Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR): An Assessment of Success1

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Abstract

The Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR) course has been held annually since 1998 at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, MA. The primary purpose of the course is to train young reproductive biologists in cutting-edge techniques that would strengthen their career opportunities. An initial evaluation of the FIR course was conducted by surveying the participants who took the course between 1998 and 2002. The findings of this survey were published inBiology of Reproductionin 2006, which highlighted the overall positive impact the course had on the training and upward career trajectory of the participants during the first 5 yr. The current study was designed to access the continued impact of FIR at the 10-yr mark by evaluating the participants who took the course between 1998 and 2008 using two different survey mechanisms. Based on these evaluations and feedback from the participants, it was evident that 1) FIR continues to have a significant positive impact on the careers of the participants, 2) the majority of the participants continue to be involved in research or administration related to the reproductive sciences, 3) nearly 90% of the attendees have been successful in obtaining funding for their research, and 4) most alumni have published at least five manuscripts in higher impact journals since they took the course. Therefore, it is evident that FIR participants are highly successful and continue to significantly impact the advances in the reproductive sciences worldwide.

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