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The Interstellar Initiative: 2020 - 2021 Workshop 1

Available via

WEBINAR

The Interstellar Initiative: 2020 - 2021 Workshop 1

Friday, September 11 - Sunday, September 13, 2020 EDT

The New York Academy of Sciences, 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St Fl 40, New York

Presented By

 

The first workshop in September 2020 will now convene virtually. At this time, the second workshop is planned to be held in February 2021 in NYC. We continue to monitor the spread of the coronavirus and will make updates to the program if necessary with the safety of all participants in mind.  


The Interstellar Initiative ― presented jointly by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development and the New York Academy of Sciences ― recognizes the world’s most promising Early Career Investigators and connects them with peers, in related but distinct disciplines, providing a platform for them to develop a solution to a major research question. The aim is to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and thereby catalyze discovery.

The 2020-2021 Interstellar Initiative will address challenges in the area of Healthy Longevity. It will focus on exploring molecular, cellular, genetic, and physiological mechanisms of aging, and the relationship between aging and diseases such as cancers, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, hormonal disorders, and other chronic age-related conditions with the ultimate goal of improving healthspan and preventing pathological aging.


Participation in this two-part workshop is by application only.

Applications are invited from Early Career Investigators who have backgrounds in four broad categories:

1) Clinical Research;

2) Life Science;

3) Physical Science; and

4) Technology

The deadline for application submission is May 28, 2020.

Background

Collaboration is key to truly innovative scientific discoveries and advancement. There is a critical need to support the intersection of ideas across international boundaries and disciplines, in particular among early career scientists (ECIs). The Interstellar Initiative connects ECIs with peers, in related but distinct disciplines, under the guidance of Mentors who are established scientists at the peak of their respective disciplines. This is a remarkable opportunity for investigators to: (i) receive expert guidance from leading senior scientists on the preparation of a compelling research proposal; (ii) network with exceptional researchers from around the world; and (iii) build international research collaborations.

How it Works

Applications will be accepted from ECIs in broad disciplines; you can find more information about the application and eligibility guidelines here. ECIs accepted into the Interstellar Initiative will participate in a three-day virtual conference from September 11–13, 2020, where they will be grouped in teams of three and asked to develop a research proposal, guided by mentors. All teams will include one member from Japan. Participants will be expected to present the proposals developed within their teams at the conference, and top teams will be recognized with a non-monetary award at the close of the event. All teams will receive a modest funding award from AMED through the Japanese team member’s institution to further enhance their proposals, leading up to a second two-day workshop, on February 8-9, 2021. Proposals will be refined at this second workshop and prepared for submission to international funding agencies.

Interstellar Initiative participants will be reimbursed for all eligible travel expenses. For details, visit our Travel and Accommodation page.

Important Dates

  • February 25, 2020, 10:00 AM ET: The application period opens.
  • June 22nd 11:59 PM EDT/June 23rd 12:59 PM JST: The extended application period closes.
  • July 2020: Investigators selected to participate in the Interstellar Initiative are notified.
  • July 2020–early September, 2020: ECIs matched and grouped into teams.
  • September 11–13, 2020: Interstellar Initiative conference convenes virtually.
  • September 2020–February 2021: Teams continue to develop their research proposals.
  • February 8–9, 2021: Follow up workshop convenes in New York City.

Apply

Please review the Eligibility and Guidelines page before proceeding. The application can be found here.

Questions?

Application guidelines can be found here. For details on reimbursable expenses, visit our Travel and Accommodation page. Please email interstellar@nyas.org with any questions.

Eligibility


Applications are invited from Early Career Investigators who have backgrounds in four broad categories:

1) Clinical Research (e.g., physician scientists and others with translational interests);

2) Life Science (e.g., biomedical scientists);

3) Physical Science (e.g., physicists, chemists, and mathematicians); and

4) Technology (e.g., engineers, computer scientists)

The 2020-2021 Interstellar Initiative will address challenges in the area of Healthy Longevity. It will focus on exploring molecular, cellular, genetic, and physiological mechanisms of aging, and the relationship between aging and diseases such as cancers, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, hormonal disorders, and other chronic age-related conditions with the ultimate goal of improving healthspan and preventing pathological aging.


Early Career Investigator applicants must:

  • Hold a doctoral degree or equivalent (PhD, DPhil, MD, DDS, DVM, etc.)
  • Have obtained their last doctoral degree within the past 10 years (January 2010 or later)
  • Have been engaged in active research for 10 years or less since obtaining their doctoral degree or equivalent
  • Hold an independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty position at a university, private research institution, academic medical center, or national government laboratory
  • Be proficient in speaking and writing in English

Note: Exceptions to these requirements may be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the organizers. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact interstellar@nyas.org.

Application Guidelines

The application form includes questions about applicants' research background and area of expertise. Applications must include a short proposal that identifies a critical research question in healthy aging research, highlighting its importance and impact, and propose a research plan for how your expertise can address this question, including how you hope to improve this proposal through participation in the Interstellar Initiative. Proposals may not exceed 1000 words in length, must be in English, and must address the evaluation criteria outlined below. A supplementary figure may be included but is not required.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Clarity: There is a clear, well defined question. The aims are structured so that they answer a specific question
  • Scope: The extent to which the proposed research question represents a challenge impacting the entire field, and not solely the interests of the applicant.
  • Quality: The extent to which the proposed research question is defended, and the research solution is valid and scientifically rigorous.
  • Impact: The extent to which the proposed research solution may influence the field.
  • Novelty: The extent to which the proposed research solution challenges existing paradigms and employs new methodologies or concepts.
  • Promise: Future prospects in the field and potential for further significant contributions to science.

The proposal should address the above and include a few sentences defining the methodology, why the proposal is unique or different from existing research, and what will be known once there is an answer from the proposed experiments

Apply

The application can be found here.