Frontiers symposia provide a unique opportunity for early career researchers to connect with peers from different fields and countries to advance their careers and push their research in new directions. Personal stories below from Frontiers alumni illustrate the long-term effects that Frontiers can have on an individual’s research and/or career.

Career Impact

My scientific career has been profoundly impacted.

Attending Frontiers:
• engendered research ideas from different disciplines that I have implemented into my research program.
• provided me with connections … created a sense of community and inspiration that still impacts me today.
• resulted in other high-profile invitations.
• positively impacted my tenure and promotion prospects.
• fundamentally changed how I see myself as a scientist.

Deep and Lasting Connections

At Frontiers, I met a sleep neuroscientist… I am an experimental/behavioral economist.
This connection made at the Frontiers meeting in 2003 in Japan has led to what is now an almost 20 year collaboration.

We have published several papers together, and been involved (and still are) on several funded grant research projects over the years. It has been a very unique and valuable collaboration for me.

Peer Networks
2017 Japanese-American-German Poster Session

During my Frontiers Kavli symposium, I met up with a group of five other women from similar career stages in the US. Our topics of research are highly diverse … yet we have become a tight peer mentorship and friends network.

These relationships have been arguably the most instrumental in my success as a faculty member and receiving tenure of all my professional relationships [….] I would not have this network if it were not for that 2016 symposium!

Connections across Disciplines

Being exposed to such a wide breath of outstanding talks was one of the most unique and illuminating experiences of my career.

As a clinical neuroscientist I would likely never have attended a talk on Dark Matter, yet I remember being captivated by Risa Wechsler’s videos modeling the dark matter scaffolding that formed the Universe.

The organization of the universe in this way has such an eerie similarity to the organization of neural clusters in our brains. I still use this analogy when I teach trainees.

Science Communication
2024 Japanese-American-German Dark Matter Session

One of the most valuable outcomes of these symposia for me has been a case study in scientific communication … we rarely have an opportunity to witness in such concentrated form in our regular environment.

When one listens to talks outside one’s own field, by incredible speakers, one starts developing ideas on what forms of science communication work, and which ones do not.

Those are lessons I will take with me for the rest of my career. Such talks will always be the model I will have in mind when I find myself communicating scientifically with a broader audience.