The “SOT Program Spotlight” series is aimed at increasing awareness of how SOT programs and activities are focused on addressing and/or supporting the Society’s guiding principles of (1) serving the needs of the scientific discipline and our members to enhance human, animal, and environmental health; (2) life-long learning and intellectual scientific stimulation; (3) diversity of representation in all activities of the Society; and (4) integrity.
Graduate students are a valued and valuable part of the SOT membership, and the Society recognizes the importance of career development opportunities during this stage. To this end, SOT offers many opportunities for graduate students to get involved with the organization to propel them forward in their professional growth.
Training and Networking Opportunities
Graduate students are encouraged to take full advantage of the Society’s offerings by participating in networking events, scientific programs, and other SOT activities. SOT has hosted and curated dozens of webinars specifically designed to assist graduate students in advancing their scientific knowledge and careers. These webinars are freely available for viewing any time on the SOT website. In addition to these webinars, SOT offers a full suite of online Continuing Education courses. More than 90 courses on a wide variety of topics in toxicology are available for free to all SOT Graduate Student members.
In addition to this on-demand, virtual training, SOT also offers graduate students the opportunity to network with experts and fellow students during the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. The Chat with an Expert program during the meeting is a forum for informal, small-group discussions between students and postdoctoral scholars and SOT Full or Associate members. Students will meet with experts from industry, government, academia, and other fields whose interests match those of the student to allow students to network and gain insights from seasoned toxicologists. More information on the 2022 Chat with an Expert program will be provided as the meeting approaches.
Also during the Annual Meeting, the Student/Postdoctoral Scholar Mixer is an opportunity for all students and postdoctoral scholars to gather, meet new colleagues, and reestablish relationships in an informal atmosphere at the beginning of the meeting. The mixer offers a venue to network with peers and learn more about others’ experiences as a graduate student or postdoc.
Those interested in contributing to the Society while gaining valuable volunteer experience are encouraged to apply for the SOT Graduate Student Leadership Committee (GSLC). The Committee is composed of elected officers and student representatives from SOT Regional Chapters, Special Interest Groups, and Specialty Sections.
The GSLC develops resources and activities for Graduate Student members, including hosting the Chat with an Expert and Student/Postdoctoral Scholar Mixer events during the Annual Meeting and developing blog posts throughout the year on topics including professional development, communications, and SOT resources for graduate students. To accomplish this charge, three GSLC Subcommittees manage and implement the tactical details involving Graduate Student membership in the Society: the Communications Subcommittee, the Professional Development Subcommittee, and the Programming Subcommittee. Each Subcommittee is led by a Chair and a Secretary. Each SOT Regional Chapter, Special Interest Group, and Specialty Section elects a student representative, who is officially recognized by SOT and participates in the GSLC.
SOT offers more than 100 awards for graduate students with a variety of deadlines throughout the year. Awards support career development through funding for research and travel as well as recognize outstanding research performed by graduate students. Each award has its own eligibility criteria and application process, so be sure to explore the details of each award individually.
Additionally, the Graduate Intern Fellowship in Toxicology (GIFT) offers graduate students funding to engage in internships within industry, government, and nonprofit organizations. It enables outstanding doctoral students to pursue an internship in toxicology that advances their professional and scientific development. Also, the Supplemental Training in Education Program (STEP) enables outstanding doctoral students to pursue training in identified areas of professional/scientific development that are necessary for them to achieve their career goals but are outside the immediate scope of their graduate training and research program. Those interested in applying for GIFT or STEP should be on the lookout for communications regarding the application process toward the end of the year.
More information about Graduate Student membership and the GSLC is available on the SOT website. To apply for Student membership in the Society, use the online membership application. For any questions, please contact SOT Headquarters.
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