Chance favors the prepared mind By now you’ve heard that there are … Read more

Behind the scenes with Brilliant Botany’s Claire Hopkins

Many scientists are exploring the use of videos and video blogs (vlogs) for science communication. I asked Claire Hopkins, creator of the Brilliant Botany videos and website, how she got started making science videos and if she has any advice for getting started in science communication.  Here are her replies. (I also invite you to … Read more

Federal Programs to Support Early Career Faculty

In an increasingly competitive environment to earn federal grants, opportunities exist to help researchers at the beginning of their careers. The following report contains an overview of federal government funding opportunities and fellowship programs that provide support for early career researchers working at universities or other non-government institutions. Some programs provide support for early career … Read more

Industry Careers = Good and Impactful Science

Since the advent of GMO crops, agriculture across the globe has undergone immense transformation, becoming the productive system in place today. The benefits of GMO crops are clear – corn farmers in developed countries have increased their productivity and yields. Take the U.S. for example, according to the USDA*, corn yields have grown by 35% … Read more

Plant Science Careers: Survey Summary and Infographic

In 2015, the traditional academic path remains the default and desired path for plant scientists. Further, there is a high degree of uncertainty for current early-career researchers who wish to pursue that traditional path. Those are two big takeaways from the ASPB career survey carried out earlier this year.  Worldwide, over 800 respondents from many … Read more

Plant Biology 2015 Career Chats: Get answers to your career path questions

Below is a list of the scheduled Career Chats and panelists that will take place in the Career Center at Plant Biology 2015.  Come prepared and bring your plant science career path questions. Attend as many as you want, there is no registration required. Schedule and speakers subject to change. Monday, July 27 12:00 – 1:30 PM … Read more

2015 Women’s Young Investigator Travel Award Winner: Andrea Eveland

We are pleased to announce that Andrea Eveland has received one of our seven Women’s Young Investigator Travel Awards.  Andrea is an Assistant Member and Principal Investigator at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.  She is currently working on four collaborative proposals, which she anticipates submitting for federal funding within the next few months.  In addition, Andrea is … Read more

Several Distinguished Plant Scientists Elected to National Academy of Sciences 2015 Class

We are pleased to announce that several distinguished plant scientists – most of them members of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) – have been elected as members or foreign associates of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Three members of the … Read more

SURF 2015: the next wave of undergraduate research

The 2015 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program results are in! Congratulations  to all the students listed below. Also, kudos and thanks to each student’s dedicated SURF mentor. SURF AWARD RECIPIENTS Doctoral-Granting Institutions Kevin Bird, University of Missouri   Allison Butt, Worcester Polytechnic Institute   Hailey Cambra, Worcester Polytechnic Institute   Maxwell Choka, Queen’s University   … Read more

From SURF to Turf

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship launches a research career spanning from aquatic algae to organic agriculture Fledgling Research As an undergraduate majoring in Biology at the University of Maryland, I was excited to explore the research opportunities that my school had to offer. My grandfather had taught as a plant physiology professor at Loyola University Maryland, … Read more


