SSR 2017 Trainee Information


On-Site at NIH: Personalized Feedback on Your Grant Application

Wednesday, 12 July, 1:00–5:00 pm (Free, trainee registrants only).
Main NIH campus.

​Deadline extended!
NIH Program Officials and NICHD leadership will give registered trainees a presentation on NIH/NICHD policies, which will open with a talk from Dr. Della Hann, NICHD’s Associate Director of Extramural Research. Trainees will then receive a brief walking tour of the NIH campus. Later in small groups, NIH Program Officials (Drs. Susan Taymans, Stuart Moss, Esther Eisenberg, Koji Yoshinaga, Ravi Ravindranath, Charisee Lamar, Candace Tingen, and Thad Schug) and experienced NIH peer reviewers (Drs. Paula Cohen, Chris Geyer, Barry Hinton, Joan Jorgensen, Stephanie Pangas, Aleks Rajkovic, Carmen Williams, and Humphrey Yao) will provide trainees personalized feedback on their Specific Aims page (due at the time of event registration) and a short 5 minute presentation about their research plan (3–4 slide presentation given at the event). Please note that this event is hosted the afternoon on the day before the Annual Meeting; plan accommodations accordingly. Registration and attendance to the event is contingent on submission of a Specific Aims page at the time of event registration. The Roommate Referral Service can be used to cut accommodation costs. The deadline to register for this event has been extended to 16 June. Please use the Online Registration Form to apply this event.  

Trainee-Mentor Luncheon

Saturday, 15 July, noon–1:20 pm ($25, Trainee registrants only).
Maryland Suite, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

This Trainee-organized event presents a special opportunity for trainee members to engage an SSR scientist (mentor) in informal discussion during a catered lunch. Over the years, SSR trainees have received advice from distinguished and dedicated members on anticipating and overcoming career and research challenges, developing critical collaborations, and maintaining a balance in their professional and personal lives.

To register for this luncheon (cost: $25), trainees must mark the appropriate box on the registration form. Trainees are encouraged to register early, as seating is limited to 180 trainees. Unpurchased tickets (should there be any) will be for sale at the meeting.

Thirty mentors will be at the luncheon. Biographical sketches of all currently available mentors are here; registrants for the Luncheon should submit their top three mentor choices on the Mentor Choice Form. Seating is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis…so sign up soon! 

If you have questions about this event, contact:

Ashley George
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ  08901
Phone: 848-932-6328

Trainee Forum—Becoming an Effective Reviewer: A Means to Enhance Your Scientific Writing

Thursday, 13 July, 10:30 am–12:15 pm (Free, trainee registrants only).
Delaware Suite, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Learn how to properly conduct a peer review of manuscripts and grant applications. These skills will also enhance your own writing abilities. The speakers below will present on these topics. Following their presentations, they will serve as panelists for an open question and answer session.

  • Dr. Sally Perreault Darney (NIEHS; Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Health Perspectives): Manuscript review
  • Dr. Francesco DeMayo (NIEHS; Editor-in-Chief of Biology of Reproduction): Manuscript review
  • Dr. Susan Taymans (NICHD; Program Director): Grant review
  • Dr. Humphrey Yao (NIEHS; longstanding member of study sections): Grant review

Grants and Awards

Trainees are often eligible for Travel Grants to attend and present at the Annual Meeting, as well as Merit Awards that recognize the best abstracts submitted to and presented at the SSR Annual Meeting.


Trainee Career Consultation Center

This year the Trainee Affairs Committee (TAC) will run an onsite Career Consultation Center where trainees can get personalized one-on-one feedback on their CVs, a cover letter, or general career advice. The Career Consultation Center will run congruent with the daily poster sessions from 4:45–6:30 pm on Friday, 14 July, 4:45–6:30 pm on Saturday, 15 July, and 3:30–5:00 pm on Sunday, 19 July. The following Regular SSR members will serve as “Career Consultants” at the Career Consultation Center:

  • Mary Zelinski, Ph.D.
  • Mary Ann Handel, Ph.D.
  • Thomas Spencer, Ph.D.
  • Teresa Woodruff, Ph.D.
  • Karen Schindler, Ph.D.
  • Barry Hinton, Ph.D.

Interested trainees must complete the application to reserve an appointment. Places are limited. Make sure you get in early to secure your appointment! For all questions, please contact Pavla Brachova at

Roommate Referral Service

The SSR Roommate Referral Service is now up and running! If you are interested in sharing the cost of a hotel room for the 2017 Annual Meeting, please fill out the Roommate Referral Application Form and email to The Roommate Referral Service Coordinator, Katie Chiang, will manage this service for the Washington meeting, and will do her best to find a suitable roommate for you. Please act soon—the deadline for submissions to the Roommate Referral Service is Monday, 12 June 2017.

Volunteer Opportunities

We need your help to make this meeting a huge success! Trainee volunteers are responsible for the behind-the-scenes action, including help with:

  • Posters
  • Pre-Registration Desk
  • Sessions and Symposia
  • Signage Placement
  • Slide Preview Room
  • Social Events
  • Trainee–Mentor Luncheon
  • And much more!

SSR is especially devoted to enhancing the trainee experience; therefore, if you plan to attend the meeting, we strongly urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to participate as a trainee volunteer. It's a great way to meet peers and network with influential scientists in our field!

If you are interested, check the box for the Trainee Volunteer Subcommittee (TVS) on your Annual Meeting registration form. If you have questions or comments, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions or contact this year's TVS organizers, Erica Schoeller and Pei-Chih Lee.

Trainee Volunteer Questionnaire

If you'd like to be a volunteer, please tell us how you’d like to participate by filling out the Trainee Volunteer Questionnaire.

Volunteer Testimonials

“This was my first SSR meeting, and volunteering was a great way to meet new people and also have the chance to help out. It was fun and rewarding.”
—Pavla Brachova, University of Kansas

“Volunteering is a great informal way to meet people at SSR with whom you might not otherwise interact, from trainee peers who work on different topics to members of the board, session chairs, and high-profile speakers. You get to see the inner workings of the meeting, help out the society, and have fun doing it (plus a free t-shirt!). It’s a win-win!”
—Miranda Bernhardt, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

“During SSR last year, I was able to table and talk about the diversity initiative that was being taken! Overall I would consider volunteering a rewarding experience that I hope everyone will try at least once just because you get to interact with so many people from diverse areas of reproduction. Thanks SSR!”
—Jahaira C. Vera, University of Arizona

“Getting involved with the Trainee Volunteer Subcommittee (TVS) it has been very rewarding in my career as a new scientist. Through the TVS I had the opportunity to meet and work alongside prominent reproductive biologists and I have made long-lasting friends and future collaborators.”
—Juanmahel Davila, University of Illinois

“I really enjoyed my volunteering experience at the SSR. I had opportunities to meet and interact with new colleagues.”
​—Hayley Furlong, McMaster University