作者:玛丽·威廉姆斯 (Mary Williams)和 顾方为 (Fangwei Gu) This article is also posted in English (link). [玛丽]        对于那些想要开拓眼界,并提高自己英语水平的植物学家来说,美国依然是他们的一个主要目的地。但通过移民系统前往美国的道路却注定不会轻松。顾方为是美国密歇根大学的一名博士生,他愿意向我们分享被美国大学录取的经验。本篇日志将以中英文双语的形式发布 (link)。 [方为] 有多少在美国实验室中工作的植物学家出生在美国之外?如果你翻阅美国植物生物学家协会2014年年会的名册,你会发现许多来自中国,印度,日本,韩国,德国等国家的研究生和博士后。   我是他们中的一员。诚然与20多年前相比,来自海外的科学家有更多的机会前往美国,但我们依然需要花上几年的努力来抓住这样的机会。我从2007年开始准备出国留学,并在2009年获得了博士的录取通知书。对于那些母语并非英语的学生来说,他们必须参加托福 (TOEFL )考试。此外,为了满足申请的条件,他们还需要提供 GRE 的成绩单。在我申请的时候,中国大陆每年只有两次参加GRE考试的机会。这个数字在2014年已经提高到了30次,但为了确保考位,学生们依旧需要提早注册。   在等待托福和GRE考试成绩时,我开始在网上寻找想要申请的研究生项目。我想要从事植物发育方向的研究,所以我翻出了美国新闻网的《大学排名》(,依次打开这些大学的生物系页面,并用“植物发育”作为关键词进行搜索。我列出了那些我想要加入的课题组的名字,并向相关教授询问,他们是否有招收研究生的意愿与资金。最终我定下了我想要申请的7所大学(一般候选大学名单会在10-20不等)。   当我有了选校名单和考试成绩后,我就开始了正式的申请。部分的申请工作是在网上进行的。我需要上传我的简历,我的个人陈述(回答为什么选择这所学校之类的问题),我的三名推荐人的联系方式,以及托福和GRE的成绩。之后我需要将我的本科成绩单,学位证书的复印件以及其他必须的材料一起寄往这些大学。   但这些只是个开头。这一切努力的目的仅仅在于让你在众多申请者中脱颖而出,并获得一个面试的机会。在美国本土的学生能够亲自访问学校并参加面试,但对我们这些国际学生来说,面试则一般用电话或者Skype进行。我很幸运地能够在北京与两名教授进行面对面的面试。他们在中国一共面试了将近50名学生,只有我和其他的5名学生最终被录取。   被录取的学生将在面试的几周或者几个月后收到录取通知和I-20(给学生的移民材料)。对许多国际学生来说,为了进入美国,他们需要有F1类型的签证。获得签证的过程比申请学校要来得简单,但依旧非常麻烦。你能从SEVIS的网站上(Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)得到更多相关的信息。F1签证的申请者需要在线填写一份DS-160表,并联系当地的美国大使馆或领事馆来预约面签。在面签的过程中,面试官会询问申请者一系列关于专业与未来学习计划的问题。由于F1是非移民签证的一种,如果申请者流露出任何毕业后想要留在美国的意图,那么他/她的申请就有可能被拒绝。通过面试后,签证签发的时间可长可短,我当时等了5周。   博士后赴美的过程与研究生有着些许不同。他们直接受雇于实验室的负责人,而并非被院系录取。因此他们并不需要准备院系的申请材料,也无需参加托福和GRE考试。为了得到博士后的职位,申请者往往需要直接与潜在的导师联系,并附上自己的简历和研究计划。导师会通过电话或Skype与候选人们进行面试,而这也是测试申请者英语能力的场合。通过面试的申请者会收到聘书。为了进入并合法地留在美国工作,博士后需要J1(,或参阅或H1B类(签证。大家可以从全美博士后协会的网站上(得到更多关于这两种签证的信息。   如果你经历了以上的这些步骤,那么恭喜了,欢迎来到美国!   其他的事实: 一名学生每年的学费和生活费大约在5万美元左右。如果一名学生没有从大学处得到资助,那么他/她需要提供财产证明(一般是银行对帐单)来证实他/她能够承担这些费用。但我们也要知道,2012年中国家庭的平均年收入是2100美元(。   托福考试,GRE考试和签证申请的费用都在100-150美元不等。   国际学生的申请费(平均在70美金)往往比美国本土学生的申请费要贵,而申请的截止日期也更早。   [玛丽] 顾方为 目前在埃里克·尼尔森(Erik … Read more

Career Opportunities for Plant Scientists

Call me a nerd, if you wish; but the Career Tree, which I first saw in a report published over a decade ago by the European Science Foundation and the Human Frontiers Science Program, is one of my favorite images: The Career Tree depicts a plant, so it appeals to my innate pro-plant bias. (And … Read more